Formidable 40s_Digital

THE FORMIDABLE

The most influential consumers in the UK

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Foreword

The Mature Marketing Association (MMA) strives to be the voice for this important, but often underexposed, area of marketing. In short, we exist to promote best practice advertising, facilitate networking events and invest in thought-provoking research and data. Membership is eclectic and growing. Current members include start-ups, challenger brands and market leaders, as well as academics, marketing agencies, consultants and researchers. The common denominator is their commitment to a subject of critical business importance, so all are willing and encouraged to share their experiences and key insights.

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Key takeaways include:

THE UK POPULATION HAS AGED AND IS AGEING

Age-related advertising and branding

Expenditure and loyalty

• Consumers in this age group indicate that they expect to increase their spending on technology-related products over the next 10 years. This includes both traditional tech equipment such as mobiles, tablets and laptops, as well as products such as cars and household appliances. • They also expect to be spending more on travel. This is not surprising as 41-45-year-olds have been the highest spending audience grouping since 2013 (Experian). • By contrast, they do not appear to be as enthusiastic about spending money on fashion, beauty or eating out. • Across all product categories, discounts and value for money are consistently cited as the primary reason in encouraging product purchase and remaining loyal. This is ahead of brand reputation.

According to the most recent data from the Office for National Statistics, there are currently more than 23 million people aged over 50 in the UK. That’s 33% of the population, and they own 80% of the disposable income. Let’s not forget that they have profited from rising property values, free university education, social mobility and decent pensions. In other words, they are an economic powerhouse. The biggest and richest group of pensioners in history. Many will spend more time in retirement than they did working, and, for these people, retirement offers the opportunity to explore old interests and discover new ones. But just as the term ‘millennial’ should not be used as a catch-all term for younger people, treating mature consumers as one large aggregate group fails to recognise that this diverse, experienced and sophisticated audience has many different values, interests and lifestyles - all of which directly influence their buying habits. To address this, the MMA has commissioned a series of surveys, each one reviewing the over-50s audience, one decade at a time.

traditional mature boundaries, it represents an important group of consumers as they approach their 50s. It is at this age that many face the twin pressures of looking after young children and ageing parents at the same time. Whilst others may be dealing with divorce and bereavement. However, there is good news as the Formidable 40s are recognised to be the most influential consumers in the UK – earning, spending and contributing more than any other group. In other words, they are a demographic that has reached ‘peak spending power’. The research looks at their purchasing behaviour, their attitudes to age-related advertising and their media and digital usage. And as we conduct further studies, we will be able to compare the views and attitudes of this group with their older counterparts. The research was conducted online, collecting responses from 1,031 individuals drawn from a well- established access panel. The fieldwork was conducted in July 2019 and all participants were presented with a survey containing 24 questions.

• They feel ‘quite strongly’ that ads aimed at older people rely on stereotypes and ad creatives do not understand their age group. The latter point is mentioned particularly by women. • Women also feel strongly that if a brand resonates with them, those brands are much more likely to win their custom. • Sectors considered to be doing better with age-related advertising are personal finance and healthcare. • In fashion, opinions are polarised, with some thinking that brands such as Marks & Spencer and Specsavers do age-related advertising particularly well, while a significant proportion think that brands such as Nike and Zara could do a lot better. • Brands with the most memorable advertising tend to be those that have regular engagement with consumers and include McDonald’s (36%), Specsavers (31%), Sky (31%), Amazon (29%) and IKEA (29%). In the following section, we outline the survey results in detail. All data quoted and on charts is based on the total sample (N = 1,031).

Digital and social media usage

• This group are heavy users of digital media for news, keeping in touch with friends and family and, interestingly, for inspiration.

• Radio also features strongly.

• Review websites and social media also play an increasingly important role in product endorsement (though personal recommendation is still crucial).

This first report, however, looks at the 40–49 age cohort.

Gender differences are shown where statistically significant.

