Virgin on the ridiculous

I must correct the other Martin Smith’s belief that most companies and agencies understand the mature market (MW November 2).

Research surveying more than 1 million consumers over the age of 50 shows that almost 90 per cent of them believe that advertising is not relevant to them. They feel disenfranchised by it, and saying otherwise does not change the fact.

Agencies have to understand more than the fact that the mature sector is the most lucrative sector. They also have to learn how it thinks, what its goals are, the varied segments within it and the creative executions that work well with it.

What is more, the youngest and biggest-spending section of the 50-plus market, “thrivers” aged between 50 and 60, will grow by a further 3.7 million over the next five years to create the biggest, most cash-rich market the UK has ever known. It will establish itself as the most youthful 50-plus sector the UK has ever seen, and will have unprecedented spending power.

However, the principles behind selling to it will remain the same as for any other market. If marketers spent as much time focusing on the 50-plus sector as they did on the youth market, the returns on investment would be significantly higher.

Martin Smith

Managing director

Millennium Direct

Bradford, Yorkshire

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