Date published

Jan 09, 2024

There lingers a stubborn misconception in today's hyper-connected world: the belief that the older generation lags in digital skills, but statistics from the ONS dispel this myth.

In recent years, we've observed a notable evolution in the UK's online behaviour, particularly post-lockdown. A dip in time spent on leisure activities, combined with an increase in rest, signals a lifestyle realignment. The data suggests that adults are now more selective about how they spend their waking hours, which includes their online engagement.

The Over-70 Digital Surge

Contrary to the dated trope of technophobic seniors, the ONS has revealed that over-70s are the second most digitally engaged demographic, trailing just behind those in their twenties. The Office for National Statistics reports that this age group averages over 43 minutes a day on digital devices, showing an eagerness to embrace what the digital world has to offer.

It’s not only the amount of time over-70s are dedicating online but also the nature of their online activities. Their preferences lean toward web browsing and email communication, with minimal time on social media — a stark contrast to the social and gaming activities of their younger counterparts. Whilst the digital medium is consistent, the content and platforms favoured are generation-specific.

Impact on Digital Marketing

Understanding these patterns is important for any brand that aims to engage with an older audience effectively. At Creode we recognise that to resonate with over-70s, digital marketing needs a nuanced approach. Email campaigns, user-friendly design, and targeted content that speaks directly to their needs and interests are not just recommended — they are essential.

Call to Action

This data not only places responsibility on digital marketers but also on businesses at large to reassess preconceived notions about older adults and technology. The over-70s are not just using the internet; they are thriving on it. Our industry must rise to the occasion, crafting strategies that accommodate and celebrate the digital engagement of this demographic. It's time to expand our view and embrace the diversity of the online community.

Key Takeaways

  • Consider the overall user experience for over-70s, ensuring websites are accessible and straightforward to navigate.

  • Develop content that is informative, clear, and respectful, acknowledging the experience of this demographic.

  • Recognise the diversity within the over-70s group — some may be tech-savvy, while others are still learning. Cater to this spectrum of digital literacy with tailored support.