Ageless Marketing reveals why so much advertising fails so dismally to reach the huge and lucrative older market, at Why Seniors Don't Buy Your Ads.
Short answer: Ads are usually aimed at younger people, even when they are meant to be aimed at older people. Because many young and naïve ad creators don't understand that older people aren't just like them.
This matters to us fundraisers, because our target market is overwhelmingly older people. And younger, inexperienced people who create the messages often don't know (or refuse to believe) that making fundraising they think would work to persuade them will work with their actual audience.
Here are the Agesless Marketing ways to get it right (slightly reinterpreted by me for fundraising):
- Avoid hyperbole. Older donors aren't impressed.
- Be authentic. Older donors can tell when you're faking it.
- Connect with their values. Values matter more and more as we age.
- Don't appeal to self-centered benefits. Older donors really are into helping others. The self-focused benefits that advertisers use when marketing to younger people are less interesting to older people
The big, overarching rule for fundraising: Don't use your own taste and preferences to guide you. That will make you do it wrong!