Whilst this group lies outside the

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1. Purchasing behaviour

Survey results

Key insight: Consumers in this age group indicate that they expect to increase their spending on technology-related products over the next 10 years. This includes both traditional tech equipment such as mobiles, tablets, laptops etc, as well as products that will further support tech features such as cars and household appliances.

Increasingly, consumers want the latest tech products and services and, given the choice, this is where they will choose to spend a greater proportion of disposable income in the future.

As Figure 1 below shows, consumers (particularly men) state they expect to increase their spending on pure technology-based products as well as other items that are likely to be increasingly reliant on technology in the future – household appliances and automotive. The latter is particularly strong in southern regions of the UK.

Figure 1: Stated expenditure on technology-related products

42% Men 25% Women

34%

Technology

52%

55% Men 48% Women

30%

Household appliances

51%

31% Men 20% Women

25%

47% Men 40% Women

Automotive

43%

0%

10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

60%

Expect to spend more in next 12 months

Expect to spend more in next 10 years

Figure 2 shows that consumers also expect to be spending more on travel, personal finance and (to some extent) healthcare as they enter their 50s.

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Figure 2: Stated expenditure on travel, personal finance and healthcare

Key insight: Across all product categories, discounts and value for money are consistently cited as the primary reason in encouraging product purchase and remaining loyal. This is ahead of brand reputation.

45%

Travel

54%

Getting value for money is the single most important reason for driving product purchase.

30%

Personal finance

40%

When asked to rank the most important features in encouraging product or service purchase, the most important cited was ‘value for money’ (Figure 4 below). This was closely followed by ‘special offers/discounted prices’ with brand reputation mentioned in third place, ahead of online availability, personal recommendation and loyalty schemes.

26%

Healthcare

32%

0%

10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

60%

Expect to spend more in next 12 months

Expect to spend more in next 10 years

Figure 4: Importance of features in encouraging purchase

Figure 3 shows the sectors where, relatively speaking, stated expenditure will grow in the short term, but are less likely to grow as quickly over the longer term as tech-related products take an increasing proportion of disposable income - namely fashion, food and drink, media and beauty.

Q. How important are the following in encouraging you to purchase a product or service...? Average rank scores for each feature (max +6)

5.19

Value for money

Figure 3: Stated expenditure on non-technology-related products

4.41

Special offers / discounted prices

3.42

Brand reputation

52%

Fashion

46%

2.75

Availability online

Personal recommendation

2.66

71%

Food and drink

64%

Loyalty schemes

2.57

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

20%

Media

17%

38%

Indeed, obtaining discounted offers was mentioned as the most important reason for buying a product regularly (Figure 5), ahead of product quality and convenience. And loyalty discounts were considered most important in generally encouraging loyalty.

Beauty

35%

0%

10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80%

Expect to spend more in next 12 months

Expect to spend more in next 10 years

It was noted, that in general, men seem more inclined than women to want to change their spending patterns over the next 10 years.

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2. Digital and media usage

Figure 5: Importance of features in purchasing products and services regularly

Key insight: This age group are heavy users of digital media (online news, social media, YouTube etc). Radio also features strongly. Social media is mainly used for socialising with friends and family, local news and events and finding special offers/discounts, which we know to be important to consumers. Digital references are also used when looking for inspiration.

Q. When you purchase a product from a provider regularly, please rank the reason for that decision?

Average rank scores for each feature (max +9)

Price / discounted offers Product quality Convenience Trust Customer service Availability online Home delivery Loyalty schemes Aimed at my age group

8.19

8.02

More than half (57%) of those aged 40–49 regularly access online news sources compared with just over a quarter (28%) still purchasing printed newspapers.

6.61

6.5

5.79

5.46

5.24

As Figure 6 below shows, this age group are heavy users of digital media (including online news sources, social media, YouTube etc). Interestingly, they are also frequent listeners of radio. Online news access is more than double that of printed news access.

4.83

3.33

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

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9

This group do not seem particularly engaged with bloggers or influencers.

Figure 6: Media channels used regularly

Online news sources

57%

For this age cohort, having products and services aimed specifically at their age group is of lesser importance relative to other factors. It will be interesting to see whether this measure changes as older age groups are included in the research.

