Over-50s Consumer Journey

Over-50s CONSUMER JOURNEY

in partnership with

STRICT DEMOGRAPHIC TARGETING HAS

TRADITIONALLY BEEN A CORNERSTONE OF

MARKETING - BUT RELYING TOO HEAVILY ON IT

HAS SOMETIMES LED TO GROUPS BEING LUMPED

TOGETHER IN A WAY THAT HAS LED TO UNJUSTIFIED,

AND UNDESERVED, STEREOTYPING.

The over-50s are a prime example of this.

By treating them as one large aggregate set, many brands have failed to recognise that this diverse, experienced and sophisticated group has many different values, interests and lifestyles - all of which directly influence their buying habits. Put simply, there is no one-size-fits-all solution to mature marketing. Instead, it is complicated, ever-evolving and too complex to second-guess. But what is certain is that, as experienced, discriminating and demanding consumers, the over-50s openly reject crude attempts to be pigeonholed and categorised solely by age.

Hence, the potential for brands willing to look beyond factors such as age and take a holistic approach to cross-platform engagement is enormous. Let’s not forget that this group accounts for over a third of the UK population and with a high proportion of the country’s disposable income, they are likely to be the saviours of the UK retail economy. So, against this background, Accord’s latest white paper focuses on the ‘baby boomer’ generation. Produced in partnership with Silver Travel Advisor, it explores their path to purchase - awareness, consideration, conversion and evaluation - and the drivers, motivators and inhibitors affecting their decisions.

Methodology

An online survey was sent to a database held by Silver Travel Advisor of 62,000 over-50s during June-July 2018.

In addition, the survey was promoted on the Silver Travel Advisor Facebook page, which has over 40,000 followers, as well as in the Mature Times and Later Life newsletter broadcasts.

WE RECEIVED 1,465 RESPONDENTS, THE OVERWHELMING MAJORITY OF WHOM COMPLETED ALL 26 QUESTIONS.

The survey aimed to: • Understand buyer behaviour throughout the awareness, consideration, purchase and advocacy continuum in order to

• Understand the key motivators for behavioural change - and whether there are differences within age segments. • Gain key learnings regarding new channels to market and in turn improve marketing communications by age group. • Identify what stage is valued more by each different age segment. • Discover if, how, when and where the referral process takes place and on what basis.

identify the most effective (and efficient) channels.

• Identify what the key criteria are for determining purchase e.g. value for money, customer service, special offers etc. • Determine how loyal the consumer is to their preferred brand, or whether they’re open to alternative options. • Provide a better understanding as to what makes customers buy and what deters them (previous experience, customer service, value for money etc).

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Offering actionable advice and invaluable industry insights, this white paper is essential reading for business owners, marketing managers and digital strategists working in the ‘grey’ sector. Key takeaways include:

• 1,465 people were surveyed. The majority were over the age of 60 and three-quarters had children - nearly a quarter of whom were still living at home. • 70% of respondents stated that discounted price offers encourage them to respond to an advertisement, whilst for nearly 60%, detailed information about the product was important. Full company details and the inclusion of a telephone contact number were considered absolutely necessary. • Typically, 72% of respondents spent 1-2 hours researching a product before purchasing. But 11% spent over a week exploring different options before buying - highlighting an insatiable appetite for information, whilst remembering that this is an audience that wants benefits over features, information over entertainment. • There’s a conventional wisdom that deems the over-50s as non-digital natives, but online is a now key tool in the path to purchase. 70% investigate a product online before buying. Others go directly to a brand’s website (22%) or visit a price comparison website (18%). When it comes to making the actual purchase, the majority buy online - 31% from an online retailer and 24% from a brand’s own website. This highlights the need for brands to have a clear understanding of how their audiences are consuming content across devices. • But being able to see and touch products in a retail environment remains central for this age group. Over a third of those surveyed are inspired to buy a product by seeing it in store (35%). Just under 20% visit retailers to explore their options and 36% of respondents choose to make their purchase in store.

