Age in Advertising

It’s an age-old question isn’t it (excuse the pun)? If we’ve identified that the older consumers are the ones with the most disposable income, then why are we always pumping our advertising efforts into targeting the millennial and Gen Z markets?

Well, for a lot of the fastest growing platforms (such as Instagram, Youtube and influencer marketing), the audiences are largely made up of the 16-24 bracket. And while it makes sense to try and plug into large audiences anyway, it’s more about the behavioural traits. Millennials and Gen Z’s are into fast fashion, instant buying and getting things at the touch of a button. Whereas it’s been proven that Baby Boomers and Gen X’s will take a lot more deliberating and considering before making a purchase. So in a world full of “buy it now”s, it makes sense to target those who are actually more likely to buy it now.

However, this doesn’t mean that you should ignore the groups with the largest disposable incomes. If you’re not tapping into large and perfectly viable audiences then you’re basically looking a gift horse in the mouth. The problem though is that so many adverts and marketing tactics are out of touch with these audiences.

Baby Boomers and Gen X’s fall pretty much into the over 40’s age bracket and yet so many marketers will continue to insist on portraying and viewing them as old pensioners who would only be interested in life insurance and home food delivery services. As a marketer you need to get into the minds of your consumer at all times and to miss the mark so terribly will be detrimental to your marketing strategy.

Remember that marketing is and always been about appealing to people. The chances are, the Gen X market have teenage children, perhaps off to uni, they might be looking forward to some more freedom and to enjoying their life as adults. Appeal to these traits and understand that just because they’re not Millennials, it doesn’t mean they’re not just as likely to be on Facebook, Linkedin and Instagram. The root that it pretty much always comes back to; marketing is about understanding your target consumer.

Written by Dave Hughes

Dave is a front end web developer and graphic designer, with experience in e-commerce and digital marketing.

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