Today I’d like to talk about the cruise consumer, how they differ and how we should be selling to them. How well do we know them? How well do we market to them? Do you actually push the right buttons? [ Marketing week August] 25% more searches for mountain bikes by women over 60 than by people aged 18 to 29 60-64 year old men searched more for Ski accessories than 25-29 men Over 60s searched for scuba gear 19% more than 18 to 24 year olds READ : “The media today remain focused on capturing the “youth market”, despite the population changes which suggest that older rather than younger consumers are becoming demographically and economically more attractive. Advertisers in particular are guilty of portraying older consumers in stereotypical ways, or else ignore them, resulting in offence and alienation within the 50-plus market.” Marketing & Intelligence Vol. 17, 1999 – That was 1999 – what’s changed in 14 years! The media and to an extent therefore, us, remain fixated with targeting the youth market. The media industry has always been fixated by the cult of ‘youth’ Yesterday’s youth are rapidly becoming the new over 55s and they bear no resemblance to the conventional images of old age. Are we as an industry ‘ageist?' Fixated about trying to find younger customers, developing new bells and whistles whilst ignoring and even putting off our biggest market by not talking to them in the way they wished to be talked to or worst of all not talking at all!
On cruise critic, there is a section entitled ‘Special Interest’ with Military cruises and eco cruises and 55+ cruises! (special interest)
So a third of the UK are considering cruise or a massive 17.5m people – yet we’ve struggled to find more than 1.7m
A study in the USA, found that 80-year-old Americans saw themselves as being around 65. It is interesting that SAGA dropped its qualifying age to 50 which may have more to do with increasing the appeal for 65-year-olds than recruiting 50-year olds.
Psychologist call this llusory Superiority or the above average effect – we all overestimate our positive qualities relative to others. You see me as 42 but I still think I'm 27. Our view if the consumers face is different to there's. Whilst you all see this...I think you are seeing this…
Focl BBC doc demonstrated that - a world cruise can only be taken by retired folk with avg age of 69 but we had 85 year olds saying they look so old. (Opportunity to explain why the programme appeared as it did) A good example of how the media are focused on youth To quote Frank Barrett, who criticised the programme in the Mail on Sunday “ While the big cruise lines are telling people about their rock climbing walls, ice rinks, surf machines and all-night discos, on the BBC programme we see a jolly band of geriatrics busking their way through Gilbert & Sullivan”. The simple answer may be that the core cruise audience are far more interested in the latter and have no interest in the former?
A YouGov poll of 65-93 year olds - 47% complained of Ageism. 47% felt they were ignored. 37% felt treated disrespectfully because of age Many of us find it impossible to face the reality that every day we inch ever closer to our own dotage. You might offer an octogenarian a seat on the bus, or let them in front of you in a queue but how often do you engage in an actual conversation with a person you aren’t related to? At best we infantilise, at worst outright ignore them. A 1998 study showed that we use baby talk (higher voices and simpler words) when communicating with people we perceive as old. So why do we have such an extraordinary aversion to ageing? One suggestion is that we aren’t forced to face up to our own ageing process because the elderly are deftly airbrushed out of our lives by an ageist media and a business culture in favour of youth.
The fact remains the majority of cruisers look like this despite our own fears or desire to make brands look ‘cool’ driven by the media.
Whilst I said earlier, older people feel younger and perceive themselves as looking younger, they are not as obsessed as we are as an industry. By 10 or 15 years not 30 to 40 years! These are all lifted from cruise agents online sites – I couldn’t find an image of someone over 55 – let alone over 65 or 75. And cruise lines are no better.
This is a survey of High Street Travel Agency staff – not necessarily just cruise agents. The biggest barrier to selling cruise was the perception of age – We don’t see this a positive we see it as a barrier? Why?
There is much talk of FOCL being an older cruise line which is incorrect. Age is correlated to duration and FOCL have historically offered more longer durations than shorter durations.
