Nearly Fifty Percent of the Population Ignored by Marketers

Targeting the 50 plus market could boost sales significantly, says ICAA CEO Colin Milner

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95% of all marketing dollars are spent on adults 35 and younger. "That's insanity," says Colin Milner, CEO of the International Council on Active Aging and a leading authority on the 50 plus market.

(PRWEB) January 06, 2014

Boomers and their parents will represent one out of every two US consumers, by the year 2017. This group currently spends over 7 trillion dollars, 46% American’s current GDP, each year. They are 47 times richer than their younger counterparts, and will account for 70% of discretionary income in the United States, by the year 2017. Yet, 95% of all marketing dollars are spent on adults 35 and younger. "That's insanity," says Colin Milner, CEO of the International Council on Active Aging and a leading authority on the 50 plus market.

"The 50+ consumer is virtually invisible to marketers," states Milner. "And, when marketers do focus on this group, 75% of them get a failing grade. Older consumers say that marketing targeted to them is patronizing and stereotypical. Simply put, it fails to reflect their stage of life."

What can marketers do? Milner offers five tips:

1. Take the time to fully understand what this group's needs, dreams, desires, expectations, and capabilities are.

2. Commit to the market by ensuring your products, services, staff, philosophies and procedures are in line with what this group is seeking.

3. Be visible in the places that older adults frequent for their information--television, newspapers, Facebook, to name a few.

4. Become an advocate for older consumers. Since 95% of marketers are not focusing on this group, those who do will reap significant rewards.

5. Avoid graywashing.* "Don't mislead consumers by promoting useless and expensive 'anti-aging' products or stating that a product or service is geared to 'seniors' if it really isn't," Milner says.

What will be the impact of making such changes? "A Nielsen study done a couple of years ago showed that, by ignoring Boomers, as an example, marketers could miss roughly $230 billion in sales of consumer packaged goods alone, or around 55% of the overall sales in the United States," Milner says. "However, the opposite is also true. Those who focus on this group in a meaningful way stand to gain their fair share of the older consumer's business.

"The opportunity is unprecedented," Milner stresses. "How marketers and businesses respond may very well dictate their future."

About the International Council on Active Aging (ICAA)
ICAA, the professional association that leads, connects and defines the active-aging industry, supports professionals who develop wellness facilities, programs and services for adults over 50. The association is focused on active aging--an approach to aging that helps older adults live as fully as possible within all dimensions of wellness--and provides its members with education, information, resources and tools. As an active-aging educator and advocate, ICAA has advised numerous organizations and governmental bodies, including the US Administration on Aging, the National Institute on Aging (one of the US National Institutes of Health), the US Department of Health and Human Services, Canada's Special Senate Committee on Aging, and the British Columbia ministries of Health, and Healthy Living and Sport.