Radio

54%

Used for:

Social media

52%

• Socialising with friends and family (86%) • Local news and events (49%) • Watching videos (36%) • Finding special offers/ discounts (32%) • Shopping/making purchases (29%) • Researching products and services (28%) • Keeping up to date with brands (21%)

Websites

49%

Satellite / subscription / cable TV

49%

On-demand TV

48%

Free-to-air TV

45%

YouTube

44%

Comparison sites

33%

Printed newspapers

28%

Bloggers / vloggers / influencers

5%

0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60%

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3. Age-related advertising and branding

As previously shown, social media is primarily used for socialising with friends and family, accessing local news and events, watching videos and finding special offers and discounts (which as we saw earlier has particular importance to consumers). Digital references (internet search, review websites etc) are also important in seeking inspiration when making a purchase.

Key insight: At first glance, this group seem to be relatively ambivalent towards age-related advertising. That said, they do feel quite strongly that ads aimed at older people rely on stereotypes and ad creatives do not understand their age group. The latter point is mentioned particularly by women.

70% of consumers agree that ads aimed at older people rely on stereotypes.

Key insight: Review websites and social media also play an increasingly important role in product endorsement (though personal recommendation is still crucial).

In this age group, as Figure 8 demonstrates, consumers appear to be fairly ambivalent towards age-related advertising, with a slight tendency towards a positive viewpoint (30% like age-specific advertising compared to 16% who dislike it) and a mean score of 3.16 on a like/dislike scale.

No less than 80% of consumers still use word of mouth when recommending a product.

Figure 8: Feelings about age-related advertising

Nearly half the sample (47%) make use of review websites when recommending a product (particularly women) and more than a quarter turn to social media (26%). However, by far, the majority (80%) still recommend products and services through word of mouth.

Q. How do you feel about advertising which is specifically aimed at your age group?

Mean score: 3.16

60%

55%

50%

Figure 7: Product endorsement

40%

30%

Q. When recommending a product, do you do so using...?

23%

20%

10%

10%

Word of mouth

80%

7%

6%

0%

42% Men 52% Women

Like it a lot (+5)

Like it a little (+4)

Neither like nor dislike (+3)

Do not like it much (+2)

Do not like it at all (+1)

Review websites

47%

22% Men 29% Women

Social media

26%

However, investigation of responses to statements about age-related advertising does reveal stronger underlying feelings (Figure 9). Here there is more general agreement that ads aimed at older people rely on stereotypes (70% agree) and that people who create ads don’t really understand their age group (47% agree).

Other

3%

10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90%

0

13

12

Women feel particularly strongly about the ad industry not really understanding their age group and, in addition, confirm that ‘brands whose ads resonate with me win my custom’. To a lesser extent, a significant proportion believe that their age group is patronised by advertisers (38% agree) and that their age group is ignored by advertisers (37% agree).

We asked respondents to consider 12 key product and service sectors. As Figure 10 below demonstrates, those in this age group feel that more age- related products and advertising are needed in the fashion and beauty sectors, with women particularly vocal about this. This is closely followed by the healthcare, travel and personal finance sectors.

Figure 10: Sectors requiring more age-related products and advertising

Figure 9: Agreement with statements about age related advertising

Q. In which of the following sectors do you think there should be more age-related products and advertising?

39% Men 50% Women

Entertainment / eating out Personal finance Travel / hospitality Healthcare Beauty and grooming Fashion

44%

Q. How important are the following in encouraging you to purchase a product or service...? Mean scores on +1 to +5 scale

39%

32%

32% Men 46% Women

27% 27%

Disagree a lot (+1%)

Disagree a little (+2%)

Neither agree nor disagree (+3%)

Agree a little (+4%)

Agree a lot (+5%)

25%

20%

Food and drink Technology

Ads aimed at older people rely on stereotypes

3.96 (70% agree in total)

15%

11%

Jewellery / watches Newspapers / media Automotive Household appliances

I don’t feel that people who create ads really understand my age group

3.53

(47% agree in total)

