California Seniors are Driving Cannabis Growth

shutterstock_1054640075 From hippies to hip pain

32 states have passed cannabis usage into law for medical purposes. California was the first over 23 years ago.  10 states have done the same for recreational use. You may be surprised to learn that Seniors are leading the charge  embracing the benefits of medicinal cannabis as well as indulging in the pleasures stemming from recreational use.

Our conventional image of ‘pot’ users dates back to the 60’s when today’s Seniors were experimenting with all kinds of drugs. Despite the legal consequences and risk of incarceration back then, those free-spirited offenders, now in their sixties and beyond, thought the risk was worth it. These people are now your parents or grandparents!

The stigma once tied to marijuana or cannabis usage has given way to Starbucks-like retail dispensaries – well-lit and well stocked with products designed to enhance your mood, sex life, daily exercise regimen, and address a variety of aches and pains.

According to a national survey of nearly 50,000 responders, the Drug Use and Health study of patients 50-64 found using marijuana daily or weekly rose 58% between 2002 and 2014. Patients 60+ have shown an increase in use of 250%. These growth rates by the original adopters are fastest among all user groups. Talk about influencers!

Such response to legal use has not gone unnoticed by the financial and investment community despite marijuana continuing to be classified as a schedule 1 drug along with heroin. All of Canada will sell legal cannabis for medical and recreational use this October. And year over year growth is stoking the fires of American firms anxious to invest here.

While the debate around addiction to opioids goes on, Seniors and  the medical community have embraced usage of hemp-based CBD products as well as recreational use of cannabis products.CBD products, whether edible or in liquid, lotion or tablet form, provide needed relief from disorders associated with aging that up to now have led to a pill popping addiction.

AARP has created a list of ‘alternatives to pills’ for Seniors over 65 wary of the side effects from a heavy dependence from their medicine cabinet. This includes dependence for medical issues such as:

  1. Heart failure
  2. Increase in blood pressure
  3. Stomach bleeding and ulcers
  4. Confusion
  5. Toxic kidneys
  6. Seizures
  7. Hallucinations
  8. Stroke
  9. Tremors

Replacing as many as 5 or 6 pills with a CBD derivative product is driving acceptance among Seniors and they’re sharing the results with family and physicians.

All this adoption by Seniors is speeding the process of legalization in the remaining states to help fuel the projected to growth to $50 billion by 2025 (Grand View Research). When you realize that 100 years have passed since prohibition ended and today the US liquor industry will generate $81 billion sales in 2019, it won’t take many growing cycles for the cannabis industry to reach or exceed that number. Especially considering that the brewers of Corona and Heineken are among those developing ‘infused beverages’ using a low percentage of THC.

Marketers sitting on the fence about targeting aging consumers will soon realize that those who are 55 and older are not that different today than they were 10 to 20 years earlier. The exception being they have extra years of wisdom, significantly more wealth, and the freedom to live the next couple of decades doing exactly what they want.

Smart marketers should follow the money trail Seniors are blazing in the cannabis industry and many other product categories missed by holding to tightly to the 18-49 crowd. Their marketing insights  may point to the vast sums you’re leaving on the table.

It Takes a Skilled “Geek” to help California Seniors Age in Place

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Best Buy jumps headfirst into The Longevity Economy by adding the aging population to its strategic tech targets.

Advertisers and brands are starting to wake up as the impact of aging on the world’s wealthiest countries point to significant new revenue targets. Joseph Coughlin, founder of the MIT Age Lab and author of The Longevity Economyputs it this way:

“The emerging population isn’t just big, it’s so enormous it’s as though a new continent were rising out of the sea, filled with more than a billion air-breathing consumers just begging for products that fulfill their demands.”

Best Buy has put their money where their phone chargers are and in doing so, made it clear they intend to play a big role targeting this huge opportunity.  By offering new monitoring services and in-home tech,together with strategic hospital partnerships and acquisitions like Great Call last August, Best Buy is doubling down on Boomers, their aging parents and caregivers. This isn’t about a media buy, it’s the leading tech retailer pivoting to execute a defined senior marketing strategy.

