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10 October 2016 | beautystorebusiness.com when it comes to hair, makeup and other beauty needs. Likewise, they expect good service and value for their money. Fail to deliver on any of these options, and your 50-plus client is just as likely to leave as any other." In other words, work hard to earn their loyalty! WINNING THEM OVER So, how do you win over the over-50 crowd? Scharf explains that while mature consumers are often shopping in the same places and visiting the same web- sites as other demographics, connecting and engaging this consumer is different. She believes that effective marketing campaigns for mature consumers rely on: • Appropriate imagery. Most 50-plus consumers don't want to be marketed to with 20-something models. • Appropriate messaging based on where they are in their lives and the life events they're experiencing. Mature consumers experience more concurrent life events than any other demographic, such as empty nesting, retiring, starting second careers, hav- ing children move back home, becoming caregivers for their parents, raising grandchildren and more. • Gaining trust. Mature consumers have been exposed to so much adver- tising, they can be jaded in terms of trust and belief. So, it's especially important to eliminate any friction in your advertising that might hinder the conversion process. • Connecting with the right con- sumers and their social network. Word of mouth is one of the most powerful ways boomers and seniors make purchasing decisions; so con- necting with a consumer's network can be an effective way to reach this elusive consumer group. "The over-50 market is an extremely important one for any beauty store, as these men and women are looking for many different types of products for a variety of issues, especially products for antiaging," Parks notes. "I think most marketing mistakes come from not mak- ing this demographic feel like they're getting personalized attention when it comes to their beauty purchases. As you age, your skincare needs become less cookie-cutter and much more specific. Everyone has their own issues and con- cerns, and they want to feel like they're dealing with a company that can help them specifically." Indeed, Austin reports that five out of six (84%) boomers agree that they're more likely to look at quality and fea- tures, not just price, when considering a new purchase. "They're on social media and shop online, but they appreciate a frictionless shopping experience with no hiccups. They're also brand loyalists, so while they are willing to try new things, chances are, if you speak their language, they'll become your most loyal customer." Connor agrees that, contrary to mil- lennials, over-50 consumers are not motivated by low prices and technology- driven shopping experiences. Instead, they place importance on customer ser- vice and knowledgeable salespeople. "The 50-plus group is obsessed with health, wellness and feeling young so they seek beauty brands that protect their skin and keep them looking healthy," Con- nor says. "They are most likely to shop for products that include scientific data to back up claims. And baby boomers are most attracted to images that resemble them and are relatable, rather than ads of younger models or celebrities." Scharf points to a recent beauty marketing success story: Dove's "Real Beauty" campaign. "They were among the first campaigns willing to show women without makeup, with gray hair, with full figures, etc. In other words, real women with real bodies—and the public responded by flocking to the brand and engaging with the brand online in unprecedented levels," Scharf reports. Hence, when marketing beauty to over- 50 consumers, she recommends an authentic approach: Demonstrate realis- tic models and results, avoid unrealistic claims, and portray how your products align with this demographic's active life- style and compliment natural beauty, instead of promising false glamour. In fact, Kraus suggests shying away from overusing "antiaging" claims. The term has lost its impact and reminds the client that she's fighting an uphill battle. "People in the over-50 market aren't wor- ried about how many years they've been alive. They want to get the most out of each and every year, regardless of age," Kraus explains. "So beauty pros should focus on how their services and products enhance appearance and quality of life or lifestyle, instead of telling clients how they can minimize the effects of age. Most are in the best and most success- ful years of their lives, and the choices they make in terms of beauty products and services should be a celebration of this success!" In addition, Kraus says, when it comes to marketing and the customer experience, staff should avoid stereotypes and assumptions about what mature customers want. Rather than lim- iting their choices, encourage freedom of expression in their appearance. THE SHOPPING EXPERIENCE Parks believes samples are a great way to market to the over-50 demographic. Samples make customers feel like they're getting a special bonus, while stores are introducing them to products they otherwise may not have tried. "There's no better way to get someone to buy some- thing than to let them try it first," Parks says. "Hosting special events with cer- tain brands is a great way to market to this demographic as well, because they can learn more about the products and feel more informed about the purchases they're making." She adds that email marketing (including specials and deals) is also effective to help these customers make informed purchases. SHOPPER STATS Influent50 shares Influent50 shares some metrics about the mature market: 83% of boomers surveyed say brands are making some kind of mistake when trying to appeal to their age group. One-third (36%) of respondents agree that marketers "get it all wrong" when it comes to adver- tising to people ages 50 to 69. Nearly half of those surveyed (47%) say companies use inaccurate stereotypes about people their age in advertising. 82% are open to new brands. 76% would consider trying a new brand that offers higher quality. 79% consider customer service and not just price. Three out of four pay a little extra for both quality and convenience. CELEBRATING AGING Though the over-50 crowd might lament a lack of marketing focus on their demographic, some companies are changing the conversation by celebrating the aging process. For example, a recent campaign from skincare brand Kari Gran, dubbed Wear Yourself In, is designed to teach women of all ages about the beauty of so-called imperfections. Original essays posted on the brand's website, penned by female writers, business leaders and inspirational figures, discuss myriad journeys of aging, looks and self-acceptance. Meanwhile, online ads and digital content have been designed to showcase and spread the movement; a national symposium this fall hosts prominent female speakers to discuss aging, beauty, wisdom and embracing the authentic self; and the company is enclosing inspirational product hangtags with select online orders. "For years, the beauty industry has pushed an impossible idea of flawless youth, rather than embracing the natural aging process that enables us to reflect the life we've lived, loved and weathered," explains Kari Gran, cofounder of the brand. "It's time to stop telling women we need to be pinched, plucked, plumped and pulled in order to look our best, and instead encourage them to be gentle on themselves and their skin. Wear Yourself In encourages women to be kind to their skin—not just with the products they use, but also how they think of it as they age." For more information, visit karigran.com.