September 28, 2017
This post is shared with you from Stephen Kenwright, Strategy Director at Branded3, a company named Best SEO Agency at the European Search Awards in 2016. See Stephen live at Hero Conf London, 23-25 October.
It seems odd that millennials get all of the marketing column inches when the over 50s have all of the cash.
One such headline from 2016 read: “Millennials overtake Baby Boomers as America’s largest generation”. Taken out of context (e.g. by those people who only read the headline) it can be misleading because, at the point of writing, there were 75.4 million millennials (born between 1981 and 1997) and 74.9 million Baby Boomers (born 1946 to 1964) – a difference of just 0.67%.
It’s easy to justify because the Baby Boomer population is decreasing and the US millennial population is likely to increase to 81.1 million (immigration – it’s too late for more millennials to be born) but it’s also easy to forget that there are around 28 million US residents aged over 70 (known as the Silent Generation – which, if that’s true, explains why it’s easy to forget them) and these age groups are the richest in the country.
Wallet Hacks broke down the median net worth of each age group in June 2017:
|Age of Householder||Median Net Worth|
|Under 35:||$ 6,676|
|35 – 44||$ 35,000|
|45 – 54:||$ 84,542|
|55 – 64:||$ 143,964|
|65 – 69:||$ 194,226|
|70 – 74:||$ 181,078|
Over 50s are typically mortgage free, no longer burdened by student debt and in receipt of much more generous pensions than are available today, giving them more disposable income.
The chances are that if you’re using Google’s income level targeting features you’re likely to be skewing towards older demographics. If your expensive product is aimed at younger audiences you may be limiting volume more than you think you are. To paraphrase Rory Sutherland, you don’t need to understand the gap in the market so much as the market in the gap.
The good news is that it’s entirely possible to reach and convert the lucrative, older audience with the right messaging.