The Importance of Online Marketing to Seniors

There are numerous advantages to being a senior citizen. You get to enjoy life the way you want it and don’t have to worry about paying for your daily necessities. There are also plenty of opportunities to get involved in the community and make new friends. Unfortunately, being a senior doesn’t mean you’re immune to the problems that plague all of society. One of the biggest issues plaguing seniors today is a lack of interest in marketing products and services to this particular demographic. After reading this article, you’ll understand why this is important and how to change it.

Marketing To Seniors Is Important

When you’re a senior, most companies will look at you as a potential consumer rather than a person. Thus, their marketing approaches will reflect this as well. Companies will likely want to focus on attracting the right audience rather than just giving a general pitch and hoping someone will buy their product. This is where targeting the right audience becomes essential.

Older people have different needs and expectations when it comes to buying products or utilizing services. In their review of research studies, the AARP (formerly the American Association of Retired Persons) defined four distinct consumer types that marketers need to understand and cater to. These are:

First, the Active Consumers:

These are the consumers who are constantly engaged with the world around them. They are typically more active than the average person and enjoy being out and about. They like to travel, go to the theatre or symphony, and frequently buy things online. According to AARP, this group is defined by:

  • A high level of technology familiarity (e.g., familiarity with digital devices, online shopping, and social media)
  • An orientation toward fitness, health, and wellness
  • An orientation toward convenience and selection
  • An orientation toward quality (e.g., natural products and health supplements, etc.)

If you’re a business owner, marketing to this group doesn’t require a lot of effort. You can simply focus on providing convenient and quality products or services that they’re likely to value. For example, if you’re a fitness business, you can focus on providing equipment and guidance that’s helpful to the active seniors. This type of consumer doesn’t want to feel excluded from the fun, and they don’t want to be bothered by the advertising. So, as a business owner, your challenge is to provide the best possible service without being intrusive.

Second, the Influencers:

These are the consumers who are influential in the communities they’re a part of. You can think of these as the opinion leaders of tomorrow. While some might argue that seniors are already influencing others, the AARP says that tomorrow’s seniors will have even more impact. This type of consumer is typically more engaged with issues that are important to them. They want to see a change in the world and be part of the solution. According to AARP:

  • Is more likely to have a strong, authentic identity, particularly in relation to health issues (e.g., food allergies, dietary preferences, etc.)
  • Is more likely to feel empowered to make positive changes in the world
  • Is more likely to seek out advice and support from others
  • Is more likely to value quality over quantity

If you’re a business owner or marketer, your challenge as an opinion leader is to find ways to engage with this influential group of consumers. You can do this through providing them with valuable information or guidance. Or, you can get them involved in your business through various marketing initiatives. For example, you can offer to give a shout out to the businesses that they recommend in their social media posts. Or, you can offer to have coffee with them or send them a newsletter with helpful information.

Third, the Early Adopters:

These are the consumers who are in the market for new products and services but aren’t necessarily vocal about it. They’ll tell others about the products that they try out, but don’t necessarily want to go over the head of a friend. According to AARP:

  • Is more inclined to make spontaneous choices
  • Prefers convenience over loyalty when choosing a product or service
  • Is open to trying new things
  • Is more likely to accept recommendations from family and friends
  • Is more open to seeking advice from experts

If you’re a business owner, marketer, or product manager, your challenge as an early adopter is to find ways to get your product or service into the hands of this group of influential consumers. The easiest way to do this is to participate in click-throughs or affiliate marketing. For example, you can set up a banner ad on your website that links to a retailer’s website. When someone clicks on that link and makes a purchase, you’ll earn a small commission.

Finally, the Laggards:

These are the consumers who don’t value or need new products and services and are happy with what they have. According to the AARP:

  • Is more likely to rely on habit and tradition when making decisions
  • Prefers reliability and security over all else
  • Is less inclined to be influenced by others
  • Is less likely to try new things
  • Is less likely to value quality above all else

If you’re a business owner, marketer, or product manager, your challenge as a lagger is to find ways to get these consumers to try new things and value your products and services. One way to do this is to focus on creating a better user experience by regularly updating your products or implementing new ones. If your product or service offers these seniors value, they’ll be more inclined to try it out and become vocal about their experience. And, if you do your job well, they may even become brand advocates and help grow your business.

So, as you can see, marketing to seniors isn’t necessarily easy. But, it’s important to do. And, if you want to be successful in this endeavor, it’s essential to work with a marketing agency that specializes in digital marketing for seniors. These agencies will have the tools and know-how to reach this demographic online. That way, you can sit back and relax and let them do their magic.