Marketing to Seniors: Why it’s More Important Than Ever, and Why so Many Get it Wrong

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The 2010 US Census led to a landmark discovery – for the first time ever, the senior generation represented the largest segment of the US population. In fact, the senior generation will continue to be larger than younger generations for the next 30 years (Source: Nielsen.com). According to AARP, however Americans over the age of 50 account for over half of all consumer spending, yet only 10% of marketing targets them (Source: AARP.org). It is amazing that this group of people – the single largest demographic group in the United States – is almost completely ignored by marketers, but what is most incredible is that the vast majority of marketers who do try to reach seniors have absolutely no idea how to speak to them. We have a simple, tried-and-true approach for engaging with seniors that has helped our clients stand out.

Who Are You Calling Old?
Marketers often fail to reach seniors because they lose sight of one vital notion: No matter their age, people are still people. Rather than recognizing that a person who has just turned 55 doesn’t simply lose interest in the things that have brought joy to their lives thus far, marketers place their emphasis on age and all too often focus on maladies in their advertising. These very same marketers would hate being called “old” or depicted as out of touch, yet they have no problem perpetuating the stereotypes of what it means to be “old” in commercials and messaging.

Chances are, you don’t have to think too hard to come up with examples of ads you have seen that fit the description above. There are several brands whose products are synonymous with fixing a problem that only faces seniors. Fear is a classic tactic to boost sales, but brand loyalty is not built on fear. Seniors do not view themselves as broken, therefore you as a marketer shouldn’t either.

Scientific research has demonstrated that, generally speaking, happiness improves as people get older (Source: Nielsen.com). It’s time to break the cycle of promoting your product or service using “fear of the unknown” as your primary message point. If you’re a Medicare marketer, for example, don’t try to convert people on the basis that proper insurance coverage will help protect their family in times of catastrophic illness. Instead, lean into the fact that the right Medicare plan for an individual’s needs will allow for more effective care and, in most cases, will also be less expensive than other forms of health insurance. Therefore, if properly insured, your customers will have the care they need to continue to live a healthy life, and more money available to enjoy the things they have always loved to do.

It’s Not Just What You Say, It’s Where You Say It

Many marketers attempting to reach a senior audience focus mainly on traditional channels (print, television, radio, etc.) because they believe that seniors aren’t online. Consider the following (Source: HubSpot.com):

  • 51% of Baby Boomers spend 15 hours per week online, while only 41% of Millennials spend the same amount of time online
  • 94% of Baby Boomers use the internet for e-mail
  • 77% of Baby Boomers shop online
  • 82% of Baby Boomers belong to at least once social networking site
  • 15.5% of Baby Boomers who have a Facebook account spend 11+ hours per week on the site
  • On average, people ages 50+ spend $7 billion per year online

Studies show seniors view technology as a “virtual fountain of youth,” and that embracing new technologies enables them to stay connected with the world around them (Source: Nielsen.com). There has long been a belief that seniors don’t use the internet or social media, or if they do then they certainly “don’t know how.” This could not be further from the truth. Seniors are, or are quickly becoming, power users of many of the same digital channels you already utilize to reach your target audience, and by tailoring your message to address their needs and senses of self, you can grow your business within this audience. We have years of experience in leveraging digital and social media efforts to help our clients reach a senior audience, with a track record of success that matches that experience.

This is why we’re focused on catering to and targeting seniors in a real, authentic way. The right way. Far too many marketers attempt to blanket their marketing efforts to all audiences instead of creating meaningful content that resonates with each demographic. We know that seniors embrace new technologies at an equal or greater rate as the rest of the population, and we are not afraid to reach them, digitally or otherwise. If you’re looking to jump start your efforts to market to seniors, give us a call today to find out what we can do to help!


Broadcast Versus Digital Advertising: Is There Room for Both?

By Lisa Montague, VP of Media

There has never been a better time to buy advertising.

With more media options than ever before, it’s an ideal time to reach your target customer. But the wide range of options can overwhelm someone who has never bought advertising before. One space that can be particularly perplexing is television, where marketers can be intimidated in navigating the choice between digital television and broadcast television.

And while it’s easy to assume that digital may automatically be the way to go, Lisa Montague, Vice President of Media and seasoned media buyer, says not so fast. Continue reading


Broadcast Versus Digital Advertising: Is There Room for Both?

By Lisa Montague, VP of Media

There has never been a better time to buy advertising.

With more media options than ever before, it’s an ideal time to reach your target customer. But the wide range of options can overwhelm someone who has never bought advertising before. One space that can be particularly perplexing is television, where marketers can be intimidated in navigating the choice between digital television and broadcast television.

