12 things you didn’t know about the older generations online

Rebecca Wilson, founder and CEO of Starts at 60, a publisher targeting over-60s, reveals some key facts about the older generations, and importantly, their feelings about Australian companies’ marketing to them.

The general interpretations of the older generations by media are, let’s face it, rather underwhelming. Perhaps it comes from the old days when everyone over 60 was to be ignored if not deplored in media, unless you were in talkback radio (and even then…),  or maybe it’s just because the millennials drive so much of the media industry decision making.

But those times are a-changin with the Baby Boomer becoming the richest generation in history and the one with the most accessible spending habits. In fact, our recent research shows there are 12 important things that should come to mind for media and marketing professionals about the baby boomer online.

 

  1. They are well and truly online. The baby boomer and our favourite cohort the ‘New Age Retiree’ have been using the Internet as long as you and I. Why is it that we constantly stereotype older people as technically incompetent?
  2. Their uptake and engagement on social media is extraordinary – perhaps more significant than your own. Starts at 60 reaches more than 500,000 unique people online every month and 1.8 million page-views. Facebook tells us publicly that they have 1.7 million people online in Australia and New Zealand.
  3. They are massive users of mobile devices. 80% of our readership accesses the site through a tablet or mobile phone. A shiny sign of how technologically capable this generation is.
  4. They are healthy. When we surveyed 3500 over 60s online, 95% considered themselves healthy.
  5. They own property… lots of it! 75% of 60-to-69-year-olds surveyed said they had completely paid off their home, and 90% of 70-to-79-year-olds too, and that means they have no need to spend their incomes on their mortgage weekly or monthly.
  6. They really want to travel. 40% of people plan to travel overseas in the next year, and this desire didn’t slow down with age… 40% plan to travel among 60-to-69 and 70-to-79 year olds.
  7. 26% of 60-to-69-year-olds in our community say they shop online every month and 23% of 70-to-79-year-olds.
  8. They have very little superannuation. With all their money tied up in property and other asset classes, 86% of New Age Retirees (60-to-69-year-olds) have less than $100,000 in their individual superannuation portfolios and 79% of 70-to-75-year-olds.
  9. Welfare dependence of those over 60 online is much lower than the average with only 35% of those online surveyed accessing the pension, rather than the much higher numbers we might see in previous generations or offline environments.
  10. Only 50% of online over 60s are retired, with 35% still in their core career, 5% in an encore career and the rest saying they are facing discrimination in finding work.
  11. 70% eat out at least monthly, with 40% eating out at least fortnightly.
  12. More than 90% of online over-60s think that Australian companies are not listening to them. And this, folks, is only statistic you need.

 

 

Rebecca Wilson
BY Rebecca Wilson ON 22 June 2015
Rebecca Wilson is the managing director of Stretch Marketing, and the founder and publisher of Startsat60.com, Australia’s largest online community and media site for baby boomers. Rebecca guest speaks regularly on marketing to Baby Boomers and leading content marketing techniques all over Australia.  Tweet Rebecca on @wilsonbec.