Is Marketing a Young Person?s game?

Published 24th April 2017 | View or add comments


We are all getting older, no one escapes and birthdays are usually something to celebrate not commiserate yet it does seem that we are likely to experience discrimination the older we get.

What is age discrimination?

In my own words, age discrimination is when you are treated at a disadvantage because of your age.

Discrimination is an issue in many sectors but my interest is in marketing.

Why should age be a problem within the marketing world?

When getting excited about the new BMW car advert, how many of the drivers featured are older than 50?

Or how many Rimmel adverts use females over the age of 40 to ‘get the London look’?

However, the reality is that the older generation are more likely to splash out on the luxuries featured in these adverts, using their well-established pension pot. 

You can look at it two ways; is it that age discrimination is an issue within the actual broadcasting of marketing, for example television advertisements or billboards; or could it be the average age of those in the job role which enables the broadcasting to happen?

Or it could be both.

Age discrimination occurs in the marketing world every day. You might be someone who hasn’t realised this before, or you might be someone who deals with this from the front end. Alongside other types of discrimination that may take place within the working environment this type seems to be one that is commonly overlooked.

Age does catch up with us all, however it seems as a marketer it catches up quicker than expected. According to Marketing Week:

Almost 1/3 of marketers feel that age discrimination is an issue within their profession.

With the fast pace of the technology world, older marketers can feel isolated within their companies, as they may not be familiar with how to use or how to train people to use the newest gadgets. Many feel pushed to one side and replaced with the younger generation who are said to know more about the latest technology. 

Is it knowledge over experience? Or is it a wage issue?

The young often have a more flexible approach to change as they are used to the fast-evolving world of technology and Social Media, which they have grown up using every day and the older generation sometimes find this world harder to understand.

Is hiring the younger generation a way that businesses can save money by paying them a smaller wage. Or is it because they feel a fresh new look on things could create a more profitable company.

 The questions could go on and on.

What’s important is how to tackle the issue.

The government are set on fixing the issue with promises to raise the employment rate from 59% to 66% for those aged 50-69 by 2022.

I do wonder how much the employment rate in marketing will rise for that age group if these promises do come true.

Another way of tackling the issue could be to carry out the correct training to ensure that the older generation do know how to work with the newest technology, or why not hire in the younger generation to train the older generation rather than replacing them.

It surely makes sense that for successful marketing to take place, you need a range of inputs from different age groups or you can seriously miss the target market and therefore miss out on the money they would have spent.

A mix always works well. By having a mix of employees, the skill range will be more dynamic, therefore helping your business grow and evolve.


Thanks, Rachael Kennedy
MLS Marketing Team
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