The marketing and advertising industry is youth skewed, but older consumers are largely by-passed, writes Rupert Pick, co-founder and global managing partner at creative agency Hot Pickle, in Campaign Asia. “Our industry’s average age is 36. This wouldn’t be true of medicine, law, or even finance.” Quoting figures showing the spending power of over-55s, he wonders if, “in the world of innovation, there’s a perception that younger people are more experimental and more open to new ideas”. Yet as he approaches 50 “I don’t see my generation being any less open to trying new things”. His company, which specialises in experiential marketing is “inundated with briefs targeting consumers under 35, but above this age group, the assignments are few and far between”. In a straw poll one agency network found less and 10% of their briefs from clients were aimed at a 45 plus audience. Perhaps decisions are being based on the assumption that lifetime value favours attracting the young over the old, he suggests. But “if your young consumers can’t afford you products today, there will be no lifetime”. He reminds clients “ there’s an underserved market out there, ready and waiting to be engaged. I’d urge you to pay less attention to those clunky demographic tick boxes and lean harder into psychographic segmentations. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking only a youth audience builds a brand quickly.”

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