The Mature Marketing Summit
Now in its 5th year, the Mature Marketing Summit is firmly established as Europe’s leading conference on the over-50s market.
This year, over 100 delegates enjoyed a full day of expert speakers sharing their experiences, research, best practice and key insights on topics such as the evolving path to purchase, driving customer engagement and the challenges faced when launching a new brand in a competitive market.
Kicking off proceedings was new Chair, Sally Winfield, who set the tone by recognising the enormity of the growth potential for brands that understand and engage with this complex and lucrative market.
First to the stage was Karen Fraser MBE, the Head of Strategy and Director of Credos.
Focusing on marketing aimed at women over 50, Karen pinpointed the common stereotypes and assumptions that are rife in advertising and called for brands to do more to inspire and engage with older female audiences.
She presented the results of Credos’ latest research, which revealed that whilst half of women over 50 say they feel negatively portrayed in the media, nearly 60% still believe that advertising has the potential to challenge these stereotypes.
Next up was Accord Marketing’s Planning Director, Jasman Ahmad, who warned brands against treating over-50s consumers as a single audience segment, encouraging them to avoid making assumptions and instead use accurate data to examine the differences between 50-59, 60-69, 70-79 and 80+ age groups.
Unveiling his agency’s latest white paper into the research behaviour, media habits and post-booking actions of older audiences, he drew attention to some surprising differences between the decade segments. For example, while social media and third-party online review sites are significant sources of inspiration and research for those aged 50-59, tangible options, such as brochures and catalogues, remain more important for older consumers (especially those aged 80 and over).
Our third speaker was Carve Consulting’s CEO Paul Harrison, who focused on busting the myths surrounding social media and its usage by older audiences. Subverting the stereotype that social is solely the realm of millennials, he reminded the audience that the average age of a Facebook user is 43!
Paul also pointed to the effects these stereotypes can have on marketing; although those aged 65 and over are the fastest growing audience segment on social, only 1% of social media ad spend is targeted at the over-50s. To counteract this, he then explained how brands can tap into an older audience, listing videos, relatable reviews and shareable experiences as just a few examples of content that engages with older audiences.
Next on stage was Steve Ramsay, co-owner of Radio Experts and Audio Experts.
Based on research showing that consumers often act 10 years younger than their real age, he advised brands to consider targeting audiences based on how they see themselves, rather than how society perceives them.
Delving into the world of audio persuasion, he demonstrated how music and voiceovers are an incredibly effective tool for triggering emotions and resonating with different audience demographics. We were even treated to a playlist of classic tunes to really drive the point home!
We were then delighted to welcome Stella Magazine Editor Marianne Jones to the stage. With a glittering media career that has included Marie Claire, Grazia and The Mirror, Marianne discussed how she transformed Stella Magazine into a publication aimed at targeting an exciting new audience: the “perennials”.
She spoke in depth about the magazine’s decision to ban the use of the term “anti-ageing” in its pages, commenting that rather than wanting to “look good for their age”, she felt that her readers wanted to “look good - full-stop”.
We were also joined by Google’s Issy Chappel and Ambah Simpson, who revealed some very surprising stats about the world of digital marketing! For instance, in the next two years, the number of connected devices is set to more than double from 8 billion to 20 billion, with consumers currently spending more than 3 hours every day on their phones.
After illustrating the improtance of digital media, they provided our delegates with a special guide to create a winning digital marketing campaign based on real audience insights.
Last, but certainly not least, was Hope Fashion Founder Nayna McIntosh, who has over 30 years’ experience in fashion retail with some of the biggest and best-known brands in the UK.
Nayna spotted a gap in the market when she turned 50 herself and, like 53% of the female population, she began to find it hard to find good quality clothes that were both flattering and fashionable. Launched in September 2015, Hope is now an established British womenswear brand, with a point of difference seeking to embrace women of all shapes, sizes and ages - and in particular women over 50 who have become invisible to the high street.
The event concluded with a panel discussion that included Jasman Ahmad, Paul Harrison, Nayna McIntosh and Silver Travel Advisor’s Debbie Marshall, followed by a networking session that was heavily attended.
Sally Winfield, MMA Chair, said, “This year’s Summit was a huge success. The diverse line-up of distinguished industry professionals all offering their own unique insight made for compelling listening. I am very proud of what the MMA team have achieved in cementing the Mature Marketing Summit as a must-attend event for anyone wanting to tap into this increasingly important sector.”