There are many reasons why marketing to seniors is important. However, it’s not a simple task.
Because the people in this demographic are often forgotten and neglected when it comes to advertising and marketing campaigns.
This article will give you proven tips on how to market your product or service to senior citizens effectively so that they can make an informed decision about whether or not they want your product.
The first thing you should know about marketing to seniors is that there are more than 50 million of them in America alone—which means there could be plenty of customers for your business!
But what makes them different from other demographics?
How do you reach their heartstrings and wallets?
Read on for some tips on how best to market your products or services to the senior market.
What it means to market to seniors
Marketing is a broad term that encompasses strategies and techniques for getting your product or service noticed.
Knowing how to market your product will make it sell better than if you don’t know what should be done in order to sell the product successfully.
When people refer to marketing they usually mean advertising which is the process of persuading potential customers through various media channels that your product or service is right for them.
A lot of these campaigns are aimed at specific demographics like seniors over the age of 50 because there are more than 50 million people who fall in this demographic group!
If you want a good return on investment then focusing some time and effort on marketing your product to seniors is a great way to go.
If you want people to notice your product and buy it then you have got to put yourself out there through the various channels that are in use today like television, magazines or even social media including Facebook, Youtube, Nextdoor and more.
Tips on how to market successfully to seniors
The first thing you should know about marketing to seniors is that they have different motivations and their decision making process may be different.
It’s important to understand how these factors might impact your strategy, such as where or when to advertise, which media channel to use and more.
Offer a comparison with an older product that already exists in the market
For example, you could give away a trial product that is very similar to another older product. The key difference being that your new product has updated graphics and is more user friendly.
Use success stories from customers
The power of a compelling emotional story can persuade anyone since they are easier to remember than facts and statistics.
And, if seniors can relate to one desperate situation like losing their independence then they might be willing to invest in ways to avoid it from happening again like buying your product.
Give them something for free
Then after you give it to them for free, ask them for feedback on improvements.
This is also an excellent strategy because it takes the pressure off of them as they don’t feel forced to buy something before they know if it’s worth it.
Hold a contest with an attractive prize
For example, you could offer a one week trip for two to Hawaii or put up $50,000 cash and give away 10% at random.
This strategy takes some effort but is often quite helpful in generating leads which can result in sales later on down the line as people may remember who gave them such a generous deal!
Offer something drastically different from everyone else in your industry
If you are currently offering one kind of service then find another way to approach it like offering a complimentary item with every purchase.
It doesn’t have to be related. It can even be something completely unrelated but will help build trust and make your business seem more trustworthy than the competition.
For example, you could give away a VISA gift card, free microwave or vacuum cleaner with every one of your services for one month.
You could extend it longer if it’s really successful in attracting customers!
Give quotes about what they can expect from specific products or services
Don’t forget to remind them that since seniors are more susceptible to hype and buzzwords you should try out language like:
“You just need this product to get more done faster…. Less Pain, More Gain! ”
Those kind of words may get their attention.
Also, it’s important that you don’t come across as trying too hard with your marketing strategy since they will be able to see through it.
They are more perceptive than you think!
Promote your company’s values so customers can identify with them
If you want to stand out from the competition then make sure that your company is known for something.
For example, your website could have a page dedicated to helping seniors with depression and anxiety.
Or, maybe you can team up with other businesses in your area who promote similar values that are well liked by seniors like donating time or money to schools or charities.
However, remember to keep it relevant!
This leads to the next tip…
Take advantage of any free local events which will generate some interest
If there’s an upcoming event in your area where seniors will be present such as a fair at the county senior center then take advantage of it!
Offer them discounts coupons on products they might buy anyway or try selling them things like flyers with catchy slogans on them that they can hang up in their home to remind them about improving their health.
The main thing to remember is that they will be more interested and invested in things if you make it easy for them!
Add features that extend the lifespan of your product
This will allow you to market this product or service as being a more versatile investment.
It just adds another reason why someone should buy from your company!
Have a strong customer service department that older customers feel comfortable approaching
Older customers have never been great with technology so if you can make it easier for them by answering their questions via email, phone or in person then they will be more likely to become a long term customer.
Remember that they are like anyone else!
They want good products at an affordable price and don’t hesitate to make a purchase if they think it will benefit them in some way!
If you follow these tips then you should be well on your way to success with marketing and selling to the senior crowd!
They have money and don’t mind spending it so if you can reach out to them in the right way then there is no reason why you can’t make a profit!
Why it’s important to market to seniors
The baby boomer generation, who are in their mid-60s and above, is growing quickly and making up an increasing share of the population.
The senior demographic has a lot of buying power and don’t mind spending money and they want good products at affordable prices–making them very attractive customers for many businesses. Therefore, it’s important that you market your business to this demographic.
