The simple answer to this question is “not quite.” Japan, for example, is a much older society that is getting older faster than America. Perhaps more accurate is that Americans are living longer than ever before. Even in this endeavor, though, we have fallen behind France, Germany, Sweden, Italy, Japan and England, among others, where life expectancy is longer than here. Poor eating habits and the lack of National healthcare seem to be the main culprits for this, but there are encouraging signs that we are catching up. And while we’re not old now, it’s clear that this will change dramatically in the next 20-40 years. Right now, one in seven Americans is over 65. In 15 years this will jump to one in five. In fact, it’s estimated that the number of Americans over 65 will double in the next four decades. Not to fear, though, Canada is on pace to be the oldest country in the Americas, mostly due to our influx of young Latin Americans (a subject for perhaps a different blog!).
While the country isn’t necessarily getting old, the audience responding to TV commercials certainly is. They’re our last demographic not enamored, nay obsessed, with the internet. Yes, their usage is growing, but it’s far from their go-to source for news and entertainment. Seniors still remember a time when their only choice was to call if they wanted to purchase a product. Many still remember a time when they had to mail their payment in without even calling! And while 50% of Americans and growing now have DVRs, seniors still lag behind in time shift viewing and binge watching, pun intended. This is good news when taking into account how many products and services adults over 50 need and can afford. It’s really bad news when it comes time to promote a service or product targeted to young demos. For those campaigns, PPC/SEO online, text and social media campaigns are imperative if you hope to capture even a fraction of that market. Humans are animals and, just like Pavlov’s dogs, we’ve become trained to respond to certain triggers. When we create an effective TV campaign, these triggers are meant to illicit phone calls. That’s tough to do when the entire demo you’re trying to reach has not been “trained” to pick up the phone and call. It’s simply much easier to reach for the low hanging fruit of a demographic that has been ordering products from television for the past 30 years.
We recently put this to the test when we launched a campaign for Final Expense insurance. Not only did the older demo we targeted respond, they’ve responded in droves. It’s like they’re watching TV with one hand on the telephone, just waiting to call! We’re very excited about adding this new category to our portfolio of available inbound calls. The quality and volume are as good as it gets and we can scale to meet demand. We know we will be able to lead many insurance companies down a golden path, impacting their bottom lines while allowing them to grow without worrying, “where will we get the leads?” And we know that this is only the beginning, which is why we’re planning to target several other categories that fill a need for America’s seniors. Do you know of a service or product that would be good for television targeted at adults 50+? If you do, give us a call and let us blow your phones up, guaranteed. Now that we’re all living so much longer, the question I’ve been asking is “When will there be an 80-100 year old target demo?”
Matthew S. Goldreich