13 Aug

Is your business ready for a silver world?

The UK population has aged and is ageing, with more people aged over 50 than under 18. Plus, having profited from rising property values, free university education, social mobility and decent pensions – they hold around 80% of the wealth and boy do they like to spend it! So much so that their spend has grown by an average of 4.5% annually for the last ten years.

But it is a complex and complicated landscape; with a sophisticated and diverse audience to target, ever-evolving channels through which to reach them, and a consumer journey that has changed from a linear path to a very disrupted cycle.

Added to this is the pressure on marketers to drive performance despite decreasing budgets and a demand for instant return on investment.

Quite a challenge! But, with these baby boomers out in force, the growth potential for travel and hospitality brands that understand and engage with this lucrative market is enormous.

Let’s look at the facts:

  • They are the biggest and richest group of pensioners in history – many will spend more time in retirement than they did working, exploring old interests and discovering new ones
  • Their spending power will reach £9.6tn by 2020 **
  • They are the first truly multimedia generation. So, by categorising them using strict demographic labels and only engaging via traditional media outlets, brands are missing out on a whole host of opportunities
  • Once complicated and expensive, technology is now simple to use and very affordable
  • They are online (67% vs 14% in 2000) *
  • They own a smartphone (42% vs 18% in 2013) *
  • They use social media (34% vs 27% in 2013) *
  • 68% say they share positive experiences via their social networks *
  • 90% look to brands to provide relevant content in the form of experiences, solutions, entertainment and advice. *

And yet, this experienced and energetic group only appear in around 6% of all advertising, resulting in them feeling at best underrepresented, at worst ignored.

Clearly, this is a huge opportunity, which must start with travel brands having a much better understanding of this audience, what they actually want and how they consume content across multiple devices (remembering they have an insatiable appetite for information).

Sally Winfield, Chair of the Mature Marketing Association, will be speaking at ABTA’s upcoming Over 50s Traveller conference on 25 September at the UK Chamber of Shipping, Park Street, London SE1 9EQ. 

Sally will be joined by expert speakers from companies including Silver Travel Advisor, Abercrombie and Kent, Undiscovered Destinations, Azamara Club Cruises, Travelzoo, Gransnet, Pure360, Let’s Talk Ageing and ABTOI UK. 

For further details, to view the agenda and book your place please visit abta.com/abtaevents.

Author: Sally Winfield, Chair of the Mature Marketing Association

*Havas Group Media’s Meaningful Brands Study 2018