The Generational Divide: Marketing Your Firm to Different Age Groups

So much of marketing is about being present in the right places – going where your target audience is.

Conventional wisdom would say that to market to older people, you should stay offline, while younger people spend all their time in front of screens so this is where you can capture them.

So is that true?

Let’s take a look at the best ways of reaching the different age groups that make up your client list.

Reaching older audiences

Older consumers tend to be more brand loyal, so you perhaps won’t have to work as hard to retain them as clients for their future legal needs – provided you satisfy their requirements. But you’ll need to know where to target them to get them to convert.

The Pew Research Center found that although social media use was lowest among the over 65s, it’s rising, with Facebook proving most popular. Meanwhile, in 2019, 83% of people in the UK aged 55-64 and 70% of those 65 and older were online. This dispels the notion that you can’t reach older people online.

Traditional above the line marketing tends to work better with these prospective clients. Older people still read newspapers and traditional television broadcasts, so this can pay off. They can often be active in their communities, so if there’s a local sponsorship opportunity available, it’s worth considering. The cost of these activities can add up, though, so weighing up their effectiveness is crucial.

Targeting younger clients

With younger leads, the most important thing is investing in your online presence. Without an effective website and a visible social presence, you won’t be able to win their interest or trust. Digital comes first to these prospective clients, with mobile use overtaking desktop. This makes it essential to focus on mobile site development.

But it’s important to remember that younger consumers can fall into one of two demographics: millennials and Gen Z. Their values, priorities and preferences may generally align, but there are distinct differences.

And don’t discount the younger generation. They’re working – and getting injured in the process. Across workers aged 16-24, there were 5,175 non-fatal workplace injuries RIDDOR-reported in 2019/20. And they’re old enough to secure mortgages. They’re old enough to drive and to undergo medical procedures that don’t go according to plan. They’re definitely old enough to become clients.

  • Millennials

The older cohort – the millennials – respond well to reviews. Recommendations from happy clients will go a long way towards convincing them to give you a chance. So encouraging online reviews can be hugely helpful in gaining their business. User-generated content, like reviews, is a huge trust-builder for this generation.

They’re not fans of advertising, but subtle marketing works well for this group. They read blogs and watch brand videos. Explain what you do and how your expertise will benefit them and they’ll more be more likely to be receptive to it. Don’t give younger people the hard sell.

  • Gen Z

The youngest consumers of your services – Gen Z – are the most difficult to engage. Their loyalty must be earned and they’re the most likely to want to work with brands that reflect their values. This means that your firm is going to have to find some way of conveying its values to connect with these potential clients. Highlight your CSR and the causes you champion. But don’t just shout about it – you’ll need to back it up with evidence for Gen Z to buy into it.

They’re hugely active on social media – but on specific platforms, like TikTok and Snapchat, rather than Facebook. They might not be the most natural channels for your firm to market its services, but it’s worth bearing in mind as this generation grow up and become even more likely to require legal advice.

Segmenting your market

You already have the data you need to find out which of your service areas are most used by the different age groups. This will help with your market segmentation, helping you decide where to focus your efforts.

Look at who’s visiting your site and where they’re coming from. Your analytics tools and programs can provide this information. If you’d prefer more information or context, you could survey your clients to find out how they heard about you and the route they took to land on your site or dial your number.

Once you have the information, you can separate your clients and site visitors out by age group and analyse their behaviour. How did they get to your site? What did they look at? How long did they spend on your site? What were their engagement levels?

You can use this to identify where you should focus your marketing efforts, as well as what sort of content prospective clients are looking for.

As with so much in marketing, it’s all about paying attention. Your clients may buck the trend by not being where you think they’ll be or acting as you think they’d act. So analyse your data and make sure you’re focusing on the right channels.


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