In an ageing world, marketers need to pay special attention to meet the needs and expectations of senior customers. Older people are actively using telecommunications technologies and do this more creatively than before. Gone are the days when this consumer segment was only interested in making voice calls via their landlines and mobile phones to contact their family members and friends. In recent years, older audiences have been increasingly relying on modern technologies such as 4G to connect with the outside world. They generally prefer tablets and mobile phones utilising wireless internet connections over traditional desktops and laptops. These trends suggest that telecommunications marketers need to modify their marketing strategies accordingly to promote their products and services to the ageing population.

Here are some ideas of how to make your offerings more lucrative to older audiences.

Keep Things Simple

Making older adults use telecommunications technologies is the key to creating genuine information societies. However, baby boomers were not accustomed to using even the most basic electronic products when they were young. Hence, marketers should remember that the members of this customer segment may find it hard to use advanced modern technologies such as Smart TVs. The marketing teams of telecommunications companies should strive to make things as simple as possible for them. Rather than trying to market the same kind of products that are sold to millennials, they may offer a new range of products and services specifically designed for senior users. For example, hardware manufacturers may incorporate physical elements (such as slider keyboards) in their smartphone products. Similarly, many older adults find it easier to use large-screen tablets to browse the internet and send emails. Bundling telecommunication services with such gadgets can help marketers to target seniors more effectively.

Customer support services should also be made simpler for older adults to use. When baby boomers were growing up, customer services were always personal, which makes it difficult to get used to automated self-service options. Hence, telecommunication companies should make it possible for older customers to communicate directly with human beings rather than chatbots and Interactive Voice Response (IVR) systems when trying to get answers to their queries. Making things simple is a good way to attract and retain a greater number of older customers.

Adapt Marketing Communications

The products and services created by telecommunication companies must be properly advertised to reach older audiences. The advertising strategies used by marketers should utilise the marketing communications channels and the communication style convenient for senior adults. Hence, telecommunications companies should continue using conventional media channels for advertisements since many older adults are not comfortable with social media and search advertising. According to a recent review, only four in ten senior US citizens own smartphone devices. This further suggests the continued use of print advertisements, billboards, and even physical product catalogues for communicating with older customers.

Advertising messages targeted at an ageing population should also avoid internet slang and teenage jargon and use more conventional copywriting with formal sentences. Unlike millennials who like all the media content they consume to be more dramatic, baby boomers would just like to know how the new telecommunication services can solve their problems and improve their quality of living.

Target the Actual Decision Makers

Older citizens who cannot understand modern technologies simply delegate some purchasing decisions to their younger family members such as children and grandchildren. In this case, marketers should adopt the strategies already utilised by television products sellers that promote the new products to these stakeholders directly. Marketers of telecommunication companies should also target these decision-makers while designing and communicating their services and allow these trusted persons to explain the benefits of the products to their older relatives. Advertising messages targeted at decision-makers should focus on how the services offered by the company could benefit senior citizens by satisfying their communication needs.

Give Older Adults a Familiar Experience

People generally prefer solutions that are familiar to them. Seniors grew up receiving physical product brochures in their mail and visiting physical outlets to buy products and access new services. Marketers should offer a similar experience to seniors to build trust in their minds regarding the offered services. Making the offering more familiar to the older generation by using printed product brochures or other traditional marketing media can make the services of telecommunications companies appear more physical. Marketers should keep in mind that offering something tangible is a sure way to build credibility regarding any service targeted at any customer group.

Focus on Real-Life Consumer Benefits

Older adults were not accustomed to buying a $1,000 iPhone to make themselves look cooler than others. Baby boomers prefer to evaluate their actual needs and the problem-solving capacity of any product before they even consider purchasing it. They usually appraise the functional utility and the benefits offered by a product or service before committing to it at an emotional level. Hence, marketers of telecommunications companies should clearly outline the core benefits realised by their customers. The best way to promote an intangible service to older audiences is to demonstrate the tangible cost savings or practical gains created by it in their daily lives.

Pay Attention to User Imagery

This concept defines the target market customers who may be attracted by specific brand identity. The user imagery of a service that marketers communicate to older audiences needs to be convincing and believable in order to support sales. One of the ways to use this idea is to demonstrate how seniors are using their products to solve their real-life problems in advertisements. This user imagery is more powerful than the demonstration of celebrity endorsers trying to appeal to customer hedonic motivations. Using the right visuals will also help in building the desired brand personality for the services targeted at older customers. A well-designed company image will make seniors relate themselves to the offerings of the company and pay more attention to its offerings.

The ability to communicate with others and stay connected with the outside world is crucial for older adults. Their capability to solicit help with their daily living activities, gain access from electronic media, and maintain intergenerational contacts with the members of their family can greatly improve their quality of life and well-being. By the year 2050, the percentage of people aged above 60 years is projected to increase from 20% to 33% of the total population. Therefore, telecommunications marketers should understand the barriers faced by older adults in communicating with others in order to design and promote the effective solutions that can help senior buyers to overcome these limitations.

photo source unsplash

Ellie Richards is an online Marketing Manager for Original PhD, specialising in PhD research paper help. She specialises in research, content and article writing on various topics, including Education, Marketing, and Technology. 

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