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About Dick Stroud

Dick Stroud is the founder of 20plus30, a consultancy specialising in marketing to older consumers. He is the UK’s leading expert in understanding the implications of physical ageing on the way older people behave and the products they buy.

Marketing to the Ageing Consumer
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50-Plus Marketing

News, views and opinions about the most powerful group of consumers - the 50-plus market.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Still 7 million Brits not using the Internet - 13% of the population

I have spent a lot of time working in the area of the 'digital divide' (i.e. the significant part of the population not able to use Internet in any shape or form). It is so easy to take this problem for granted that it drops below the radar and doesn't get commented about.

This report from the ONS is a detailed and current statement of the problem.

In Q1 2015, 86% of adults (44.7 million) had used the internet in the last 3 months. While 2% (1.1 million) had last used the internet more than 3 months ago, 11% (5.9 million) had never used it.

As far as I am concerned, if you haven't used it in the last 3 months you are a non-user.

We are talking about a sizeable part of the population (13%). Now, a lot of those that classed as users are only doing the very basic things of the occasional e-mail and a bit of browsing, so the true size of problem, and it is a problem, becomes clear.

The next time you have a meeting to talk about your digital strategy and the latest wheeze in social networking it might be an idea to write the number of people that will be excluded from your strategy in a prominent position.

There is nothing you can do about the problem but you have to aware that it exists and realise the implications on your digital marketing's effectiveness

Coincidentally, you should read Kim Walker's blog post about the small number of older people in India who are not even using mobile phones.

If you are a global marketer then the digital divide issue is doubly difficult. Dick Stroud

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Sunday, May 24, 2015

Roland Garros what have you done with you web site?

My previous blog posting was about the phenomenon of well intentioned web designers trying improve a web site and making it more effective but that results in being distinctly worse.

The web site for the French Open at Roland Garros is a perfect example. I really like tennis and know my way around the Australian, US and Wimbledon Grand Slams sites and the ATP Tour site.

You can see the idea was to make the Roland Garros site cleaner, more dynamic and with large images. All of this is very much in keeping with current site design thinking.

So what is wrong with the site

Point 1 - fundamental issue with colour contrast - do I need to say more?



Point 2 - Where the hell is today's schedule of play? 

I am sure that one of the most used parts of a Grand Slam site is to know who is playing and at what time.  Rather than making it easier to access they put the schedule as a sub menu within 'Draws'. No doubt somebody thought it was best to reduce the items on the top line menu. Not a good idea.


Point 3 - Where is the detailed menu? 

OK, the designers have used current convention and used the triple lines on the far left hand side of the page but I bet a lot of people were searching around for ages trying to find how it was accessed.





Below you can see what the menu looks like when activated














No doubt this upgrade to the web site cost a lot and took a long time but I really don't think it has worked very well.

The top question is this - I have had to relearn how to use the site - what additional benefits has it delivered? None. Dick Stroud

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Saturday, May 23, 2015

Improving inefficient web navigation might be the wrong answer if causes users problems -especially older ones

Really useful insights from NN/g : Features meant to increase user efficiency by reducing steps can end up hurting users if they do not conform to existing mental models and expectations based on past experiences.

I think this is one of those usability issues that is greatly enhance by ageing.

So even if the best practice about usability says you should change something you need to figure into your calculations the mental angst it will cause the older users.

It is a bit like my local Waitrose (UK supermarket) that recently had a complete reconfiguration of its layout to make it much more logical. Months afterwards you still hear older customers moaning that they cannot find anything. I am sure that it has had an impact on revenue.

This doesn't meant you should never change but you do need to take account of learned behaviour that you are about to make redundant. Dick Stroud

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Only 7% of Brits are close to being ready for the retirement they want

Yes, yes it is old news but it cannot be said enough. Most people don't understand pensions and most people overestimate how much the have and underestimate how much they need.

This report from Aegon puts a few more numbers around the subject.

And of course it is in Aegon's best interests, as a financial services company,  to paint a bleak picture of the readiness of its potential customers for their retirement.

But whatever way you want to look at the numbers, and there have been zillions of them published about pensions, it is a Grade A* mess and will cast a long shadow over the spending capability of retirees for the next generation or two at the minimum. Dick Stroud



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The police are getting younger the villians are getting older

In all the time I have been commenting about the ageing business this is the first time I have written about the how demographic change is impacting the age of villains.

Recently in London there was a mega theft from safe deposit boxes in the diamond district called Hatton Garden. It was an audacious crime and one of the biggest of its type.

The police have just arrested a number of people. What has attracted the most media attention is the age of those accused. The oldest is 73 and there others in their 60s and 50s and a few juniors in their 40s.

When they were being charged it caused much press amusement that some of them found it difficult to hear what was being said (I sympathise).

Why should I be surprised? People are working and consuming for longer so clearly the age of retirement int the criminal fraternity has also risen. Dick Stroud

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