Young @ Heart
If someone told you about a Chorus called Young at Heart, you would have thought of some 18 year old group of kids that gather around the weekend. And if i told you they performed some contemporary themes from the Beatles to Peter Gabriel you’d probably be even more sure.
But what if you surfed to their website? Then you’d better guess again !
Young @ Heart Chorus has in their lines people with ages ranging from 72 to 93, with shows all over the USA, with great reviews and feature articles in The Guardian and Time magazine.
Senior citizens are no longer the bystanders in modern society, and are now taking an important role in society and shaping cultural trends.
Marketing for the future generation
With the aging populations in Europe and America, marketing should be prepared for the growing market segment with an increasing purchasing power and influence in buying behaviors.
© The Pew Internet & American Life Project
The demographic trends are clear and the usual marketing focus on the 18-24 age group might be under scrutiny. According to SeniorNet, almost half of the seniors 50 and older used the Internet for 5 years or more, with a great part being over 65. In another study it’s shown that while many seniors today don’t go online that often, that is about to change as the “baby-boomers” generation reaches the age of 65 and older.
(link to SeniorNet report, PDF 184Kb)
(link to Pew Internet Report, PDF 21Kb)
Most of the senior citizens found on the internet a way to reeducate themselves and keep in touch with friends and family. They probably also spent a great effort and/or money in learning how to use information technology. Now that they’re acquainted with new medium, “wired seniors” have a lot of time available to be online and are active purchasers, so it makes all the sense to consider this target in any online marketing mix.
With a special interest in this target is the Health sector, with the challenge of getting their message right in the online channel and at the same time trying not being mistaken with spam. From prescriptions to diseases or even in the fitness sector, online marketing is getting more important in comparison with the traditional below-the-line marketing employed to senior citizens.
Implications for online advertising
“Wired seniors” use the internet mainly for email, so consider an approach through newsletters subscriptions and email alerts, with clear concerns on privacy, as these citizens seem much more aware of the importance of online security and are more suspicious when providing personal data.
Another implication on online advertising is the concern for accessibility, with great efforts to increase readibility, color blindness and support for aural devices. Much of today’s Web 2.0 design trends seems to have that already in mind, implementing valid XHTML markup that is a first step to conform to 508 accessibility guidelines.
It’s clear that many of online users feel they’re not being targeted, with online advertising clearly shaped to 14-17 year-old segment. Innovation doesn’t have to relate only to young people and if companies offer solutions and products to older users, they could create a competitive advantage as online population gets older.