Consumer purchase behavior, needs, spending capacity and habits vary by age group. So companies create customized value propositions for each customer segment. The same principle also applies to reputation management and requesting reviews. Marketers targeting seniors, for instance, need to know how to reach older demographic.
How Businesses Use Age Demographic Segmentation
Businesses can identify target customers by different types of market segmentation:
Of the five types, demographic segmentation is the most often used by businesses. It is further subdivided into:
- Family status
- Cultural background
Other than gender, many businesses focus their marketing strategies on age groups. To be more specific, they target three generations.
According to Statistica, 20.67 percent of the U.S. population are Zoomers. Born between 1997 to 2012, they are the world’s first true digital natives.
When the first Zoomers reached seven years old in 2004, MySpace had one million monthly users. As some people describe it, it was the beginning of social media as it is known today. While Gen Xers and Millennials were born earlier, most adapted to digital innovations.
In one buyer behavior analysis, 81 percent of consumers research online before buying. It is why marketers focus on age groups that use digital technology. Together, those three generations account for 62.25 percent of the U.S. population. It is thus easy to see why younger generations are attractive to marketers.
The older demographic remains a strong consumer market at 21.16 percent of the U.S. population. Moreover, they spend an average of $61.69 per transaction, which is more than any other generation. This data suggests that neglecting marketing to baby boomers would be a mistake.
Why Digital Marketing to an Older Demographic Matters
Many companies focus on marketing to Gen X and younger generations. At first glance, it makes sense because 84 percent prefer to shop in-store. One plausible reason is the lack of daily activities. Retired seniors, for instance, visit physical stores as an activity. Another reason is mistrust of technology, such as making online transactions.
According to Google, baby boomers and seniors today spend more time online than watching TV. For instance, 82 percent who use the internet have at least one social media account. On average, they use 4.6 social media networks, and the two leading platforms are Facebook and LinkedIn.
Baby boomers use social media for a variety of reasons. More importantly, 83.9 percent said social media improved their life satisfaction. Like other generations, they connect with family and friends. As for companies, it is an opportunity to build a relationship with customers.
In 2015, the U.S. News Market Insights Report revealed that baby boomers control 70 percent of all the disposable income in the U.S. They are undoubtedly a force to be reckoned with in the market, so companies must include them in their digital marketing strategies. For instance, they can get customer feedback and analyze purchasing behavior unique to this age group. This way, they can build better marketing plans to enhance customer relationships and improve customer satisfaction.
How To Reach Older Demographic
Usually, companies would already have target markets before launching their operation. However, in other cases, they might identify and create new markets and value propositions. Or, they could develop new markets to increase the sales of their current products or services. Whichever is the case, it all begins with market segmentation.
In essence, market segmentation divides a large market into smaller groups of customers. Each group of customer segments would share similar characteristics, such as age group. Then, the company can customize its value proposition and marketing plans to generate sales.
Here’s how to reach older demographic using market segmentation.
1. Determine Goals and Set Objectives
The goal needs to be specific. For example, the company wants to generate X amount in a year selling products to seniors. Marketers then proceed to create objectives allowing them to meet their goals.
2. Develop Market Segmentation Strategies for Seniors
Age group, for sure, is necessary. Yet, it remains too broad. So marketers need to spend time on research. For instance, they need to identify distinct characteristics, such as consumer purchase behavior of ideal target markets. In this case, a buyer behavior analysis lets the company optimize its strategy.
Go-to-Market (GTM) is a proven way of segmenting and marketing to an older demographic. Since its inception, GTM has become one of the most popular strategies to introduce products into a customer segment.
Essentially, GTM serves as a company’s blueprint, describing how it can gain a competitive advantage in delivering its value proposition to target customers.
Usually, the GTM model entails the following:
Determine the Customer Segments
Marketers conduct extensive market research to find customer segments they can target. Not only that, but they also identify the competitors and find gaps to exploit to their advantage.
Define Target Customer Segments
After identifying potential market segments, including the older demographic, the marketers analyze and determine which groups can benefit from their products and services and make financial projections for each viable group. They can use a variety of methods, such as buyer behavior analysis.
Assess Brand Positioning
One of the goals of positioning a brand is to shape customer perception. So one effective strategy is online review monitoring, management and getting more online reviews. Since they are marketing to baby boomers and seniors, they must also tweak the processes. For example, keep conversations short and straightforward as this is the best way to communicate and engage with the older generation.
Identify Communications Channels
Communicating with customers in the proper channels is essential to a successful GTM strategy.
