Posted in on April 3, 2017

The Good and Bad Of Mobile Marketing

Happy Monday! Each week we explore the mature marketing news that received the most interest and clicks the previous week. This week is all about mobile marketing.

First, we’ll explore mobile usage among boomers and seniors by way of a report from Edison Research, and then we’ll take a look at mobile marketing as it relates to what MarketingSherpa found were the most disliked advertising avenues.

So, let’s get right into it. Have something to add? We’d love to hear from you in the comments section.


This past week I was thrilled to join the Mid-Atlantic 55+ Housing Council to share opportunities and insights for marketing 55+ communities to the mature consumer. I always learn so much when I join the council, and this event was no exception.

Ask any marketer and I’m pretty sure they will agree that mobile marketing is becoming more and more important when it comes to reaching our target market. This past week’s most shared post showcased findings from The Infinite Dial, an Edison Research report that examines digital audio and media usage across all age categories.

Source: Edison Research

The report found that smart phone usage among the 55+ age cohort isn’t just increasing — it’s increasing significantly. According to the report, only 36% of 55+ers owned a smartphone in 2014. In 2017 that number jumped to 60%.

When Creating Results conducted our Social, Silver Surfers national research (of which I shared a portion with our friends at the Mid-Atlantic 55+ Housing Council) we gathered very similar insights.

SSS mobile

Source: Creating Results’ Social, Silver Surfers 2016

In fact, we found that more than half of those we surveyed are using mobile devices to access the internet some or all of the time.

Our study included people who had moved to all-ages communities, to senior living CCRCs and to active adult communities. When it came to the active adult category, 54% of recent movers had used mobile as a part of their journey when considering a move.

So what does this mean for marketers? There are two suggestions I’d offer up based on what we heard from Edison Research and what we saw in Social, Silver Surfers:

  1. If you haven’t thought of the mobile experience you are providing, now is the time to do so. And if you have, congrats! But you should still review and reconsider the way your prospects engage with you in a mobile environment to ensure they are getting the best possible experience.
  2.  You should attend our April 20th webinar where we’ll share even more digital preferences and pet peeves from our research study (I know, shameless plug). We’ll be providing 10 tips and actions for improving prospects’ digital experience when it comes to reaching the 55+ consumer. Spoiler alert: you will even hear more about mobile marketing. Click here to learn more.

Discover more findings from the Infinite Dial report.


Now that we’ve shared the upside of mobile marketing, let’s explore some pitfalls to avoid.

These insights come courtesy of MarketingSherpa‘s recent survey exploring types of ads that consumers dislike the most.

Source: Marketing Sherpa

The winners (or losers, really) were online pop-up and mobile ads. When it comes to marketing to the mature consumer, insights we’ve heard would certainly support this finding. In fact, pop-ups were chief among the pet peeves of the 55+ user, a dissatisfaction that increased as age increased.

According to the article:

“This consumer attitude towards digital advertising presents a challenge for digital marketers. Some elements of digital marketing that make the channel so popular — it’s trackability, targeting, interactivity, mobility and low cost, thanks to greater inventory — are also its Achilles’ heel compared to traditional advertising.”

It wasn’t all bad news though: print advertising was least disliked among survey respondents. And we couldn’t agree more — when it comes to effective avenues for positioning your brand print isn’t just alive, it’s alive and well.

So what does this mean for marketers striving to reach the 55+ market?

We will always advocate that employing a strategic, integrated marketing approach using a mix of on- and off-line tactics is going to serve you best. But when considering each avenue, think about it not just from the reach you’ll enjoy and the potential results, but from the prospect’s perspective — whether or not they will see value in the avenue (and what you are saying).

Learn more about MarketingSherpa’s study.

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