When you think of marketing to “Older People” what comes to mind? Is it images of retired couples sitting back in a rocking chair? Is it couples that still have a so-called “brick” as a mobile telephone? Make no mistake here; these misconceptions in marketing for the elderly should be cleared up straight away.
In today’s ever-evolving technological world, brands and companies tend to overlook the over-65 demographic, perceiving them as not being tech savvy enough. Many also believe that older audiences are not prepared to switch brands, and therefore aim for younger audiences, hoping to win them as lifetime clients.
While this might have had relevance a few years ago, today’s reality is drastically different. People 65 and over now live longer, and are much more active and involved in the online world. Smart phones, social media, and online communities! You name it and they’re there. It is quite astounding to think that the elderly represent the fastest growing group of social media users, and are using it for the exact same purposes as other age groups.
With this being said, here are a few tips we as marketers can use when appealing to seniors particularly when it comes to mobile marketing.
Keep it Simple Stupid! The infamous KISS rule should be kept in the back of each advertiser and marketer’s mind when creating captivating mobile campaigns that target the 65+ age group. Even though they represent the fastest growing group when it comes to social media and new mobile devices, it can be argued that they are equally as influenced by ads that are much more simple when it comes to both text and image.
Based on research, when it comes to the text, use relatable language. It would make no sense to use colloquial and hip phrases seen on platforms such as “the LAD bible” because most of the time they have no idea what you are saying. It is important to ensure you are putting forth educational facts that will aid your consumers to make an informed decision about your product or service. Then we have image! Like our teachers used to tell us, a picture is worth a thousand words. Ensure that when creating your campaign you use simpler images. You will find that they are more visually appealing to those aged 65 years and older to make a stronger impact.
Congratulations! You have passed the first level of marketing to seniors. However, be careful as it is not over just yet. Once you have influenced your 65-year-old consumer to download your app there is another major focal point that you must get right if you want success. This focal point is the sign up/ set up. Generally once an app is downloaded, the user must enter a few of his or her personal details. If this sign up process requires too many steps, you’re bounds to lose users right away.
Keep in mind, those that are 65 years and older certainly did not grow up with technology as a fundamental part of daily life. So, taking this into consideration, many of the actions that feel natural to us “younger people”, require them to think twice. To solve the problem, lets make life easier for them! When designing an app, make sure to strip back the la-di-da fluff, simplify any in-app processes, enlarge small buttons and text, and explain each time you request personal information why you need it and how it’s going to improve their experience.
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School