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Are communicators too fixated on Millennials?

by | Oct 18, 2017 | Public Relations

New research from Age of Majority, a newly launched brand consultancy, reveals eye-opening insights for marketers, PR pros and brands by illustrating how societal biases and age-related stereotypes are contributing to a significant overestimation of Millennial purchase power—and an underestimation of the value of the big-spending 55-and-older Baby Boomer generation.

For the study, the firm weighed the assumptions and practices of 202 marketing professionals against the attitudes and behavior of more than 1,200 American adults. The research was presented at the International Council on Active Aging (ICAA) Conference in Orlando last week.

The bottom line for marketers is that undervaluing the 55+ market could be leading them to miss out on trillions of dollars in lost revenue, considering the disproportionately small marketing spend being directed against Boomers, considering their actual (and bountiful) spending power.

Are communicators too fixated on Millennials? Boomers are feeling misrepresented

Specifically, the research found that nearly nine in 10 (86 percent) marketers overestimate how much consumers under the age of 35 spend, while nearly three quarters (72 percent) underestimate how much consumers 55 and older spend.

Colin Milner, CEO of the International Council on Active Aging and an authority on the 50+ demographic, says Age of Majority’s research paints a picture of an industry that has yet to embrace this multi-trillion-dollar market. “Most marketers fail to target these vibrant consumers and there has been little change made in their efforts to do so over the past 15 years,” he said, in a news release.

“The research is a call to action for marketing and businesses to embrace a more inclusive innovation and communications model,” he added.

Are communicators too fixated on Millennials? Boomers are feeling misrepresented

The findings suggest marketers are interested in pursuing the 55+ consumer demographic—yet they continue to operate under false assumptions, including the idea that older consumers spend less, are unwilling to consider new brands, or are disengaged with technology, said Jeff Weiss, president and CEO of Age of Majority, who presented research highlights to delegates at the ICAA Conference. The new research contradicts those assumptions.

“We launched Age of Majority with a mission to help brands evaluate what they are doing for mature consumers against the misperceptions and stereotypes that are holding them back from reaching this fast-growing segment,” said Weiss. “Given the potential size of the prize for brands that better understand and serve the mature consumer, it is an investment with a huge upside.”

Are communicators too fixated on Millennials? Boomers are feeling misrepresented

In August 2017, online surveys were conducted among 1,284 randomly selected American adults and 202 U.S. brand-side marketing and sales decision-makers.  The margin of error is +/- 2.5%, 19 times out of 20; discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding. The poll was conducted by Blink Insights, on behalf of Age of Majority.

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Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 12 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richardc@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter

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