"What makes this 60-plus market so important?" asks Marilyn Hallett, director of You've Earned It.

"60-plussers are the country's fastest-growing demographic segment. They are rebelling against the age-old retirement trend, even though they are well-established members of society. The thought that they are generally considered to be firmly entrenched consumers of products and services is wrong," Hallet says.

"This generation is redefining expectations of retirement and ageing, precisely as the Harvard School of Public Health predicted. They are reshaping consumer behaviour and middle-class South African 60-plussers are staying economically active for longer. Technology, and social media especially, have helped 60-plussers set new trends for their generation," adds Hallett.

"Traditionally, marketers have steered clear of the 60-plus market. However, YEI's recent survey series, backed up by recent research done by the UCT Liberty Institute of Strategic Marketing, don't just suggest but screams out that brands with relevant products, services and solutions would do extremely well to consider the digital-savvy 60-plusser and their nuanced dynamics," says Hallett. 

"I would highly recommend that marketers tailor their strategies accordingly to better serve the distinct needs and preferences of the South African 60-plusser," Hallett adds.

Let's start with the numbers. These are the highlights of the recently released You've Earned It / YEI Guide to the South African 60-plus consumer:
  • Eight million 55-plus South Africans amongst which 5.2 million South Africans are aged 60-plus.
  • Numbers are projected to more than double between now and 2050.
  • An aggregate taxable income of over R600-billion annually (information from the UCT Liberty Institute of Strategic Marketing recent Forerunner report).
  • A rapt audience represents a huge market of people waiting to buy services and products.
The You've Earned It / YEI Guide to the SA 60-plus consumer has been compiled from the YEI Survey Series results, resulting in a clearer understanding of the 60-plus audience. The YEI Consumer Guide speaks to the new trends of the SA 60-plusser, plus their needs and preferences and is packed with data and insights emanating from the YEI surveys.

"Research and data demonstrate that the longevity economy is transforming society; 60-plussers are deemed to be one of the highest-contributing sectors to our society. Longer lifespans will revolutionise the way we live, offer incredible new opportunities and require a change in the way people plan and save," says Hallett.

"Digital marketing campaigns are key opportunities for organisations to expand engagement with a very valuable 60-plus senior audience while tapping into the spending power of the growing number of 60-plussers in this country," adds Hallett.

The perception of senior-centric organisations, including YEI, is that brands and marketers are reticent to spend time and attention on the 60-plus consumer. 60-plussers wish to support purpose-led advertising that aligns with the values of this demographic, says YEI.  

The late Mike Schüssler, a South African chief economist, says, "Pensioners are becoming increasingly important in the South African economy. Pensioners account for about 10% of SA's GDP.  In total, South Africa's pension assets are about the eighth largest in the world. Economists agree that South African retailers should tap into the spending power of the growing number of pensioners by creating special pensioner days or pensioner discounts."

According to YEI, partnering with a relevant platform with specifically created marketing campaigns that are in line with the needs and characteristics of baby boomers is extremely worthwhile. You really don't want to ignore the specific spending power of the South African 60-plus market.   
The release of the YEI Guide to the SA 60-plus consumer comes at a time when the world of the 60-plusser is shifting in many respects. The global trend of "The Great Unretirement" is high on the agenda of many 60-plussers. Most 60-plussers understand the necessity of leading an active and healthy lifestyle, while older adults are embracing technology. This is, without doubt, a vibrant market, concludes YEI. 

For more information, visit www.youve-earned-it.co.za. You can also follow You've Earned It on Facebook.

*Image courtesy of contributor