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How to market to senior citizens online

Marketing a product or service to an audience is tricky as it is. Marketing to a group of people who are very different from your team is even harder. Reaching your target audience requires the right communication channels and tone of voice, with such vast diversity present in all demographics, including age, nowadays.

So, how can a young team of marketers (for example) sell their products and services to senior citizens without losing the message or using the latest technology? Senior citizens tend to consume information differently to younger generations, but that doesn’t mean that social media and email marketing are ruled out.

You can still use digital channels to reach the elderly, but the messages must be clear and simple. Hashtags, emojis and shorthand will leave seniors thinking WTF! Obviously, non-digital methods of communication are important, but using digital channels can be highly beneficial too.

Customer-first marketing

It’s essential to put the elderly and their needs first when marketing to senior citizens. Keep in mind what is important to them and how your product can help them in some way. What is their lifestyle like? When will they need to use your product or service? How can it make their lives easier or add value to their day-to-day life?

You need to understand your audience and empathise with the elderly. This will help you disseminate information more easily and allow them to see the real-life benefits of your offering.

Your marketing team and strategy need to be customer-centric. Develop and maintain a strong customer-first culture within your team and be transparent with your audience. The elderly have different values and place importance on different things to the younger generations.

Customer service needs to extend beyond the sale. Looking after your consumers after they’ve purchased your product or service is important when marketing to senior citizens. You need to ensure that the elderly fully understand your offering – how it works, the Ts&Cs, what extra benefits they may be entitled to and what pitfalls they may encounter when using it.

Phone calls and having a real person to talk to are very important to senior citizens – they’d rather speak to someone to get advice than to send an email or talk to a robot. Have a trained team in a call-centre handle most of the after-sales care.

Using digital channels to target seniors

Although most senior citizens are not tech-savvy, on the whole, they still know how to use computers and smartphones. They may not have the latest apps and hardware, but they still have Facebook accounts, email addresses and a level of understanding of the digital sphere.

Some elderly consumers may need a little help when it comes to signing e-documents and accessing digital services, but this will become less of an issue as the years go on. It also means that your after-sale customer care needs to be extra patient while helping and educating elderly consumers.

Not all senior citizens are the same – some have more advanced technological capabilities and are able to better grasp the digital sphere. As time passes, more and more will become digital-savvy and require less assistance.

The two most common ways of marketing to senior citizens in the digital sphere is email and Facebook advertising. Of all the social media channels, Facebook has the most elderly users and are a targetable audience when creating ad campaigns on Facebook Business Manager.

Email marketing is also an easy way to get information across to senior citizens. Most have email addresses and have learned how to use emails proficiently. Running email campaigns can be beneficial, but there are certain limitations when it comes to accessing product codes for promotions on e-commerce sites, for example.

This is why it is important to keep your communications simple and to-the-point. No fuss, no confusion. The elderly consumer needs to know what to click and what action to take. Use relatable language and keep the sales process simple for everyone.

Marketing to senior citizens comes with unique challenges, but it doesn’t mean that digital channels need to be ignored. Most elderly people are becoming more dependant on digital devices and this trend will only increase as the years pass by.

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