When marketing statistics show that a large part of today’s financial clout is in the hands of older audiences, it only makes good sense to adapt a marketing strategy to reach them. However, that does not seem to be happening due to some flawed assumptions and previous less than spectacular marketing campaigns based on those flawed assumptions. Instead, the trend is to market to millennials, the largest portion of the population at about 75.3 million, and exclude older individuals.
Marketing legal services, attorneys and law firms is not about increasing font sizes and showing pictures of older people. Those elements by themselves are not going to capture the attention of the older silver market. The baby boomers are primarily interested in how your law firm and you as an attorney are going to improve the quality of their life. Simple, yet complex at the same time, so stick to clear, precise language and concise, easy-to-understand content.
It is helpful to understand that virtually 70% of all the disposable income in the United States is in the hands seniors, and that just about 10,000 adults turn 65 each day. That single diverse group has 45 times the spending power of millenials. Marketers need to pay attention to this demographic.
The thing is that nearly one quarter of the buying public over the age of 75 use tablets, and at least 50 percent of seniors has social media profiles. It’s quite obvious that the over 65 crowd does have computer smarts and spend a great deal of time online. Why exclude an audience-in-waiting due to their age and the perception that they do not shop online or spend much money? They definitely “do” shop online and do a whole range of other activities online – like search for a divorce, immigration, wills and estates, medical malpractice, social assistance or bankruptcy attorney.
Statistics collated by Ofcom in a recent report clearly show that 96 percent of the 55-64-year-old crowd use a mobile phone, 43 percent watch on-demand streamed content, and 53 percent have social media profiles. Users in the 65-74-year-old range come in at 92 percent using a mobile phone, 34 percent who watch on-demand streamed content and 34 percent who have a social media profile. The statistics for the over 75 crowd are slightly lower, but just as informative, with 81 percent using a cellphone, 22 percent watching on-demand streamed content and 20 percent boasting a social media profile.
Far from being a wasteland in terms of advertising products, this wide audience can be reached with a smartphone, mobile/SMS marketing campaign as well as video, YouTube and social media marketing. The reality today is that no matter what age range people are in, the use of mobile technology is growing every year, so it makes good sense to market directly to the end user/consumer. It does not matter what fancy technology is being utilized to launch a marketing campaign because it is just as effective for a millennial as it is for a senior.
What’s the catch?
There really isn’t a catch, but it is good to be aware that most seniors, even though they do spend a lot of time online, prefer not to explore what else is online, trying apps and visiting websites. What this means for marketers is that if a campaign aimed at seniors is educational, informative, relevant and offers various services, content and applicable insights to seniors “first,” chances are if the customer needs legal assistance, they stay loyal. There is nothing better than a repeat client.
It only takes a slight shift in focus on a law firm marketers’ part to creatively offer products seniors are interested in. It’s all about the presentation style and content. For example using location-based content, offer free advice, tools and tips and market in a clear, connect-the-dots logical fashion and not assume an edgy website can convey what the goal is in a precise manner. Spell things out clearly and do not overlook good customer service, personal contact and one-on-one communication - older audiences appreciate the personal touch.
If the message is easy to understand and easy for seniors to take action – such as call right now from the webpage, or connect with a law firm in a single click – conversions follow. Additionally, ads in a local paper or other senior publications are worth considering. Keeping it simple, educational, relevant and easy to connect with an attorney and the traffic becomes regular and consistent.
Contrary to popular opinion among some marketers seniors do not become less reliant on technology as they age, but instead, spend more time online. Bonus for the law firm that does video marketing. A large number of older online surfers (63 percent over 70) sit in front of a computer monitor anywhere from 11 to 30 hours per week. (https://www.iprospect.com/en/ca/) More and more seniors are also watching YouTube and TV online. The perfect audience for advertising legal services, educating seniors about issues that affect them and connecting with the local community.
Do not assume that a marketing campaign aimed at a senior audience needs to be aimed at caregivers or their children. Speak directly to the person expected to need legal assistance and let them know what legal expertise can do “for” them. Make it clear. Make it precise. Make it easy to understand. Selling legal services and/or the skills of a lawyer can be done to “any” age, provided you know “why” they might need legal help.
Just who is the senior market?
Typically, the senior (silver) market is broken down into four groups and they are:
• Those 50-65 – often referred to as pre-retirees and can include younger spouses married to older retirees
• Those 50 plus – who are grandparents, or older members/relatives of the family
• Those 65 plus – known as active retirees because they do not earn an active income but instead earn an income from pensions, savings, etc. They may live on a fixed income.
• Those 65-75 – called late retirees and are usually individuals above the “usual” retirement age who are still working. And these days, this is a growing segment of the population.
The senior market and those that comprise it are not all the same, much like those in the millennial market are not all the same. Each person has individual needs and wants when it comes to requiring the services of a law firm and/or an attorney. Market to seniors with clarity and respect and with an eye on the notion that all those, of “any” age may benefit from legal help when it is needed and why “your” firm is the one to contact. The results may be very gratifying.