Month: April 2023

Omnichannel marketing to older generations

Omnichannel Marketing and Targeting Older Generations in 2023

Omnichannel marketing to older generations
Omnichannel marketing to older audiences rare

FACT: 95% of the consumer package goods (CPG) omnichannel marketing briefs I read have brands wanting to target Gen Z and/or Millennial audiences. But, isn’t it time for CPG brands to start shifting some advertising dollars to reach older Gen X and Baby Boomer audiences?

Consider this. By 2028, the older 60+ age group will account for more than 1/3 of overall growth in grocery spending!


According to a recent article by Mercatus Technologies, demographic shifts and the expansion of households in the USA are contributing factors.

For example, in the USA, over the next 5 years: No age demographic will expand faster in terms of population than age 60+. Also, household composition is changing with birthrates in decline leading to a significant increase in single person households. Plus, today the majority of wealth in the USA is held by age 55+ today (70% of the $111.04 trillion of U.S. net worth!).

So older/richer and smaller = sales growth in the age 60+ group.

Yet CPGs continue to spend omnichannel marketing budgets to target, for the most part, younger generations.


Is there a bias against targeting older demographics with advertising (besides life insurance, pharmaceuticals and adult diapers)?

In a recent article written for The Message, advertising consultant @Eric Blais surmised: “ageism can also be reflected in the advertisements themselves, with many campaigns featuring only young and attractive models or actors. This can send a negative message to older individuals, making them feel invisible or irrelevant”.


Is it because the younger audiences offer brands an opportunity to build long term loyalty with a group of consumers whose buying power will increase. Plus, with Ecommerce booming, Gen Z and Millennials are digital natives making them easier to reach through online advertising, social media, and mobile apps.

Both are plausible explanations.

If you have an opinion, I would love to hear it.

Older marketing agency workers can help train future leaders

Ageism Running Rampant in Marketing Agencies

Older marketing agency workers can help train future leaders
Ageism does not allow old and young marketing agency employees to benefit from working together.

As reported in a Globe & Mail newspaper story in  the Institute of Canadian Agencies (ICA) Talent Census Report showed only 11% of the marketing agency workforce was older than age 51!  Crazy when you compare the broader labour market in Canada where persons age 51+ account for 35.42% of the workforce. In fact, 70% of the agency workforce is under age 40!

Now that I am of a certain vintage, I have started to explore this topic.  Admittedly, I am one of the lucky ones whose clients appreciate the knowledge and experienceI bring to them every day.  However, all too frequently of late I am hearing from industry friends, who I consider in the prime of their careers, being phased out of roles for a variety of reasons all disguised as one thing – ageism!

So why are there so few elder states-people in the industry? The two most common theories are first, are older workers are less creative and, second, older workers more expensive. Well let me be the “old guy” to dispel these myths.

CREATIVITY: The perception older workers are less creative than younger counterparts tend to be based on the belief younger people are more in touch with current trends and pop culture, making them better suited for marketing work. However, I will argue older workers are just as creative as younger ones as they often bring diverse perspectives and life experiences to the table, which can be invaluable in creating effective campaigns.

EXPENSE: The perception older workers are more expensive than younger ones is based on the belief that we have more experience and, thus, are more likely to demand higher salaries. While we may command higher salaries, the reality is older workers are more cost-effective than younger workers as we are more productive, less likely to require extensive training and more likely to stay in jobs longer, reducing the costs associated with employee turnover.

The consequences of ageism in marketing agencies in Canada are significant. For example, discrimination against older employees can lead to a loss of experienced and skilled professionals, perpetuate negative stereotypes about aging, and negatively impact the mental and physical health of older employees. To combat ageism, marketing agencies must create a culture of inclusion and diversity, value the perspectives and experiences of older employees, and provide opportunities for growth and development for employees of all ages. By doing so, agencies can create a more diverse and innovative workforce, better serve their clients, and ultimately succeed in a competitive marketplace.

If you are age 50+ and working for a marketing agency I would love to hear your thoughts on the subject of ageism.