We are trying to position the company for the future” says Best Buy CEO, Hubert Joly,There is going to be greater and greater differentiation between winners and losers. And so, this is clearly the time to invest.” 

90% of those 65 and older have said they don’t want to move from their home into an assisted living community. This refrain has inspired Best Buy to create Assured Living and Best Buy Home.

Assured Living is aimed at Boomers who want to honor their parents request to remain independent as they age in place. The ability to ‘monitor and check-in’ via any internet connected devise is the gift of peace of mind to both generations.

Best Buy launched Assured Living is validated by their expertise and core competency in the consumer retail technology sector. Services focus on monitoring, real-time alerts, insight into daily activity levels, sleep patterns, and diet, all presented via a personalized dash board. All starting at $29.99 a month. Tech support from the Geek Squad has been enhanced as part of the new Best Buy Home offering house calls to install and train.

Next came a partnership bringing medical expertise from the Mayo Clinic. Together they offer aging consumers wellness assessment tools covering everything from various symptoms and basic diagnosis to proper meal planning and physical activity regiments. Driving sales for Best Buy is a consistent introduction of new products.

Apple’s newest Watch 4 is an activity monitor, tracker,and First Alert device on your wrist. Like Best Buy, Apple recognized the magnitude of this aging population wave and made dramatic design changes with their latest model which propelled first full year of sales upward to 32% YOY.

Amazon recently revealed several elements of their senior facing healthcare strategy built around their smart speaker leadership. And Alexa is finding its way into hospital surgery wards as doctors collect critical knowledge about post-op patient recovery and follow up.

While healthcare marketers and their agencies have had patients and industry providers as targets mostly to themselves for years, virtually every retailer who serves a consumer 55+ or their Boomer offspring, can establish a viable senior-centric marketing strategy. The facts are clear, the longer one ages independently, the longer they continue to shop, consume and visit the retailers who ‘welcome’ their business.

Ask yourself these assessment areas as you consider your own senior marketing strategic journey:

  1. What portion of your core product mix is purchased by 55+?
  2. Does your marketing aimed at Seniors speak directly to them as a distinct customer segment?
  3. What products aimed at aging in place consumers could your business leverage?

It all begins by thinking past the trap of limiting your marketing to 18 to 49 year olds!

How two companies are killing it by marketing to California’s active senior consumer

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AmaWaterways and Pedego Electric Bikes are leading the way in both product development and marketing

Two California-based companies are getting a head start in their categories by recognizing the importance of the growing, active, and affluent 55+ consumer. AmaWaterways, a leader in high-end river cruises, and Pedego, the #1 seller of electric bikes, are seeing the potential of this demographic, and it’s no wonder. Just look at the numbers:

•  The 2010 Census shows that the senior age group is, for the first time, the largest in terms of size and percent in the U.S.

• There are approximately 7 million Californians aged 55 and older. And it is expected to grow more than twice as fast as the total population.

• A Pew Research study indicates that of people aged 65 to 74, one third say they feel 10 to 20 years younger than they are!

More and more Seniors can now be classified as “active seniors”. This group realizes that if they are to optimize their later years, and do all the things they want to, they’re going to have to take better care of their physical and cognitive health.

Both AmaWaterways and Pedego Electric Bikes are offering Seniors the perfect products for their increasingly active lifestyles. AmaWaterways is dispelling the stereotype of cruisers who are old, sedentary and just want to sit around eating and drinking all day. Their ships provide bicycles for their passengers who want to explore on their own during shore excursions. They are offering healthier food options, more shore excursions, and tours that are geared for different levels of walking ability. Their newer ships feature a larger sun-deck pool, a wellness studio with an enlarged workout facility,  and even more healthy dining options And, of course, more bicycles! While river and ocean cruises have always attracted an “older” demo, Ama is now appealing to  “young-at-heart” consumers. They also realize that their marketing materials, staff, entertainment, and destinations have to be increasingly in sync with this new, vibrant, modern-day cruise target. Clearly, AmaWaterways is not your grandfather’s cruise line.