But we must keep an eye on the future…
It is important to recognise that the over 55s are not a coherent market segment with homogeneous attitudes and behaviour patterns. Each generation comes with its own baggage. ( 1 ) The generation which was shaped by the experience and hardship of the Second World War clearly comes with differences in outlook and values from those who grew up with ( 2 ) the welfare state, expansion of higher education, the Beatles, and flower power who in turn are different to those who are the next generation (3 ) who grew up to disco and Elton John and were influenced by the Thatcher years and mass consumerism This translates into different forms of behaviour and aspirations, and tomorrow's audience will not follow in the footsteps of today's. Most people would resist the idea that they are simply clones of their parents. War Babies - Born between 1929–1938 Traditional and formal. Less interest in health & well-being and will seek less exotic destinations cruising nearer to home (around UK and from the UK). More likely to be single having lost their partner so sociability is important Love Childs – Born 1939-1948 The excitement of retirement. The World Cruise of a lifetime. Vibrant, fun-seeking and keen to remain active and healthy. Financially comfortable. Increasingly taking on responsibility for Grandchildren (potential 3 generational holidays) Cash Kids – Born – 1949-1958 The Empty Nesters who have found a new independence and freedom and now avoiding other people’s children in search of new experiences. Don’t want to be restricted. Concerned about their finances as retirement looms (or not). The Don’t waste a thing generation – I still get complaints from guests about portions being to big because they don’t like to waste anything. Dress codes become an issue for cruise lines because of these attitudes across our target market. Again I receive complaints from existing traditional guests because the Maitre’d allowed a guest into the restaurant without a jacket and from guest who cannot believe we ask people to wear jack – it’s my holiday, I’ll wear what I want
Future cruisers - Triple Whammy coming - over 65s tax allowance being scrapped by time they claim; compulsory pension savings by employers deferred; state pension age being raised without a cap.
Swofties as reported in the Mail Not so long ago singledom carried a sense of shame. Today, not only has society become far less critical of singles, but we’ve actually become more critical of marriage. With declining marriage rates and rise in divorce comes greater acceptance and a stronger sense that there is nothing inherently wrong with being on your own. Of the over-55s 9% are single and nearly a third (32%) are widowed, divorced or separated. The highest proportion of the over-55 singles are in the 55-64 age group (12%), whereas the percentage of those who are divorced, widowed or separated increases with age - over half (56%) for the over-75 age group. Over a third (34%) are planning to take holidays with their friends.
We’ve done a lot of our own research into the over 55s market across the UK with people who cruise with us, cruise with other lines, are considering cruise and who say they will never cruise
In terms of selling cruise – e.g. for travel agents – selling the destination (or the advantage of being able to explore a number of places easily) is absolutely central.
The 65-74 age group is the biggest and fastest growing in cruise with a potential 4.1m cruisers rising to 4.5m cruisers. They are already feeling alienated and we need to reflect their needs more. They are prepared to pay a premium for good service Mintel’s advise is to target the over 75s for Cruise – no one is actively doing so and there are 1.2m potential cruisers. They have traditional values, seek friendship and want to be spoken to normally and will buy face-to-face. Mintel: “ given the ageing of the population, the growing numbers of people staying fit and more active for longer, and the relative ease and convenience of cruise holidays (especially UK departures) compared with other trips abroad, there is scope for developing more specialist products with an appeal to elderly travellers and age-targeted onboard facilities and services, or simply a need to promote cruise more actively among the over-75 population.” Sell the sausage not the sizzle. All these groups main driver to choose cruise is the itinerary/destination. We can grow the market if we focus more on the prime motivator for cruise and less on what doesn’t drive the consumer [slow and deliberate with last question?] If we are a generation that focuses on bells and whistles that we like, rather than understanding our audience, it could turn our like this…
How to sell to mature buyers Mature shoppers appreciate retailers who market to them directly and recognise their status. They want to feel that retailers are mindful of them. Employing older staff and running savings schemes are good examples of that. Good customer service is vital - again young staff were seen as inexperienced. This age group shops online for mainly practical reasons. They are more likely to research products and buy in-store. Pushy sales people are not popular. While the over-60s respond well to attentiveness, they don’t like to be given the hard sell. Mature shoppers avoid bland brands with no personality. This generation feels many retailers fail to connect with older shoppers.
Nathan Philpott Columbus Day 2013
Columbus Day 2013
The changing face of the over 55 cruise
Sales & Marketing Director
In 2012, the cruise industry’s average age may be 56
but two-thirds of all cruisers are aged 55+
• There are 18m over 55s in the UK – one-third of the adult
population – and will rise to 21m by 2020.
• The biggest single age group in cruise is 65+
• 40% of the over 55 market is single, separated, divorced
or widowed (rising to 60% of over 75s)
• A third of all babies born last year will live to over 100.
Some Age Old Facts
Mori/Mintel Research Feb 2012
14% had been on a cruise
62% will not consider a cruise
But 24% would consider a cruise
Love it or hate it?
So 17.5m adults in the UK or a massive 10x the current size
of the UK cruise market are considering cruising.
Are we too focused on the those who will not consider?
Are we promoting to those that will consider in the right way?
Today’s over-55s feel relatively sheltered from the economic turmoil
as high income and asset ownership as well as absence of
dependents afford more financial freedom. The over-55 consumers
don’t mind paying a premium price for products of genuine quality.
However, brands’ marketing strategies need to be more inclusive of
this demographic, as 2.3 million adults aged 55+ feel that companies
and stores don’t cater to the tastes of their age group.
