1. Changing demography is changing everything

What does this mean for you?

Businesses that embrace the ‘longer lives’ megatrend can capitalise on market growth in financial services, real estate, health, travel, entertainment and retail goods.

Today we face greater product parity, tighter margins, smaller budgets and a shrinking middle class (with less disposable income), making it harder than ever hit sales targets.  From a marketing perspective, it is critical to focus your dollars on segments that are trending up.

Part of the challenge is to move beyond the belief that marketing disruption is solely about digital. In value terms, it's also about demography. 

What can you do about it?

  • Create a Customer Data Index to define how your customer base indexes against the changing wider population, category, industry and value.
  • Educate your marketing teams on this new demographic reality and acknowledge that this megatrend requires you to change both your behaviour and your budget allocation.
  • Determine change pain points within your organisation associated with reorientation to this new reality.

2. Opportunity shrouded in ageism

What does this mean for you?

The longer lives megatrend has opened up a powerful, high-spending category of 50 to 75 year old's who buy and behave in ways previously unfamiliar. These are the New Old.

By comparison, marketing seems static and youth-obsessed. With the age average of 29 in marketing and ad agencies, some could be accused of marketing by selfie stick.

Clearly ageism is at play here —where older markets are not seen as sexy and dynamic. Ageism is an unfortunate social reality, but it shouldn't be getting the way of effective and efficient marketing. Especially when you consider the size of the prize.

The problem, of course, is that if 50+ is not on your radar, you’re not on theirs, either. And that’s just money left on the table.

What can you do about it?

  • Review budget allocations and adjust to better reflect where customer value truly lies.
  • Address current levels of ageism — especially in your marketing department — and initiate steps to change perceptions.
  • Educate your teams to the New Old opportunity and workshop ideas to redefine how to better engage with this market — product, service, communications and customer journeys.
  • Implement test and learn strategies to feel out the market. 

3. Money talks and older people are dominating the conversation

What does this mean for you?

According to the Grattan Institute, older Australians today have substantially greater wealth, income and expenditure than their equivalents just two decades ago. Younger Australians have not made such progress. In fact, Australian households are typically at their wealthiest between ages 55 and 74.

Most of this increase has come from the housing boom and growth in superannuation assets. But it is also due to greater participation in the workforce by women aged 55-64, and by more people generally choosing to work past 65.

Over 50's have 60% of all disposable income in the country and use it to buy two thirds of all new cars, over half of all travel and 40% of all Apple products. They also dominate in cosmetics, luxury goods, healthcare and financial services.

Clearly this market has yet not hung up the boots, rather they keep putting them on to keep working ... or go out shopping. 

What can you do about it?

  • Conduct a 50+ segment-specific choice modelling exercise: determine pain points and address them.
  • Refine your brand identity and value proposition development for high value older audiences.
  • Workshop to determine how well your products and services meet the needs and desires of the New Old.
  • Create test-and-learn tactics to prove the efficacy of change — while moulding a longer term vision

4. 50 isn't 80. Older adults are a diverse multi-generational group

What does this mean for you?

Over 50's are far from homogeneous segments of pre-retirees and retirees They can — and should — be categorised around both life stage and shared passions, rather than just age, income and other standard demographic breakdowns. They are every bit niched and nuanced as younger markets.

The multi-generational nature of the 50+ market gives you greater opportunity to leverage your investment in data analytics, customer segmentation and CMS platforms over a longer period of time.

Imagine how your business could be positively affected by targeted this diverse group who have 15 years of extra consuming potential over previous generations.

One of the arguments we hear against taking a targeted approach is ‘we already reach them with our current media plan’. The response to this is ‘maybe’. Wouldn't you want to know for sure? 

What can you do about it?

  • Perform a deep-dive 50+ customer analysis to create a base-line segmentation.
  • Append relevant third party data to add colour and potential customer acquisition opportunities, based on life stage similarities and shared passions.
  • Invest in bespoke Roy Morgan 50+ segment profiling to zoom in on ‘top layer’ spenders in your category

5. Culturally connected. Just not the same way as their kids

What does this mean for you?

If your customer engagement and conversational design is built by digital natives for digital natives, you may be missing a trick.

The New Old are absolutely digitally connected — but it’s critical to understand how they use tech and how they prefer to interact. They shouldn’t be forced into behaviour that constrains them to a one-size-fits-all digital framework.

Every business undergoes some level of digital transformation with a view to automating the basics and creating efficiencies, which is a good thing. But an important question to ask about transformation is who are we transforming for?

For 50+, digital is not the only game in town. They still read print and watch TV. And of course they like to speak on the phone, much more so than their children. 

What can you do about it?

  • Audit multi-channel customer journeys and address pain/sticking points, conversion and drop out rates.
  • Develop a 50+ segment sentiment analysis and scorecard to analyse and optimise digital conversational experiences. Create an NPS-like metric to monitor and gauge effectiveness and improvement.
  • Conduct a 50+ comms audit across your Salesforce customer journeys.
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