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Many stereotypical marketing practices aimed at men and women over the age of 60 may not be as effective as previously assumed, according to a new report from Nielsen NeuroFocus, the Berkeley, Calif.-based agency that specializes in neurological testing for consumer research.
Compared to younger brains, mature brains respond differently to marketing messages, have a broader attention span and are more emotionally balanced. Refuting the traditional belief that older brains cannot learn and adapt, new research in the field of neuroscience suggests that the mature brain retains plasticity, or the ability to change as a result of experience, even at a late stage in life.
With the help of fresh insights based upon research from consumer neuroscience, brands and marketing executives can better understand the most effective way to reach the boomer demographic.
Additional findings and prescriptions include:
- Mature brains have better control over their emotions and attend more to positive advertising messages. According to Nielsen NeuroFocus, marketers should emphasize upbeat messages and acknowledge what boomers will gain, not what they’ll lose.
- The boomer generation doesn’t want to feel old or be treated as such. Marketers should avoid stereotypes and steer clear of messages that feature older people. Boomers want to be spoken to intelligently and honestly.
- Although mature brains occasionally struggle with recalling information, they actually have broader attention spans than that of their younger counterparts, allowing them to absorb more nuanced messaging. Marketers can help the boomer brain by creating mnemonic triggers for their brand or product to make them easier to recall.
- Boomer brains process information differently, as they may ignore messages and images that are too cluttered, or scene changes that are too rapid. While the messaging can be complex, the delivery and format should be simple.
- Baby boomers are a segment often overlooked by Madison Avenue, yet they continue to hold strong and influential in terms of purchasing power. According to the latest statistics, boomers are on track to spend $7 billion online this year alone. By understanding what triggers certain emotions with this consumer group, marketers can adapt their messaging in order to communicate more effectively.
NeuroFocus clients include Fortune 100 companies across consumer package goods, food and beverage, financial services, automotive, and retail sectors.