9% 9%

Brands whose ads resonate with me win my custom

(47% agree in total)

3.47

8%

0 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% 40% 45% 50%

My age group is patronised by advertisers

3.31

(38% agree in total)

My age group is ignored by advertisers

3.28

(37% agree in total)

Despite suggesting that more age-related advertising in the fashion sector is needed, as Figure 11 shows, more consumers think that this sector does age-related advertising badly than those who think it’s done well (31% compared to 22%). The balance of opinion about age-related adverting is far more positive in the personal finance and healthcare sectors and to a lesser extent for the beauty, travel and food and drink sectors. It seems that lessons can be learned particularly from the personal finance and healthcare sectors. Interestingly, in those sectors that have indicated that they are likely to increase expenditure over the next 10 years, namely those related to technology (ie technology, automotive and household appliances), the feeling is much more negative about their current approach to age- related advertising.

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2

3

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5

Key insight: In general, it is felt that more and better age-related advertising is needed in the fashion and beauty sectors. Sectors considered to be doing better with age-related advertising are personal finance and healthcare.

Nearly half the sample (44%) believe there should be more age-related products and advertising in the fashion industry and nearly a third (31%) believe the sector does age-related advertising particularly badly.

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Figure 11: Reactions to age-related advertising by sector

That said, at a brand level, the fashion sector also polarises opinion. While all brands specified scored consistently poorly for age-related advertising (including Nike and Zara), there were also some star performers such as Marks & Spencer and Specsavers, which were felt by many to be particularly adept at age-related advertising (Figure 12 below).

Personal finance

31%

16%

Healthcare

30%

16%

Beauty and grooming

29%

24%

Figure 12: Reactions to age-related advertising by sector and brand: Fashion Sector

22%

Fashion

31%

Travel / hospitality

20%

14%

14%

Food and drink in home

10%

Fashion Sector

12%

Entertainment / eating out

14%

Brands

% consider brand to do age-related advertising particularly well

% consider brand to do age-related advertising particularly badly

11%

Technology

24%

10%

Automotive

14%

9%

Marks & Spencer

35% 29% 15%

16% 13% 16% 17%

Newspapers / media

14%

8%

Specsavers

Jewellery / watches

11%

8%

Nike Zara

Household appliances

12%

8%

0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35%

Highest number of mentions across all sectors

Highest number of mentions across all sectors

Do age-related advertising particulary badly

Do age-related advertising particulary well

As a guide for advertisers, the top three things that make age-related adverting more appealing are honesty (57%), realistic images (49%) and humour (45%). The things that are felt to make age-related advertising less appealing are being unrealistic (61%), use of stereotypes (56%) – confirming our earlier findings - and being negative in tone (47%). Key insight: In fashion, opinion can be polarised with some thinking that brands such as Marks & Spencer and Specsavers do age-related advertising particularly well, while a significant proportion think that brands such as Nike and Zara could do a lot better.

Figure 13: Reactions to age-related advertising by sector and brand: Healthcare Sector The healthcare sector is generally viewed positively at a brand level, with the brands specified (Boots, Bupa and Nuffield) perceived as overall doing age- related adverting well (Figure 13).

Healthcare Sector % consider brand to do age-related advertising particularly well

Brands

% consider brand to do age-related advertising particularly badly

Brands considered to be leading the way in age-related advertising come from the beauty sector – personal care brand Dove and health and beauty retailer Boots.

Boots Bupa

39% 29% 12%

12% 12% 17%

Nuffield Health

Relatively high number of mentions

For each of the 12 sectors considered (see Figure 10), we asked which of a selection of brands within those sectors, in their view, did age-related advertising particularly well and which did age-related advertising particularly badly. The fashion sector again scored particularly badly, receiving the highest scores across all brands in that sector compared with all other sectors.

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Technology, as seen earlier, is again, at a brand level, receiving some criticism (Figure 14). Whilst the response to Amazon is positive, Apple and BT are perceived to do less well on age-related advertising.

