I am a fifty-something husband, father and entrepreneur and despite what my teenage sons tell me, I do not believe I am completely ‘out of touch’. I am an avid reader of the news; I use technology to help me run my business; I mentor young entrepreneurs who keep me in touch and I am often referred to as an early adopter of technology (I was the first of my family and friends to get a smartphone, smart plugs, smart heating, smart bulbs, Alexa, etc). I am fitter than I’ve ever been, financially secure and have a wide range of interests and hobbies.
But, I do not read print media; I throw unsolicited mail and leaflets in the recycle bin; I have call blockers on my home and mobile phones and spam filters on my email accounts; I only watch YouTube for very specific topics; I follow very few people on Instagram; I barely exist on Facebook or Twitter these days and I simply do not ‘get’ Snapchat; almost everything I watch on TV is recorded so I can skip adverts and on those occasions when I do watch live TV, I am served up ‘tailored’ adverts for Saga Holidays, river cruises, funeral plans and mortgage equity release products. I am nearer to 50 than 90!! Finally, googling anything on any device only results in an echo chamber. What I mean by this is that if I google “running shoes”, I will be served up ad after ad on running shoes.
In 2017 SunLife insurance conducted a survey of 50,000 people, the largest of its kind in the UK, and uncovered some interesting facts about the over-50s. They make up a third of the UK’s population but hold 80% of the wealth; their consumer spending has grown on average 4.4% annually for the past decade, compared with 1.2% for under-50s; 89% of respondents said they believed brands weren’t interested in them; 74% thought they were never represented in mainstream ads and 72% thought the representation of people over 50 is an outdated stereotype. I don’t detect that the position is any different in 2019 than it was a couple of years ago.
Perhaps my question should be rephrased “Why aren’t you marketing to me?”