The New Gold Rush: Marketing to Silver Surfers

Posted on by Patty Odell

Gen Z may be moving in on Millennials as the go-to-market of choice, but marketers may want to take another look at silver surfers.

marketing to seniorsThe over-55 set has big bucks and they’re not shy about spending those bucks to enjoy life, according to The Drum. They hold about 70 percent of the wealth in the U.S. and have been spending at an annual growth rate of 4.5 percent since 2007. When comparing that to the 1.2 percent growth by younger demographics, this is an audience not to be overlooked.

Compared to all that spending power, silver surfers appear in only around 6% of all advertising. That sends a  clear message to this demographic that advertisers and marketers are not that interested in them. And if marketers are not that interested, why would silvers be interested in their products or services.

Havas has been analyzing the relationship between 79,000 silvers and 1,500 brands across 33 markets and 15 industries for the last eight years. That’s been plenty of time to uncover real actionable insights when marketing to seniors.

Overall, 57 percent of all of the content pushed out by brands is not meaningful to silvers. Silvers reported that they want brands to play a role in making their lives and wellbeing better and to offer solutions to everyday problems they face, the Drum said.

Some of the findings showed real similarities between silvers and the younger generations when it comes to what they want from marketers: like a positive brand experience that they can share socially with their friends and families and they want to be entertained with relevant content and messaging.

Entrepreneur came up with tips aimed at B2B marketers that are also a sure-fire fit for B2C marketers. Here’s a summary:

1. Pay attention to content design including font size and how your copy appears on smartphones, which most seniors own—and use.

2. Avoid slang and other terms that might not be familiar to this group. If you do insist on using such terms, define them.

3. Use relatable and catchy headlines Don’t turn them off with clickbait, let them know what they’re getting.

4. Pick the right social network All you need to know here is that Boomers love Facebook, don’t waste your time with other social networks.

5. Silvers do not consider themselves old Don’t make them feel like they are by talking down to them or oversimplifying content. They’re smart, savvy and often physically fit.

Related articles:

Using VR to Reach a New Market: The Elderly

Touchtown Engages Senior Centers With Marketing Automation


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by Patty Odell

Damon Swenson, Brand Activation Manager at Dr Pepper, on crafting a retail program using custom labels tied to Millennials’ passion points and lifestyle interests like fashion, music and pop-culture. He presented his case study at Marketing to Millennials 2017.