More than half of your customers will come from a group of people over the age of 55.
And even though their population is growing at a slower rate, seniors are expected to outnumber children in the United States by 2035.
This means that businesses will have to focus on attracting a larger percentage of the baby boomer, who are entering retirement.
AARP says there are 41 million baby boomers in the United States which represents 26% of the U.S. population and they control 70% of disposable income.
Some people think that this demographic is going to save society from being “stuck in time” and help bring about positive changes for our nation and all those in it.
They are becoming increasingly involved with politics and trying to create solutions to benefit their families and communities across the country.
Businesses need to be aware that because of increased longevity (82% live independently at home) baby boomers will spend more money on products and services designed to keep them healthy.
Seniors are the most active market segment on social media, with more than 70% of them have accounts on Facebook.
They are also using other social networking sites like Linkedin and Twitter, plus they’re participating in video chats and sharing multimedia content on their mobile devices.
They’re also using coupons from print newspapers and magazines at a higher rate than any other age group because they give them an opportunity for discounts and savings when shopping in retail stores.
Businesses can reach out to this demographic by providing information online about retirement planning resources such as 401(k)s, IRA accounts, annuities or life insurance—especially since one-third of adults between the ages of 31 and 36 haven’t saved a penny for retirement.
Seniors are twice as likely to use the Internet regularly compared with any other age bracket.
Senior citizens have a significant impact on industries like housing, travel and retail sales—and, in fact, half of seniors still work full or part-time.
Among retirees 65 and older, only 20% said they will rely solely on Social Security income.
The average baby boomer and senior citizen family has $120,000 saved for retirement outside of Social Security—which is 69% higher than the national average!
In some ways this is where they seem to be vulnerable and more careful about their spending habits because they’re afraid not having enough money to get through retirement comfortably.
Baby boomers want main stream products that appeal to them and businesses need to address this demand—however, there are some issues that they may face.
For example, the same product that works for a 25-year-old won’t appeal to an older consumer who has different tastes and preferences when it comes to design, color, size or function.
Don’t forget their concerns about health issues such as arthritis which can make using certain products difficult—or even impossible!
Seniors like to get information on the Internet but they also watch television at high rates so businesses have to be careful not to overlook any of these sources when planning their marketing campaigns.
In order for them to pay attention you need a way to engage them with your message; otherwise your chances of getting them to spend money on your product or service are greatly reduced.
And what do you have to offer them?
Businesses need to create products that help seniors maintain their independence and offer them convenience items like pre-packaged food, light meal options, appliances with large buttons and handles built for older people, and extra features like remote controls made especially for senior citizens.
Other ideas include creating a mobile app with emergency alerts such as weather or security warnings, plus GPS technology that can locate seniors who might be at risk because of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
And since businesses still have to make a profit by offering affordable prices, they need to develop incentives for using coupons; and be aware that price isn’t the most important thing for this demographic segment.
Service is also very important because they want to know that when they have a problem with the product or service, they’ll be taken care of.
They don’t mind paying for something if it’s priced reasonably but if you’re too ambitious with your pricing strategy you may find that your product or service won’t sell as well in this market sector.
In order to successfully market to seniors, businesses need to understand their needs and wants; and how these aspects are different from what younger consumers expect.
Then address these factors in an effective way that creates a sense of trust while selling them on the idea of purchasing products and services that will improve their quality of life!
The importance of understanding the senior market you are targeting
There are many things to consider when marketing to seniors today.
They have different tastes and demands than a younger group of people.
For example, such products as food packaging need to be made with larger buttons and handles for easy grasping by an older person, not just the 25 year olds.
Seniors also want new products that are different from what is popular among the younger generations such as action movies and music.
The logo on the product needs to be appropriate for them too, in order for them to buy it.
It is also important to understand the various factors that may affect this group of people: they need different information about health issues or home improvement projects for safety reasons.
It is vital for businesses to create a sense of trust with this group.
In order to gain the trust of seniors, businesses can focus their advertisements and marketing on how a product or service will improve the quality of life without overwhelming them with information about how great it is.
To put it simply: do not try to prove that your products are better than all others—only prove that they are better for an older demographic!
Businesses should also offer convenient payment options, like paying by direct mail instead of going to pick up the product in person.
Also, remember that senior consumers will want to save money so providing incentives for using coupons or discounts may entice them even more!
If you want an idea of what kinds of products would appeal to seniors, you should consider creating advertisements around these types of things:
Health, Safety and Medical Issues
Products that Give Independence to Seniors (Items like Easy to Operate Appliances, or Food Packaging with Extra Large Buttons .)
Products for Seniors Who Need Certain Tools or Equipment in Order for Them to Do Something They Always Liked Doing
This is an excellent example of how to market successfully to seniors.
Tapping into what matters to them most.
