Marketing Ideas to Connect with Tech Savvy Seniors

by | Nov 15, 2017 | Consumer Engagement

When building your digital marketing campaigns, don’t miss out on the value in marketing your ideas to connect with tech savvy seniors.

As you cre­ate dig­i­tal cam­paigns, it can be tempt­ing to ignore the senior pop­u­la­tion. After all, the stereo­typ­i­cal senior doesn’t own a com­put­er or a smart­phone and doesn’t know how to use the inter­net, right?

These gen­er­al­iza­tions couldn’t be fur­ther from the truth. 

Accord­ing to Pew Research, about 67 per­cent of those age 65 and old­er use the internet—a surge from 2000 when only about 14 per­cent had the abil­i­ty to go online. Today, an esti­mat­ed 40 per­cent of seniors own smartphones—a num­ber that has more than dou­bled since 2013. Strate­gies for mar­ket­ing ideas to con­nect with all seniors, espe­cial­ly the tech savvy ones, can be employed suc­cess­ful­ly by under­stand­ing more about this key demographic.

Reaching the Tech-Savvy

It’s always a mis­take to over­look demo­graph­ic dif­fer­ences in your tar­get audi­ence. For the age group of 65 to 85, you’re work­ing with twen­ty years of vari­ety. Accord­ing to the Pew sur­vey, the seniors most inclined to uti­lize dig­i­tal tech­nol­o­gy tend to be:

  • Afflu­ent — 94 per­cent of seniors mak­ing more than $75K a year were reg­u­lar inter­net users, and 81 per­cent of them had a smartphone
  • Edu­cat­ed — 92 per­cent of col­lege-edu­cat­ed seniors used the inter­net, with 65 per­cent of them own­ing smartphones
  • Younger — 75 per­cent of seniors under 75 reg­u­lar­ly used the inter­net, com­pared to 44 per­cent of those over 80 (still near­ly half!)

The old­er seniors with low­er income lev­els and lev­els of edu­ca­tion are less like­ly to be com­fort­able with com­put­ers, smart­phones, and tablets, and they may not have the skill set they need to find med­ical infor­ma­tion, make appoint­ments, or refill pre­scrip­tions. To reach your entire audi­ence, you’ll want to use a com­bi­na­tion of print, dig­i­tal and broad­cast media.

5 Ways of Connect with Seniors and Your Older Audience

Even though those age 65 and old­er make up only 13 per­cent of the pop­u­la­tion, the Cen­ters for Medicare & Med­ic­aid Ser­vices reports that this group was respon­si­ble for about 34 per­cent of all health­care expen­di­tures in 2012.

Gen­er­ate con­tent and mar­ket­ing ideas to con­nect with tech savvy seniors and engag­ing this pop­u­la­tion eas­i­er with these five tips:


  1. Under­stand their needs. As you mar­ket online to seniors, focus on the life goals you’re help­ing them achieve. The ben­e­fits of a joint replace­ment pro­gram, for instance, allow your patients to pain­less­ly trav­el, push a grand­child in a stroller or have the abil­i­ty to remain in their homes independently.
  2. Make the expe­ri­ence per­son­able. While today’s seniors have adapt­ed to tremen­dous change in the dig­i­tal age, they still remem­ber a time when cus­tomer ser­vice was king. Touch on the one-on-one rela­tion­ships they can devel­op with physi­cians and office staff, and empha­size any oppor­tu­ni­ty they have to bond with oth­ers in the same situation—whether that’s through a joint camp pro­gram, a sup­port group or a healthy cook­ing class. They’ll also ben­e­fit from patient testimonials.
  3. Have the right tone—both in words and images. When you’re try­ing to reach seniors, don’t pre­tend like they are all wrin­kle-free with beau­ti­ful­ly coiffed sil­ver hair—as many of the peo­ple fea­tured in stock images are. Instead, use images that accu­rate­ly por­tray your audi­ence. The words you use mat­ter, too. Con­nect­ing with seniors means know­ing how to com­mu­ni­cate direct­ly to them. Avoid slang and jar­gon that they wouldn’t hear in dai­ly life.
  4. Acknowl­edge their inde­pen­dence. Seniors don’t want to seem help­less, so don’t include unnec­es­sary dig­i­tal com­po­nents that will make them ask for help. While you might think that a ham­burg­er menu is an easy way to clean up the screen, peo­ple who aren’t as famil­iar with web­sites don’t know that it’s a drop-down menu. You might also think QR codes or apps pro­vide a great user expe­ri­ence, but a senior who has to ask a child or grand­child how to use one might find it degrad­ing. Pro­vide them with infor­ma­tion they need to make their deci­sions with­out con­sult­ing loved ones.
  5. Keep it pos­i­tive. The Bureau of Labor Sta­tis­tics esti­mates that 32 per­cent of seniors ages 65 to 74 will still be in the work­force by 2022, so this pop­u­la­tion is a con­tribut­ing part of soci­ety. Active­ly com­mu­ni­cate with seniors in a pos­i­tive way and help them feel like they’re a val­ued audience.

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