MMA Summit Speaker Interview: Issy Chappel and Ambah Simpson - Google

WHY IS THE over-50s SECTOR IMPORTANT?

17,000 people turn 50 every week in the UK, and by 2020 there will be more people over 50 than under 50. The over-50s also have the highest disposable income of any age group, holding 80% of the nation’s wealth.[1] All of this isn’t really surprising to us; we know the UK population is aging. What might surprise you, however, is that the over-50s are the fastest growing adopters of technology and social media. 69% of over-50s agree that when they need information, the first place they look is the internet.[2]

Those in their 50s and 60s are keen to take advantage of the things that didn’t exist when they were younger, which in the travel sector means gap-year culture, cheap international flights, and internet research and booking.[3]

When we consider the size of this demographic, their varied interests, appetite for change and adventure, and their disposable income, it’s clear that while they’re often a group that’s stereotyped or marginalised when it comes to digital marketing, we should be paying much closer attention to them.

WHY ARE BRANDS STRUGGLING TO DEMYSTIFY DIGITAL?

Most marketers are confident reaching the over-50s with traditional media but can often be much less sure about reaching this same age group digitally. Their digital savviness is underestimated as a general rule, with other channels being seen as the easiest and most impactful way to connect with someone once they’ve passed the age of 49. As we can see from the stats above, this is a misconception.

Once we dispel the stereotype, marketing becomes more effective; the guesswork of where to reach this audience, or what to say based on assumptions about them, is replaced by informed decisions based on insight. By learning how to read the signals this age group are giving us through their digital consumption, we can reach them in a more effective way. We’re hoping to share some ideas of where to start at this year’s summit.

WHAT KEY POINTS DO YOU HOPE TO HIGHLIGHT AT THE SUMMIT THIS YEAR?

We’ll be focusing on digital innovation, and how it has not left the over-50s behind, aiming to understand this audience’s "true self" and not what is perceived about their interests and actions.

We’ll focus on where this demographic is spending their time on digital and we’ll discuss how to effectively reach them with a message that stands out from the crowd.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE CAMPAIGN THAT HAS SUCCESSFULLY REACHED THIS AUDIENCE?

The Beauty industry is making amazing progress at the moment in inclusive and empowering messaging. We love Neal’s Yard’s #AgeWellRevolution, where 68-year-old Paula Wolton answers the question “what’s age?” with “the future”. We’re also huge fans of the L'Oréal “Gold not Old” campaign.


Sources: [1]  Travel habits of the over 50’s, Hills Balfour, 2016 | [2]  The Connected Consumer Survey 2017 | [3]Empty nesters: life begins at 50, Nat Geo Traveller, 2016

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