By Laurie Levitt, AARP Media Advertising Network
With many people spending more time at home, consumers have reimagined where and how they live – doing everything from buying a new home to making home repairs, renovating or remodeling to adding and improving home security, home gyms, and home entertainment centers. And that’s especially true of the market-moving 50+ demographic.
They’ve focused anew on their home base and even their hometown – often deciding to downsize or move to larger, more flexible accommodations, and in particular making their homes more comfortable and aesthetically appealing.
Marketers often assume that life after 50 means cutting back and settling down. But for today’s 50+ adults, it’s a time of new beginnings – and several different life stages. It often brings multiple life events and decisions, including sending the kids off to college and becoming empty nesters, or welcoming the kids back home after college and building a multi-generational household; retiring, or starting a new career; becoming a grandparent or even a parent; becoming a caregiver for a loved one, or looking for ways to make their place of residence a forever home where they can maintain their independence.
Each of these life events creates new home-related needs, and requires a multitude of new products and services – and sometimes even a brand new home. And 50+ consumers, who are responsible for more than half (53%) of all consumer spending overall, and at least half of all consumer spending across a wide variety of home-related categories, are the ones making the purchase decisions.
For marketers, connecting with 50+ consumers opens up a variety of valuable opportunities to grow sales and increase ROI. Here are five things to know about them, based on several new studies from MRI-Simmons and AARP.
They Need Help with Moving
Consumers 50+ account for 37% of adults who plan to buy or sell a home in the next 12 months. More than eight of 10 (83%) own their homes vs. just 61% of adults under age 50. Many also own vacation homes. And their needs are extensive: moving companies, real estate companies, home remodeling and repairs, new fixtures, large and small appliances, interior design, home furnishings, garden supplies – the list is endless, as home projects generally are. For marketers, the key is to think holistically, and to convey all the ways you can help a 50+ homeowner remodel, rejuvenate, or reimagine their home.
They Want to Protect What Matters
Feeling safe and secure at home is important to everyone. With their high net worth and spending power, 50+ consumers are best positioned to protect their families as well as their investments. They’re likely to need everything from homeowner’s insurance to home security systems, and smart-home solutions. The implication for marketers is to propose a broad range of options, so that 50+ homeowners can make informed decisions about the products and services that are right for them.
They Care about Curb Appeal
When it comes to home improvement, the grass is always greener at a 50+ consumer’s household. Adults 50+ have worked hard to make their home something special, and they take pride in showing it off. More than half (56%) are particularly interested in home décor. And more than four in ten (44%) have made home improvements in the past year – either working with contractors or going to their local hardware store or shopping online and doing it themselves. In all, 50+ consumers are responsible for approximately $150 billion in home improvements and remodeling expenditures each year. Marketers of everything from hardware and home improvement to interior and exterior design who present themselves as partners in helping 50+ homeowners turn vision into reality will build strong relationships and repeat business for years to come.
They Know How to Make a House a Home – and They Do it with Pride
The vast majority of 50+ consumers (79%) agree that keeping a neat, organized home is a top priority. It’s no wonder that they regularly purchase a broad range of household cleaners, disinfectants, soaps and sanitizers, carpet and upholstery cleaners, waxes, and polishes. And because many 50+ adults are heads of multigenerational households and/or have pets in their homes, they tend to appreciate the option to purchase environmentally friendly products as well. For marketers of household cleaning products, both in-store and online, speed, selection, convenience, and of course plenty of inventory are key.
They’re Independent – and They Plan to Stay that Way
Adults 50+ are self-reliant, and they want to stay in their homes as they age. Among a subset of highly educated and influential 50+ consumers, nine in 10 are interested in seeing advertising for products and services that will help them stay independent now and in the future, and help them create the forever homes they want. Marketers who recognize that 50+ consumers want to maintain their independent lifestyles and are willing to modify their homes to support them will be better positioned to meet their needs.
Bottom Line: For 50+ consumers, there’s no place like home. Which is why marketers of everything from home goods and furnishings to real estate and homeowners’ insurance should always be sure to roll out the “welcome” mat for this financial powerhouse of an audience. Consumers 50+ are a must-win demographic that can represent significant bottom-line value to any real estate or home products or service marketer.