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Marketer stereotyping of aging consumers

New research suggests marketers could be missing out on a combined trillions of dollars in potential revenue

Today at the International Council on Active Aging (ICAA) Conference in Orlando, newly launched brand consultancy, Age of Majority (AoM), released results of a revealing new study that weighed the assumptions and practices of 202 marketing professionals against the attitudes and behaviour of more than 1,200 American adults.

The results are an eye-opener for marketers and their brands as they show how marketers' societal biases and age-related stereotypes are contributing to a significant overestimating of millennial spending power and an underestimating of the value of consumers 55 and older. The research is summarized in a whitepaper that can be downloaded here.

The bottom line for marketers is that undervaluing the 55 plus market could be leading them to miss out on a combined trillions of dollars of lost revenue, considering the disproportionately small marketing spend being directed against the 55 plus demographic vs. their actual spending power.

age of majority

Among Age of Majority's findings is that nearly nine in 10 (86%) marketers overestimate how much consumers under the age of 35 spend and nearly three quarters (72%) underestimate how much consumers 55 and older spend.

Colin Milner, CEO of the International Council on Active Aging, a leading authority on the 50 plus demographic, says Age of Majority's research paints a picture of an industry that has yet to embrace the 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," says Milner. "The AoM research is a call to action for marketing and business to embrace a more inclusive innovation and communications model."

Jeff Weiss, President and CEO of Age of Majority, who presented research highlights to delegates at the ICAA Conference, says the findings suggest marketers are interested in pursuing the 55 plus 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, which the research contradicts.

"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," says 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."

Research methodology

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.

About Age of Majority (AoM)

Age of Majority was launched after observing a huge gap in how the market perceives, portrays and engages mature consumers, based on its extensive collective management consulting, brand management and agency experience. Age of Majority is on a mission to break the myths and to crush the stigmas and stereotypes associated with aging and to help brands identify and exploit business opportunities to grow revenue and affinity with the mature consumer audience. For more information or to download the research whitepaper, visit www.ageofmajority.com.

Note: This information is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified healthcare professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from research. The view expressed here are not necessarily those of the ICAA, we encourage you to make your own health and business decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified professional.

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