Embrace the Gold in your Silver Audiences
Marketing, Social, Trends

Although many marketers recognise that the silver generation is a retail goldmine, thanks to their spending power and how much they contribute to Singapore’s total grocery spending, many marketers do not want to associate themselves with the elderly at all. Despite acknowledging the baby boomers’ importance as a sector, our society have unhealthy stereotypes about the old and capitalism favours the young.

Are you considering older adults for your social media campaign? In Singapore, a ComScore report showed that social media was particularly great at reaching women above 55.

The Top Motivators For Baby Boomers To Use Social Media

Although young people are the early adopters of social media, people age 55 and older represented the fastest-growing age segment in global social networking usage in 2011.^ Especially for less mobile or disabled people, social media has overcame the limitations they have in social interactions. Seniors have discovered a new joy in connecting with family and friends online.

^data taken from Comscore

Insights on elderly consumers

1. They are worried about health, financial security and future security of their offsprings.
Elderly people have many fears when it comes to their physical and even emotional health. Moreover, coupled with the rising cost of living in Singapore and lower quality of life due to diseases caused by ageing may sharpen their resolve to maximise their enjoyment of the here and now. While they are concerned about their children’s security, they are still likely to leave assets for their children but not withholding on their own enjoyment.

2. Contrary to popular beliefs that elderly people are stubborn and inflexible in experimenting with new brands, studies like Ehrenberg & Uncles (1990) have proven that there is a readiness for elderly people to try new brands.

“Those who stay active both mentally and physically have similar desires to those who are much younger and they are quite prepared to spend their money to meet their desires.”

3. Research by the University of California concluded that elderly people who feel out of control are vulnerable to high levels of stress hormones such as cortisol, which has been linked to heart disease. Conversely, old people are generally happier and well when they feel independent, knowing that help is available if needed.

4. The concept of time is different for older people. They feel that week passes by in a day but on a day-to-day basis, older people may feel more bored, that time drags, because there are fewer events in their daily lives. Some studies attribute this to the slowing down of events and the way elderly people process events.

Finding Gold among Singapore’s Silvers

Current academic literature on this topic suggests that enjoyment, engagement in social contact, providing and receiving online social support are the main motivators for baby boomers to consume social media. Social media is perceived as a solution to their loneliness and lack of fun in communities.

In U.S., older adults cited Facebook as their preferred platform because they feel most confident on the platform. In the study by Jung et al. (2017), it was reported that the choice of using Facebook can be attributed to the following factors.

  1. Keeping in touch with friends and acquaintances
  2. Most convenient platform to communicate
  3. Possibility of observing family members
  4. Approval of photo sharing functions

When speaking to baby boomers on social media, you will need to have these in mind:

1. Brands that target families would benefit from having easy-to-share clips and images that the elders would love to share.

Check out our MARIGOLD HL Milk healthy ageing campaign’s short, bite-sized videos that were educational and entertaining. They were loved and shared by our elderly audiences!

2. Brands should help make the elders feel that they are still relevant and important to the family by using social media to send out reminders to family members to interact with their ageing parents and other elderly relatives.

Our MARIGOLD HL Milk healthy ageing campaign went on a two-prong approach to speak to caregivers and family members, encouraging them to interact and care for their ageing parents.

3. Through your choice of social media platform, try to create a platform for the elders to help them feel able, young and included in society.

Representation is important and definitely an opportunity for marketers to include and speak to the elderly. You would be surprise at how similar they are to young people when it comes to brand loyalty!

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