Marketing Opportunities with California Seniors

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Like a tsunami, the California “silver rush” is coming and it’s time to develop a senior marketing strategy before your competition beats you to it.

A new California Gold Rush is on the way! This time, however, it’s more of a Silver Rush as marketers slowly, but steadily, discover the sales potential of California’s silver-haired consumers. All 7,000,000 of them! This sub-segment has been virtually ignored to date, but accounts for nearly half of consumer spending in the state. Companies that “mine” seniors first, and in the right way, are sure to be rewarded handsomely. After all, California seniors have been trend setters for years and they intend to stay that way. And importantly, as California goes, so goes the rest of the U.S.

California has a long history of firsts that have mushroomed across the country. Consumers in the state started trends like sushi in the 60’s, yoga in the 70’s, and bottled water in the 80’s. Additionally, they were first to ban smoking in the 90’s, and were responsible for the green/organic food movement of the 2000’s. The surfing culture thrived here, as did multi-cultural fusion of cuisines, drive-through restaurants, the motion picture industry, and of course, all the technical innovations of the Silicon Valley. And many of the consumers who fueled those movements then, are California seniors now.

California marketers that are curious as to whether their products and services are relevant and desirable to seniors should start by auditing their current sales and marketing efforts to seniors and begin to brainstorm what they could do with their marketing budget, product, packaging, pricing, distribution, and promotions to work harder and earn a positive ROI. Perhaps new and targeted creative and media is the answer for existing products. Many times, however, the solution is in new products, line-extensions, sub-brands, or new brands altogether.

Just as a creative exercise, imagine the following:

  • What would a hearing aid look like if it were designed by Apple?
  • What would a senior clothing line or even a hospital gown look like if it were designed by Mossimo?
  • Why can’t wheel chairs look cool?
  • What if those little bottles of shampoo and conditioner in hotel showers had type that could actually be read by seniors?
  • What would a senior product section in a grocery store consist of? Better yet, why aren’t there entire grocery stores designed with seniors in mind?
  • Why aren’t there more TV shows written and produced for seniors that are as good and authentic as This is Us is for its target?
  • Where are more movies like On Golden Pond and Driving Miss Daisy? (Too many fall into the trap of stereotypes and clichéd humor!)
  • What if somebody produced an English drama on TV that seniors could actually hear and understand?
  • What if a marketer produced an expensive and entertaining TV commercial for a “senior” product and aired it on the Super Bowl? Revolutionary!
  • Why aren’t there video games for seniors?
  • Why don’t car companies position or design cars for seniors?

The sad truth is that too many marketers either don’t know about the upcoming California silver rush or don’t have marketing partners to pull it off. The good news is that it’s not too late to get on board.

Photo by wavebreakmedia

About Brian Morris

Partner Silver Advertising, specializing in marketing to Seniors. Co-Author of The Silver Rush: Marketing to the California Senior.

 

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