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Advertising expert: ignore 45+ group at your peril


23 March 2006

Advertising expert says ignore the 45+ age group at your peril

Advertisers and marketers take note, if you ignore the 45+ age group in your sales strategies, you do so at your own peril.

This is the warning from Evergreen Marketing Communications director Gill Walker, from Melbourne, who visits New Zealand next week to speak at three Marketing Association nationwide seminars.

Ms Walker says the advertising and marketing industry is obsessed by youth and continues to miss the boat on the older consumer market that will outspend its youthful counterparts in years to come.

“By concentrating on the under 40 market, advertisers and marketers will effectively marginalise themselves as this market is set to dwindle. What they really need to do is take a mature approach and target the older generation.”

Ms Walker says the highest household spending growth will come from people aged over 45 in the years to come, not those 20-40. It will be the Baby Boomer generation that will have the most spending power and the potential to give marketers a sustainable profit growth as we move into an economic slow down.

She says she is not advocating more advertising with older faces, but highlighting the opportunity to create advertisements aimed at the over 50 age group that are effective and appealing.

“What I am advocating is more products and services should be advertised to the over 50s audience. As a valuable potential audience, they deserve advertising that stimulates and excites them as part of the campaign.”

She said it appeared that many in the industry were ready to listen to the advice she and her colleagues were giving as the Auckland seminar has sold out.

“All 216 places have gone and we’ve had to close registrations as there’s no more room to accommodate them. This is positive news and shows there is a lot of interest for this issue.”

Ms Walker says at the root of the need for change is the fact that people aged over 45+ don’t behave like they did several decades ago. They are much more youthful in their outlook and face the years ahead with enthusiasm and a zest for life than can rival even their children, if they have them.

“Todays 50-year-olds are more like 30-year-olds so for this and other reasons we need to redirect some attention in the marketing and advertising world to a group that has changed significantly over time. Although the group has changed, the marketing to them has not. This needs to be addressed.”

Ms Walker said the Baby Boomer Generation was responsible for this change and by not providing interesting and accessible advertising to people over 45 companies missed out on a group who were invariably at the peak of their earning capacity after having said goodbye to the usual financial restraints of mortgages and children.

“No company wants to miss out on this kind of consumer power so it’s time to take stock and change the focus and attitude of how we market goods, services and products.”

Ms Walker speaks in Auckland on March 27, Wellington on March 30 and Christchurch on March 31.


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