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How to Appeal to Customers of Different Ages

by Ashley King

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Whether you work in the public sector, sell products directly to other businesses or offer goods and services to members of the public, I think it’s important that you attempt to appeal to people of differing ages. As obvious as it sounds, doing so will increase your customer base and – with any luck – will result in more sales.

That said, ensuring that customers young and old alike always have the incentive to use your business’ products and services is not always an easy task. Although your ability to do this will depend, to a certain extent, on what industry you are in, even those that offer highly niche products should look to appeal to as wide an audience as possible. With that in mind, here are some of the things your company might want to consider doing.

Use Clear, Easy-to-Understand Language

One of the most effective ways to make sure people of all ages are interested in your organization is to use simple language that can be easily understood.

Admittedly, that does sound fairly obvious, but it can be all too easy to get wrapped up in using jargon when sending letters out to customers or discussing industry developments on your website. Remember that not everybody will have the same level of expertise in your sector as you do, and – if you’re not careful – you could run the risk of alienating would-be clients.

Electronic appliance retailers, for example, may want to explain in plain English what things like MP3 players, e-readers and SLR digital cameras are to older people who will not have had these items growing up. Industry-specific recruiters looking to appeal to graduates, meanwhile, should remember that these young people are unlikely to be as familiar with sector developments as their older counterparts, so you will need to be sensitive to their lack of experience.

Consequently, I think it’s important that your marketing material tries to explain things to consumers as clearly and concisely as possible. It may even be a good idea to have a glossary on your organization’s website to define industry concepts, so that people of all ages will understand.

Implement a Multi-Channel Marketing Campaign

Ensuring that your marketing efforts are distributed through a wide range of formats will prove a great way to ensure you appeal to people across a broad range of ages.

Using online marketing techniques – such as viral videos and email newsletters – is a fantastic way to connect with your target audience quickly and directly. Such campaigns can often be quite cost-effective to implement, while also utilizing social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook means that recipients of your content can share pictures and posts with their friends, thus increasing the number of consumers who come across your campaign material.

Even though it seems that many of us are constantly attached to our smartphones and laptops these days, I think it’s worth remembering that a significant proportion of people aren’t online. Indeed, in the United States, studies have shown that one in five American adults don’t use the Internet at all, while in the UK, recent research shows that some seven million people have never used the Internet, with 6.3 million of them above the age of 55.

Of course, that isn’t to say older people are totally clueless when it comes to using modern technology, but you should bear in mind that – generally speaking – they are less likely to see email marketing messages and social media advertising campaigns than their younger counterparts.

As such, it is a good idea to use traditional forms of offline marketing – such as newspaper and radio advertising – alongside any online efforts to make sure your brand gets maximum exposure across a broad demographic.

Provide Excellent Customer Service

One thing that customers – regardless of their age or the products and/or services you offer – will want is to feel the organization that they spend their hard-earned money with cares about them. To achieve this, you need to offer impeccable customer service and ensure that any questions or complaints are dealt with in a prompt and polite manner.

Obviously, mistakes can – and do – happen in the world of business, but showing that you’re responsive to customers’ queries and eager to provide the best possible level of service should stand you in good stead and maximize your appeal to customers, old and young, new and existing alike.

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