If you’re in the business of marketing Medicare or sell to a senior or mature audience, one of the dangers every marketer faces is making a decision based upon a stereotype or a gut feeling instead of facts and marketplace realities. It seems especially true and an easy trap to fall into when you’re working with what everyone agrees are well-defined demographics like the Boomer, the Senior, etc.
All that history of jargon, segment profiling, catchy monikers sometimes tricks us into thinking that our view of an audience or prospect’s behavior is a generally accepted fact or a “rule of thumb.” But as some of our latest findings and a lot of the current market research points out– some of those presumed “facts” aren’t necessarily so. And in the case of marketing Medicare or reaching a mature, senior target audience — what you think you know may be entirely opposite from what the truth really is.
We’ve struggled at times convincing Medicare marketers to add online tools, search and paid online into the media mix for reaching seniors. Only to meet with resistance and circumspection: What about newspaper? Isn’t the evening news the only thing this audience watches? They love direct mail, right? The fact is effectively reaching seniors may require all of those media touch-points. But it also requires a good balance of online presence.
The data tell a very different story about reaching today’s connected medicare audience. You’ve probably heard some of these questions before: Do people shop for Medicare online? Do seniors go online? Whom do they trust more for information: newsprint or friends and family? You can guess the right answers
At the risk of promulgating yet another segmentation term — reaching seniors today means connecting with “silver surfers or as we like call them “digital seniors .” Today’s seniors — from 64+ age-ins who are new to Medicare and to those already Medicare eligible and active during annual election periods (AEP)– online has become a significant part of their daily media consumption. And as importantly, an integral aspect of every day life. It’s where seniors turn to share information, photos with family and friends, gather advice and opinion about major purchases and decisions.
“What kind of Medicare care plan do you have? And do you like it?”
In fact, Medicare enrollees based on a Deft study, do more research and comparison shopping activity that your typical age-in Medicare audience. So counter-intuitively, the loyal Medicare member you may think you already have securely in your camp may actually be doing more shopping around. And consequently need more reinforcing and helpful information. Whom do they turn to and trust? They turn online to ask friends, family, peers.
If you have doubts about the value an impact of online when it comes to effectively reaching seniors, consider these facts about seniors’ online behavior from a recent Forrester study:
- 46% send and receive photos via email
- 44% play solo games on the the computer and internet
- 49% of seniors in the US use Facebook
- 91% of senior online use email
- 59% have purchased products on line in the last 3 months
So if you’re looking for a fast, affordable ways to connect with seniors about Medicare or anything else, a lot of facts say you can and should engage them online.