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Marketing to the Aging Population. A Checklist.

Posted Feb 19 2009 5:32pm

In Mary Furlong & Associates most recent newsletter she discussed a recent panel she hosted where Lee Rainie from the Pew Internet & American Life Project gave an update on the changes of "boomers" regarding 2.0 media.

By the way, if you don't already subscribe to Mary's excellent and informative Boomer/Senior Market Report newsletter, I highly recommend it. It should be on your short list of regular reads if your business relates at all to the aging population. Mary knows this space as well as anyone.  Subscribe to it here.

Lee presented the following facts concerning boomers' use of 2.0 media in 2008:

- 74 percent use the Internet
- 62 percent have broadband at home
- 72 percent use a cell phone
- 43 percent connect to the Internet wirelessly.
- 91 percent of boomers use search engines
- 78 percent search in health care
- 30 percent use online ratings
- 38 percent share video feeds
- 26 percent read blogs
- 17 percent share creations
- 16 percent have a social network profile
- 7 percent blog.

These statistics should be of no surprise to anyone in marketing. The takeaway is that marketer's can no longer assume the Internet and the latest social networking tools are only relevant to the younger population.  It's now a part of everyone's life and if you market to seniors, your marketing must reflect this fact. Unfortunately, too many senior care vendors are not using the Internet effectively in their marketing.

Other key demographic statistics Mary writes about include this about the aging population:

- increasing numbers of singles
- the effects of delaying retirement

Mary then very astutely says " These trends and needs are important to the organization's new strategy for products and services related to travel and entertainment, discounts, health and wellness, lifelong learning, technology products and services and pets".

Mary gets it and kudos to Mary for sharing her insights in her recent newsletter. But what impressed me the most about Mary's newsletter was her list of questions for marketers in the senior care space. These are brilliant questions and we 100% agree with them. They include:

  • Do I have a strategy for buying Google key words? Is it working?
  • Do I have a strategy for using user ratings to engage customers and prospects?
  • Do I have a sales strategy for partnering with non profits to leverage the trust and relationship of their members?
  • Do I have an integrated communications strategy that includes radio?
  • Do I have a sales and communication strategy for email newsletters?
  • Do I need a retail chain strategy?
  • Do I have a portal placement strategy?
  • Do I have a strategy for reaching caregivers to reach the needs of seniors?

I would add these "must have" requirements for any company in the business of selling products or services relating to the aging population:

  • Am I blogging on a regular basis?
  • Am I reading other blogs and getting into the conversation by posting comments to these blogs?
  • Do I actively participate in social networking sites like LinkedIn and Facebook? 
  • Does my company have a Facebook"Page" or relevent Facebook Groups?
  • Is my web site search optimized?
  • Do I monitor social networking sites to review what consumers/buyers are saying about my company and/or product?
  • Do I produce original content (articles, white papers, research) and use this content to enhance my site's SEO and for lead generation purposes (e.g., direct email marketing)?
  • Do I send out regular search-optimized press releases?

The bottom line is that as more consumers/buyers (B2B and B2C) rely on the Internet for information and to make buying decisions is is critical that your company be easily found online and have a web site that is designed for lead acquisition.

The key marketing metrics we like to monitor and what our product SeniorCareMarketer helps you accomplish are (1) web site visibility (2) web site traffic (3) qualified sales leads and (4) search engine rankings (organic).

If you answer "Yes" to all the above questions you will likely score well on these metrics - and your business is likely growing and well positioned for future growth. If not, you need to make changes so that you can confidently answer "Yes" to most of these questions.

To guide you along this process, we recommend you download our free eBook titled How to Reach and Engage Buyers of Senior Care Products and Convert Them to Leads: A Three-Step Guide to Achieve Increased Publicity, Web Site Traffic, Improved SEO – and More Sales Leads.

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