The Herald Sun today reported that TV networks are ignoring older viewers, directing programming towards 16-39 year olds and 25-54 year olds. By acquiring the latest shows from America to win the ratings war, channels 7, 9 and 10, are completely ignoring the fact that around 20 percent of Australia’s population is made up of people aged 65 and older.
TV networks should consider the fact that baby boomers have a much larger dispensable income, are home a lot more and are loyal to their list of favourite programs. One of the shows that has proven popular with this demographic is Downtown Abbey, with boomers making up 889,000 of the 1.895 million viewers each week – that’s almost half of the weekly viewers. On the other hand, young audiences are home less and are not program-loyal.
But it’s not only in the realm of television where older people are ignored. Many organisations tend to assume that older people don’t use social media and, as a result, social media marketing initiatives completely ignore 20% of Australia’s population.
Fact is, older people have lived through around six decades of technological change and have learnt to adapt to new technologies. Telstra recently held its “Retired and Wired” competition to find the most tech-savvy senior, and also conducted a study into older people and their online habits. It turns out that one in three Australians aged 65 and over, go online daily and more than 1/3 use online banking to pay bills and transfer funds.
When it comes to mobile phones, it’s not much different. I tried to convince my dad last week to upgrade his outdated Nokia to an iphone but his response was “only young people have iphones”. As much as I would have liked to agree with him to ensure I still remained the number one daughter, I had to tell him the one thing he hates the most – he’s wrong.
Older Australians are increasingly more likely to use more sophisticated mobile phone features such as taking and sending photos, recording video, using apps, accessing the internet and even downloading ringtones.
So here’s the question, why are organisations and marketers completely dismissing 20% of Australia’s population when this group has the biggest spending power? Regardless of their reasons, organisations will find this powerful generation making their red mark in the next profit and loss statement. As for TV networks, shows tailored to younger generations will continue getting axed and costing networks millions of dollars.