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Monday, June 07, 2010

Impressions of Older Richer Wiser 2010

Janet Kiddle, the founder of Steel Magnolia, attended the this year’s Older Richer Wiser Conference. This is what she had to say about the event.

After last year’s disastrous conference, where two speakers pulled out at the last minute, this year’s conference was back to the expected standard with a host of speakers giving us insights into their brands and how they engage with the 50-plus market.

What was new, different and better about the 9th Older Richer Wiser conference

For me the best sessions were:
The interactive sessions up front where we as delegates shared our objectives for the day (there was much consensus)
  • How to go about segmenting the audience as 50+ - OLD
  • Do they use social media – who has been using digital or online communications successfully or otherwise - NEW
  • Debunking some myths about 50+ - OLD

The interactive session about social media and how relevant or not this was for campaigns targeting the older audience. We learned snippets from people who would not have shared the information had they been on the platform.
From this session and other sessions on media my key take outs were;
o social media, if it had been used, was very difficult to measure and for those who had experimented with it this lack of evidence over performance was a barrier to further use. (e.g. NPower were spending 16% of their media expenditure on social media)
  • RIAS talked of how they were successfully using banner advertising so 50 + are responsive to these types of ads. They were also cutting back of their reliance of traditional DM
  • On line there is no control over what happens – if someone like Stephen Fry happens to comment on what you are doing it can travel very far and very fast – scarily so!
  • Response to advertising or DM is moving from post to on line and phone
  • Increase in importance of cross generational marketing
  • Comparison web sites playing an important part in switching in some markets (energy and insurance)
  • Trip advisor influencing travel planning and hotels linking with Visit London advertising used this to their advantage

So some interesting experimentation going on in media terms and evidence that you can target the 50-plus using non traditional media but social media was still in its infancy.

Overall it was a good day. Most delegates would go home with some useful tips. However a couple of delegates on my table involved with fmcg brands felt that there was too much emphasis on service/retail and no one representing the market they were operating in – maybe next year?

As a leading, if not the leading, researcher about the older consumer, Janet’s views are extremely valuable. Many thanks. Dick Stroud

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