• Word of mouth also matters. 23% are initially inspired about a product and 12% discuss their options with family and friends. Word of mouth is also by far the most popular way for respondents to recommend a product, followed by review sites and a small percentage through social media. Facebook is the most popular social channel followed by Twitter, Google+, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Snapchat. With a greater understanding of this market, it is likely that brands could enjoy better social engagement by creating campaigns and developing innovations that reflect the nuances of different age bands. • The top factors influencing repeat purchase were the quality of the product, closely followed by excellent customer service as well as trust and confidence in the company. Price/discounted offers, convenience and home delivery were also considered to be important influencing factors.

AS MEDIA TOUCHPOINTS INCREASE AND BUYING POWER REMAINS STRONG, THESE FINDINGS AIM TO CUT THROUGH THE MYTHS SURROUNDING THIS AUDIENCE AND REVEAL OPPORTUNITIES BASED ON INSIGHT FROM THE CONSUMERS THEMSELVES.

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Survey Results

Q1. Which age group are you currently in?

40-49

50-59

60-69

70-79

80+

0% 10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

60%

70%

80%

90% 100%

The majority of those surveyed were over the age of 60 (65%), of which 41% were between the ages of 60-69.

OPEN-MINDED, ALTRUISTIC, HEALTHY AND ADVENTUROUS. THE 50-PLUS GENERATION ARE A FORCE TO BE RECKONED WITH.

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Q2. Which region do you live in?

East Anglia

East Midlands

London

North East

North West

Northern Ireland

Scotland

South East

South West

Wales

West Midlands

Yorkshire and The Humber

0% 10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

60%

70%

80%

90% 100%

The highest number of respondents were from London and the South East (31%). 25% were from the North of England. Collectively 11% were from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Q3. What is your relationship status?

Single

Married

Divorced

Widowed

Co-habiting

Civil Partnership

0% 10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

60%

70%

80%

90% 100%

66% of respondents are either married or in a relationship. 34% were single, divorced or widowed.

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Q4. What is your employment status?

Employed full-time

Employed part-time

Semi-retired

Volunteering

Unemployed

0% 10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

60%

70%

80%

90% 100%

Most respondents are semi-retired (34%) and 32% employed either full or part-time.

Q5. Do you have children?

Yes

No

0% 10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

60%

70%

80%

90% 100%

Q6. If yes to question 5, do any of your children still live at home?

Yes

No

0% 10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

60%

70%

80%

90% 100%

Almost three-quarters of those surveyed stated that they have children, over a quarter of whom were still living at home. In the age group 50-59, 51% have children still living at home.

HAVING SPENT THEIR LIVES DEMANDING ATTENTION, THEY ARE NOT GOING TO STOP NOW!

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Q7. Do you have grandchildren?

Yes

No

0% 10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

60%

70%

80%

90% 100%

Q8. If yes to question 7, how many grandchildren do you have?

1

2

3

4

5

6+

0% 10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

60%

70%

80%

90% 100%

Just under half of respondents have grandchildren and 83% have two or more. 20% have over six grandchildren.

THEY ARE ECONOMICALLY POWERFUL AND IT’S TIME WE ACKNOWLEDGE THAT, FOR MANY, BEING 50 IS THE START OF THE BETTER HALF OF THEIR LIVES.

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Q9. Which daily newspapers do you read?

Daily Telegraph

Daily Mail

The Times

The Guardian

Daily Express

Daily Mirror

The Sun

The Daily Star

0% 10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

60%

70%

80%

90% 100%

This question prompted a wide range of responses across the options given. The highest number of respondents read the Daily Mail (46%), the Daily Telegraph (18%), The Times (17%) and The Guardian (15%). Other newspapers not listed but read were Metro, The Independent, The Financial Times, the Evening Standard, The Scotsman and various local newspapers. 11% do not read a newspaper at all.

