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How the marketing industry ignores 23.6m people

granstock marketing over 50s 

New research presented at Gransnet’s ‘Granstock’ event for marketers has busted key myths about older consumers, and shown how harmful it can be to your brand if you ignore or patronise this high-spending demographic.

For all the insights and stats, click here to download the full Granstock presentation.


The truth about advertising to the over 50s

The research - by Gransnet and Ogilvy for Granstock, and Kantar for the What Women Want project looking at trends in women’s advertising - pulls together new insights, demographic data and information from the marketing industry to build an argument for greater focus on consumers aged 50 and over. 


The research busts a few persistent myths:

The myth: ‘The over-50s are a niche audience’
The reality: One-third of the UK population is over 50

The myth: ‘Millennials are the only audience that matters’
The reality: Over-55s account for 80% of the UK’s wealth and control 70% of disposable income.
People aged over 65 spend £6.7bn on clothes every year, versus £6.1bn spent by 16-24-year-olds. Over-50s account for 47% of expenditure in the UK.

The myth: ‘Baby Boomers are too financially prudent to be a good audience for marketers’
The reality: Last year, the over-60s spent £37bn on the hotel and travel sector. Over-50s spend 71% more per shop than any other age group. The average age of a new car buyer in the UK is 56.

The myth: ‘The over-50s are reluctant to use new tech and have an ‘old’ mindset’
The reality: Those turning 60 in 2019 were 18 years old when the Sex Pistols released ‘God Save the Queen’ in 1977. 79% of Gransnet users say they feel patronised by advertisers.


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What this shows

The research shows how adland’s assumptions may be skewed by its own distorted demographics; just 5.7% of those employed in advertising are aged over 50.

Gransnet editor Cari Rosen said: ‘When Gransnet users check the news headlines on their phones after a long day at work, they’re baffled to be presented with an array of advertisements for care homes, comfortable shoes and walk-in baths - all of which are perfectly fine products in themselves, but hardly speak to the richness and diversity of life after 50. This research shows they’re not alone in thinking marketing executives are missing several tricks - and opportunities to sell clients’ products.’

A survey of 1,028 Gransnet and Mumsnet users living in the UK and over the age of 50, between August 22nd and September 24th 2018. The data is not weighted. 


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