Full disclosure: I’m one of the ‘older consumers’ who thinks a lot of advertisers are missing the target on the largest group of people with the most money, the most homes, the biggest assets, and the people who not only buy the most cars — but the most expensive too! The 50-year-old plus households!

A ‘Marketing Insider’ post titled, “The Increasing Insanity of Marketers’ Indifference Toward Older Consumers,” (1) written by the head of research for AARP, Mark Bradbury, did a great job of laying out the monetary metrics of the plus 50 households versus the under 50. For starters there are more of us — almost eight million more than the under 50 households. But the most important metrics are more revealing. Older households own more homes and have less mortgages, freeing up money to buy more stuff, and have better credit to get approved to buy more stuff.

By 2020, the world will have more 55-year-olds than five-year olds! Older people will generate half of all urban consumption growth between 2015 and 2030! In 2035, older adults will outnumber children for the first time in U.S. history! Most importantly, us ‘older’ folks are active – hiking, kayaking, cruising, skiing, biking – putting thousands of miles on our vehicles.

So, consider these thoughts in your marketing efforts to better reach the over 50 crowd:

We’re digitally meshed. 88% of those over 50 use the internet. 73% of those over 65 use the Internet. 65% of those over 50 are on Facebook. 40% of those over 65 use Facebook!

31% of all online shopping is done by those over 50 with higher ticket averages and more frequent re-purchases.

We still like to get mail! Even though most people over 50 are big email users (as well as instant messaging, text, and phone) regular snail mail is opened, read, and responded to. And the older we are, the more likely we are to read longer letters with clear explanations of the offer being made, with illustrations and examples of value and benefit.

We watch TV! The over 50 folks are the ones buying the biggest flat-screens and exploring all the streaming venues, so OTT advertising presents new opportunities.

We listen to the radio! Over 50 folks grew up with radio. We listen to a lot of talk radio on both AM and FM! Write down the station the vehicle is tuned to when we visit for service. We probably listen to that station a lot.

We respond best when you make your message relatable, easy to understand, ‘believable,’ straight-forward, without a lot of drama and goofy comedy. We respond best when you give us something familiar to latch onto.

We’re more likely to follow-up if you give us an easy path (website link, phone number, etc.). The over 50 folks are more likely than any other age group to call for more information on something that interests them.

We are more likely to watch an infomercial than our younger counterparts. And we like YouTube. Why do you think insurance company ads, reverse mortgage offers, etc., are so effective on radio and TV? They are targeted to the over 50 crowd.

Okay, so we’re older. You’ll get better response to any advertising effort if you make the font on the screen or in the display ad a little larger.

Most of us are 30-year-olds with 20+ years of experience. We are interested in things that make our lives better, easier, and more fun. We are value-driven by nature, but most of us also recognize the value of great service and personal attention.

In comparison to younger age groups, a bigger percentage of those over 50 still have a sense of loyalty to those who treat us well and make us feel that our business is truly appreciated. Remember, 70% of all the disposable income is in our hands!

We all know that the absolute best advertising is word-of-mouth, and no other age group in the spectrum spreads the word better than those over 50 when they’re pleased with a product or service. We make the best ambassadors of any age group!

Author: Jim Boldebook

JIM BOLDEBOOK is Founder of CBC Automotive Marketing, an advertising/marketing agency working with some of America’s most successful dealerships. He has been in the broadcasting, advertising and marketing fields for almost 50 years. EMAIL: jim@cbcads.com

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