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Marketing to seniors: Building trust, credibility and connection

marketing to seniors

In a marketing landscape saturated with often intrusive and overwhelming digital advertising, marketing to the older generation requires a more measured and respectful approach. For a generation that values trust and credibility in the brands they connect with, it is important that marketing strategies recognise their unique needs, preferences, and challenges, and messaging is tailored to acknowledge their psychological triggers and emotional responses. 

Marketing activity should reflect these nuances and preferences so as to optimise engagement and interest and drive high-quality leads genuinely interested in your offerings and likely to schedule a visit or tour. Here, we uncover tips and strategies for shaping a marketing strategy focused on engaging and attracting prospects, and driving visits to your development.

An Omni Channel Approach

While digital marketing should form an important pillar of any marketing strategy today, when marketing to the older generation, a nuanced approach is required. A report by Age UK in 2023 estimated that 34% of people over 75 do not use the internet, highlighting the importance of leveraging more traditional marketing channels, such as print, print advertising, community networking, billboards, radio and TV as part of the marketing mix to generate engagement across various touchpoints.

A blend of both digital and traditional methods will drive awareness with the older community and accommodate their varying comfort levels with technology giving them flexibility to engage through their preferred channel. It will also ensure messaging reaches their younger friends and family who may be influencers in the purchase decision.

Regardless of channel, strategies should be underpinned with consistent messaging to build brand visibility and foster trust.

Build trust and credibility through content marketing

While marketing strategies have evolved to meet the demands of the ‘everything now’ generation, seniors typically exercise greater discretion before making a purchase decision and hence requires a more measured approach. They are less impulsive regarding brand selection than their younger counterparts, preferring to connect with brands that exhibit trust, credibility, and authority in the marketplace. An engaging and informative content marketing strategy tailored to the interests and concerns of your target audience can help to establish meaningful connections, build trust, and position your brand as a valuable resource. Consider informative video content with guest speakers or educational blogs on subjects that resonate with your audience, whether this is financial planning, health and wellbeing, or help with technology.

Building a solid content strategy as part of your marketing endeavours also allows you to leverage your content as a tool to tell your own story, allowing you to build an emotional connection with older adults who value authenticity and meaningful brand relationships.

Instill confidence through social proof

Seniors take a more conservative approach to brands they choose to align with. They are typically less influenced by sweeping and unfounded marketing claims, favouring facts and social proof as recommendations. For them, the experiences and personal recommendations of others, such as friends, family, or online reviews, carry immense influence and help to reassure them, shaping their perceptions and choices. In an increasingly complex digital landscape, they gravitate towards familiar and credible sources, seeking validation before making purchasing or lifestyle decisions.

Leverage the power of testimonials, case studies and endorsements from residents and their friends and family, all of which can help to instill confidence and build trust in your brand.

Build a community presence

For a generation that values trust and authenticity, engaging with and supporting local initiatives can not only help build awareness but also position your brand as a respected and valued hub of the community. Create a Local Community Outreach plan to elevate your profile locally as a force for good.

Initiatives could include 

  • Partnering with local high street businesses that attract an older clientele such as cafes, hairdressers and bookshops. This may include hosting joint events or incentivising local businesses to recommend your development with a referral scheme. Engage with local medical practitioners, such as doctors, dentists and chiropractors, who are in regular contact with older members of your community and can act as a source of valuable referrals.
  • Support local leisure centres and sports clubs that attract retirees, such as golf and bowling clubs. Raise your profile through sponsorship of competitions and events.
  • Host events and workshops to provide the opportunity for older members of the community to experience your development first-hand. These could be educational, such as workshops with guest speakers on financial management or health and wellbeing, or purely fun, such as flower arranging tutorials or wine tasting events. The primary goal is to highlight your development, encourage the community to engage with it directly, and build your reputation as a positive force within the community.

Relatable messaging and imagery

Pay attention to the language and imagery used in your marketing communications. Aim to depict the older community as vibrant, independent individuals enjoying this phase of life by avoiding patronising language and dated cliches. One useful source of free imagery designed to challenge dated stereotypes of older people is the Age without Limits image library  

Emphasize attributes in your communications that resonate with your audience such as trust, authenticity, reliability, and reassurance. For a generation that likes to take time over purchase decisions, avoid aggressive time-sensitive marketing messaging that may make your audience feel pressured. The goal is ultimately to establish genuine connections with your target audience, respecting their experiences and fostering trust through relatable messaging and imagery.

Accessible and inclusive website design

Ensure your website is designed to make it as accessible and inclusive as possible. The interface should be uncluttered and easy to navigate. Use clear and appropriate-sized fonts, simple language, and avoid jargon and colloquialisms. Buttons should be clear and highly visible Recognise that many seniors are unfamiliar or nervous when using digital technology so always provide the option to engage via the phone with a clearly visible contact number.

In a world inundated with digital noise, marketing to seniors demands a delicate blend of respect and understanding. Strategies catering to their unique needs and preferences with a focus on engendering trust and credibility through relatable messaging, social proof and engagement with the community will be more likely to attract prospects with a genuine interest in your residences, and optimise that all important conversion rate of prospects to visits.

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