BRANDS MUST ACKNOWLEDGE WHAT THE DATA AND INSIGHT IS TELLING THEM. BY CATEGORISING GROUPS USING STRICT DEMOGRAPHIC LABELS AND ONLY ENGAGING VIA TRADITIONAL MEDIA OUTLETS, THEY ARE MISSING OUT ON A WHOLE HOST OF OPPORTUNITIES.

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Q10. Which radio stations do you listen to?

BBC Radio 1

BBC Radio 2

BBC Radio 3

BBC Radio 4

BBC Radio 5 Live

BBC Radio 6

BBC Local Radio

Magic

Gold

Smooth

Heart

Capital

Classic FM

Not applicable/ none

0% 10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

60%

70%

80%

90% 100%

The majority of respondents listen to BBC radio stations; 38% to Radio 2 and 32% to Radio 4. Of the independent radio stations, the most popular is Classic FM (26%) followed by Heart (20%) and Smooth (17%). Other radio stations cited include TalkSport, Planet Rock, BBC 4 Extra, Jazz FM, Absolute, Real and Kiss FM.

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Q11. What TV channels do you watch?

BBC One

BBC Two

BBC Three

BBC Four

ITV

Channel 4

S4C

Channel 5

ITV2

ITV3

ITV4

Dave

Yesterday

Drama

Not applicable/no particular channel

Other (please specify)

0% 10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

60%

70%

80%

90% 100%

The most popular channels are BBC One (88%), BBC Two (77%) and ITV (77%) followed by Channel 4 (69%), Channel 5 (52%) and BBC Four (45%). The main other channels cited that were not listed in the options were Sky News, Sky Sports and Netflix.

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Q12. Which social media channels do you use? Please rate your usage on a scale from 1-5 (1 being seldom, and 5 being frequently).

Facebook

Twitter

LinkedIn

Instagram

Google+

Pinterest

Snapchat

YouTube

0

1

2

3

4

5

Facebook is the most popular channel followed by Twitter, Google+, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Snapchat.

Q13. What do you use social media for? (Please tick as many as applicable).

Socialising with friends and family

Finding special offers

Keeping up-to- date with brands

Researching products and services

Other (Please specify)

0% 10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

60%

70%

80%

90% 100%

The most popular option is for socialising with friends and family (72%). 39% use social media for researching products and services and 31% researching special offers online. 19% of respondents use it to keep up-to-date with brands. Other responses included entering competitions, shopping, banking, local news and events, and watching videos.

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Q14. Do you own a smartphone?

Yes

No

0% 10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

60%

70%

80%

90% 100%

The highest percentage of those surveyed own a smartphone (70%). However, the propensity to own a smartphone decreased among those aged 70 and over.

Q15. How much time do you spend using the internet during a typical day (in hours)?

0

0.5

1

1.5

2

3

4-5

6-7

8-9

10+

0% 10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

60%

70%

80%

90% 100%

35% stated that they spend up to 2 hours using the internet and 65% two hours or more.

ONLINE BRANDS CAN EASILY TARGET DIFFERENT GROUPS WITH DIFFERENT MESSAGING SIMULTANEOUSLY.

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Q16. Thinking about a product you bought recently, what initially inspired your interest?

A social media post

An online video

An email

A TV programme

A TV advertisement

An OOH advertisement

A newspaper/ magazine article

A newspaper/magazine advertisement

A Catalogue

Direct Mail

Seeing it in store

Talking to friends and family

Talking to a salesperson

Other

0% 10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

60%

70%

80%

90% 100%

The majority of those surveyed were inspired to buy a product by seeing it in a store (35%) or talking to family and friends (23%). 15% were inspired by an email and 12% by a social media post. Other comments included researching online for replacement items to researching the best offers.

