US Marketing Trends
The latest marketing trends in the United States for those aged 55 and above include social media events and storytelling video content. In general, current marketing trends include the use of chat bots, posting ephemeral content and using influencers and experts to generate brand awareness.
All the information used to produce this report arose from sources published within the last two months, the majority of the sources used for this report were published within the last month. All the following information has a United States focus.
Marketing Trends for the 55+ age range
Previously, marketing campaigns have failed to focus on the over 55s. However, with this generation becoming increasingly well-connected on social media and having much disposable income, brands are starting to direct their marketing campaigns towards this age group, mostly through the use of online media.
87% of those aged 50–64 are online. It is reported that around 10% of those users are online almost constantly with this age group using emails primarily to distribute and share information. The over 55s are also extremely social media savvy, with 93% of those aged 55+ reporting that they used Facebook on a daily basis, mostly on mobile devices. Of those aged 55+, 71% have smartphone and 53% have a tablet.
One of the latest trends in marketing for the over 55s is video in the form of storytelling. Brands are starting to target the over 55s by producing content which generates a sentiment of connection through videos which show real people, their life experiences, dreams and fears. By allowing the over 55s to feel a connection to other users of a brand they are more likely to purchase the brand's products.
Another recent marketing technique is using social media events to market products to the over 55s. This age demographic regularly attend events (on average 24.5 events per year) far more than the equivalent millennial demographic. As regular users of social media they can be easily reached through social media advertised events, however studies have shown that they are unlikely to search and navigate to a social media event, the event must show up in the users social media feed.
Despite strong growth in social media marketing techniques for the over 55s, it has been reported that 62% of this demographic still prefer direct, face to face marketing from sales people and 38% still prefer print media.
General marketing Trends
General marketing trends in the US are currently still strongly focused on social media, specifically chat bots, ephemeral content, video marketing and influencer marketing.
Chat bots are increasingly being used for marketing purposes in the US. Customers worldwide are able to discuss products and services with chat bots, increasing the reach of many brands. Whilst millennial are still the main marketing focus of chat bots there is work being done to make chat bots more user-friendly for the over 55s. Facebook has been a key player in the introduction of chat bots, reporting that there are around 100,000 active chat bots on Facebook Messenger each month.
Ephemeral content is one of the latest marketing trends to be adopted by many brands in the US. Ephemeral content posted on Snapchat, Instagram stories and Facebook stories is only available online for 24 hours, after which it disappears forever. Brands have adopted this type of content creation as ephemeral content is considered to be more authentic than other marketing strategies. Furthermore, the transient nature of this form of marketing means that many customers are quick to act in order to purchase a product they see on ephemeral content.
Influencer marketing has become increasingly popular for brands recently. It has been reported that 86% of brands currently use influencers to market their products and with good reason. Messages and adverts posted by brands themselves get shared 24 times less than when an influencer posts about the brand. Moving on from influencer marketing, there is an emerging trend of expert marketing whereby brands don't just use anyone who is popular on social media, they use those people who have expertise and links to the product which they are attempting to market.
Other marketing trends recently adopted by brands include shoppable links on social media. Such an innovation commenced in 2017 on Instagram and was adopted in January 2018 by platforms such as Pinterest who have "Buyable Pins", allowing users to purchase products which they like on Pinterest. Indeed, this trend has been such a success that Pinterest now accounts for 5% of all the referral traffic worldwide on the internet.
Video content continues to be one of the key marketing trends in 2018. As Twitter's head of planning said "video isn't a strategy, it's a tactic" and brands are using this to their advantage when marketing. Video content is the fastest growing form of advertising and is continuing to double in growth year-on-year. Due to facts such as in 2017 90% of content posted and shared by social media users was video and that by 2020 80% of online consumer traffic will be video leads brands to continue to focus strongly on this format.
Future marketing Trends
The European Union is set to introduce its General Data Protection Regulation on May 25th, this will limit how brands can collect data concerning consumers and therefore may affect marketing strategies. Furthermore, there is a push-back trend of consumers blocking of adverts and therefore some brands are not having the marketing reach which they previously held.
In summary, social media continues to play a key role in the latest marketing trends, both overall and that which targets the over 55s. The latest marketing trends for the over 55s include social media events and video storytelling. In general, the latest marketing trends include increasing the use of chat bots, ephemeral content generation and the continuing dominance of video content.