Communicating at digital speed is a wonderful thing, but this might be why we hear so much confusing thinking and stereotypes about how people behave – especially if you are a brand or advertiser trying to engage with consumers.
This is important. We hear about how people are getting happier as they are getting older, but why do people in their 40s and 50s behave differently from each other, and why, indeed, do they now behave more like they did in their 20s by dressing better, going out more?
Why do people in their 40s and 50s behave more like they did in their 20s, by generally living a lifestyle traditionally associated with someone younger?
For the most part, media targeting hasn’t caught up yet, and if you are marketing a product and apply an age break to the media, then it is highly likely that you will be missing a huge swathe of interested consumers. You limit your company’s potential and risk losing customers as well as missing out on new opportunities.
We clearly have a vested interest, because Smooth Radio services the 40-plus listener – affluent, engaged and with a disposable income. However, so much is going on that we think it takes time to explain it – hence this supplement. The debate about how brands and media are understanding and reaching changing audiences starts here.
We have commissioned our own bespoke research over two years to look closely at why and how the ‘new 40s and 50s’ are behaving. Leading figures in advertising, marketing and media then give us a view of where this is going.
I hope you find all this interesting, as well as useful. In fact, as people live longer and spend time driven by their interests, not their age, media has a massive challenge to give them the content they want in the format and on the platforms they want.
That is the challenge Smooth is committed to meeting.
Richard Jacobs is head of commercial strategy at Smooth Radio