According to figures provided by the Age Discrimination Commissioner, Susan Ryan, Australia’s over 50s have approximately $218 million in discretionary spending power. Given that this equates to 40 percent of Australia’s net wealth, it seems absurd that the majority of marketers focus on the younger adult market. Businesses are losing out because of their skewed marketing focus, and older Australians lose out on products and services that they are interested in.
Last year COTA NSW surveyed older Australians with a focus on health and wellbeing. The findings, published in the COTA NSW 50+ Report, revealed that not only are older people not being marketed to as extensively as they should, but over 50% of survey respondents reported experiencing age discrimination while purchasing products or services.
There seems to be an outdated perception of retirees as inactive and irrelevant to business models, however the opposite is true. Older Australians have many interests and requirements and the fact that these aren’t being widely recognised and catered to is, as Commissioner Ryan stated, “a failure of business strategy”. Ryan would like to see Australian businesses develop strategies which “deliver to both the bottom line and to older customers”. Businesses which fail to include ways of capturing the mature dollar are missing out, and those who fail to address the discrimination experienced by older customers will pay an additional price.