My Audience is Too Old for the Internet: NOT

Haven’t you been in a meeting about e-marketing where someone says "all that stuff about the Internet being great for marketing doesn’t really apply to us, because our audience is old?" 

I know this conversation still happens at tons of arts organizations every day. And, for years, I’ve been debunking this myth using our own research which I’ve published most recently in the latest version of my book Wired for Culture.

Last week something came across my desk which is so juicy and relevant that I’m just going to quote it pretty much in its entirely here. This came from an e-mail newsletter called the Center for Media Research.

Feast your eyes on this research, and say to yourself over and over "this is my audience." (I have added the bolds and the underlines.)

"According to a new study, by ThirdAge Inc. and JWT BOOM, with over 1,210 adults 40+ years of age, over 72% of ThirdAgers access the Internet from Broadband in their homes, which is significantly more than the national average across all age groups. And, over 82% of all respondents are researching or reading information Online on health and wellness for themselves and for their families.

Sharon Whiteley, CEO of ThirdAge, said "ThirdAgers (baby boomers and mid-lifers generally in their early 40’s through mid 60’s) are regularly stereotyped as being technophobes and slow to jump on the technology bandwagon. However… not only are they online, they’re surprisingly a formidable presence on the Internet."

According to the survey, ThirdAgers spend time on the Internet are to:

  • Seek out information (92%)
  • Stay in touch with friends and family (95%)
  • Shop online (73%)
  • Browse the Web (95%)
  • Read articles (91%)
  • Research products before purchasing offline (86%)

What they’re not doing is watching videos, writing blogs, playing games or downloading music,
notes the report.

The report includes data that shows that

  • Close to 108 million people are over the age of 45, more than 40 percent of the population, with the majority of the buying power in the United States
  • In the next 15 years, the 50-64 age popular will grow by 50 percent and the 65-plus population will grow 32 percent
  • The traditionally coveted 18-40 Gen-X and Gen-Y populations will grow only 3 percent combined

Whiteley says "… many marketers… (are not) building a trusted relationship with people who are over 40… These generations have grown up in the information age; they will seek facts, data and peer input…"

Based on survey findings, over 96% share information and details about new discoveries with their family, 84% with their children, 83% with their spouses and 71% among their co-workers making this cohort one of the most active groups in the viral marketplace."

Learn More about PatronManager, the powerful CRM platform that helps you sell more tickets, raise more money, and cultivate stronger bonds with your audience, all in one database.