Creating Results is a full-service strategic marketing, public relations and advertising agency with more than 15 years of experience. Our expertise is motivating mature 40+ consumers, including Baby Boomers, Silent (Ike) Generation and Gen X.
Happy Monday! Let’s jump right into the mature marketing stories of the past week that had people clicking and sharing. Have something to share? We’d love to hear from you, just leave a note in our comment section.
By far the most clicked story of the past week was a Mashable article that shared a video of a remake of “Uptown Funk”. This fun video featured seniors age 65-92 remaking the catchy song their way. You can’t help but dance and tap your toes when you check out this fun remake.
At Creating Results we’ve long shared that email is a top avenue for engaging mature consumers. A recent MarketingSherpa survey reinforced this through findings from a recent study which noted that more than 70% of adults rank email as the #1 communication method with brands. During a survey individuals were asked to identify their preferred avenues for engaging with brands, with email blowing the others away.
Insights from the survey included:
* Email was tops for females 65+ with 64% preferring this channel.
* 64% of those 55 and better selected postal mail.
* 34% of all respondents identified print media as a primary channel.
The take away? For marketers it is important to utilize an integrated marketing approach. This will effectively ensure you reach your target market where they are most comfortable engaging with you.
RELATED: Creating Results uncovered similar preferences within our Social, Silver Surfers research about email, as well as other digital portals including websites. Click here to learn more and download our eBook
Good morning! Did you watch the Academy Awards show last night? Inspired by the “choose your own adventure” biography of host Neil Patrick Harris, today’s blog post offers choices. You can go immediately to the practical (top links for mature marketing) OR jump to heartwarming (some Oscar- and aging-related thoughts). Or, throw caution to the wind and do it all!
Either way, I promise this show won’t take 4 hours.
1. MOST CLICKED: Get inspired! LeadingAge showcases 30 outstanding projects in assisted living, CCRCs, nursing homes in their 12th edition of the Design For Aging Review. http://bit.ly/18fR3vl
2. MOST SHARED: The danger of “end of life poverty” as 4 million Americans turn 65. While the topic sounds depressing, the author, Ai-jen Poo, sounded several hopeful notes in her interview with NPR, such as
“[T]he baby boom generation in particular is such a culture-driving generation. I mean, rock ‘n’ roll — and so much has changed in our culture as a result of the baby boom generation. They are the generation that’s aging, and if any generation is going to change how we orient around aging, it’s going to be that generation.”
I was touched to see the Oscar spotlight shine briefly on an issue important to older adults and those who care for them — Alzheimer’s disease.
Country star Tim McGraw performed “I’m Not Gonna Miss You,” from the documentary Glen Campbell … I’ll Be Me. The movie focused on Campbell’s goodbye tour after his Alzheimer’s diagnosis. The Oscar-nominated song is a a bittersweet note that Campbell’s love for his family will remain as his memory of them fades.
Julianne Moore took home the Best Actress statue for her turn as a woman diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s in Still Alice. In her acceptance speech, Moore said “So many people with this disease feel isolated and marginalized. And one of the wonderful things about movies is that it makes us feel seen and not alone. People with Alzheimer’s deserve to be seen, so we can find a cure.”
The Oscars draw audiences of more than 40 million. For helping bring attention to Alzheimer’s, it’s now our turn to thank the Academy.
It wasn’t too long ago when the only attention paid to online reviews of senior living communities was making sure only the positive comments saw the light of day.
A recent article within Senior Housing News confirmed that if you’re not thinking about online reviews you’re missing the boat. The article included insights from a digital marketing survey conducted by Software Advice regarding seniors and their views/reliance on peer reviews when choosing an assisted living community.
“Good online reviews can be seen as marketing tools to attract high-paying residents,” says Software Advice. “Consumers are not only using reviews in the selection process—they are incorporating reviews significantly in their budgeting decisions, too.”
The article goes on to detail how a negative review could have far-reaching repercussions, as it could discourage other mature consumers from even considering your community.
We couldn’t agree more. In fact, when conducting our Social, Silver Surfers research, here is what we heard about online reviews:
* User reviews were used by half of all Baby Boomers and 4 in 10 Silent Generation seniors. In fact, the percentage of people over 40 who used these reviews doubled in just three years.
* Among those who had moved to a senior living or active adult community, more than a third had used online directories in their move decision. Most of these directories include star ratings or other reviews.
Perception is reality and online reviews do matter. The fact of the matter is, as people trust organizations less and peers more, reviews can lend credibility to your marketing claims.
Senior living organizations should employ a strategic approach to the capturing of insights from happy residents online. Here are three ways to make sure you not only capture reviews, but glowing ones at that.
New resident? Include a request to complete a review of the community online as a part of their welcome experience.
