One of the major themes highlighted at the inaugural Aging 2.0 meeting last week was the issue of communications with the aging demographic. Questions about how to reach older adults and frame messages intended for them effectively were interwoven into various discussions throughout the evening.
In a previous post, my colleague Nina Dunn explored the issue of senior care marketing, citing the importance of carefully tailoring messages to this unique audience.
Outlined below are three pragmatic steps companies and organizations can take to improve communications with the senior target market.
There is a growing need to constructively frame the dialogue with older adults. Brands must learn to actively listen to the needs and understand the issues older adults deal with on a day-to-day basis. Including older adults in the decision making process will translate into better products and undoubtedly lead to more effective communications with mature consumers.
No one likes to be labeled, and older adults seem to be no exception to the rule. Terminology and branding have become key differentiators that aging industry leaders need to examine and incorporate intelligently into their marketing efforts.
No matter how great a product or service is, the way a company communicates with its clients can make or break the relationship. One clear example of this, the famous “I've fallen and I can't get up!” message propagated by medical alert companies, unintentionally kept many older adults away from buying this often vital technology.
The messages need to be encouraging and engaging. We can no longer adhere to preconceived notions of what it is like to be a senior. The association with fragility, weakness, isolation and insecurity are archaic and misguided stereotypes. Positive messages of empowerment, community, inclusion and representation should replace these outdated notions. Aging should be considered the business of living, maturity and independence.