The ‘Longevity Economy’ Is Here
By 2050, people over 65 will be approximately 25% of the population. Yet less than 1 in 5 companies have any meaningful strategies focused on this market. Other than drug companies and investment firms, I’d say most ignore people 55-plus.
Just walk through any sick mall and you’ll see the marketing and product bias toward young (financially strapped) markets. The book “Longevity Economy: Unlocking the World’s Fastest-Growing, Most Misunderstood Market” talks about the young bias in products, design and marketing. It’s a bias that will bankrupt too many businesses going forward.
“Age 49 still serves as the de facto cut-off age that many marketers don’t bother to cross, and less than 10% of marketing dollars are aimed specifically at 50-plus. … Advertisers spend 500% more on millennials than other age groups combined,” states author Joseph Coughlin.
What’s even more disturbing is that when marketers do try to target the longevity economy, the messaging is so bad that people in the target audience find the portrayals utterly unappealing and overly stereotypical. In other words, most (around 80%) older adults don’t like the advertising that is designed to reach and move this target audience. That is not good marketing.
Coughlin is the founder and director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) AgeLab. It is described as a multidisciplinary research program created to understand the behavior of the rapidly growing 50-plus population. He is also another person who believes that you need to fish where the fish are, and the fish are older, wealthier and mostly female. Now compare that to the people in tech, product-buying groups, designers, engineers, architects, home builders …
The next time you see a company declaring bankruptcy, look at how it marketed to the longevity economy. I’d say it probably missed the Mark (pun intended).
Good read. I give it 5 stars.