Many tech marketers prefer to focus on the younger generation, as these customers are already used to adopting new technology. While that’s not a bad idea, think about who has stable jobs, disposable income, and kids or grandchildren to buy gifts for.
Targeting an older demographic, especially when they’re ignored by other marketers, can create a huge opportunity for your company. You’ll need to adjust your tactics to reach people who aren’t as tech-savvy, but it can be done.
Stress Ease of Use
One of the biggest barriers to reaching the older generation is that they feel like they can’t learn new technology. You need to demonstrate how anyone can pick up and use your product without any prior knowledge.
This starts with the product packaging that should show, not tell, exactly how to use the key features. Consumers should be able to pick up your box off the shelf and say, “I could do that.”
Provide In-Store Demos
Retail stores are losing out to online-only shops in some sectors, but they still have a place. Think about the success of Apple’s retail stores.
When you sell online, even with the best product descriptions and demo videos, people still need to imagine using your technology and decide whether they can figure it out. In the case of software, they need to go through the process of downloading and setting up your demo before they can use it.
When you sell in a store, people can immediately pick up your product or open your software product and start using it. Store employees can help walk customers through the features and prevent them from walking away because they fell overwhelmed.
If you’re worried about foot traffic, remember that older consumers still prefer going to brick-and-mortar stores. It’s just a matter of finding the right locations in malls or other high-traffic areas.
Offer Live Phone Support
Customer service in general is moving towards chats and emails, but think about what your target audience is comfortable with. To close the sale, you’ll want them to feel like they can continue to get help when they need it.
The best way to do this is to offer live support over a comfortable medium: the phone. This is an added expense, but it’s one that you’ll see a return on through increased sales.
To control costs or create a new profit center, you may consider charging for phone support after some time, but the first several months to a year should be free to help capture the market that might need a little extra help getting started.
Address a Need
You also need to answer the age-old question of why do consumers need your product? This can be especially problematic when you’re selling to someone who has lived his or her entire life doing things the old-fashioned way.
Traditional answers like saving time, saving money or convenience are starting points, but you’ll still face resistance from people who feel they don’t have a problem that needs solving. Your strategy will also need intangible selling points.
Think about what older consumers need or want.
- They don’t want to feel left behind by technology.
- They want to keep up with the times.
- They want to share in experiences with their children or grandchildren.
- They need to stay in contact with their families.
- They might need extra help with certain tasks as their physical or mental abilities decline.
If you can answer these questions in a respectful way, you haven’t just reached the older market — you’ve created a product champion. Your customers will brag to the younger generation about how they used your new technology and encourage them to buy it as well or give it to them as a gift.