According to data from the Central Statistical Office (GUS), the number of Poles over 50 years old is approaching 15 million, accounting for nearly 40% of the population. Reaching, understanding, and engaging with such a significant segment of the Polish society is not just an additional benefit for most brands; it is more of an obligation. Especially since the stakes are high – unlike younger generations, a whopping 68% of individuals over fifty perceive their financial situation as stable. Older Poles travel, invest, and make substantial purchases. How to reach them? Here are the 4 most common mistakes in marketing to Poles over 50.

Table of contents:

  • Mistake 1 – Lack of online communication
  • Mistake 2 – Absence on social media
  • Mistake 3 – Lack of online sales
  • Mistake 4 – Relying on stereotypes

Mistake 1 – Lack of online communication

According to a study by the National Media Institute “Poles 50+,” three out of four individuals aged 60-74 and a staggering 94% of those aged 50-59 have Internet access at home. Furthermore, 85% of people aged 50-59 and 58% of those aged 60-74 consume online content.

Mature Poles do not limit their online activities to national and global news. Less than half of individuals aged 50+ consume entertainment-related content online. Additionally, Poles in the 60-74 age group actively use YouTube. About 16% of individuals aged 50-59 read online newspapers, 9% listen to podcasts, and 3% listen to audiobooks. In the 60-74 age group, 10% read online newspapers, 5% listen to podcasts, and 2% listen to audiobooks.

Online content consumption by Poles divided by age groups

According to the Power of Silver Generation report, the so-called “silvers” (consumers over 50) are not fans of traditional Internet ads. A striking 54% express dislike, and 47% find them annoying. However, they appreciate valuable content marketing online, especially guides, blog articles, and video content, particularly explainer videos. They have a particular affinity for humorous content, and when seeking information about a product they plan to purchase, they value access to reliable information. They do not make spontaneous purchases – instead, they thoroughly research online content about products or services.

Mistake 2 – Absence on social media

Given the immense size of the 50+ age group, it’s not surprising that older Poles most frequently use platforms like Facebook, YouTube, or Twitter. In 2022, each of these platforms had over 6.2 million, 6.3 million, and 2.8 million unique users among individuals aged 55-75 in Poland. However, they use these platforms slightly less than younger generations, spending an average of just over one and a half hours per day for the 55-75 age group.

Number of real users from different age groups in Poland on various social media platforms within 30 days.

Ignoring social media (especially Facebook and YouTube ads) in communication to this age group is a significant mistake that could cost companies millions of potential customers. Moreover, older generations of Poles should not be excluded from influencer marketing efforts. According to research, trust in online creators increases with age. Trust levels are 16% for individuals under 24 and rise to 33% for those over 50.

Mistake 3 – Lack of online sales

The days when individuals over fifty exclusively shopped in physical stores have long gone. It is essential to include them in e-commerce activities and online advertising. Polish “silvers” most frequently use platforms such as Allegro (63%), Google (32%), and OLX (26%) when making purchase decisions. They primarily look for home and garden supplies, as well as clothing and footwear, and explore offerings from online bookstores.

What steps should be taken to incorporate the group of Poles over 50 into your online sales process?

Enhance website readability and intuitiveness

Diminished eyesight and less proficiency in navigating the Internet require brands to adapt their sales platforms to the specific needs of individuals over 50. Large fonts, high-contrast colours, a simple website structure with visible categories facilitate navigation and expedite the purchase process. Regular user testing with representatives from this age group will help tailor the website to their requirements.

Include customer reviews

Older Poles rely on the opinions of others when making purchasing decisions. Allowing them easy access to browse product reviews and recommendations from other customers is crucial. This way, they won’t have to search for them on competitors’ websites. It’s also advisable to incorporate this element into the brand’s social media communication strategy.

Representativity in communication

If we offer products or services aimed at Poles over 50, we should ensure that representatives of this age group appear in our advertisements and communications. According to the Power of Silver Generation report, only 33% of Poles over 50 feel that brand offerings are directed towards people in their age group, compared to 60% in the 16-49 age group.

Mistake 4 – Relying on Stereotypes

Over 96% of individuals aged 50+ feel younger than their actual age, with an average of 11 years less. Unfortunately, marketers in Poland often approach this customer segment in a very stereotypical manner, treating them as elderly individuals who mainly purchase medications and dietary supplements. If you genuinely want to succeed in communicating with this target group and turn recipients into actual customers, it’s essential to eliminate stereotypical thinking.

Both the product offerings and advertising messages should be based on the real needs and expectations of the audience. Each campaign should be preceded by in-depth research of the Polish market, considering the characteristics of individuals aged 50+ (preferably dividing this group into subgroups, i.e., individuals aged 50-59, 60-69, and above). It is also essential to differentiate between those living in urban and rural areas and analyse the results obtained in terms of the wealth and education of the respondents.

According to GUS, by 2050, the number of Poles over 60 years old will increase to 40.4%. With each passing year, ignoring the older customer group simply becomes unprofitable. Moreover, Internet marketing to this segment is becoming increasingly similar to activities directed at younger audiences. If you need support in marketing to individuals over 50, contact our specialists.

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