By Monica Feig
Executive Vice President
The new report from Clarity - Marketing Myths: The Technophobes - shows that the $95.58 trillion over 50s market is being overlooked by consumer technology brands.
San Francisco, CA – November 8, 2023 – 8:00 am ET – Today, new research reveals that 46% of American consumers over 50 feel as though consumer technology brands don’t market towards their generation, and a further 43% believe marketing that does target their age group is patronizing. This insight comes from Clarity, a global marketing communications agency, in its first bi-annual report series - Marketing Myths: The Technophobes, detailing how consumer technology brands, particularly smart home brands, are missing a key growth audience who hold over 95.58 trillion dollars in household wealth - consumers over 50.
The report, which surveyed over 1,000 Americans over 50-years-old, in partnership with 3Gem Research & Insights, reveals that 67% of over 50s desire to be more tech-savvy, indicating that despite public perception of this audience being less proficient than younger generations, they are eager to utilize the latest technology. Additionally, the report found the over 50 demographic to be particularly loyal with three out of four considering themselves as such, and over half (58%) considering themselves vocal brand advocates. With a staggering 117 million Americans over 50, consumer tech brands are missing out on tremendous growth potential by overlooking this loyal audience with a combined 95.58 trillion in household wealth who are clearly keen to utilize the latest technology.
“It is time for brands to start listening to and addressing the over 50 market. These are consumers who entered adulthood at the dawn of the Internet and have the means and the perspective to shape how subsequent generations interact with it. As we head into the New Year, marketers have the opportunity to re-evaluate their budgets and tailored campaigns to ensure these consumers are considered as a core audience,” comments Monica Feig, Executive Vice President, Clarity.
The report found that while the largest deterrent for over 50s buying new tech products is cost (63%), the vast majority of these consumers see the long-term impact that tech products can have on their wallets. While there is significant household wealth amongst this audience, this signifies that the over 50s audience is strategic in their spending, and stipulates a deeper communication of product value in order to convert them to buyers.
From an accessibility perspective, the report found that older generations are more capable with consumer technology than society may believe, with 64% saying tech products feel easy to set up. However the perceived ease of setting up consumer tech devices as a whole decreases with age, indicating that this audience remains at a disadvantage with a need for additional product education.
“Given how much of an appetite over 50-year-olds have for consumer technology, it is an extraordinary miss that so many brands are clearly getting it so wrong. If smart home brands can clearly articulate how smart technology can improve their lives in an approachable way, this generation will clearly sit up and pay attention,” says Christine Reilly, Senior Vice President, Clarity.
The report shares additional insight from marketing communications experts on how this demographic requires an engaging experience to effectively communicate key messages, and recommends unique approaches to top and mid-funnel activities such as earned media, social, influencers, video ads and SEO to reach this audience. For example, like most consumers, the over 50 audience regularly use Google Search but their behavior is different with many choosing to read through the results of one query rather than trying multiple searches. This means brands need to consider targeting longer and less obvious keywords for this audience. These methods support a strategy that demonstrates product value and can help brands reach this eager and loyal brand audience that has potential to propel business growth.
The research was conducted by 3Gem Research & Insights among a sample of 1,000 consumers aged 50+. The data was collected between August 31, 2023 and September 12, 2023.
Clarity is a global marketing and communications agency, driven by a belief in the power of technology to be a force for positive change in the world. Offering Public Relations, Social, Performance Marketing, SEO, Paid, Insights and Analytics, Public Affairs and more, Clarity works with the world’s most progressive brands, from rebel start-ups, to challenger brands and industry titans. In addition to the agency’s fast-growing offices in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, London, Sydney and Amsterdam, Clarity maintains a network of partner firms for global reach. For more information, visit https://clarity.global/.
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