Many companies struggle to understand how best to communicate with older customers and as a result, their marketing activity can be bland, patronising or ineffective. But there are a number of key factors to bear in mind when thinking about how to approach the older market, which should stop companies falling into these traps and should make their marketing strategies far more effective and efficient.
1. People may be older, but they are still individuals with formed opinions, independence and a strong sense of their own identity. They don’t necessarily want to be teenagers again (in fact, you can be fairly sure they don’t), but they do want to be treated like mature human beings with a sense of humour and with intelligence and respect
2. Don’t assume that older people have no sense of humour or will be easily offended. Chances are that they have a very highly developed sense of fun and appreciate humour if used intelligently
3. Don’t stereotype. The older person is not traditionally ‘old’ anymore. Many people work and have serious hobbies and interests well into their 70s, 80s and 90s.
4. Older people have more time and more money than much of the younger generation and they want to go out and be entertained in restaurants, theatres, cinemas and in foreign climes. This market represent 20% of value to the hospitality and leisure industry, so wotk to keep them interested and entertained.
5. Older people may change slightly in body shape and may be less mobile, but they still want to look good. Companies who can provide functional products with style which older customers are proud to use will do very well.
6. Deliver quality of product and service. Older people are very demanding of good quality and want to get the very best for what they pay for. The good news is that if you can deliver this, they will be loyal to you and your lifetime customer value will be higher.
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