Untapped not tapped out -The over 50s -­ systemic consumption and marketing misalignment

Report Overview

Untapped not tapped out -The over 50s -­ systemic consumption and marketing misalignment

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Untapped not tapped out -The over 50s -­ systemic consumption and marketing misalignment

Executive summary

  • More than one third of the UK population is over 50 (over 23.6 million people) and this cohort is projected to keep growing. They account for substantial wealth, assets and expenditure. Over 50 consumers are more urban, educated, and tech-­‐savvy than the over 50s of previous generations
  • Given their outsize impact on the economy, influence on social trends and opportunity for brands, we believe the marketing industry underappreciates the diversity of over 50s, and their differentiated requirements • The key group in terms of potential in growth, wealth, expenditure and digital adoption are the 50-­‐65s: they are neither their children nor their parents
  • While 50-­‐65s’ consumer behaviour increasingly resembles that of younger cohorts, their spending power is far greater; expectations from products and services are very different; and the placement, format and tone of marketing messages feels further than ever from an optimal balance
  • Social connectedness and experiences are highly valued by older consumers. Online can help create connections and craft experiences; advertisers can tap into these preferences to engage older users personally and effectively, but they are also a much more multimedia generation than younger cohorts
  • Online is a huge enabler that can help drive, shape and inform the decisions of how over 50s spend their substantial wealth. But that can only be done effectively with a clearer understanding of behaviour – yes, over 50s are using smartphones, but to do what? Sure, over 50s are going online with gusto, but they are a multimedia group who still enjoy TV and print so pure online, apps, or short video clips may not be the best way to engage them
  • Older consumers feel ignored and advertising is missing opportunities by misdirecting spend towards techniques and approaches that may be cutting edge but may not effectively connect with over 50s
  • It is highly unlikely that any trends in devices, activities or consumption will move away from digital, and the figures on wealth and spend are astonishing, so tailored investment should pay off. The open question is what models brands and advertisers can develop to maximise their connection to this key cohort
  • The seemingly outdated importance of the “marketing mix” has been replaced by a focus on TV, Facebook and Google, but older consumers are more receptive to messages across traditional media, which they continue to consume, and marketing effectiveness is still overwhelmingly reliant on the interplay of media environments