With Pedego leading the way, electric bikes are a growing trend with both active and inactive seniors. Verses “normal” bikes, electric bikes allow one to pedal when they want to, effortlessly cruise if they feel like it, or throttle down to zoom up a hill. Gone are the days of Seniors having excuses to be inactive. For those who are out of shape, for those who have a few aches or pains, or for those who are simply a bit lazy, electric bikes are the answer. According to an article on electric bikes in Newsweek,

“Little by little you find yourself asking for less and less assistance and burning more calories”

Pedego’s line of bikes are particularly well-designed, colorful, easy to operate, and fun. And speaking of fun, don’t you just love a company who’s tagline is “Hello, Fun!” And their marketing is making it clear that the active senior is a primary sales target. Company spokesperson, William Shatner, active and youthful at 87 years-old, loves his Pedegos (all 16 of them!).  In one of the company’s video he states:

“Pedego’s are great because I can keep up with the 20 year-olds in our family. In fact, if truth be told, I go a little faster!”

Pedego Electric Bikes and AmaWaterways are two companies that “get” active seniors and understand the powerful and pre-emptive strategy of marketing to them before their competitors do. Oh, and here’s a thought. Shouldn’t AmaWaterways have Pedego bikes on board their cruise ships? 

Photo by SpeedKingz

Attention CMO’s: To better understand where California Seniors are going, first learn where they’ve been

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A “must read” book to help better understand today’s senior consumers

You don’t have to be a professor of psychology to understand the importance of one’s childhood as it relates to the values and beliefs you have as an adult. And the book that best portrays the way most Baby Boomers and Seniors grew up in the 1950’s is Bill Bryson’s funny and insightful The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid. 

Bryson describes growing up in the 50’s in the middle of the largest generation in history. And while his childhood took place in Des Moines, Iowa, it turns out to be a similar upbringing for most kids all over America–including California. (And just as an aside, I happened to be raised in Des Moines at the same time and in the same neighborhood as Bryson. Talk about a coincidence!) Bryson describes this time in history as follows:

I can’t imagine there has ever been a more gratifying time or place to be alive than America in the 1950’s. No country has ever known such prosperity. It was a time of growth, prosperity, and progress. By 1951, Americans owned 80% of the world’s electrical goods, controlled two-thirds of the world’s productive capacity, produced more than 40% of its electricity, 60% of its oil, and 66% of its steel. The 5 percent of people on Earth who were Americans had more wealth than the other 95 percent combined.

Remarkably, almost all this wealth was American made. We became the richest country in the world without needing the rest of the world.

Yes, in many ways it was an idyllic time. Kids rode their Sting Ray bikes with baseball cards in the spokes, built tree houses, wore superhero costumes and Davy Crocket hats, and played with their Tinker Toys, Lincoln Logs, Erector Sets and slot cars. There were no computers, cell phones, or video games. But kids did watch TV–lots and lots of TV. And for the most part, people were happy and optimistic. (Except for that one “little” threat of nuclear annihilation.)

Is it any wonder that today seniors look back on their childhoods with positive and nostalgic feelings? Coming on the heels of WWII, this group was more of a “we” generation than a “me” generation. They have a sense of purpose and duty to country and worked extremely hard to better themselves. Gary the Bookworm sums up The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid this way:

Bryson offers up the unforgettable depiction of the decade that shaped America. For all the innocence, the cultural landscape was shifting inexorably, driven by the explosion of television and the preponderance of automobiles.

Anyone who is, or knows a Baby Boomer, has to read this.