HAVING PROFITED FROM RISING PROPERTY VALUES, FREE UNIVERSITY EDUCATION AND DECENT PENSIONS, THIS GROUP HAS THE DISPOSABLE INCOME TO INDULGE THEMSELVES.

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Q17. Thinking about that same product, how did you research your options before deciding on a purchase?

Searching online

Going on branded social media channels

Price comparison sites

Email newsletters

Watching TV

Listening to the radio

Catalogues

Telephone support

Going on the brand’s website

Face to Face

Direct Mail

Retail shops

Review sites

Talking to friends and family

Talking to a salesperson

0% 10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

60%

70%

80%

90% 100%

The majority of those surveyed researched this product online (70%) before buying. Others went directly to a brand’s website (21%) or visited a price comparison website (18%).

A significant percentage visited retail shops to research their options (19%). Talking to family and friends (12%) and visiting review sites (12%) were also popular.

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Q18. How long did you spend researching this product before purchasing?

1-2 hours

1 week

1-2 weeks

More than 2 weeks

0% 10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

60%

70%

80%

90% 100%

72% spent 1-2 hours researching before purchasing and 17% a week. 11% spent over a week.

Q19. When you were ready to buy, how did you make your purchase?

Online from the brand’s website

From an online retailer website, e.g. eBay or Amazon

From an app

In-store

Calling a number in the catalogue

Calling the company directly

Calling/visiting a website prompted by direct mail

Clicking through from an email

Other (please specify)

0% 10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

60%

70%

80%

90% 100%

Most respondents chose to make their purchase in-store (36%). The second most popular choice was from an online retailer (31%) followed by a brand’s website (24%).

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Q20. If you bought online, what device did you use?

A desktop computer

A mobile device or tablet

0% 10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

60%

70%

80%

90% 100%

53% used a desktop computer and 47% a mobile device or tablet. 60-69 year olds were the only age group to use a mobile device or tablet (53%) more than a desktop (47%).

Q21. What would encourage you to respond to an advertisement? (Please tick as many boxes as apply).

An inspiring image

Relevant images of people like you

Detailed information

Discounted price offers

Time limited offers

A contact number

Full company details

Other (please specify)

0% 10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

60%

70%

80%

90% 100%

Nearly three-quarters (74%) stated that discounted price offers would encourage them to respond to an advertisement and 59% detailed information. Full company details were considered to be an important influence (30%) and a telephone contact number significant (17%). In addition, an inspiring image would influence (21%). Relevant images of people like them (7%) and time-limited offers (8%) were considered to be less influential.

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Q22. What would encourage you to buy a product or service? Please rate from 1-5 (1 being the least likely, and 5 being the most likely).

Special offers/ discounted prices

Good value for money

Previous experience

Helpful salesperson

Personal recommendation

Brand reputation

To try something new

0

1

2

3

4

5

The most selected criterion was good value for money (weighted average 4.36). Previous experience (4.05) and discounted offers/discounted prices (4.04) were the next most important factors. However, personal recommendation, brand reputation, a helpful salesperson and ‘to try something new’ were also considered to be relatively important factors.

Q23. What would prevent you from buying a product or service? Please rate from 1-5 (with 1 being the most likely, and 5 being the least likely).

Previous experience

Poor customer service

The pricing

Listening to others

Pushy salesperson

Poor value for money

0

1

2

3

4

5

There was little significant difference between the selection of each criteria; the main issue deterring consumers to buy is the pricing or poor value for money (weighted average 3.18 and 3.15) followed by poor customer service (3.11), pushy salespeople (3.09) and previous experience (3.09).

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Q24. If you were to recommend a product, would you do so using?

Social media

Word of mouth

Review sites

Other (please specify)

0% 10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

60%

70%

80%

90% 100%

Word of mouth product recommendation was by far the most popular choice (67%) followed by review sites (23%) and social media (8%).

Q25. If you buy from the same company regularly, what is your main reason? (Please rate from 1-5, with 1 being the least likely, and 5 being the most likely).

