In the latest episode, “Building for the Silver Economy,” Heyday Fitness Co-Founder and CEO Teresa Wang discuss age-tech with Jeff Weiss, President and CEO of Age of Majority.
‘Age of Majority’ is a Massachusetts-based marketing agency that helps brands better understand older adults to enhance client engagement.
Jeff, with over 30+ years of experience in the marketing industry, points out his observations on market segmentation within 50+ adults and how the influencer and other forms of targeted marketing vary for them.
Jeff’s rationale behind establishing the ‘Age of Majority’ was his witnessed scenarios of brands being unable to understand older adults and their needs, eventually leading to their by-passing and over-looking. So, he got out on this mission to crush the myths and stereotypes associated with aging.
He mentioned how marketers, blindfolded with the myths of aging, either are hesitant to target seniors thinking of the profitability or are targeting them with old-school strategies, not understanding the mosaicism in the aging population.
The discussion turned its side to the agreement of both parties on how hard and vital it is for brands to approach seniors correctly.
To break the myths of older adults being frail, weak, and uninterested in trying new things, the need is to understand them better and then approach them.
It all lies in the way brands approach older adults. Most of it is based on strategies filled with age-related stereotypes, where it ends up with a negative impression of- ‘older adults should try our product because they are getting old.’
The brands must understand that older adults are all right with their age and current stage of life. They want to feel comfortable in their skin and explore things. Therefore, they seek products that make their lives easier, more comfortable, and fun.
To approach them correctly, brands need to build their strategies around these three points- Economical, Emotional, and Exciting.
It is also one of the greatest myths that older adults are not fond of trying new things. They certainly do like to try new products with exciting and fun features. Hence, streamlining older adults just because of this myth is undoubtedly wrong.
Another consideration for brands is the ease of use of their technologies and a clear showcase of their service’s benefits.
Older adults are different from millennials in many aspects, one being the use of technology.
From head to toe, millennials are surrounded by hi-tech products and social media platforms. They could get the screw out from any product you name. On the other hand, older adults are a bit away from this track and would not like to read a long manual or do a Google research to operate your technology.
Therefore, the product must be easy to use and customized, keeping their requirements in mind.
Older adults prefer to avoid hearing the loads of features your product offers. They only want to know what will concern them.
Cut all the crap out to filter the needed information that older people should know about the benefits of using a product.
Keep the photography for your product presentable and relatable.
And as for a suitable marketing channel, digitalization can become a good friend to help you quickly reach the correct population segment among older adults.
The way of presenting your product to them is really a game changer.
Jeff also mentioned the potential of influencer marketing for brands, especially those working in healthcare and fitness.
Looking for and getting motivated to try new things and continue using a product is not tied to age. Influencer marketing is highly underestimated for older adults.
For older adults going to the gym, getting motivated by a fit and young trainer is a good way to keep them up with a healthy routine. Agreed?
The fact that there are few influencers among older adults becomes an open area to research that could give fruitful results.
Including more older adults in healthcare and fitness as ‘Influencers’ can improve the way.
Jeff discusses the insights of a segmentation study by his firm, where 55+ older adults were asked questions to group them based on psychographics rather than demographics.
Such grouping or segments among the older population can help us better understand their needs and thoughts to develop a suitable marketing strategy for them. The strategy would vary from product to product but with the same underlying principle.
As a marketer, you need to understand their needs and desires better. Jeff rightly quoted, “We need to look at them beyond demographics.”
Understanding their persona to market them better is the key to approaching older adults.
Older adults are predicted to hit 2.1 billion worldwide by 2050. They definitely should be noticed by brands in marketing as an individual and independent category. The age-old stereotypes related to aging must bethrown when it comes to building a marketing strategy for them today.
You need to understand them better to market them based on their needs.
Approaching them in a way, not making them uncomfortable with their age where the bullet points are positive, transparent benefits with a thrill of trying something new.