November 2015
The holiday season is once again upon us, and this year marketers have an unprecedented opportunity to sell in a different way. For the first time in history, consumers over 50 make up the majority (51%) of all consumer spending, according to recently released data from the U.S. Consumer Expenditure Survey.

The point is, while most marketers continue to be preoccupied with millennials, who became the biggest adult age demo this year, consumers over 50 control 70% of our country's wealth, making them a significantly greater holiday sales opportunity than their kids.

Certainly one would expect that the 50-plus category would account for the majority of health (63%) and insurance (68%) expenditures. However, when it comes to buying for everyone on their holiday lists, consider that people 50 and older are now responsible for 51% of all entertainment spending as well as 57% of big ticket items such as new cars and trucks. Those a huge numbers.

So, what are the best ways to connect with adults 50-plus? Here are five tips that we think will work especially well this holiday season, and beyond.

Reach 50-plus adults everywhere:
Wondering where to reach the 50-plus demo with your holiday marketing messages? The answer is everywhere. The 50-plus demographic is embracing mobile, and they are still avid print readers, movie-goers and TV viewers. They are also online and leaders in social sharing. In fact, consumers over 50 love Facebook, with research showing that 15.5% of them spend 11 or more hours on Facebook every week.

Go mobile:
Here's perhaps a surprising statistic: consumers over age 55 are the fastest-growing segment on mobile. What does this mean for your marketing efforts this holiday season? Think videos and compelling content. Research shows that 50% of Boomers view and share videos online, making engaging videos an especially effective way to reach the 50-plus audience on mobile this holiday season. Compelling blog posts written in an editorial style are also an excellent way to share your brand's seasonal message.

Speak their language:
With many of our clients specializing in the 50-plus audience, we’ve become very aware that it is beyond critical to speak their language and to be sure their thinking is not stuck in Christmases past! The 50-plus consumer is active, engaged and feel good about aging. Your advertising - especially the language - must reflect this mindset.

Offer irresistible deals:
We know from experience that “seniors” love discounts. In fact, it's clear the 50-plus consumer is value-oriented, and that marketers can win their attention, and their business, by offering enticing holiday discounts. Try adding some content to the mix and you're sure to build on your success.

Remember brick-and-mortar:
With offline stores still accounting for more than 90% of U.S. commerce, brisk brick-and-mortar business remains a major force for a successful holiday season. Even Amazon, whose brand identity is synonymous with online shopping, is opening a brick-and-mortar bookstore. So marketers, take note: The demographic that will be responsible for most of the foot traffic this season will be the 50-plus age group. In fact, over the past three years, 50-plus consumers have been recognized for the growth of a wide range of brick-and-mortar retailers. Walmart for instance, gained 5.7 million new customers age 50 and older, eight times the growth of their younger customer base.

What are you looking to do to entice the 50+ crowd. We’d like to hear from you.

Joe Bouch