Of course right around the corner for the these young Boomers was the 60’s and that decade offered more experiences that made them bond like no other group before them. Together they witnessed or were a part of the Korean and Vietnam Wars, the space program, political assassinations, the Civil Rights Movement, and the Women’s Rights Movement. As a result, they tend to be more open-minded than prior generations, and are associated with freedom and experimentation.

In addition to reading The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid, marketers who want to target Seniors should study American life in the 50’s and 60’s. You’ll understand why this consumer group resents being ignored, disrespected and misrepresented. They’re proud of their accomplishments and nostalgic about their past. Remember, they’re the largest and most affluent consumer group. Give them attention, respect, and an occasional “thank you” and you’ll be amazed at how well they respond.

Photo by Elzbieta Sekowska

Want to market to California Seniors? The key is to do it like you mean it.

shutterstock_214495888Seniors know the difference between being accommodated and being welcomed

A number of companies and retailers are beginning to accommodate the senior consumer. It shouldn’t be much of a surprise since the numbers speak for themselves. The 2010 Census shows the senior age group is, for the first time, the largest in terms of size and percentage. And it’s growing at the fastest rate! In California alone there are over 7 million consumers aged 55+. And while some companies and retailers are recognizing this demographic and doing things to accommodate them, very few are actually welcoming them. Seniors know the difference between these two words, and it makes a big difference in their purchasing preferences.

As a fellow Senior, I’ve found that we all know when a product or company “gets us”. We all know when they truly want our business. We see it and we feel it. The product itself seems like it was created and designed to fit our lives. The brand’s positioning, brand personality, and messaging seem to be specifically crafted with us in mind. Advertising and marketing materials use relatable language and casting, accessible type size and graphics, and include an emotional element that connects us to their product. They demonstrate that they understand the purchase criteria is different for Seniors than it is for younger consumers. In effect, they are welcoming us to their brand.

The new crop of Seniors and Boomers are unlike any “older” group that has ever proceeded them. This isn’t a group that is actually younger, but it is definitely younger at heart. A large portion of them can now be classified as “active seniors”. They care more about their physical and cognitive health, and are actively engaged socially and intellectually. According to Pew Research, many Seniors say they feel 10 to 20 years younger than their age! They demand respect and resent being portrayed as Grandpa Simpson who can’t find his glasses. They’re hardly the “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” demo. As singer Kenny Rogers so aptly put it:

“Growing older is not upsetting, being perceived as old is”

For marketers who want to grow their business with Seniors, they should ask themselves the following questions:

• Is my product/service designed specifically with Seniors in mind? Can I alter it to be so?

• What would my product/store look like and feel like if it welcomed Seniors?

• What kind of incentives/discounts can I offer to welcome Seniors?

• What would my marketing materials look like that truly welcomed Seniors?

• What media should I choose that welcomingly targets Seniors without being stereotypical or insulting?

Yes, companies and retailers are beginning to “accommodate” Seniors. Unfortunately, these simply include changes that “allow for” or “give consideration” to these consumers, kind of like updates for “code” reasons. Unfortunately, this level of commitment will not win over the hearts and minds of senior consumers and create brand loyalty.

A huge opportunity awaits brands and companies that go beyond accommodating  to welcoming. Imagine what these consumers would think if they knew they were being welcomed with gladness and delight. A “welcoming” senior strategy could be incorporated into every component of a brand. And importantly, it would be a competitive differentiator.

Photo by Wavebreakmedia

The Voting and Marketing Power of California Seniors

shutterstock_570150349What politicians and cause marketing organizations should know about California Seniors

As is the case in product marketing, many political campaign managers and cause-related CMO’s under-market to California Seniors and Seniors in general. Big mistake. In a blind rush to capture younger voters and consumers, the power of the senior demographic continues to lack the the attention it deserves. One striking statistic exemplifies this dramatically. In the 2016 presidential election, 71% of Americans over 65 years old voted compared to 46% of 18 to 29-year-olds. (U.S. Census Bureau) And importantly, there are more Seniors than any other demographic group! California tops the list of voters with 2.4 million people aged 65 and older who voted in the last election with Florida next at 1.7 million followed by New York with 1.4 million.

