It’s not what you say but how you say it

There is no small irony in the heading you gave to Anne Edwards letter on the over-50s market, (“Same old story with marketing” MW May 29). The fact is that Edwards follows the usual path of drawing attention to the lucrative mature market without saying how it should be addressed other than through the obvious data segmentation.

The same old story continues because although marketers recognise the benefits of addressing those consumers who spend more money on cars, leisure, holidays and financial products than all other groups combined, they invest little in finding out how they think and behave.

This failure to target the nation’s wealthiest consumers will only be redressed when it is understood that communication is as important as targeting. The mature market looks for value and benefit and the traditional campaign themes of branding and image have very little, if any, appeal.

Understanding your market is not a new marketing concept yet it is one that eludes so many when it comes to the over-50s. Until there is a real desire to learn about it, the few that do will continue to prosper largely unhindered by competition.

Naomi Watkins



London WC2

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