Apart from some notable exceptions, few brands were perceived to have particularly memorable advertising across all media channels.

Figure 14: Reactions to age-related advertising by sector and brand: Technology Sector

From the list of sectors and brands previously considered, respondents were finally asked to indicate the brands which, in their view, had the most memorable advertising across all media channels. As Figure 16 shows, the most memorable advertising comes from non- technology sectors (entertainment/eating out, food and drink in the home and fashion). The notable brands mentioned in these sectors include McDonald’s, Sky, Specsavers and Tesco.

Technology Sector % consider brand to do age-related advertising particularly well

Brands

% consider brand to do age-related advertising particularly badly

Amazon Google

35% 20% 16% 15%

9% 8%

Apple

21%

BT

19% Relatively high number of mentions

Figure 16: Most memorable advertising by sector

Food and drink in the home Tesco 27% Asda 22% Lidl 20% Sainsbury’s 16% Waitrose 10%

Entertainment / eating out McDonald’s 36% Sky 31% Disney 15%

Relatively, the automotive sector (represented by BMW, Land Rover and Toyota) is not perceived as either doing particularly well or badly (Figure 15) with all brands specified receiving equally positive and negative comments.

Sectors with the most memorable advertising

Figure 15: Reactions to age-related advertising by sector and brand: Automotive Sector

Fashion

Specsavers

31%

Household appliances IKEA 29% John Lewis 22% Currys 17%

Marks & Spencer

22%

Automotive Sector % consider brand to do age-related advertising particularly well

Nike

13%

Brands

% consider brand to do age-related advertising particularly badly

Zara

4%

BMW

20% 17% 15%

15% 14% 13%

Land Rover

Toyota

Automotive and healthcare advertising is perceived to be less memorable and with consumers saying they expect to increase expenditure in these sectors over the next 10 years there are opportunities for both sectors.

Key insight: Brands with the most memorable advertising tend to be those that have regular engagement with consumers and include McDonald’s (36%), Specsavers (31%), Sky (31%), Amazon (29%) and IKEA (29%). Advertising from brands in the automotive and healthcare sectors is considered less memorable.

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Gender*:

Figure 17: Least memorable advertising by sector

Male

34%

Newspapers and media Sun 16% Daily Mail 9% Sunday Times 6%

Jewellery and watches Rolex 12% Tiffany 8% Cartier 5%

66%

Female

0 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100%

*Data weighted to reflect nationally representative gender split

Sectors with the least memorable advertising

Employment Status:

Automotive

Healthcare

BMW

18%

Boots

27%

Employed

Land Rover

11%

Bupa

12%

63%

Toyota

10%

Nuffield

3%

Self employed / partnership

9%

Not working

21%

Student

1%

4. Sample profile

1% Retired

Other

5%

Age group:

0 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100%

40-41 years

16%

Region:

42-43 years

18%

North East North West Yorkshire / Humber East Midlands West Midlands East of England Greater London SE England SW England Wales Scotland Northern Ireland

4%

11% 11%

20%

44-45 years

8% 8%

21%

10% 10%

46-47 years

15%

24%

48-49 years

7%

5%

0 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100%

7%

2%

0 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100%

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Conclusion

It is often said that age is only a number, and nothing could be truer of today’s 40-plus consumer. Technology is crucial and empowering to their everyday lives, but they want a digital experience that’s seamless and personalised. Shopping is increasingly online-based, social networks now offer easy ways to stay connected and price comparison is much more convenient. It is, therefore, not surprising that this age group expect to increase their spending on tech and tech-related products over the next 10 years - highlighting the need for brands to provide content that is relevant, reassuring, inspiring and, above all else, brilliantly joined-up. What is exciting about working in marketing today is that we have data. We are able to learn so much about our audiences, their behaviours and demanding buying habits, and we can use this information to devise effective campaigns that increase sales and encourage loyalty. The opportunity for brands that take the time and effort to understand their customers and play a positive role in debunking gender stereotypes - is enormous.

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themma.marketing

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