Sheridan Age Aware Summit: quick thoughts!

Ahead of the June 12 Age Aware Summit at the Sheridan Centre for Elder Research, in a blog comment I submitted that marketing to a 50+ demographic is “an intricate endeavour”. After listening to Dick Stroud’s presentation, this was re-affirmed. He responded to several questions from the audience about effective marketing, first with the words “it’s complicated”.

The “how do I do it?” marketing tactics weren’t really on offer here, and for those who were waiting for (as Dick said) “silver bullet” answers, they were to be sadly disappointed; luckily that was not my expectation. Yes, there were golden nugget ideas if not silver bullets, but there was the broader view.

As Douglas Rushkoff says in Present Shock, “we’re living in an age of narrative collapse”. Transferring that notion to marketing to a 50+ demographic, the old framework of age language has changed the narrative on aging and longevity. Overlay that with a multiplicity of social factors beyond age itself, you get fragmented results. So what is old, what is senior, what are the thousand ways you could define a 50+ customer?

When I attend an event like this, I listen for the big picture message that could inform firm thinking around the actual marketing opportunity.

So thanks Dick Stroud, for reminding us that big business is not yet prepared for serving the larger numbers of “older old”. Those days are soon approaching, where we may see what he called “panic investments” in care and health support.

Marketing foresight anyone?

1 comment on “Sheridan Age Aware Summit: quick thoughts!”

  1. Jill O'Donnell Reply

    You hit the nail on the head about the realities of the Age Aware Summit! There are no easy answers in marketing to the 50+ consumer. It’s complicated indeed. By 2015 there will be more people over 65 than under 15. Most advertising today still aims at youth. It’s time for marketing groups and organizations to embrace reality if they want to attract the aging consumer. The big question is, will they?

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