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Where are the Seniors? 07/30/2009
They are online! Millions of older Americans log on every day. They are in search of information, like everyone else, and should be targeted with special creative. Since this demographic heavily uses the Internet for email and search, text-based advertising should be your first stop in your marketing campaign. This has been historically shown to be a cost-effective direct response medium and will continue to be in the future. In addition to online text, a variety of display ads have been a solid supplement to traditional media, further increasing frequency and recall. AARP and American Legion, for example, have significant unique content available on their site, which is not in the magazine. Online publications can update stories and features in real time while the print editions normally come out on a monthly basis. Thus, readers will likely frequent the websites to get the latest articles and reviews. Display ads vary widely in their effectiveness and should be tested with a variety of ads. Recently, the digital industry has suggested that display ads can create interest in a product, but tend not to result in a purchase directly from the ad. Online is the ultimate accountable medium. You will know how many people see your ad, how many “responded” to the ad, where they came from, just for starters. You can make creative changes often under an hour and shift budget automatically away from poor responders. TV and radio have no such ability! Below are a few statistics from a Pew Research study:
  • Seniors use the Internet less for socializing and entertainment and more as a tool for information searches, emailing and buying products
  • Researching health information is the third most popular online activity with the most senior age group, after email and online search
  • According to a 2006-2008 Pew survey, 45% of Americans 65 and older and 70% between 50 and 64 use the Internet
  • 56% of Internet users ages 64-72 and 47% of Internet users age 73 and older buy products online
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