As of June 2016, the estimated statistic for the over 50s sector is 23.6 million within the UK. Over 50s occupy over a third of the UK’s 65.1 million population. The sector is growing as the generation becomes healthier, live longer, and have more money. However, within marketing, they are often overlooked.
More often than not, within advertising the younger generation is dominantly targeted. The elder generation, in contrary, are excluded from these exciting marketing campaigns. For example, the primary influencer marketing for the over 50s can extend to a free pen with life insurance whereas the younger generation can be tempted with prospects of new technology such as free speakers when you renew a phone contract- much more enticing.
As a demographic, the over 50s are great for marketing. The monetary aspect is hard to defy. This sector has the highest disposable income, with the over 50s holding 80% of the nation’s wealth. Generally, at this point in life, most of their children would have moved out, their mortgages would be paid off thus allowing more money to spend on luxury items. For example, many UK retirees who have stepped down from high earning roles choose to shop at higher end convenience stores such as Waitrose or local independent stores.
The older generation demographic is broadly split into two different sections: Baby Boomers and ‘older old’. This split further proves how broad and diverse this market is- albeit a neglected one.
Against common thought, this market has an incredibly high potential within the consumer market. Not only do they have the spending power, but their attitude towards consumerism is entirely different. The over 50s’ buying behaviour is much more individualistic and less tribally-driven compared to their younger consumer counterparts. The older generation are far more tech-savvy than most assume, and have high use of social media with 81% of the demographic checking Facebook multiple times a day. This age bracket is becoming more demanding from brands in terms of their tailored products and offers that are tailored to their needs. Yet they are still polarised by marketing campaigns.
The answer seems simple, but understanding the demographic is key with anything. Marketing campaigns need to cater to the change in lifestyles of the ‘silver surfers’. Clichés of retired couples on beaches and ordering life insurance should be an image of the past, as these stereotypes no longer exist, and inclusivity is key. Embracing of this demographic can lead to great rewards, particularly within retail and consumer markets.