Thursday, December 21, 2017

Embrace Sadness in Marketing to Seniors

In marketing to senior citizens, stay aware that negative emotions such as fear and sadness impact these consumers in distinctive ways. Examples of this were analyzed by researchers at University of Southern California. In one study they reviewed, a group of younger and a group of older adults were coached to feel positive emotions, negative emotions, or neither and then shown pairs of photos. Each photo in the pair was of a face exhibiting a positive, neutral, or negative emotion. The degree of attention to the faces was measured. Most of the younger adults who had been made to feel negatively paid particular attention to an angry or frightened face. Most of the older adults made to feel negatively paid particular attention to a happy face.
     The explanation is that as consumers age, they acquire a positivity bias, causing them to pay more attention to the upsides and to put a happy edge even on sadness and fear. This change helps seniors deal with the inevitable discomforts and disappointments. Unlike younger adults, the seniors fear health threats more than social threats, but they prefer not to fear either. Older adults were asked to write an autobiographical sketch and then shown a list of words. These participants devoted significantly less notice to words having to do with pain and fatigue than to the pleasant words.
     Researchers at University of Rennes and University of Paris-Est found that among younger consumers, the attitude toward an advertisement is less favorable when it follows a sad television program rather than a happy one. However, for the older study participants, witnessing sadness didn’t arouse as much sadness as it did in the younger participants, and the attitudes toward the ad weren’t much different between the conditions of happy and sad programming. The elderly consumers did not turn away. In fact, emotional appeals, including sadness-based ones, usually help senior shoppers remember details about sources of marketing messages more accurately, according to researchers at Trinity College, College of Charleston, and University of Toronto.
     Talk to your elderly consumers about positives, such as comfort, contentment, and joy. Then combining this with an arousal of sadness or fear can be powerful. Point out how what you’re marketing helps avoid the negatives. Last, segue into talking about achieving the positives. All emotions arouse interest among older consumers, and as people age, they do get better at transforming negatives into positives.

For your success: Retailer’s Edge: Boost Profits Using Shopper Psychology

Click below for more: 
Succeed over Sad with Elderly Shoppers
Craft Fear Appeals
Offer the Time of Their Lives to Senior Citizens
Combine Positive with Negative Comparatives
Shape Shoppers with Their Negativity Bias

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