Published: 19 February 2016

Marketing and the mature consumer. What should businesses be doing about the ageing population in all developed economies?

Surrey Business School welcomed alumnus Mark Beasley, MBA Class of 2003, who presented on his experience of setting up RHC Advantage, the UK’s first ‘mature marketing’ consultancy, and the powerful mega trend that is the economic behaviour of over 50’s.

Surrey MBA alumnus Mark Beasley’s career in marketing began in the worlds of fashion, construction and food, before he co-founded what became a successful marketing agency. Over the past 5 years he has specialised in ‘mature marketing’, co-founding and becoming Chairman of RHC Advantage, the first of its kind in the UK, and leads the Mature Marketing Association.

His first taste of mature marketing was at Surrey, choosing to complete his Entrepreneurship project looking at the ageing population and now some years later he has returned to focus on this market.

Mark explained population ageing as a mega-trend and explored how marketing your product or services as ‘age neutral’ opens up new business opportunities, wider target audiences and even helps avoid social exclusion.

There is definitely a powerful business case for greater focus on the 50-plus market.  Mark advised considering the following marketing techniques to engage these audiences:

  • As a starting point for any marketing exercise, know your demographic
  • Year-on-year marketing assessment will not show changes; invest in longer term thinking and make subtle changes to your approach
  • Measure segmentation variables, e.g. inter-generational purchasing
  • Assess the entire marketing mix, advertising, target market, consumer experience, segmentation, positioning, branding, price, CRM
  • Review your creative strategy - avoid stereotypes, opt for visual clarity and realism
  • Consider digital: - recognise the digital demands of key age groups over 50

The Surrey MBA helped Mark ‘get to grips with the new economy’ and go forward confidently in business, aspects that are core focuses within the Surrey MBA.

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