This month I thought I’d share an interesting marketing phenomenon that I’ve observed over the last few years. I’d also like to share about ‘Spots n’ Dots’, an industry pub. We often are taken with the new ‘best’ thing believing we must get rid of something without realizing new things often add value to an existing plan.

The Video Advertising Bureau (VAB) did some extensive research looking into activity of the older demos in our population. The 50+ demo remains relevant regarding the Growth in ‘Time Spent’ online. This group is a late-technology adopter.

It has long been the case that wealth is in the hands of the 50+ group.  Although soap and fashion verticals belong with the 18 to 49-year old demo, most other products and services should be targeting consumers who have attained the “disposable income” status.

The new analysis from the VAB points out that:

  • 35% of the U.S. population is age 50 and over.
  • They control 41% of consumer expenditures.
  • 78% feel they are ignored or misrepresented by marketers.
  • 49% of older consumers avoid brands that don’t speak to them.
  • 23% of workers who are age 55 or older hold professional positions.
  • 20% are in management, business or financial positions.
  • Four out of 10 older workers expect to work past age seventy.

They aren’t interested in retirement because they:

  • Want more disposable income – 55%
  • Enjoy their work – 54%
  • Enjoy the social aspect of work – 44%

The research further reports that older consumers are always looking for new experiences and products. Now that their children are grown, they’re spending more time shopping and enjoying leisure and sports activities as opposed to the very busy millennials.

All this makes sense to me as I’ve been in the 50+ demo for a while now. I’ve always been curious why clients indicate an 18 to 49 or 25 to 54 skew.

As our own digital division, ‘FG3 Advanced Advertising’ leads client strategies with a focus on SEO, SEM (such as Google Ads), fresh content, and comprehensive analytics for our clients. We must keep in mind that time spent on video, especially for seniors, or should I say, the folks with extra money they want to spend, is very healthy. This trend is growing, and savvy marketers are paying attention.

The fact is that consumers over age 50 spend six hours and 18 minutes every day engaged with video on one device or another.

From Spots n Dots: Make TV The Main Driver.

Many digital marketers claim TV is an ailing ad medium, but, Bob Feinberg, Vice President of Yonkers Honda in the greater New York City area, says no way.

“Discount (the influence) of TV at your own peril,” he says, indicating many dealers like him consider television advertising alive and well and adapting to the digital age.  He finds it ironic, Wards Auto reports, that many digital enterprises nonetheless advertise on TV. That group includes Carvana, Google, Amazon and Netflix.  Digital marketers who claim TV has lost power as an advertising outlet are flat-out wrong, contends Danielle DeLauro, Executive Vice President of the Video Advertising Bureau. “There is a ton of misconception and a lot of insanity going on.” Although some detractors claim people watch less TV today because there are so many other viewing options.

DeLauro says statistics show people on average watched 43 more TV minutes a day in 2018 than they did in 1983.

“The difference is the range of what they are watching it on,” she says. “Watching TV shows on iPads is the new form of TV viewing.”

Digital marketers use tracking technology to garner data on online users’ shopping behavior – and target-market to them accordingly. That technology now extends to cable TV. From the hookup box, data is collected both on what subscribers watch as well as who they are demographically (without actually knowing their identities). It’s like using a computer IP address to track user website visits and time spent on them.

Selling vehicles is in marked contrast to selling toothpaste or trash bags, says Linda Ranieri, media director at Team One, whose clients include Toyota. “We are targeting people in the market or who will be soon based on data points,” she says of modern TV advertising. “We’re addressing it differently than before. You only want to push (specific auto ads) into homes with people who are in the market.”

Digital marketing has its place, but so does TV. “There are people who love to attribute sales to digital marketing,” says Feinberg. “But the attribution model is tricky.” The model once gave primary credit to the so-called last click: the digital ad an online vehicle shopper clicked on before finally buying a vehicle. “To just count on a digital method for marketing is a big mistake,” Feinberg says. “TV is the main driver because it has scale and an emotional connection,” DeLauro says. “It drives people to websites. It allows an ad campaign to work harder. TV and digital should work together.”

Michael T. Gillespie Sr.