Now you can take some tips from this article and apply it into your own marketing strategy.
After all, the more you know about a demographic group, the easier it will be to sell them on your products!
You can always sell more than one idea under each heading such as health, safety, and medical issues with the senior demographic; or independent living products.
Understanding what they want and how boomers like information delivered (visual, auditory, etc.)
When marketing to seniors, it is important to understand what they want and how they like (or don’t like) information delivered.
For example, older people often don’t like a lot of text and will prefer pictures or video.
They may also not respond well to your product if they are thrown into a high-pressure sales environment.
It is important to make your advertisements as accessible as possible for them.
Remember that they have often been exposed to the same products for many years so it may be difficult to convince them of your product’s benefits if you’re using a new approach.
When writing your sales material, here are some things to keep in mind:
Keep it simple
Visuals and short phrases are best for most older people so don’t keep them bewildered with too much information at once.
A lot of conflicting data may make the senior lose interest in what you have to offer.
Remember that this group is often unsophisticated about marketing, especially if they don’t plan on buying anything!
And remember, too, that pictures can say a thousand words! Include lots of images in your articles ).
Make sure your website is easy to navigate.
There are many simple ways to make your website easier for seniors to use.
For example, just make sure it is easy to click on the navigation tabs (the links at the top of web pages).
Also, try not to print text in very small font size or too dark a color—many older people cannot see well enough to read something that is printed this way.
And remember that your site should be checked for broken links.
It is also a good idea if you have an 800 number listed prominently so that they can call and get information from someone directly when they want more information about your business.
Make your site easy to see
Again, older people may have poor vision so make sure that your font is large and easily readable.
Include customer service information in written form as well as video format
If you are inviting seniors onto the website or into a store for something such as product demonstrations, it will be much easier for them if they can hear about it first especially if they don’t know what to expect!
And speaking of videos…
Add videos of your products in action!
Older people like seeing how things are done and hearing how others use them before making their own judgment, so including action video clips will help sell the product.
(Watch a fun video of senior citizens talking about being filmed here).
Stay away from hard-sells and empty promises
Older people are much more wary than other demographic groups when it comes to websites, especially those that ask for credit card information or charge outrageous fees.
Don’t put up barriers such as free trial periods with heavy cancellation fees or incentives that require signing up with your company while promising better deals if you’re unhappy with the service within the first month—this can be seen as dishonest and push older people away from you!
Offer clear warranty information for expensive products like computers, washers and dryers, etc..
Many seniors will be buying large electronics in order to connect with family members via social media and the Internet.
It is very important that they have a clear understanding of what their warranty covers, especially if they are buying an expensive item like a computer or big-ticket appliance.
Don’t try to hide details and don’t make it hard for them to get in touch with you for help when they need it!
Where should you market to seniors?
Many seniors in the twenty-first century are more computer literate than others.
They often want to use social media channels and websites to communicate with family members.
The simple answer is Facebook.
You ditched Facebook… but your grandma hasn’t. While 12-34 year olds may be moving away from Facebook, grandma’s moving in! Facebook reports 1.52 billion active users a day, as December 2018. One of the quickest growing segments? Seniors.
In today’s world most see social media as a platform for millennials, influencers, parent bloggers and so much more, yet seem to forget about senior citizens.
Until recently this was true, but times are changing and your grandparent is becoming more social than you may imagine.
For many companies, this presents a new opportunity for marketing to seniors.
With mobile phone ownership and online shopping growing amongst the elderly, businesses are increasingly finding that digital marketing can surpass traditional tactics.
Even back in 2017, Pew Research reported that 65% of those aged 50-64 and 41% of 65+ were active on Facebook.
In other words, senior citizens and grandparents are converting to social media, which means marketers need to be thoughtful of messaging and how to get content seen by this emerging demographic.
Marketing to seniors on Facebook
Our agency did this for one of the best hearing aid companies for seniors, Hearing Help Express.
It wasn’t just using pretty pictures, but creating a combination of authenticity, powerful data, and entertaining content.
So how did we do it? After their digital hearing aid advertisements took off on Facebook, Hearing Help Express had to double their sales team from 10-20 employees.
When they became our client, they had been experimenting with digital marketing for some time.
To connect with seniors who have the means to improve their life with digital hearing aids. While they had been able to reach potential customers, it was at a cost per lead of over $80.
What changed to make their sales skyrocket?
We found the best strategy for marketing to seniors in the digital world.
In the beginning, we spread our efforts across channels including Instagram, Facebook, email, and google. We focused their budget on only the perfect candidates by narrowing reach to our own list of male, suburban homeowners over the age of 65+.
In just a few days, a clear winner emerged. Facebook surpassed every other medium in lead cost and volume.
And our best performing content?
A video of a DJ-ing grandpa, which you can view below.
