The middle-aged working class spends a vast amount of money and is one of the most lucrative market segments for many types of businesses. The purchasing power of the middle-aged working class is a double-edged sword – this market segment has money to spend, but many competitors are vying for that money making it more difficult for any one company to be successful. Understanding the middle-aged working class is crucial. All stereotypes aside, there are some conventions the knowledge of which you can use to position your products and services ahead of the pack.
Cut the bull
If you want to market to the middle-aged working class, don’t juice up the hype. These are not impressionable kids, but adults with decades of life experience. Most can smell a rat from a mile away, and harbor no qualms about calling it as they see it. Be honest with your features and benefits and become a problem solver or a way to make life more comfortable and enjoyable.
Don’t be afraid to pitch
It’s true that the middle-aged working class are not impressionable kids – they are impressionable adults. Everyone is impressionable, but what it takes to make an influential impression differs between 20-somethings and 40- to 50-somethings. The basics of sound print marketing still apply: create a well-targeted mailing list, develop a powerful and relevant offer, write a compelling call to action and wrap it all up in an engaging design.
Define sub-segments within the population and cater to their interests: golfers, bookworms, car aficionados, cigar smokers, cooking hobbyists, gardeners and more. Don’t forget to be relevant – everyone will take a free big-screen TV, but unless your customers are home theater buffs it won’t do you much good to give one away.
Brand and conquer
Branding is just as important to the middle-aged working class as it is to other market segments. Thus, your company should be incredibly visible in order to optimize profits. Advertise in publications and online; print posters, flyers and door hangers for public distribution; and send direct- mail postcards, newsletters, booklets, calendars and other marketing materials to your customers regularly. Repetition is key here.
Baby boomers and other middle-aged working class prospects tend to read a lot, so an extended direct-mail pitch is not out of the question. Sales letters, newsletters, and booklets that add value can be especially effective; and postcard-to-website marketing remains one of the best ways to quickly motivate customers to take the next step in the purchasing process regardless of age.
Marketing to the middle-aged working class must be treated as an investment. Unlike seniors who are not web-savvy and unlike youth who tend to ignore traditional media, the middle-aged working class delves into all media – radio, TV, the Internet, magazines, newspapers, direct mail, etc. – so you can create an incredibly broad-yet-targeted marketing campaign poised for a high return on investment by developing a marketing campaign that brands across all mediums.