And while it’s easy to assume that digital may automatically be the way to go, Lisa Montague, Vice President of Media and seasoned media buyer, says not so fast. Continue reading


MassMedia Wins Silver at Las Vegas American Advertising Awards

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MassMedia recently won a Silver ADDY during the 2017 American Advertising Awards in Las Vegas. Hosted by the Las Vegas chapter of the American Advertising Federation, the awards ceremony inside Cabaret Jazz at The Smith Center celebrated Southern Nevada’s top advertising campaigns and projects.

Our Silver ADDY Award in the Online/Interactive Websites category recognized a Microsite we produced for our client, HealthCare Partners Medical Group, a DaVita Medical Group, during the Medicare Open Enrollment period. The award-winning interactive website served as a central hub of information for the enrollment period and provided extensive education to patients regarding HCPNV. Our creative team worked diligently to build the website to include educational videos, doctor interviews, frequently asked questions, a list of accepted HCPNV insurance providers, and all of the necessary information required to take the next steps in the enrollment process.

“We are thrilled to receive a Silver ADDY, which reflects the commitment, dedication and creative spirit of our team,” said Managing Partner, Paula Yakubik. “The [HealthCare Partners Medical Group Open Enrollment] website was an integrated team effort that provided a platform for our client to educate patients and provide useful information about the enrollment process. We are fortunate to work with such great clients every day.”

The agency received a total of 5 awards during the Public Relations Society of America, Las Vegas Valley Chapter’s 2016 Pinnacle Awards, including Social Media and Website Design awards for Support Las Vegas Dome, and 3 Integrated Communications awards for HealthCare Partners Medical Group Open Enrollment, Miracle Flights 100K Flight with Little Levi, and McDonald’s Las Vegas Eggs for Education fundraising initiative. The agency also received a LVIMA award for Best E-mail Program for Support Las Vegas Dome.

 


South by Southwest 2017: Keeping the Pulse on Healthcare Marketing

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By Casey Floyd, VP of Integrated Marketing

While many conferences exist to showcase the latest and greatest digital trends, South by Southwest has become a can’t-miss event for healthcare marketers who want to learn how the near future will unfold. Over the past two years, I have had the privilege of attending panels on everything from HIPAA restrictions to tattoos that provide health insights on par with the top wearable technology, and I would like to share some of my top healthcare takeaways from South by Southwest (SXSW) 2017.

Wearables are everywhere, but not necessarily evolving

Apple Watches, Fitbit, and other wearables have rapidly become ubiquitous, and while devices continue to provide increased access to personal health information, I don’t believe that healthcare organizations should count on consumer devices becoming an essential resource in patient care immediately. The difficulty with the existing health wearables is their niche purposes for the consumer (i.e. staying fit, heart monitoring, sleep apnea, and stress levels to name a few). I expect the market to continue to grow within these and new niches, but not to directly align with provider needs for preventative care. I am hopeful this gap will be bridged, but for now the shift seems to favor smartening devices with internet capability for more accuracy. Our client, HealthCare Partners Nevada, is a pioneer in our region in the use of the CardioMEMS heart monitoring device. The device partners with a special pillow to provide real-time insights, and these types of technologies should always be the focus of healthcare organizations. Continue reading


The Time is Now: An Oral History of ‘Support Las Vegas Dome’

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By Jason Holte, Social Media Specialist

I’ve had the opportunity to have a lot of fun in my time working in social media, but nothing compares to the Support Las Vegas Dome project. From January 2016 through January of this year, a ton of great people at MassMedia came together to do something truly special. In light of today’s landmark announcement that the NFL has approved the Raiders’ move to Las Vegas, here is my best attempt to highlight the amazing work from our team.

The Early Days: Building a Brand and a Following

The biggest journeys begin with a single step, and for Support Las Vegas Dome, that was certainly the case. Once we got the green light to begin work, our Creative team immediately started designing a logo and our Digital team began designing a website and securing social media handles. Our website needed to strike a fine balance between being visually striking and conveying a ton of vital information about the stadium project, while still being easy to navigate. The final design was above and beyond our initial vision, with easy access to all of the financial and community benefits associated with the stadium arrayed over a panoramic vista of the Las Vegas Strip. On social media, we knew we needed a rallying cry that would resonate and allow us to aggregate stadium conversations. Among numerous strong suggestions, we eventually settled on #DoTheDomeThing. Continue reading





MassMedia Names Georgeann Pizzi Partner

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MassMedia Corporate Communications, a full-service provider of public relations, advertising and marketing communications, announced that it has named Georgeann Pizzi as partner. Pizzi, who has been with MassMedia for more than seven years, serves as a Senior Vice President where she plans and executes strategic communications campaigns that include media buying, public relations, social media and special events for many of the firm’s top clients. She also manages and trains members of the account team, assisting in the career development of the agency’s staff.

Continue reading