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Business

Digital seniors

BUSINESS MATTERS BEYOND THE BOTTOM LINE - Francis J. Kong - The Philippine Star

Two crows were in a field when they noticed a figure that looked like a man in the distance.

“See that over there? What is that?” asks the first crow.

The second crow looks long and then says, “That’s a scarecrow. Looks authentic, doesn’t it?”

“How can you tell it’s a scarecrow and not a person?” replies the first crow.

“Look at its hands,” says the second crow. “It’s not holding a mobile phone.”

It has been said that the young generation is born with a smartphone as an appendage to their physical bodies. My good friend Dr. Mark LLenado says young people would not let go of their smartphones. Even when doing things, they would use one hand to hold and handle stuff, but the other hand is still holding on to their phones.

The question now is, how are the old folks adapting? Here is an old material entitled: “A Senior’s Version of Facebook.” For those of my generation who do not and cannot comprehend why Facebook exists: I am trying to make friends outside of Facebook while applying the same principles.

Therefore, every way, I walk down the street and tell passersby what I have eaten, how I feel at the moment, what I have done the night before, what I will do later, and with whom.

I give them pictures of my family, my dog, and me gardening, taking things apart in the garage, watering the lawn, standing in front of landmarks, driving around town, having lunch, and doing what everybody and everybody does every day.

I also listen to their conversations, give them a “thumbs up,” and tell them I “like” them.

And it works just like Facebook. I already have four people following me: two police officers, a private investigator, and a psychiatrist.

But before you start dismissing senior citizens, there is an actuality that business people need to accept. And this is the emergence of digital seniors. The pandemic and the more than two years of the lockdown have transformed the once technophobic seniors into digital consumers, and the transformation happened very fast. Generally speaking, many seniors used to be resistant to anything digital, but the pandemic has converted their resistance into reliance. Older consumers had to go online as the world shut down. Today they are doing online banking. They enjoy making purchases and utilizing services through this channel. Seniors are embracing virtual platforms for socializing, health screenings, finances, and learning, not just games and video entertainment.

During the lockdown, seniors learned more about social media and web surfing from their children or grandchildren who were locked in with them in their homes. With much time to spare, they discovered the joy of viewing and using TikTok, and thus propelled them to experiment, learn and use it in their digital adventures. These are now the empowered elders.

Euromonitor came up with an article showing that more than 65 percent of consumers aged 60 and above seek simpler lives. Businesses that successfully cater to this generation can and should develop easy-to-use devices and simplify existing technologies. For seniors to adopt digital solutions, they must be frictionless and straightforward. If products or services are confusing to use, digital seniors will move to competitors.1

Flexo Market News says: As older consumers embrace technology; human interactions will remain a prevalent component of how they engage with brands. Easy-to-use technology and seamless solutions combined with face-to-face communication define the future of digital inclusion for seniors. Building an agile plan directed at both digital seniors and elderly novices will enhance return on investment. You cannot dismiss the seniors today as being techno ignorant or digitally challenged. If you are in business and have not crafted a marketing plan or a business model catering to their needs, you might be missing out on something huge.2

So, all these old jokes going around about older people like: “How would you know if a computer is getting old? Just like a senior, its memory is failing.” This may not be funny anymore, and if a business does not look at the potential of this demographic cluster, then the joke may be on them. And to prove my point, I now have a podcast, and I have TikTok too!

 

 

(The next Level Up Leadership 2.0 Master Class Online will happen this Sept. 27-29. For inquiries and reservations, contact April at +63928-559-1798 or and for more information, visit www.levelupleadership.ph)

1 https://www.euromonitor.com/article/what-are-the-10-global-consumer-trends-in-2022

2 https://www.flexomarketnews.com/consumer-attitudes-shift-in-2022/

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