This is the 3rd of a series of blog posts that discuss knowing your customer so you can deepen relationships and grow your business. This post will discuss specific marketing strategies that are effective for a target audience that is middle age and older. Next week the blog will discuss the younger generations.
Full disclosure – I am a 50 year old who attempts to participate in all the new ways of marketing from Foursquare to Facebook and look to Google to answer any question I may have. I will share some of my experience, but more importantly share some market research.
After 2 weeks of blogs, you have started to collect customer information and have begun to look at the value of your customers. You have looked at your information and decided that there are specific segments that you want to target. There are several reasons to choose specific segments:
1. They are your most profitable customers and you want to keep them
2. They are the most responsive to your offers. They may not be as profitable, but they drive a lot of volume for your business.
3. They fit the demographic for your most profitable customer, but they are not profitable at this point. These are your future “ideal” customers.
4. They have not visited recently and you want to see if you can get them back.
I just spoke to a business that sells high end decorative hardware for doors and windows. They sell to many different segments on the business side, but their best retail customer is a 53 year old woman with a high family income. They have identified that this is where the vast majority of their retail business comes from.
Are older consumers your ideal customer?
Here are some facts from Nielsen Report BoomAgers from August 2012.
- Baby Boomers (born between 46 and 64) make up 44% of the US population and they hold 70% of US disposable income
- Boomers represent 1/3 of all online and social media users
- 8 million boomers spend more than 20 hours a week online
- 53% are on Facebook
- Boomers are the last generation still keen on traditional media
- Spend 174 hours a month watching TV – second only to Traditionalists (65+) who watch 205 hours of TV per month
- The median age for newspaper readers is 48
- Between now and 2030 the 18 – 49 age segment will grow by 12% and the 50+ segment will grow by 34%
What does this mean for your marketing strategy?
The majority of time online for this generation is spent using email, Facebook and searching. You need to be seen where they are looking. Their Facebook activity is primarily to connect with family and friends. They are not actively “liking” retailers on Facebook. Pinterest is quite popular for women but would do nothing for your business with the older men. Twitter is not the best use of social media if you want to attract this generation – less than 5% actively tweet.
Email marketing is very effective for this segment. Another key is a good website and search position or placing ads for your key words. When they are deciding where to go they may look at the coupons they have received in the mail, they may be influenced by the article in the paper, they may search Google or they may remember an email marketing message you sent them. These are the most effective ways to attract this segment. The most important part of growing this segment is delivering the best products and services when they do visit your business.
Next week the strategies completely change as we look at the younger generation!