Marketers tend to make a number of mistakes when trying to target the so-called “grey market.” A recent conference, called “Older, Richer, Wiser,” organised by Marketing magazine, highlighted a number of these mistakes.
One common mistake made by marketers is trying to target too many demographics all at once, assuming the over 50’s are easy prey. In reality this age group is particularly demanding, according to AA’s marketing director Michael Cutbill. Another is the misconception that older people can’t use the Internet as well as younger generations. They can and they do, reports Martin Troughton, marketing director of Anglian Home Improvements. Over 50’s don’t use the internet in the same way as younger people – they are more cautious and less likely to commit to a brand online.
Perhaps the worst assumption marketers make is that life from the age of 50 is dark and depressing. On the contrary – as Katherine Rose from Audley Retirement found, contentment levels among the over 50’s were higher than those for younger age groups and they were also higher for people aged over 70. Reasons for this include no career pressure, fewer financial worries and no stress connected to raising children.
In short, marketers need to change their perspective of older people and start targeting them more precisely, rather than bundling them with younger age groups. This will help them avoid many of the most common slipups. The best place to start is by forgetting the “over 50” categorisation itself, Marketing magazine notes. Focusing on specific behaviours and attitudes is a better tactic than using the lowest common denominator – age.