Did you know that people over sixty-five, our “senior citizens”, are the fastest growing demographic for the car wash industry? That is why an effective car wash marketing strategy should be done to keep this particular age group in mind as a reminder that a one-size fits all strategy isn’t the answer. The latest figures from Statistics Canada show that three-quarters of the population that is sixty-five or older still have their driver’s license. Let’s face it, a driver’s license equates to freedom in almost all people’s eyes, not just our senior population.
Let’s delve into the top ten reasons WHY we need to consider putting our marketing dollars towards this worthwhile investment of advertising and marketing to people over the age of sixty-five online as well as offline.
- The US Census Bureau estimates that the population of senior citizens is growing. By the year 2050 we will have over 88.5 million senior citizens living in the US alone. That will make up a little less than 42% of the entire US population.
- The US Census Bureau also states that senior citizens are the fastest growing group of internet users, to the tune of over $7 million dollars per year online. Online sales from senior citizens are up 22% from ten years ago when it comprised of only 2% of the senior population.
- More and more of our “older” population are foregoing retirement, either out of necessity or choice, and working longer than the average sixty-five years for retirement age. This means that keeping up appearances to keep up with the “younger” crowd is a must.
- Statistics Canada states that the senior population pays close attention to the details when it comes to car care. They are aware that a cleaner car is also a safer car. Appearances are important and a working vehicle is necessary in keeping up with day-to-day activities in the senior population.
- People we now consider “Baby Boomers” who came from the depression era are more prone to use credit cards and spend their money on higher priced items, like car detailing services, in retirement.
- According to Mr. Payne at the AHMC, senior citizens are more likely to look at the value or worth of an item or service as opposed to the price tag alone.
- Senior citizens are also more likely to participate in word of mouth advertising, especially since the majority belong to at least one outside group of similar peers such as senior centers, AARP, veteran’s groups, lodges, temples and churches.
- According to Maria Henke, Assistant Dean of the University of S. California Davis School of Gerontology, our senior population have seen it all when it comes to advertising and may be a hard sell, but are well worth a good marketing plan as they are equally loyal when finding a product or service they like.
- In their book, No B.S. Guide to Marketing to Leading-Edge Boomers and Seniors, Dan S. Kennedy and Chip Kessler say that 33% of a business’ growth was due to advertising and marketing at a public event, educational seminar or workshops for seniors. This suggests that a bigger emphasis should be placed on bringing additional friends to such events to grow your business.
- According to the KBM Group, our US baby boom generation controls 77% of all personal assets in the US and half of all the discretionary spending equating to about $750 billion dollars. They also own 40 million credit cards and purchase 48% of all of the luxury cars sold in the US.
When targeting advertising to the senior market it is best to consider the functionality of the product or service being offered and how well that matches their needs. You will also want to decide what part of the senior population you want to target in your advertising or marketing. There are several types of senior populations to consider. Some of those populations include those that are still in the workforce, those that are retired but still active and enjoy getting out often, those that are retired and live in rural areas that do not venture too far from home, and those that live in retirement villages and still drive but not as often as most.
Whatever the situation, our senior population is growing, thriving and still driving well past the age of sixty-five. When this has been decided, there are still many additional factors to consider in your customer profile such as cultural differences; race, education, beliefs and family to name a few. Are the seniors being marketed to belong to a larger family structure where there is lots of support? Do they live alone and do things independently from others? These are just a few more of the cultural nuances that need to be considered in your marketing plans. But when you do your homework, you will be amazed at how quickly your business will grow and the incredible network system that senior citizens have and how fast word of mouth information spreads.
The US Department of Aging can put you in touch with agencies in your area, which can help you network and build your business with the senior population.
If you want additional information regarding this topic and other topics like this one, consider becoming one of our Detail XPerts franchisees so you can benefit from our business expertise and knowledge in the car wash industry. The experts at DetailXPerts have already done the research for you and know what works and what doesn’t in all areas of the car wash industry.