The 50-plus market is growing, and aging, and presenting an unprecedented opportunity for direct-to-consumer (DTC) pharma marketers.

And yet many brands in this space are falling short, according to Mark Bradbury, senior director, insights/marketing at AARP – an interest group focused on this demographic.

“It's not that what you're doing is bad, exactly,” Bradbury told his audience of pharma marketers at the 2018 DTC National conference in Boston. “But it could probably be a lot better, based on what I know about how your consumers perceive what you do.”

Bradbury’s insights stem from a recent study his team conducted that was entitled, “Breaking Bad – Adults 50-plus: Understanding the demo that drives your business.”

This research refers not to the wildly popular TV show of the same name, but to an old Southern expression related to challenging convention.

What convention is Bradley challenging? For starters, there’s the stereotypical way the 50-plus demographic is often portrayed – as a bunch of doddering, digitally-challenged, gray-haired elders, struggling to use their big-button flip phones.