One of the basic principles of marketing is knowing your target audience well. This knowledge helps you make decisions that will help you reach your marketing goals, whether they are widening your lead pool, improving your conversion rates, or raising brand awareness.
Every audience has its specifics, and so do the elderly, whose needs are often misunderstood or neglected by marketers. We’re here to help you get started, so let’s take a look at some basic principles of marketing to a senior audience.
How to Market Your Brand to a Senior Audience
Let Them Make the Decision
Some brands make the mistake of believing someone else will be making a buying decision for the seniors in their life. This is why they choose to speak to a slightly different audience: the loved ones of seniors, rather than the seniors themselves.
Start your marketing campaign by addressing it to the actual user of your product or service. That’s a member of the older generation who would like to make a buying decision on their own, without feeling they are not being spoken to directly.
Understand Their Process
While millennials and Gen Z-ers will often make impulse purchases, seniors are not generally known for being hasty and quick to spend their money.
On the contrary, they like to feel they have approached a decision from every angle and that the product they are buying or the service they are signing up for is the best they could possibly afford.
When marketing to seniors, make sure you acknowledge and aid this process. Highlight all the benefits, features, and even potential drawbacks of your product or service. This will help them feel more informed and more empowered to make the right decision.
Choose Your Language
You don’t have to be patronizing or mollycoddling seniors. Just because they are not members of our generation doesn’t make them any less capable of grasping the concepts you’re talking about.
True, they didn’t grow up surrounded by tech, and some of the terminology might be a bit foreign. That’s why you should try to explain concepts as you would to someone who is coming into contact with tech terms for the first time, but still as you would explain to an adult and not a child.
Try to stay clear of slang and modern shorthand. Don’t use emojis, and make sure to spell out your actual thoughts, as opposed to using abbreviations seniors might not be familiar with.
Simplify the Process
One of your main goals should be to make the process of converting a member of your senior target audience as easy as possible. This means shortening your usual sales process and allowing them to check out quickly and efficiently.
You might also want to redesign some of your checkout pages, get rid of any superfluous questions, and emphasize safety. Some seniors will still not be perfectly comfortable with giving their personal information to a computer, so explaining the process with a dedicated page might also do a lot to help.
A Personalized Approach
Personalization is another marketing trend that is coming into its own more and more. And just because you’re targeting a certain age group doesn’t mean that all of these people will share similar interests and pain points.
Just like you would personalize a marketing campaign to a younger demographic, try to segment your senior audience in a similar fashion.
Determine their major issues they are working on solving (which bring them to you), take a look at their interests outside your brand, figure out what your competition is doing to attract their attention.
Seniors might not always be happy to deal with email, but you can send them personalized snail mail. You can also do catalogs and discount codes you also deliver by mail.
More importantly, chat with your senior customers every chance you get and try to get to know them. You might not be able to gather as much information about them from online sources, so direct personal contact might be your best bet.
An Example to Illustrate the Point
An example often works best when trying to explain how website design might work when marketing to a senior audience, so let’s check out Electric Wheelchairs USA and how they do it:
- They use large images and speak the language of their customers.
- The checkout process is straightforward, and all of the fine print is spelled out.
- They are addressing the actual people who will be using their products, as opposed to their family members.
- They are trying to solve problems, emphasizing the importance of mobility and independence.
You will certainly need to do a bit more research after reading this article in order to get to know your specific audience and learn more about their interests and pain points. Take our advice into consideration when marketing to a senior audience, and you should notice you are achieving your results faster and with more ease.