Study: Marketers Pay Too Little Attention to Wealthy Over-45s


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GI Insight’s latest study into communications and marketing relevance has found that marketers are shooting themselves in the foot by paying too little attention to the highest earning age group in the UK. The study reveals that an overemphasis is being placed on targeting efforts towards younger age groups, in contrast with the 45+ consumer. This is despite the fact that the 45-65 age band is the highest earning, and that the departure of children from the family home often massively increases disposable income. It also, ironically, creates demand for capital release financial products in parental support of those departed offspring as they set up home themselves.

The research, which looked at public and private sectors, examines the level to which the British consumer/ citizen feels that the most important organisations they deal with on a day-to-day basis are communicating with them. At an individual sector level it found that the retail sectors were best at directing targeted and relevant offers and communication to customers. Poorest performance at personalised and relevant communications occurs in the public sector, both at the local and national government level, showing that Citizen Relationship Management initiatives (inspired by Customer Relationship Management in the private sector) have some way to go in their real-life implementation.

The mature techniques of British supermarkets stands head and shoulders above the other sectors studied. As an aggregated set of sectors, retailers in general are obviously getting the targeting game right more often than financial services, although the finance sector’s average is being dragged down by the poor performance of credit card issuers.

Andy Wood, Managing Director, GI Insight, comments: “Research we conducted last year proved the correlation between relevant communications and customer satisfaction; and customer satisfaction is the absolute pre-requisite for improvements in customer retention and spending. This current study, which has asked consumers about the relevance and targeting of communications they receive, shows a clear disparity between database marketing standards in different industries.

“Customers have come to expect that they will be dealt with in a meaningful and personalised fashion. This expectation has meant that when companies do talk relevantly to their customers the rewards, in terms of customer retention and increasing value to the firm, are often stellar. The research serves as guidance to those sectors that need to improve their standard of customer relevance and targeting, and shows, through the iconic gold-standard of the UK supermarket sector, what can be achieved. Equally, it reveals the prejudice of marketers across all sectors in over-concentrating on the younger consumer.”

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