•Ina Mitskavates, Consumer & Lifestyles Analyst, Mintel April 2012
The good news
and the bad news?
How we view the market vs how they
The Majority of cruisers (64%) are
Source: PSA Cruise Review, March 2013
Only 11% are aged 26-44
Source: PSA Cruise Review, March 2013
Biggest Barrier to Selling
Cruises was ‘Old Age’
Barriers to selling Fred Olsen Cruise Lines
Wants more commission
Ships need updating
Previous off-sale issues
More advertising needed
Older age range perception
Survey of 878 Multiple and Independent High Street Stores
• Average age 67 (from 50 on short cruises to 69 on long
• Read Telegraph and Daily Mail
• High standards of dress and decorum
• Interests: gardening, reading, classical music, food & wine
• Well-funded pensions and no real financial worries
• Prefer tailored communications that recognise their status
• Internet for research but travel agent to book
Current Fred. customer
• Private pensions are worth 30% of what they were and
retirement will not be possible as it is known today
• One in 10 people aged 65-75 have chosen to stay in work
• The new generation are GlamMas and SWOFTIES
• Mail online report after gardening and dining, sex is the
most popular pastime of the over 55s
• This is a generation that grew up to soft rock (Elton John
& David Bowie and the rise of Disco)
• They want to dance, have fun and do yoga
The Future customer
Make love, make war,
War Babies (aged 75-84)
• There are 3.6m which will grow to 3.9m by 2012
• 20% have been on a cruise and 5% still haven’t and
• They feel wealthier than other group and are far less
• They feel invisible in the market place – no one is
selling to them
• Daily Internet Usage 15% / Mobile Phone use 77%
• A market here of nearly 1m that are being neglected
Love Childs (aged 65-74)
• There are 5.8m rising to 6.4m by 2017
• 70-74 will grow by 23% to 3m
• Biggest opportunity: Companies don't cater to
tastes of people in my age group
• 32% have been on a cruise and 39% are
considering a cruise.
• Daily Internet usage 37% / Mobile Phone use
• 1.9m existing cruisers and still 800k considering
Cash Kids (aged 55-64)
• 7.2m people growing slightly to 7.4m by 2017
• Represent 27% of cruises and remaining static
• Planning holidays is more important (67%) than
spending time with family (65%),
• Triple Pension whammy coming
• Daily Internet usage 67% / Mobile Phone use
• 1.5m have cruised and 1.2m would consider
Don’t forget the Swofties?
• Smash stereo-types of the ‘old spinster’
• Independent & open to new
• May look and feel younger due to
advances in medicine and surgery
• Want to learn and meet new people
• Projected to grow by 27% by 2033 with
the biggest growth being in over 55s.
• 18% have cruised and 27% are
considering cruise. That’s a market of
2.6m existing and potential cruisers
What they want?
The key driver remains the
destination not brand or ship
They want more time in port
to discover destinations
They want to return enriched
with stories and experiences
(not just a sun tan)
Meeting people and sociability
Local cruises, sampler cruises
& cruise & stay
What they do not
Cramped public spaces
Ports of no interest
Being ripped off by big
bills and high onboard
There are polarised views
on enforced dress codes
with a fear of ‘penguins’
Sell the Destination
“Destination, destination, destination
Itinerary needs to be at the heart of the cruise marketing message. Almost three
quarters of those who have been on a cruise over the past five years and two
thirds of potential first timers agree that ‘they are a good way of visiting and
MINTEL, Cruises, UK April 2012
Reason for choosing to take a cruise holiday
No.1 Itinerary/Destination 70%
PSA Cruise Review, March 2013
What most influenced you to book?
No.1 Itinerary 27%
Travelzoo Cruise Survey 2011
“Destination is THE prime and
universal driver of cruise”
Fred Olsen Focus Group
What’s important when booking a cruise
No. 1 Destination (79%)
Mail Newspapers ‘Cruise Diaries’ Research
The Experiences is the new Destination
“Who has got the best experience: it’s like who’s got the best tan”
Film Stars &
Fish where the big fish are:
The 65-74 age group is the biggest and fastest growing in cruise
with 2.7m potential cruises.
Mintel’s advice is to target the over 75s for Cruise – no one is
actively doing so and there are 1m potential cruisers.
Sell the sausage not the sizzle:
Destination is the driver of cruise bookings not ships
All the single ladies, all the single ladies
There’s a potential cruise market of2.6m singles, mostly female
who want to meet people and have fun
Question ourselves and be honest
Are we promoting the image of cruise that we feel comfortable
with or the image that is the most relevant to the audience?
How to sell the wrong product to the
The Hi-fi Store