Excellent customer service

Trust and confidence in the company

Product quality

Price/ discounted offer

Home delivery

Convenience

0

1

2

3

4

5

The top factors influencing repeat purchase were the quality of the product (weighted average 4.39), followed closely by trust and confidence in the company (4.26) and excellent customer service (4.24). Price/discounted offers, convenience and home delivery were also considered to be important influences. The responses were evenly spread across the options, which indicates there is no overriding motivation to buy from the same company.

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The Research Survey Summary Profile of respondents • The majority of those surveyed were over the age of 60 (70%), of which

43% were between the ages of 60-69. Nearly three-quarters have children and over a quarter of these children were still living at home. Over half of the respondents have grandchildren and 83% have two or more. • The highest number of respondents were from London and the South East (31%). 25% were from the North of England. Collectively 11% were from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. • 66% of respondents are either married or in a relationship. 34% are single, divorced or widowed. • Most respondents who completed the survey are semi-retired (34%) and 32% employed either full-time or part-time. • The highest number of respondents read the Daily Mail (46%), the Daily Telegraph (18%) and The Times (17%). 11% do not read a newspaper at all. • The majority of respondents listen to BBC radio stations; 38% listen to Radio 2 and 32% Radio 4. Of the independent radio stations, the most popular is Classic FM (26%), followed by Heart (20%) and Smooth (17%). • The most popular TV channels are BBC One (88%), BBC Two (77%) and ITV (77%) followed by Channel 4 (69%) and Channel 5 (53%). • Facebook is the most popular social media channel, closely followed by Twitter, Google+, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Snapchat. • Social media is primarily used for socialising with friends and family. 39% use it for researching products and services and 31% for finding special offers. 19% of respondents use it to keep up-to-date with brands. Other responses included entering competitions, shopping, banking, finding out about local news and events and watching videos. • 70% of those surveyed own a smartphone and during a typical day 59% of respondents spend up to two hours using the internet and 41% three hours or more. Consumer behaviour Awareness • Typically, 72% of respondents spend 1-2 hours researching a product before purchasing. 17% spent a week and 11% longer than that. • The majority of those surveyed have researched for a product online (70%) before buying. 21% went directly to a brand’s website (21%) or visited a price comparison website (18%). • When purchasing online, 53% use a desktop computer and 47% a mobile device or tablet. • A significant percentage visit retail shops to research what’s available (19%). Other popular options are talking to family and friends (12%) and visiting review sites (12%).

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Consideration • When seeing advertisements for products and services, 74% of respondents stated that discounted price offers encourage them to respond whilst 59% are encouraged by detailed product information. Full company details are considered to be of importance (17%) and the inclusion of a telephone contact number is significant. • The majority of those surveyed are inspired to buy a product by seeing it in a store (34%), or by talking to family and friends (23%). 15% are inspired by an email and 12% by a social media post. • More than a third of respondents choose to make their purchase in store (36%), followed by an online retailer (31%) and from a brand’s website (24%). • When asked what deters them from buying, there was little difference between pricing or poor value for money, followed by pushy salespeople, poor customer service and previous experience. • When asked what encourages them to purchase, the number one factor is good value for money. Special offers/discounted prices and previous experience are also key. However, a helpful salesperson, personal recommendation, brand reputation and ‘to try something new’ are also considered to be relatively influential. • Word of mouth is by far the most popular way for respondents to recommend a product, followed by review sites and a small percentage through social media. Conversion • 70-80+ are more likely to purchase in store or from an online retailer and less likely to purchase online from a brand’s website. Although the 80+ age group are noticeably more inclined to purchase from an online retailer than from a brand’s website. • Very few throughout all age ranges opt to purchase from an app and none in the 80+ age range. • When buying online, the 40-49 and 70-80+ age groups are more likely to use a desktop computer than a mobile device or tablet. • The need for detailed information on a product increases with age and the importance of discounted offers does not diminish until 80+. The need for a contact telephone number is greater in the older age bands. • In terms of encouragement to buy, the attraction of discounted offers decreases with age. • Good value for money, personal recommendation, previous experience and brand reputation were cited as being of relatively high importance in all age groups. • Pricing is a greater discouragement to 40-69 year olds. Pushy salespeople are more of a deterrent to the 40-49 and 80+ age groups. • Word of mouth is by far the most used form of endorsement, which increases markedly in the 60-80+ age band. Recommendation through social media is more popular in the 40-50 age group but becomes far less so for the over-60s. • The propensity to recommend through review sites is higher in the 40-69 age groups.

