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Adam Oldfield

How to market to the over-50s

Force24’s Managing Director, Adam Oldfield, offers his insight into what digital marketers need to know when effectively communicating with ‘silver surfers’…

There’s a strong market emerging that digital marketers cannot afford to ignore, especially as they are proving to be an affluent demographic when it comes to loyalty and brand commitment – and that’s the over-50s.

According to NatWest ContentLive, the so-called ‘silver surfers’ market not only accounts for over a third of Britain’s population, but they hold around 70% of the country’s household wealth.

Further statistics in this article also underline how these customers are fans of online shopping too – with 75% of adults aged 55-64 logging on to buy products and services in 2017, as reported via the Office for National Statistics.

So, what do marketers really need to understand about this group, in order to effectively get their messages across? 

Firstly, it’s a demographic which holds traditional values close to them. They prefer to buy from people they trust, and have a level of engagement that certainly shouldn’t be underestimated – or overlooked – by brands.

However, it’s important that marketing departments approach this kind of audience in a different way – and that’s by embracing their ethos of wanting to get to know people.

Why? Because the over-50s place long-term value on the organisations who show they truly care about their individual needs. Therefore, businesses need to demonstrate a commitment to connect, and take them through their purchasing journey in a personable, humanised way.

When it comes to understanding when to engage too, if marketers try to communicate with this target market at the wrong times, the audience is more likely to unsubscribe because they guard their inbox like it’s their front door – they certainly don’t care for blanket brand spam.

What they do hold true value to is security, and, that’s where marketing automation can be a real benefit to companies. Having such a platform ensures communications are relevant, land when most timely, and are sent in-line with the end user’s preferred frequency.

Automation allows for companies to super-personalise their marketing can help to build the trust this audience requires, as well as collect crucial data, in order to understand what the customer is looking at – helping departments to escalate the purchasing journey, at their desired pace.

Finally, another element for firms to really consider is the artwork included when sending their comms. This demographic is less design-critical – they prefer a polished, well-constructed piece of marketing over something that’s contemporary or graphic-heavy. They want value over vibrancy.

In order to really connect with the over-50s on a level that will create a long-standing relationship, organisations have to be patient and put real effort into personalising their messaging, in order to show how dependable and trustworthy they really are.

Image by pasja1000 from Pixabay

6 killer marketing metrics that really matter

By Adam Oldfield, MD of Force24

The life of a digital marketer is rarely straightforward. Whilst other communicators may perhaps argue it’s easier for their digital peers to evidence ROI, those within the world of email marketing, for instance, may be quick to defend their position.

Because yes, they have a wealth of metrics at their fingertips, but it can be difficult to know where to start.

Rather than focusing on what is arguable a vanity metric – like a click rate or, even worse, an email open – it’s important that marketers look deeper at the data to offer a true bottom line impact.

Insight relating to a brand’s data subjects, list segmentation, and the evolution of those segments, will help a marketer to understand what excites people and drives them to engage. Instead of asset-based reporting, professionals should therefore be concentrating on audience reporting, to assess campaign performance through a user’s eyes.

But how do marketing departments get these bottom up metrics that matter?

  1. Segments are key

Not exactly a metric in itself, but the data that matters can’t be uncovered until segments have been built to see how they are performing, how they’re growing (or shrinking) over time, and what the average lead score is. The more segments created – the better. Automation should make this possible in only a few easy clicks.

  1. Lead score matters the most

‘Lead scoring matters only for B2B marketers’ is a huge myth! Savvy lead scoring takes ALL engagement from any type of user. A points-system should be set so it can be tallied and a pre-defined ‘tipping point’ – tailored to the brand – should trigger when to act. Lead scores help to decide exactly who to focus on at any given time.

  1. Analyse average lead scores per segment

The average lead score of a segment may peak and trough over time. This data can be used to draw engagement curves that indicate seasonality, optimum purchase times, crucial cross-sell periods and when an existing customer is most likely to re-book/buy. This type of analysis also helps to quickly identify strong or weak segments within a data set. It also helps draw correlations between lead scores and campaigns, web activity and, most importantly, the number of leads actually secured. 

  1. Segment evolution

It is important to understand how a list is growing or shrinking – is the data in a segment diminishing, for example? And what might this mean? 

  1. User web engagement

We know browsing behaviour gives us a deeper insight into a user’s interests and needs, but only one in six organisations use it effectively. Web collateral should therefore be designed to support this information gathering, and engagement across this online real-estate should be analysed.

  1. User marketing preferences

It’s just as important to understand what your segment does NOT want to see – you’ll be surprised by the level of variation between data sets.