Are Your Customers Targeting Consumers Aged 65+? Check Their Channel Mix!

By on April 18th, 2014

According to just-released data from Pew Research Center, 41% of all adults 65+ still have no Internet access at home. This changes for more educated, affluent adults, but particularly for those who are older, less affluent, and who have physical or health conditions, print is still a critical part of the mix.

However, this is not a homogenous group. Within this demographic, the differences are striking. Among younger, affluent, and more educated 65+ consumers, the percentage going online and having broadband access at home is higher than the U.S. adult population overall. But among those with lower household incomes, particularly those with physical or health conditions, the percentages are much lower.

Digital enablement also varies significantly between younger and older adults in this group. As reported by MediaPost:

  • Among U.S. adults overall, 86% go online and 70% have broadband at home.
  • Among seniors with an annual household income of $75,000 or more, 90% go online and 82% have broadband at home. For seniors earning less than $30,000 annually, 39% go online and 25% have broadband at home.
  • 87% of seniors with a college degree go online, and 76% are broadband adopters. Among seniors who have not attended college, 40% go online and just 27% have broadband at home.
  • 68% of Americans in their early 70s go online, and 55% have broadband at home. By contrast, Internet adoption falls to 47% and broadband adoption falls to 34% among 75-79 year olds. [1]

If you have clients selling products into the 65+ demographic, this article is a must read for channel mix. It impacts the channel mix in terms of print vs. email, and if they are doing email, the type of email sent (text only vs. HTML for non-broadband users).

These results also mean that if your clients aren’t tracking their customers by household income, education, and more detailed age brackets, you need to be working with them to get this done.  The difference between great response and dismal response hangs in the balance.

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    2 Responses to “Are Your Customers Targeting Consumers Aged 65+? Check Their Channel Mix!”

    1. Joe Manos Says:

      Great info Heidi …thanks for sharing.

      I would add two points, first, the age group and target audience becomes more important based on what the product or service is that you are offering. One of our customers just generated a 1400 % ROI or $1.5 million in additional revenue from a $31,000 investment; and one of the key age groups was 60+.

      Print with PURLs was a critical part of the program because the offer was tied to their online visit. Of course there are other must haves for effective marketing programs, but I will save that for another day.

      My point about the myth that the over 60 segment isn’t online…I would add that it depends on the product or service and how effective the marketing program is executed.

      They are there but your marketing might suck so they aren’t responding to it.

    2. Heidi Tolliver-Walker Says:

      Only you can say, “your marketing might suck” and get away with it! :) I always appreciate your insight and candor!