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Embracing and engaging with the digital over 50's

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Embracing and engaging with the digital over 50's

Beyond Pixels

Nobody wants to ignore the over 50’s population anymore. Most companies used to ignore that generation as they were not considered tech savvy and online businesses had little or no interest in their needs as they felt that the messaging may be falling on deaf ears. According to recent survey, over 39% of over 50's believe that companies were not interested in marketing to them. 

An honest generation with traditional values

The over 50's (or the baby boomer generation as they are commonly known) never used to take things for granted and were honest and hard working. Ethics and traditional values helped shape the decisions they made. This generation of people believed more in giving to others. They also tend to be a little more emotional when compared to the current generation. With this in mind it is important that anyone wishing to sell to them needs to make an emotional connect as most of their decisions are based on emotions.

A generation with money to spend

In UK, the over 50’s makes up over 35% of the population and they have the highest disposable income among all age groups. The spending power of this population makes them one of the most valuable generations and brands and marketers are reaching out to engage with this key audience.

Don't judge a book by its cover

If you have a cozy image of an old lady knitting a sweater or an old man playing chess with friends, you are going to be surprised as the newest generation of 'old people' are not they type who are going to sit quietly in one place, but people who are embracing new technology with open arms and use it more extensively than many might expect.

It is a common misconception that older people do not use technology. Getting a glimpse into how these people use technology can be an eye opener for most companies that do not cater to their specific needs and requirements.

Technology usage is on the up

People over the age of 50 think and act differently and it is a big challenge for marketers to engage these people with newer technologies like mobile, tablet and desktop. It is no secret that people in this age group have been slow to use new technologies but recent trends are showing that it is the fastest growing segment.

Social engagement is becoming increasingly popular

Social network use among people in the 50’s has nearly doubled over the past year. The main driver that has made social media such a popular choice is its ability to help these people connect with family and friends all over the world. It has also helped them share experiences with new friends and strangers. It is not due to lack of interest that these people were avoiding social networks but due to the fact that most new technologies are not developed keeping people over the 50’s in mind. 

Good technology is embraced by this generation in the same way as other generations. Although this generation was slow to take advantage of new technology that is been developed, they are making up for lost time by embracing and engaging with the digital in more ways than one. 

Increase in the use of mobile devices 

Mobile usage among older people is growing in surprising ways. People over the age of 50 are using their Smartphone and tablets for gaming and other entertainment purposes. Search sites are also reporting an increase in Internet use. Although older people are not experienced in using search, they are using sites to find information relating to health and other things of interest. A surprising fact is that net users over the age of 50 tend to use it more than the average British adult and they do not spend time just browsing but go online for specific purposes. 

Endorsements are key

One of the important factors that marketers need to take into account when trying to sell products online is how older people use the Internet to search for products and services. How do older people come across new sites? Older people use the search engine to search for specific topics and most of them tend to search for sites that are recommended by friends and relatives. 

A new direction

Organisations all over the world are been forced to rethink on how to market and sell their products and services for older people. As a growing number of people over the age of 50 have started using the Internet and other new technologies, organisations can no longer choose to ignore them. The new technologies that are being developed are not difficult to use and are not just for the tech savvy. 

Companies are looking at new ways to engage with customers that they had ignored all these years. The initial attempt by most organisations to connect with this important segment of customers was frustrating as they were not able to get the results they were looking for. They did not understand that they may have to connect with these customers in a different way. The marketing strategies had to be re-defined so that they could make an emotional connect with these customers.