So we reorganized our budget and content strategy to focus on Facebook.
By the end of 1 month, Hearing Help Express had reduced their cost per lead to under $5.
Even better, they had so many leads that they had to hire a larger sales team.
Quick Tips: Marketing to Seniors on Facebook
- Use the right data. Now that Facebook has restricted marketers’ ability to target by income and other factors, purchasing a list of seniors turning 65 and older was the best way to get their ad in front of customers with the ability to purchase. In test after test, our customer lists have outperformed Facebook’s own audience targeting.
- Focus on fun, engaging video content. Create unique videos for your senior audience and make sure content is clear and easy to read.
- Target by interests like AARP, The Hallmark Channel, and more.
- Use retargeting to your advantage.
- Use a clear call-to-action & remind them to click the button.
- Focus on one key offer. This should be your best deal and should win over even hesitant buyers.
- Create trust and credibility with personal stories. A short customer testimonial in your copy or video often works wonders with older audiences.
More Examples of successful marketing campaigns that targeted senior citizens
Some of the most successful marketing campaigns that specifically targeted senior citizens include the following:
L’oreal’s expansion into the senior citizen market. The company came up with a new way to reinforce its “anti-aging” product line by targeting seniors specifically, even offering makeup and skin care lines for this age group.
Los Angeles law firm Silver & Wright,
Los Angeles law firm Silver & Wright, specializing in elder law and Medicare claims, has come up with a unique approach to capture the most senior citizens as possible by going after those that have money—the wealthy!
The strategy is very successful because it aims at getting potential clients who are very serious about their legal issues (and not just after free advice) so they will pay for services rendered.
The Harris Family Law Group
Another law firm that has successfully targeted the senior citizen market is The Harris Family Law Group, and they’re doing it with a very clever approach:
By covering all of the family’s legal needs under one roof.
They have created an atmosphere where many different types of legal services are offered which include but aren’t limited to wills, corporate, real estate and immigration.
By creating such a package deal for their clients (which most do not mind paying more since they are getting so much more than what they pay for), the company has found that seniors will start using them as their go-to law group for everything including financial planning advice too—and in turn this leads to increased profits!
IBM has created an online resource page that’s catered specifically for seniors (and those who help them with their finances), a smart strategy to solidify the bond between the senior citizen and your company in order to snag up any business they might need in future—such as home computers, etc.
The various topics include but aren’t limited to: getting started, e-mail basics, Facebook and blogs, newspaper reading online and more!
Bank of America
In order to increase their online security, Bank of America created a special guide that explains to seniors how they can protect themselves the easiest way possible (for example: enabling firewalls and changing passwords) without getting overwhelming information about it all.
The guide is broken down into three categories: general Internet safety tips, financial transactions online and shopping online—and even has an option for those who want to print everything out!
They also have many animations showing what can happen when someone doesn’t take precautions in protecting themselves from various cyber crimes and age-prejudice cases.
Kaiser Permanente went with an approach that is used by many insurance companies…trying to make people act now by offering free gifts such as free blood pressure testing kits and even discount medications!
They are also offering very detailed information for free online, including: healthcare professionals in the area, specialists that work with Kaiser Permanente as well as how to take advantage of preventative care plans.
This type of marketing works great for this group because it makes them aware that they can save money by becoming a member now rather than later.
The Center For Disease Control
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has an established website dedicated entirely to making seniors lives easier by giving them access to lots of useful tools such as: a smoking cessation toolkit and stroke prevention tips just to name two.
This strategy is meant to make their lives easier by providing resources and information without having to go anywhere else or spend any money!
They also have a very user-friendly interface that makes the entire process seamless and uncomplicated.
The Senior Citizen Market has a lot of potential in terms of making money—and the best part is that it’s not just limited to legal services; a variety of businesses have made big profits by providing goods and/or services specifically targeted towards them.
The tips mentioned above are how others have successfully marketed themselves towards senior citizens!
You can never go wrong with providing quality information with top-notch customer service.
Want to Learn More about Marketing to Seniors?
Take your campaign to the next level with the following resources:
- Read Hubspot’s guide to optimizing your facebook budget
- Utilize Best practices for senior landing pages
- Expand your campaign to Youtube, which is growing with Boomers
It’s important to remember that, for most industries, it is best practice to utilize a combination of online channels to reach your target audience. Marketing is a science, which often involves testing mediums and messaging against each other. Just like everyone else, seniors love useful information and sharing it with their friends or loved ones. Whether it’s a caregiver, family member, or themselves on the lookout, seniors are always keeping an eye out for more ways to be live a happy, comfortable life.
When a campaign is strategized properly, utilizing the steps discussed, you can build an online community full of tons of engagement, thus creating a valuable audience of loyal consumers time and time again.