Generation 50+: An important target group

Marketing for the generation 50+

Why the generation 50+ is so valuable as customers and employees reveals consultant, speaker and author Helmut Muthers in his book “With 50+ you’re old enough to know what you want and can do”.

We have already read the book for you, here are the highlights:

Generation 50+ – Facts & Figures

The demographic change towards an ever older society does not stop:

  • Since 1972, there has been a deficit between births and deaths in Germany.
  • Today, 24 million people in Germany are already over 60 years old, and 36 million belong to the generation 50+.
  • This makes the generation 50+ the only growing target group. And this will remain the case in the coming decades.
  • This target group has a high income and is willing to consume.

Most countries of the Western world face the same demographic changes.

High time to make products, services and marketing attractive for the generation 50+!
Generation 50+ - happy middle aged couple driving a convertible

Convertible instead of rollator! The generation 50+ has time, money and fun in life – the ideal target group!

The new seniors

In 1893, the average life expectancy was less than 50 years.  Meyers encyclopedia therefore stated: “Old age begins for men between 50 and 60, for women from the age of 45”.

Although people today are getting much older and are fit and healthy for much longer, the generation 50+ is still considered old and gereatric. And therefore uninteresting as a target group. This is a view that can threaten the very existence of companies.

After all, people over 50 are still in the middle of life. On average, they will live another 30 years. So they found start-ups, build houses, go on world trips, buy motorcycles or yachts, use new technologies, train for marathons and start new hobbies.
Their life experience makes them self-confident and critical. They value comfort, quality and good service.
They know that they are an important, high-income target group.
And they expect to be treated as customers at eye level, with respect and good manners.
If that’s not the case, they’ll switch providers just as fast, if not faster, than younger generations!

Generation 50+ - middle aged man in cycling race gear takes part in a racenen teil

The generation 50+: Fitter than some younger people!

What does not work at all with the generation 50+

Constantly pointing out to older customers that they are “old” and therefore “too stupid” for the modern world happens more often than you might think. In his book, Helmut Muthers gives many examples of what you can do wrong, when dealing with older customers, for example:

  • Recommending funeral insurance or assisted living with congratulations on retirement.
  • Offering senior citizen plates, cell phones or travel
  • Promoting products as “suitable for your age”
  • Poor manners
  • Using jargon, foreign words, technical terms  and buzzwords
“Older customers will not buy if they are addressed in a deficit-oriented manner”. 
2 old ladies in black leisure clothes and sneakers. They are sitting on a wall during sightseeing and are busy with their smartphones.

They are over 70, use Navi, Wiki, WhatsApp and online banking. And certainly don’t want to buy a cell phone for seniors!

Get it right!

The 14-49 age group, long considered the most important target group, has had its day. Because it is shrinking!
So product development and marketing must also be rethought.

For example, enclosing a magnifying glass for the poorly legible menu is a bad idea. Much better is to make the menu more readable in general. Or, when designing rooms, offering more comfort to everyone with threshold-free transitions, good color accents and clear orientation concepts.

Helmut Muthers describes another important aspect as follows: “Older people have been young, but younger people have never been old.”
So is it really smart to employ only young people in marketing and sales? They are naturally oriented primarily to their own age group.
The purchase decision of the generation 50+ is less about the price or the product than about the positive emotions in the buying process.
So is it really ideal for these customers to be served only by twens in the fashion store or at the car dealer? Couldn’t employees of the same age do a better job?

In Helmut Muther’s book, you’ll find all the answers for successfully dealing with the generation 50+ (German only)

 

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