“Seniors are the stability of the American electorate” says Ed Goeas, a veteran Republican pollster. “They are the only group that I believe looks out not only for their own well-being but the well-being of their children and grandchildren.” Goeas says older people are more likely to view voting as a responsibility and to care about a broad range of issues, not just those commonly associated with aging. They are more connected to their communities which also makes them more likely to vote.

Celinda Lake, a Democratic consultant, agrees with Mr. Goeas. She adds, “Older voters have started to pay more attention to student debt as they try to help grandchildren who have record amounts of student loans. Additionally, Lake believes concerns over whether Medicare will be restructured or Social Security will be cut will continue to be on the minds of Seniors in upcoming elections.

So why are older citizens more likely to vote?

  1. According to Julian Zelizer, a professor of history and public affairs at Princeton, older voters have a greater interest in voting because the major domestic benefit programs, like Medicare, Social Security, and Medicare affect them while younger voters simply don’t see the same benefits.
  2. Seniors also tend to vote more because they are less mobile. Eitan Hersh, assistant professor of political science at Yale University puts it this way: “People over 65 have more residential stability. The longer you are in one place, the more ties you have to the community and the more campaigns that are likely to mobilize you.”
  3. Andrea Louise Cambell, political science associate professor at MIT, adds that Seniors are more likely to vote because they have more time. “Most of them are retired, and they have the disposable income to make campaign contributions and the skills to write letters to politicians.”
  4. Lastly, and again from Eitan Hersh, he believes that Seniors tend to vote more because of social norms. In effect, Seniors are proud of voting. “They think of themselves as voters, and they care about being a voter. People detached from the election system are perfectly willing to say they didn’t vote.”

Krystin Turczynski, in an article titled The Importance of the Senior Vote for Alameda Senior Magazine, sums it up this way:

“Seniors are able to come together and defend their interests by contacting their elected officials, donating money, and yes, voting. With demographics in their favor, there is every reason to believe Seniors will continue to make their voices heard”

According to the International Longevity Center, by 2025, one in every 5 Americans will be 65 or older. And the Boston Consulting Group states that just 15% of companies have any sort of marketing or business strategy focused on older adults.  For marketers in almost every business, it’s time to give Seniors the attention they deserve–especially if you’re involved in a political or cause-related campaign. Seniors vote for people, for issues, and they certainly vote with their wallet.

Photo by vectorfusionart

 

 

 

Change the Way You Sell Senior Living

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On this episode of the Senior Care Growth Show, we shared data about the baby boomer generation so you can prepare to meet the challenges of marketing and selling to this demographic head-on.

“In the next several years, more and more baby boomers will be seeking senior living services, and so the time is now to understand this generation’s attitudes towards aging and how you should be messaging your communities. Our guests on this podcast episode talk about how the way you sell and market your services is going to need to adapt. We’re going to hear today about baby boomers’ media preferences, aging in place, other attitudes and other trends that you’re going to need to adapt to.”

Are you wondering if your current marketing and sales efforts will be effective with Baby Boomers? You’re not going to want to miss this episode.

Click Here to listen to either the audio or video podcast of our interview by The Senior Care Show.

Silver Advertising Podcast Interview

 

What marketing to Vets teaches CMOs about marketing to California seniors

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A senior strategy is very much the same idea.

When my partner and I started blogging about the power and opportunity of marketing to seniors (55+), the sheer size of this audience spoke volumes. Seniors are the largest and fastest growing consumer segment, and are the wealthiest asset holders. They’re also the most experienced shoppers on earth.

Every marketing executive we’ve encountered says essentially the same thing –” this makes so much sense, why aren’t more brands focusing on seniors?”

