Do 50 year-olds have the same needs, wants, preferences, attitudes, and behaviours as 85 year-olds? Some might, but most don’t. So why do some businesses group everyone over 50 into one segment and market to them as if they are one homogenous mass? Would they adopt a similar approach to marketing to 15 year olds as to 50 year olds? Probably not.
There are some 21 million people over the age of 50 in the UK, accounting for more than a third of the population. They are the fastest growing demographic, enjoying longer, healthier and more active lives. It has been projected that around a third of babies born in 2013 could live to be 100 years old (ONS 2013).
Crucially for businesses and marketers, people over 50 hold 80% of the country’s wealth, 60% of its savings and 40% of its disposable income.
Yet this important and diverse group is often neglected, patronised or stereotyped by organisations whose marketing is frequently focused on younger consumers (with overall less spending power). And often when they are targeted, they are treated as a homogenous mass with a one-size-fits-all approach.
It makes commercial common sense to change the approach to marketing to over 50s and cater more effectively for different groups within this broad demographic (using other demographic, geographic, psychographic and behavioural methods to segment and target them).
If you’re interested in exploring this in more depth, I’m planning to run a masterclass soon that will seek to reappraise and improve how businesses market to over 50s.