Tech companies will improve their chances of securing older markets if they take the time to understand better the physical changes we experience as we age and the changing manifestation of human values and motivators as we enter the winter of our lives.
For example, as we age we encounter physical changes that affect the quality of our lives. We can’t see or hear as well without assistance and we lose some of our taste, smell and touch sensitivity. Companies developing products like telephones, computers and other technological product would be well served to consider these changes in the design of their products. Make the products user friendly to aging markets and they’ll typically be attractive to younger markets as well. When selling products to these groups’ warranties, guarantees and “try it” programs are effective in convincing them to take a chance on new or unfamiliar technology.
Brent Green author of Marketing to Leading-edge Baby Boomer says “The quest for self-discovery and self-actualization are fundamental life issues.” It’s an ongoing process. The psychology of marketing and sales to these demos has to be experience oriented. It has to connect with their lifestage values. How are tech companies considering their value-proposition? Does the product help the aging customer connect with family, grandchildren or friends? Does the product provide them desired experiences? Opportunity also lies in creating advertising that takes the high road and compliments rather than criticizes target market values and messages that elevate rather than denunciate.
Joe Pine and Jim Gilmore, authors of The Experience Economy, promote the newest source of value creation – experiences: creating promotions, events and shopping environments designed to engage customers in a personal and profound way. Experiences create memories, rich with sensations and personal engagement. Older customers are experience seekers.
Give back to communities. Most companies are not philanthropic. They exist to make a profit. However, the opportunity is always available for tech companies to embrace and support a worthwhile non-profit cause and then enlist customers and stakeholders to participate in promotions that integrate advertising, sales promotion and public relations.
Finally, David B. Wolfe, principle author of Ageless Marketing and Firms of Endearment promotes marketing as a function that helps people “process their lives.” Tapping into that advice will help tech companies more successfully approach and connect with older markets.