It’s hard to believe that just 40 years ago, marketers finally realized they needed to have a separate budget dedicated to California’s growing Hispanic population and one that was led by those of Hispanic origin. The need to target seniors as a distinct consumer segment has had years of the same reluctance by CMOs. But not when it comes to targeting Veterans.

Major brands in virtually every business sector are embracing marketing programs aimed at Vets. Lowe’s, AT&T, GM and businesses such as restaurants, travel providers, grocery chains, and insurance companies have committed dedicated marketing programs and media spending to build and reward Veteran loyalty. American Airlines was an early player by giving Vets priority boarding access. It was all about respect and appreciation for their service– as well as being good for business.

The similarities of marketing to a 55+ audience and the 18,000,000 + Vets in the US, may encourage CMOs to come to the same conclusion. Here in California, marketing aimed at  seniors is not just good business, it will be critical as the age wave grows.

  • Seniors and Vets are large, identifiable demographic populations
  • Current US census data reports 18.1 million Vets
  • 50% of Vets are 65 or older
  • By 2020, 100 million Americans will be 55+. Over 7 million will reside in California.
  • Seniors and Vet’s population are growing in every state:
    • California, Texas and Florida rank as the top three states for both segments
    • Half of the counties in California will see their senior population increase over the next 2 years; 11 counties will see their 65+ population grow by 150% and for those 85+ years old by nearly 300%
  • Education is important to Vets and Seniors – they are smart consumers!
    • More Vets than non–Vets earn a high school and advanced degrees
    • By the time they are 65, seniors will have earned their “MIL” (masters in life) They’re equipped with 45 years of job skills!
    • College graduation rates for women Vets out-pace civilian females by a 30% to 25% margin
  • Seniors and Vets believe in staying in the workforce and earning a living:
    • Seniors aged 65 -74 are projected to grow the working ranks by 4.5% by 2024 vs. younger workers aged 18-25, where a drop of 1.6% is estimated
    • Vets median HH income is $35,376 vs. non-vet HH income at $24,521
  • Working seniors and Vets seek new career paths by leveraging the training they received in the military or non-military workplace.
    • After 40+ years in the workforce, seniors often take their career experience and pursue a passion or start a second career. Others volunteer to share their knowledge and wisdom.
    • Vets leave the service with training and experience that make them desired employees –skilled, disciplined, respectful of authority and focused on completing the task
  • Value and discounts are an important driver to both seniors and Vets. And they do their homework to make informed purchase decisions.
    • More than most, they care about the mission of the organization and the integrity and level of service the company delivers.

Brand marketers looking to initiate a senior strategy have examples all around them when it comes to targeting a segment like Vets. Lowe’s offer 10% discounts for everyday purchases made by Vets which totals nearly a billion dollars in savings annually. But the impact on Lowe’s bottom-line and customer loyalty is significantly more. That’s what we call a win-win situation!

Photo by Roberto Galan

Grandparents: The Marketing Potential of Targeting these California Seniors

Silver Advertising California Seniors

Grandparents are the Gifts that Keep Giving

A demographic target audience which is solely based on age, gender, and income only tells part of the story. Smart marketers realize that behavior and the life stage of consumers can often times determine buying habits that are more revealing and actionable.

And today’s media—especially online media, can pinpoint potential life-stage consumers precisely. Such is the case for the big and fast growing consumer group consisting of grandparents—a sub-segment of seniors that is spending billions of dollars a year and is ready to spend even more in a variety of product categories. To say that there is untapped potential with grandparents as a consumer segment is quite an understatement. The numbers, extrapolated from an AARP study, are staggering:

  • It’s estimated that there are approximately 90,000,000 grandparents in the U.S. That’s about 12 million in California alone.
  • About 75,000 Americans between the ages of 45-69 become grandparents each month
  • 89% of grandparents say they enjoy buying gifts for their grandkids
    • 25% say they spend up to $250 per year
    • 24% say they spend between $250 and $750
    • 25% spend over $1,000 annually
  • As for what they spend on their grandkids, the categories vary:
    • 95% say they buy birthday and holiday gifts including toys, books and clothes
    • 53% help with educational expenses
    • 37% contribute to everyday living expenses
    • 23% help with the cost of medical/dental expenses
    • 41% spend for the child’s overall well-being
    • 43% spend on activities that are fun to do with them

