What age is our senior market?

Posted on November 12, 2013 by - Marketing to Seniors


Spa Ladies of all ages

Spa Ladies Having Fun!

I just returned from my annual spa trip in Ixtapan de la Sal, in the mountains of Mexico with 45 women, many of whom, including me, fit the criteria of AARP membership. AARP serves people age 50 and over. As always, I return refreshed, relaxed and inspired. 

For those of you who read my blogs, I am continually wrestling with the proper/politically correct terminology when describing our target market of older adults. In our marketing materials, we oftentimes refer to our clients and potential customers as senior citizens, retirees, seniors, elderly, aged, aging, older adults and my least favorite, golden agers. 

My particular traveling group, referred to as the “spa ladies”, range in age from early-forties to mid-eighties.  I can’t imagine calling any one of these amazing women “old” or any of the labels listed above.  The ladies are vibrant, energetic and fun. We arrive dragging our luggage through the airport without help, stop in duty-free to make sure we have evening fun, and take a long ride to reach the hotel. There is lots of laughter. Not one health complaint from these dynamic women who surely have some aches and pains.  All complaining is left back at home. 

Every morning we wake up early and walk together for three miles, as an intergenerational group, enjoying the beauty and clean mountain air. We take all types of exercise classes – aerobics, yoga, pilates, water aerobics, tennis and more. Everyone participates at her own pace.  I love watching two ladies in the yoga class leaning on their canes.  

The owner of this establishment has figured out how to market to seniors, the young and the old. He makes sure everyone is comfortable, but doesn’t designate the groups into any age category or make anyone feel “old.”  His “mother/daughter weekends” are geared towards mothers as old as 80 plus and daughters as young as teenagers. His marketing strategy is brilliant.

Yes, I return from my trip inspired for several reasons, but mostly because I can see how simple it is to age gracefully. Also, how easy it is to reach all types of age markets, and do so in a positive and uplifting manner. And, finally, how wonderful it is to see everyone bond and enjoy intergenerational activities. 

If you want to brainstorm on how we can bring the Mexican spa marketing philosophy to your elder care business, contact me and I’d love to chat with you about it.

Marla Levie, BSW, MA, is the owner and Founder of Focus on Aging, a Chicago-based marketing consulting company. To learn more  about Focus on Aging, contact Marla at info@focusonaging.