Don’t Underestimate Old Dogs…

Experience Generates Perspective...and Discernment

Experience Generates Perspective...and Discernment

A Consumer Electronics Study reports that people from their fifties to their seventies are nearly as tech savvy as their younger counterparts.  For all practical purposes, this demographic will use a hi-def TV, a cell phone or a search engine just as often as an eighteen to thirty-four year old.  In fact, the only real difference was that the older generations prefer a more personal touch; while they research online, they like to talk to a sales associate before buying.

Frankly, this comes as no surprise.  All the nonsense about people under thirty being digital natives disregards the basic reality that older consumers are far more discerning and demanding.  They only use tools that make sense to them; they don’t just try something because it’s new.  They don’t Twitter?  That’s not because they don’t get it; it’s because micro-blogging makes no sense to them.  Instead, they e-mail, because it fits their notion of community.  I can’t be the only guy with a seventy-ish father-in-law who way over-indexes on forwarding funny–or allegedly funny–clips and jokes, albeit without ever erasing the long legacy strings of duplications and e-mail address headers…

Underestimating, or far worse–disrespecting, your market is an inexcusable professional sin for any marketer.  To be a top practitioner of this craft, one must possess genuine empathy.  Just plain liking people helps too.

By Dennis Ryan, CCO, Element 79

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