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Evaluation • The top factors influencing repeat purchase are the quality of the product, followed closely by excellent customer service and trust, confidence in the company and product quality. • Price/discounted offers, convenience and home delivery are also considered to be important influencers. The latter two particularly in the 80+ age group. Attitudes & Motivations Inspiration • Social media influence is much higher in the age bands 40-59 and diminished with age. Online videos are more highly rated in the 40-49 age range, but not in all older age ranges. • Younger age bands respond to seeing products in store, talking to friends and family, social media posts, and online video. • The propensity to own a smartphone decreases in the higher age bands. • Older age bands are more likely to respond to email marketing, catalogues and newspaper advertising. • The tipping point for email becoming more important than social media for promoting products and services is in the 60+ age ranges. • For all age ranges ‘seeing it in store’ and ‘talking to family and friends’ are the most popular sources of inspiration. • 70-80+ are more likely to consult a salesperson, but this was still rated relatively low and catalogues rated much more highly in these age groups. • Interestingly TV advertising is a more popular medium among the 40-49 and over-80s age groups. Education • The older the age range, the more important detailed information is to consumers, particularly to the 80+ segment. Customer testimonials and reviews are influential. • The younger age ranges rate an inspiring image more highly and these become less important over the age of 70 when the relevance of the images is considered to be more significant. • The inclusion of a telephone contact number and full company details are of less significance to consumers in the 40-49 age bracket and this age group are more likely to respond to an advertisement that includes time limited offers.

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Research • 60-79 year age groups spend longer going to a brand’s website to search for a product and are less likely to visit a price comparison site. • The younger age groups are more inclined to research their options using social media and this switched to email being a more popular option in the 60+ age groups. • There is little difference in the amount of time taken to select a product between the different age bands, with the majority taking between 1-2 hours. This presents the opportunity to influence the consumer during this stage of the purchase process through highly targeted advertisements and personalised offers. • TV advertising is a popular medium for the 40-49s and the over-80s. All age bands choose to research in store and talking to family and friends as their most preferred options. In Conclusion Having profited from rising property values, free university education, social mobility and decent pensions – the over-50s have the disposable income to indulge themselves. They have the time (and patience!) to research offers, service guarantees and product brochures - from travel to food, retail to healthcare, finance to cars. But this is an audience that wants benefits over features, information over entertainment. By categorising groups using strict demographic labels and only engaging via traditional media outlets, brands are missing out on a whole host of opportunities. Once complicated and expensive, technology is now simple to use and very affordable - highlighting the need for brands to have a clear understanding of how content is being consumed across multiple devices. Older customers are out in force! The biggest and richest group of pensioners in history - many will spend more time in retirement than they did working. For these people retirement offers the opportunity to explore old interests and discover new ones. But brands must not confuse the desire for youthful vitality with the desire to be young again. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution to mature marketing. Instead, it is complicated, ever-evolving and too complex to second-guess. But the growth potential for brands that understand and engage with this complex and lucrative market is enormous.

References Mintel Report: Marketing to the over-55s, UK August 2017 Mediatel: Connected Screens: Millennials v Grey Market Whitepaper H2 2017 Released: May 2018 Silver Travel Industry Repo

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