Community Futures Meridian

Box 2167, 125 - 1st Avenue East, Kindersley, SK - Phone: (306) 463-1850

Should You be Targeting Seniors?

  • December 3, 2018
  • Written by Meridian Admin

Only you can decide whether targeting seniors makes sense for your business. And what constitutes a senior anyway? Seniors’ discounts start at 55 and there are clubs and residential communities who use that age as a defining factor. Statistically, in Canada, over 30 per cent of the population (approximately 11.2 million) are 55 plus. For most people however, it’s at least 60 years of age, and more commonly 65 when the scale tips toward “old age” or when senior status is bestowed. Almost 17 per cent of Canada’s population is over 65-year-olds; that’s a market of more than 6 million people. By 2030 that number is predicted to rise to 9.5 million.

Canada’s seniors are healthier, living longer, and retiring later. Of course, if you sell surf boards, or high-performance motorcycles then the over 65 cohort may not be one you are going to focus too much time on, but for most businesses it may well offer a “golden” opportunity to reach out to an easily definable market sector.

Research has shown that marketers massively overestimate the spending power of the 35 and under sector, while underestimating how much older consumers spend.

The senior’s market is changing, as consumers in later years not only enjoy a healthier lifestyle but have a far more modern, outgoing, fashion conscious, and experience-driven outlook than the generation that preceded them.

They also have more disposable income than in the past. In just over a decade, the participation rate of seniors in the Canadian labour force has more than doubled, increasing from 6.0 percent in 2000 to 13.0 percent in 2013.

All this means that seniors are a market to be taken seriously. More than ever, they know what they want and are often less hesitant about moving forward with purchases quickly. And remember they are often motivated by experiences, so consider that when developing your marketing strategy.

Surprisingly, most companies still seem to be focusing on the younger demographic. This means your competition may be ignoring a sector of the market which you could find lucrative. What are you doing to attract seniors to your products and services?

Here are a few ideas to get you started on your seniors’ marketing strategy.

  • As Facebook is the number one platform enjoyed by seniors, it makes sense to consider setting up a business Facebook page for your business. And make no mistake, seniors do buy online—perhaps not in the same numbers as millennials, but their numbers are growing.
  • As mentioned earlier, many seniors are keen on experiences so consider hosting an event or reception especially for them at your bricks and mortar location, or at another exciting location. Alternatively sponsor an event such as a classic car show and have booth at which you can hand out information or samples to those attending.
  • Another way to reach seniors is to create a newsletter or other type of publication which provides useful information relating to seniors and your product or service; as an example, realtors are especially good at sending out newsletters focusing on real estate and build strong and lasting relationships with clients. Offering special discounts through this medium will also encourage readers to reach out to you and your business.

Seniors are a valid market, a market often overlooked by companies that don’t have products or services specifically aimed at them. Think older and you’ll be surprised what a welcoming market awaits you.