Most baby boomers use Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram and LinkedIn on social media. So companies must include these five platforms in their digital marketing plans to target seniors and boomers. TikTok, as seen in the table, is not even in the Top 10. But it is relevant for companies marketing to Gen X, Y, and Z.
Table. Top 10 Social Networks Used by Baby Boomers
Social Media Network
Share of Baby Boomers
How To Get Online Reviews To Improve Customer Satisfaction
Compared to younger people, older consumers are less responsive to marketing claims. Instead, they are more interested in facts. So, one way to influence their purchasing behavior is through social proof.
“Younger people write more reviews and pay more attention,” said Tim Clarke, the Senior Reputation Manager of Rize.
It does not, however, mean that boomers do not leave reviews. Far from it, they also use social media. So this is an opportunity for companies to enhance brand perception through reviews.
So, why do companies need to know how to get more online reviews?
Many people love sharing their experiences, including positive or negative brand feedback. They can create a post on their timeline, reply to comments and rate a product or service on review sites.
As expected, businesses prefer receiving positive feedback and reviews because it enhances their reputation. But, on the other side of the coin, negative reviews persuade consumers to buy elsewhere. Companies that respond and resolve issues promptly can also bounce back from the adverse effects of a bad review.
The general public who sees a company responding quickly and responsibly will feel they can trust the brand to take care of them should they encounter a problem. As a result, they trust the brand more and are more likely to do business. As for the customers who initially had issues, they are more likely to become loyal customers.
Another factor to consider is the number and recency of reviews. Several studies show that a higher number of recent reviews correlates with higher conversions. These are more than enough reasons for businesses to get online reviews. But, instead of waiting, they use tactics like making a review request.
Before requesting reviews from seniors, here are some things to remember:
- Older customers may not be as tech-savvy as the younger generation. So try to provide helpful instructions, even if they may appear trivial.
- Keep communications simple and straight to the point.
- Focus on facts rather than making claims.
Generally, many of the techniques used in reputation marketing to Gen X, Y and Z are the same as marketing to baby boomers.
1. Get Listed on Directories and Review Sites
Consumers cannot leave reviews if a brand is not on a platform where they can rate or leave feedback. So one of the best ways to get online reviews is to submit company details to listing directories. Doing it manually, though, is a hassle as there are hundreds of them. Hence, a better option is to consider using an automated listings management service.
2. Run an Email Marketing Campaign
Seniors and boomers, aside from face-to-face and phone calls, prefer emails. That is why email marketing is perfect when marketing to an older demographic.
For example, a welcome email sent to customers is not only a chance to thank and provide more information. Marketers can also upsell other products. In addition, reputational specialists can use this (or another email on another day) for making a review request.
3. Engage Customers on Social Media
Many consumers love engaging with brands they like. So, whenever they make a post, they reply by commenting. In a very subtle way, businesses can also encourage customers to share more information, such as how the product or service helped them solve a problem.
Finding brand mentions, though, is challenging. For this reason, many companies are using an online review management platform to automate their tasks. This way, they do not miss any positive or negative mention and respond quickly.
Communicating with customers on social media is a great way to get customer feedback. These are invaluable insights companies can use to gauge market trends and adjust their marketing strategies. Sometimes, they might also find ideas to improve or create new products.
4. Make It Easy for Customers To Leave Reviews
On the company website or eCommerce store, ensure that it is easy for customers to leave a rating or review. For example, having a form ready for customers to fill out on a product page can help increase the number of online reviews.
5. Incentivize Star Ratings and Reviews
Businesses can offer customers a reward for leaving a rating or review. For instance, they may provide a special gift or discount on the next purchase.
Another way is to run a contest. A company can, for instance, ask customers to post photos and share their experiences on social media. One thing to consider, though, is that some platforms may not like this practice.
6. Make a Review Request in Person
Since many boomers and seniors prefer to buy in a physical store, requesting reviews in person is a viable strategy. After a transaction, for example, the staff can ask the customer to write a testimonial online. This practice is also widespread when collecting feedback to improve customer satisfaction.
Use Reputational Management To Appeal to Older Demographic
Never ignore the baby boomers, for they control the majority of disposable income in the country. But, like the younger generations, they, too, have needs and desires. Moreover, because many of them use the internet, including social media, they should also be a part of digital marketing and reputation management strategies.
So, now that you know how to get more online reviews, why not enlist the help of our online review management team to help boost your reputation, leads and conversions. For more information on how to better market to seniors and make a positive brand perception, call our reputational experts at 866.325.0303.