As baby boomers start turning sixty, and health care innovations continue to increase longevity, many people in their fifties, sixties, and even seventies have come to think of themselves as part of a new middle age.
This new group of middle age people (NMAP) has strong opinions of what they want to buy to make their lives happier and healthier and how they want to live. Marketing to them successfully requires getting rid of many of the myths and assumptions associated with this age grouping.
To some extent it is a matter of NMAP crying out, “I don’t need it, I don’t want it, give me all you got.” Isn’t it time we started listening to what they really want?
The successful marketer has to make a conscious effort to discern what NMAP really want as opposed to what current perceptions of what they want are. The idea that middle-age people won’t change brands easily is a myth. They will switch brands if they perceive that a different brand offers them something new or of greater value than their old brand.
The NMAP are interested in buying products that will enhance and prolong their active lifestyle including pain relievers, holistic treatments, and leisure products. They are also keen on financial products that will maximize their disposable income while providing security of principal. They want to spend and enjoy what they have while preserving their capital.
Another myth worth dispelling is that NMAP have survived and prospered because they have gotten rid of all their addictive vices. People over the age of forty-five still account for forty-two percent of all smokers, and even those over sixty-five still account for more than nine percent of smokers in the US. Is anyone making a concerted effort to sell the NMAP stop smoking programs?
There are more than seventy million grandparents in the US and Canada including more than thirty-nine million baby boomers who are interested in real estate, travel, health care products, finance, and autos. When was the last time you saw a automobile television ad featuring people in their sixties? But these are the very people that have the wealth to purchase expensive vechicles. It is time to start marketing to who the real potential customer is.
As divorce rates escalate, people over fifty may be as likely to be dating as their younger single counterparts. They may be in their prime earning years or returning to school or starting a new business. The old stereotypes no longer hold true. The NMAP are changing the consumer landscape with their vast purchasing power. To market to them effectively we have to change our perception of them.
MAP don’t think of themselves as old, and they don’t want to be marketed to as if they were. Ads that target ‘seniors’ or ‘the older generation” will not be well received. NMAP are very well aware of their limitations and don’t want to be reminded of the inevitable. What they really want is to live active and positive lives. They will buy products that will help them achieve their goals. They will buy products that make them feel good. In this respect they are just like everybody else. The key to higher sales is to determine what interests them.
Marketing to people in their fifties, sixties, and seventies, will be most successful when it appeals to their emotions and their instincts, rather than when it relies solely on reason. They have after all exhibited the good instincts and emotional wellbeing to get to this stage in their lives to begin with. Let’s give them what they really want. Let’s help them live longer and continue to prosper, keeping in mind that quality of life issues are very important to them.
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