Editors Note: This week, we will be featuring a guest writer, Ellen Geotz. Ellen is a regular author for All Assisted Living homes.com, a website dedicated to helping seniors and their loved ones find assisted living facilities for retirement living. Ellen grew up on the east coast and spent 10 years working in senior homes during her 20′s and 30′s before taking a break to raise her 3 children. Now that her children are in college, Ellen uses her knowledge of senior care to help her write about all of the latest industry news.
As technology evolves, so do the ways in which marketers attract the attention of the senior demographic, to ensure that seniors aware of their product or service. Many marketing and advertising campaigns over the last couple decades have shied away from targeting seniors, as they preferred to focus on younger consumers. This is because many companies have not looked at seniors as a demographic that has enough disposable personal income to spend, when in fact, many seniors have more disposable personal income than younger demographics. Recently though, many marketers have embraced the senior demographic, and currently conduct a variety of offline promotions to grab their attention. However not many are truly diving into the online space to reach seniors. Anyone marketing to the senior demographic, can no longer afford to ignore the Internet as a channel, as the number of seniors actively using the Internet has increased dramatically over the last 5 years. In November 2004 there were only 11.3 million active seniors online as reported by Nielsen, but as of November 2009 the number had risen to 17.5 million seniors. Women are leading the way for seniors, as more of them have jumped online to become regular Internet users over the past 5 years.
Additionally, seniors are spending more time online, as Nielsen data shows that they went from roughly 52 hours per month in November 2004 to a bit more than 58 hours in 2009. What is more interesting, is where seniors are spending their time when they go online, and what activities they are doing. The clear leader in online activities for seniors was checking and using their personal email account, followed up by viewing or printing maps, and checking weather. This does not mean that seniors are not spending money online, as the 4th most visited site by people over the age of 65 in November 2009 was Amazon.com as reported by Nielsen. Ahead of visiting Amazon.com, seniors also like to use Google to search, Windows Media Player to watch videos, and Facebook to stay in touch with friends and family. Facebook is not the only social network where seniors have a profile, as eMarketer data from May 2009 shows many seniors also have a presence on MySpace and Twitter.
Visit us next week for part II of Senior Marketers Cannot Ignore the Internet