Five Do's and Don’ts when Advertising to the Elderly

You cannot really put together an effective marketing campaign until you know exactly who your target audience is.

You cannot really put together an effective marketing campaign until you know exactly who your target audience is. No two groups respond the same way to a particular style of advertising, so you really need to know what attracts the demographic you are targeting in order to create an effective campaign. One large group of people are the elderly. In the US alone, the number of people who are 65 years or older are about 40 millions as of 2009 and it is about one in every eight Americans. With that in mind, below are some do’s and don'ts when it comes to advertising to the elderly:

Do try to be genuine
Keep in mind that elderly people have way more life experience than you, and are therefore more likely to pick up on hyperbole and unnecessary chatter. There are marketers who make the mistake of believing that they can slip such nonsense by an older audience and hence create a campaign that is not only ineffective but one that is heavily disliked. So, keep your ads genuine, and do not try to fool the elderly.

Don't point out the vulnerabilities of old age
People only have to look in the mirror to see the changes that come with age. They certainly do not want to be reminded of those changes and vulnerabilities when they read your ad copy. While your product or service may fit a specific need for the elderly, you need to find a way to highlight the benefits without shining a harsh light on the everyday problems of being old. In this case, make your message subtle and it will be greatly appreciated by your target demographic.

Do point out the benefits of being older
Getting older is not always negative, and there are some definite benefits that come with age. Experience, wisdom, and an active lifestyle are the things that you should be focusing on when you are marketing to the elderly. You want people to associate your product or service with these positive attributes, so make sure you get that point across when creating your ad creative.

Don't talk down to your audience
Have you ever seen one of those people who will talk really loudly and use a vocal style similar to talking to a child when they talk to an older person? You probably have, because it is a common trait that people turn to in the presence of older people. If you make the mistake of using that behavior in your marketing, you run the risk of insulting your target audience and making them look elsewhere for their needs. Make sure you treat the elderly with respect in order to appeal to them.

Do take time to learn about behavioral changes that come with age
This is especially true if you are a younger person trying to market to the elderly. Take some time to talk to older people to find out what it is that moves them when they see ads and other marketing materials. Being aware of what moves them will make it easier for you to tailor your marketing in ways that will help get your business noticed.

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