Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Technology & Maturity – Closer than you think!

By: Kim Tarasiewicz

When anyone mentions the technology generation, our minds go right to teens and twentysomethings. But don’t rule out the older generation when using technology to market your product or service. 

With their kids grown and out of the house, today’s Baby Boomers are living longer and are willing to spend on luxuries. More and more, this group is becoming Web-savvy and technology driven, either from remaining in the workforce longer and keeping up with technologies or sometimes out of necessity to keep in touch with family and friends.

While in their late 60s, my parents decided to purchase smartphones so they could keep in touch with their grandchildren. They now check email on their phones, download apps and use tablets while traveling. This trend is quickly becoming the norm; according to Pew Research, 50 percent of seniors are using social media. Sure, there are seniors that don’t know how to log onto a computer – but do you want to miss marketing to those who do?


Email use by Americans 65 and older is at a whopping 88 percent and this group may very well have more time to read your message. Social media also has captured the attention of seniors as almost half of those using the Internet are on Facebook. These numbers most likely will increase as this population ages and continues to use more technology. The trick is identifying the right mix of marketing for this group while keeping the other target clients in focus as well.

Review your marketing plan to see what age groups currently receive your messaging. Younger audiences use mobile apps and social media regularly, so those tactics should be included in your plan if targeting that segment of the population. The mid-age range group is using a variety of technologies while the eldest group is on email, at the very least. If your budget allows, choose a mix of several methods to reach your audience such as text messages, advertisements in demographically chosen publications and newsletters. Supplement these items using social media, but be sure to target the messaging - tweet to the younger audience, which spends a lot of time on Twitter, but post a message on Facebook if trying to appeal to the older age group.

If your company has an electronic newsletter, consider creating several versions, which is an inexpensive way to appeal to your different audiences. Your website should hold Frequently Asked Questions that relate to all age groups and it should be kept current to engage clients. Post relevant videos on YouTube and add them to your website. Another way to reach different age groups is to use technology that identifies very specific audiences such as Pandora which can identify the exact age of its users and send specific messages aimed at that group.  

The key is to be sure your message reflects the values of the company and how you will meet the needs of your clients. Your clients may be aging, but they still see themselves as young, and with technology, they can keep up with current trends and feel young. Keep up with them as they grow old and you will keep them as clients. Who knows? They may even “share” your information with their grandchildren while on Facebook.


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