Engaging the over 50s has always had its challenges.

They’re a complex group, experienced and astute with a lifetime of learnings, often discouraged by direct advertising and the idea of being ‘sold to.’ With so much in the media about their vulnerable nature, they can feel patronised by marketing and stereotyped by the stock imagery of elderly couples smiling off into the distance, disengaging them from the brands trying so desperately make that all-important connection.

We did some research to get under their skin, exploring who they are today in comparison with the generations of the past. Examining their shifts in attitudes and priorities, we’ve built a picture enabling the brands within our sector to effectively engage with their customers going forward. In collaboration with the Silver Marketing Association, we interviewed twenty experts in their fields for their insights, with some interesting findings.

Rich in time

Straightforward brand names seem most appealing to this demographic, doing exactly what they say on the tin, while more quirky business names are often seen as for the younger crowd. Preferred websites are also very straightforward, easy to navigate, with key messaging front and centre. They’re a group who are rich in time, often working part-time or retired, and with young families no longer living at home. They have time to do their research properly and they absolutely do, so having accurate content which is up to date is essential to keep their attention. Frequently asked questions are something they rate highly, as are testimonials showing that others have had a good experience with your brand.

Changing priorities

They want to see the people behind the business, so don’t be afraid to share a bit of who you are, and they like to be able to speak to a real person so make sure your phone number is easy to find. The pandemic has created a shift in priorities, no longer focused on status and possessions but more so the importance of wellbeing, friends and family, something key to remember when it comes to brand messaging. Social responsibility is something which has also grown hugely in importance for customers when choosing a brand, so giving something back from a charitable or environmental perspective is something to really shout about.

Attention to detail

An important consideration for the over 50s is quality – they’re happy to pay more for exceptional service, and the quality of spelling and grammar in your communications can really make a difference. The accessibility of your materials is also important, both on and offline – is your font size big enough to read, and do you have subtitles on your videos and webinars? Imagery choices are also significant – can your customers relate to the images you use, or could they potentially stereotype and alienate your target audience?

It’s so important to consider customer needs in order to effectively engage them, growing your brand and your business to take the market from strength to strength.

Full Brand Report available from Pure Retirement.