Ronn Torossian on Marketing to Seniors


Marketing StrategiesAs consumers age, their needs and interests often change. Younger consumers tend to wear different types of clothing and eat different kinds of food. Age is an important factor that affects consumer behavior. Age is also an important factor in terms of marketing segmentation and strategy. Older consumers tend to be more loyal to brands, and can be more wary when it comes to making purchases. 

Consumers over 60 make greater use of healthcare services than other age groups. This is simply the effect of growing older. However, there is yet another effect which occurs when consumers are influenced by their experiences over the years, such as purchasing certain types of music or food that they used and enjoyed while growing up. Their fondness for such products may not have anything to do with their current age, and is rather a consequence of their life experience. 

Each age group has idiosyncrasies that make them attractive and challenging targets for marketers. The population aged 55 years and older possess 50% of the discretionary income in the United States. They spend a lot of their money on cruises, tourism, exercise facilities, skin treatments, education, cosmetic surgery, and gifts for family members. With fewer debts to repay, this financially viable market is also known as the ‘mature market’. Given below are ways by which a business can attend to their needs. 

1) Establish trust – The mature market is a loyal group. The challenge lies in getting them to try a brand if it is new to them. However, if a marketer attends to their needs, then this group is more likely to stick with that company for a long time. Hence, it is important to establish trust from the beginning. It is important to ensure that a business will never spam these consumers, and that their private information is kept safe and secure. Testimonials from other customers should be used frequently. Money-back guarantees should be offered as part of the buying process. For instance, True Link is working against frauds with a prepaid credit card linked to an online dashboard that family members configure to set spending limits and block purchases at specific stores. 

2) Elevate experiences – For older customers, customer service, traditional communication, and personal contact are of utmost importance. Once they feel that a business gives importance to personalization in terms of personal care and contact, they seek to share the business with others and return to it themselves. 

3) Send mail – Seniors are one of the most responsive groups to the marketing medium of mail. They read their mail carefully, and are willing to read longer copy. They are regular mail-order buyers in terms of frequency. Direct mail should be used while marketing to seniors, since it usually works better than other media.

Ronn Torossian, CEO, 5WPRAbout the Author: Ronn Torossian is a public relations executive.