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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.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Is Boomer Myopia a Problem? Good article by Dick Ambrosius

I have always enjoyed reading what Dick Ambrosius has to say about marketing to older people.

In this article he hits many of the proverbial nails on their heads

I loved his comment

Contrary to what you have heard or read, baby boomers did not ALL…
Attend Woodstock,
Protest the Viet Nam war,
Like the same music,
Experience the culture of the “60s,”
Come to think or act as one, and

Neither did they share the same life experiences nor do they have a common worldview.
Consultants or journalists who say things like, “all baby boomers like…want…need…enjoy… believe…think…etc., just do not have a clue. 

Totally agree. Dick Stroud


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Attention limits the capacity of the communication channel - especially in older people

As usual, an excellent blog item on the Nielsen Norman Group site.

The two line summary of the lead article is : "Designing for all screen sizes must consider the capacity of the human–device communication channel, which depends on users’ memory, device portability, and screen size."


The premise of the item is  that beside screen size, the other variable that influences the capacity of the communication channel is the amount of attention that users can devote to a device.

NN/g argues that the more portable a device, the more likely people are to use it pretty much everywhere, and also the more likely they are to be interrupted while using that device.

Now this is a really interesting bit of information. The attention capacity with a portable device is very different than with a desktop computer. Quoting from a paper published in Mobile HCI that showed that the average session duration on mobile was 72 seconds this contrasts to the average session on the desktop is about twice as long — 2.5 minutes.

The article goes on to look at the cognitive overload that can occur when too much information is stuffed through the mobile channel. The model used being that the brain is something like a computer and can get overloaded. That is partly right but is a lot more complex than suggested.

What the article doesn't say (and I think should) is the impact of ageing on the ability of people to make sense of data overload via mobile.

If you want to find out what happens then have a read of the book I wrote with Kim Walker (sorry for the blatant plug. Dick Stroud

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It is GREAT that you entrepreneurs are targeting older consumers

I have been kicking around the 'age business' for the last ten years and have seen lots of changes.

The biggest and most encouraging is the influx of younger people who are attracted by the business potential they perceive coming from population ageing.

When I started out you rarely saw a young face at any of the conferences or working in the age-silo companies. Yes, there were lots working for charities and not for profits but few working for companies that believed there was a sound business based upon older people.

This blog posting on the Virgin site illustrates how things have changed and how the young perceive the older market.

Lari Numminen is a young entrepreneur that I got to know in London, now working in Dublin. He said: “I would say the majority of start-ups, whether they are run by 20 or 30 year olds, are really thinking about themselves.” To be honest that probably applies to start-ups by 50 or 60 year olds.

Instead of looking at issues among his own age group, the 31-year-old found inspiration in the challenges of his parents’ generation. It was when his mother and father retired and bought brand new smartphones that the idea first occurred to him.

Lari believes there are big opportunities for startups who apply innovative thinking to the older demographic. “We’re going through a phase where the baby boomer generation is retiring. Economically it’s the biggest opportunity you can imagine.

Another group of young entrepreneurs can be found via aging2.com. 

Really exciting times and a timely reminder that us oldies cannot get away with churning out the same old messages and advice. Dick Stroud

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Spending habits of older Australians

This item appeared in Your Life Choices blog - always well worth reading to see what is happening in Australia with its older consumers.

There are over 6.3 million over 50s in Australia – they make up over 30% of the population.

The YOURLifeChoices Retirement Insights Survey 2014 received responses to 45 questions from nearly 7500 Australians aged over 50.

Here are the top line results:

Over 70% of the 50+ shop online

So what are they intending to buy over the coming year?

Over 70% of the respondents intend to purchase vitamins and supplements - about 20% will buy them online.

46% intend to buy white goods with 17% shopping for their new fridge or dishwasher online.

Well worth looking at the rest of the results. Dick Stroud


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Different ads about ageing - Asia Pac and British




Another take on ageing in advertising, this time from Asia Pacific (TC Bank).

I thought it was interesting to contrast the approach with that of Age UK



I guess you can summarise the story-lines of both ads as:

".... Just get on with it - never too late to live your dreams.... " (Asia Pac)

".... Ageing is something that happens to us all  - enjoy life whilst you can..." (Age UK)

To be honest I am not sure that either of these story-lines would motivate me to do something different - but maybe that is the view of cynical marketer. Dick Stroud

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