Jerry Shereshewsky, CEO of Grandparents.com, put it this way:

“The grandparent life stage accounts for a multi-billion marketplace ranging from products to services to educational investments. With grandparents today being more active and aware than ever before, the avenues for spending are varied and deep.”

On a personal note, I’m about to become a grandparent for the first time in a couple of months. And our future grandson is being spoiled before he’s a day old. We’ve already purchased a car seat, a stroller, a baby seat for the back of a bicycle, and a number of books, toys and clothes. And all this coming before the baby shower! I must say we’ve never spent money with such pleasure. I was even tempted to buy a little baseball glove, a tiny surfboard, and a miniature set of golf clubs until I was reminded that I was a few years early on those. My grandparent friends smile at me because they get it. No shopping is as fun or as rewarding as spending money on grandchildren.

My wife and I don’t understand why we’re not being advertised to by marketers who are spending their budgets on parents, while largely overlooking grandparents. Creating a specific grandparent strategic plan consisting of creative and media with them in mind seems like the easiest and smartest way to grab the lowest hanging fruit. Grandparents are receptive and anxious to spend. And that could mean big profits for CMO’s everywhere.

Photo by Monkey Business Images

 

The Rush to Market to California Seniors isn’t just coming. It’s begun!

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Companies like Gillette are off to a fast start in marketing to seniors. But it’s not too late to catch up!

Companies and big brands aren’t just putting a big toe in the water with products and marketing aimed at seniors—they’re diving head first into the deep end. With the senior demographic segment expected to reach over 100 million in the next 20 years with their spending reaching $4.74 trillion (AARP), smart and innovative companies simply couldn’t sit on the sidelines any longer. That’s why Best Buy spent $800M for Great Call and its Jitterbug phones and personal emergency response products, why CVS is now offering video healthcare and Minute Clinics with seniors in mind, and why Amazon spent nearly $1 billion for the purchase of Pill Pack and its pre-packed medicine dosages.

Not to be left out, the Washington Post is reporting that Proctor & Gamble’s Gillette division is ahead of the curve with new products aimed specifically to seniors.

Gillette noticed that an inordinate number of sons and caretakers were shaving their elder fathers and patients. And many were bedridden without easy access to running water to rinse blades or wash off shaving cream. Traditional razors were unwieldy and tended to nick skin. According to Gillette’s Matt Hodgson, a design engineer at Gillette,

“It was clear we needed to create something completely new.”

As a result of their target audience insights, Gillette is going to introduce the first razor built for caregivers to shave others. The Gillette Treo has an extra-wide handle and comes with a clear tube that eliminates the need for running water or shaving cream. It’s easier to use and much less messy than existing razors. And Hodgson went on to say that Procter & Gamble sees the Treo as only the beginning in the development of new products for seniors. He claims that Procter & Gamble plans to look for more ways to simplify hair-washing, laundry, and ear care for aging adults.

Congratulations to Gillette! They saw a problem their expertise could solve. And virtually every product category can do the same thing. CMO’s should take stock and determine if their existing products are suited for seniors and if so, begin to market them with this fast-growing demographic in mind. And if not, perhaps a company’s expertise and brand equity are suited for the development of new products and/or line-extensions. One thing for sure—the waiting game is over. And because new products can take several years to develop and test, it’s time to start now. Your competition is looking at the same data. Join the silver rush and beat them to market.

To read the entire Washington Post article,  click on the following link: ‘It’s become a 
gold rush’: Inside the race to create smart shoes, custom razors and 
high-tech devices for the over-65 crowd 

Photo by Benjamin Morris