New survey: Alexander Wild explains what advertising works for seniors

Bild: Alexander Wild

Think first, buy later: senior citizens hardly ever get tempted to make impulse purchases. Alexander Wild, however, knows what is important to them when they do their shopping and what kind of advertising works for them. As an expert on marketing for senior citizens, the renowned Global Topspeaker has recently supported a new survey on the purchase behaviour of the 50+ generation. For the 2016 barometer on consumption, the Commerz Finanz GmbH had 10,500 consumers questioned all over Europe. Amongst others, the survey analysed which criteria are crucial for senior citizens when shopping. 

In their later years, senior citizens once again have time at their disposal – and they make use of it. The survey showed that they take quite some time to consider their options before deciding on a product or a brand. Furthermore, they consult the shop assistants in retail stores to get more detailed information. Flashy ads will do little to convince them. Alexander Wild is well aware of this behaviour as the experienced speaker realised early on how important the target group of best agers with their high purchasing power will become in a time of demographic change. In 1998, he established the first online community for senior citizens. Meanwhile, www.feierabend.de has become the largest internet platform of its kind in Europe and, being a successful consultant in the field of marketing for senior citizens, Alexander Wild is in high demand.

„Advertising for best agers requires communication on a level playing field”, explains the expert on seniors Alexander Wild. Instead of being flashy and loud, advertisement for seniors has to be informative and authentic. In particular, as the 50+ generation has a high level of experience thanks to their advanced age – and therefore is well versed in dealing with commercials and ads, too. Only 43 per cent of the participants in the survey indicated that they pay attention to advertising and base their purchase decisions on it. In order to gain the seniors’ attention, advertising must appeal to them on an emotional level, be funny or represent the brand’s values. According to the interviewees of the barometer of consumption, those characteristics were the most important criteria for them.

To the best agers, however, a good cost/performance ratio is even more important than advertising. So, most of them check out the various offers and products in local stores (83 per cent) and, in case of larger purchases, ask the shop assistants for advice (61 per cent). Price comparison sites on the web also gain in importance and by now, 74 per cent of the senior citizens already use such portals. More than half of the interviewees, however, rely on recommendations of acquaintances and family when shopping.

More information on the 2016 barometer of consumption – Europe will be forthcoming on our Global Topspeaker’s website soon. In the coming weeks, Alexander Wild will – amongst others – explain what kind of travel bookings senior citizens make or what is important to them when shopping for food or clothing.

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