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Retirement is an exciting time for many, but it can also be a time of uncertainty. Companies that market to retirees strive to understand the many forces that factor into purchasing decisions. Retirees tend to have more money that many other population segments (seniors control between 60 percent and 70 percent of all U.S. assets, according to some estimates), but that doesn't mean it's any easier to convince them your products and services are worth spending their money on. Here are some tips and tricks for connecting with retirees through your marketing campaigns:
Not all retirees are equal - men, women, golfers, the wealthy, the impoverished - so you must first identify which segment best characterizes your target audience. Remember that age is only one of many factors that make up your perfect customer, so consider every other possible purchasing influence to best target your campaigns to likely buyers.
Many retirees live on fixed incomes that aren't as high as their working salaries. While they might be willing to splurge on automobiles and vacations they always wanted to take, they're also likely to be frugal in other areas. Develop a pitch that demonstrates that your products and services are budget-friendly, especially if your target segment lives on fixed incomes.
Many senior retirees rely, at least in part, on their children to help them make purchasing decisions. If this is the case in your segment, you also have to consider their children as part of your target audience. Deciding on a retirement community, for example, is one of the most difficult decisions families make; and so retirement communities not only demonstrate why they're a good fit for the retiree, but also how their loved ones can be certain they're afforded the best possible treatment by staff. Understanding motivations is extremely important here: One retiree segment might be seeking to relive their youth or do things they feel they've missed out on; while others might be seeking security and longevity.
Many senior citizens do not have computers or Internet access, and some rarely leave their homes at all. Others are extremely web-savvy and are on-the-go. Again, remember that age and retirement status are only part of the equation. No matter whom your target retiree segment is, you can always rely on print marketing direct-mail strategies to get your message front and center. Postcards, brochures, catalogs and calendars all boast high success rates. Retirees have worked hard their whole lives to be able to retire, no matter their age. Everyone has unique hobbies, interests, lifestyles and financial situations, so it's important to understand who your perfect customer is and develop a pitch that caters to this market segment. Careful planning in the early stages of retiree marketing will yield a much higher return on investment and take your profitability to the next level - so that you, too, can one day retire comfortably.