“Thomas Jefferson once said, ‘We should never judge a president by his age, only by his works.’
And ever since he told me that, I stopped worrying.” – Ronald Reagan
Happy Presidents Day! For our readers in the U.S., today is the official celebration of George Washington’s birthday. But never fear — the Creating Results’ team wouldn’t let a federal holiday get between you and the top mature marketing links of the week.
1. MOST SHARED: A Last Thought from Las Vegas: Put Away the Poker Face
Creating Results’ Sally O’Donnell wraps up her series of posts offering a millennial’s perspective on marketing to baby boomers. This latest installment looks into transparency and why creating an environment of trust is actually a service to older home buyers. Testimonials and ratings help people relate to the current residents of a 50+ community.
“Millennials like me rely heavily on Yelp, for example, to find restaurants, hotels, etc. More and more 50-plus homebuyers are using similar tools to influence their purchasing decision.
Because there has been such a shift toward digital with less face-to-face time, it’s increasingly difficult to build trust with online prospects. Something as simple as a positive review tells a compelling story and reinforces confidence in your brand.”
AdAge reports that sex therapist and media personality Dr. Ruth Westheimer is the new face of a laundry campaign. “Think of Valentine’s Day or sex, and chances are laundry doesn’t immediately come to mind. Clorox Co. has enlisted Dr. Ruth to change that.”
The 86-year-old brings her trademark good humor to the campaign. We had fun discovering she also has nearly 85,000 followers on Twitter. Seattle fans will want to look away …
Only 10% of Twitter users are older than 65. So this means it’s mostly the young who are following Dr. Ruth. They do so not because she’s a peer but because they relate to her humor and forthright approach.
RELATED: We’ve always appreciated marketing to baby boomers and seniors that recognizes these older adults as sexual. You don’t stop being interested in romance, sex and connections just because your AARP card has arrived. Click here to see how we addressed the topic in 2012, on this blog.
Third in a series of posts reflecting on marketing homes to 50-plus homebuyers, from a Millennial’s perspective.
Last week I shared two take-aways from my time at the International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas — the importance of grabbing a prospect’s attention and the need to invest in a website the way you would a model home. We finished post #2 with a question:
“What’s the one thing your brand can give boomer homebuyers that they can’t search for on Google?”
If you guessed “service,” you’d be hitting the jackpot! Today’s 50-plus homebuyers are expecting on demand, high-quality service when it comes to their purchasing decisions. It is critical that your team meets boomer expectations.
How can you do this?
1) Create an environment of trust and transparency. Previously, buyers would rely on longevity for purchasing decisions. For example, your family has gone to Walgreens for decades. Therefore, it is your “trusted” go-to pharmacy. Nowadays, buyers are more concerned with transparency vs. longevity. Think about those calorie counts on all food menus. While learning how many calories are really in that “skinny” salad could ruin your appetite, the transparency allows for a feeling of confidence in the brand.
You want your sales teams to convey that same feeling. 50-plus homebuyers want transparency in price, offerings and selections. This means that your team should have a strong grasp on all of these pieces to deliver high-quality service – creating credibility and a bond between you and your buyer.
2) Resident testimonials are a powerful tool to use in marketing to boomers that can communicate transparency. From a millennial perspective, I appreciate a story from someone in my demographic. But, there are so many variables and perspectives that it sometimes can be hard to relate. For example, I follow a few fellow millennial fashion bloggers to keep up with what’s in style. They may be the same age as me, but I don’t actually relate to them – there is no way I would spend $2,500 on a handbag.
The 50+ audience is different. Their upbringing and current situations are more aligned than my generation. They are looking for similar things in this stage in their lives. Use that to your advantage. Leveraging positive experiences from your homeowners through testimonials is a service. It allows for your target audience to say “I relate to that person and I can picture myself there.”
3) Ratings and reviews are another increasingly popular way to create an environment of trust. Millennials like me rely heavily on Yelp, for example, to find restaurants, hotels, etc. More and more 50-plus homebuyers are using similar tools to influence their purchasing decision.
Because there has been such a shift toward digital with less face-to-face time, it’s increasingly difficult to build trust with online prospects. Something as simple as a positive review tells a compelling story and reinforces confidence in your brand.
Creating Results recently applied these insights into a site redesign for leading 50-plus homebuilder, Traditions of America. Their ratings and reviews pages are something they can give buyers that Google can’t.
Your marketing is definitely not something to gamble with. By incorporating these ideas and suggestions, you can bet that you’ll reach your 50-plus audience in an impactful way.
How do you plan on hitting the marketing jackpot? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Snowy days and Mondays always got you down? We’ve got the cure. Put on your shades and dream of Las Vegas, as it prompted the top content in this week’s 50+ marketing links round-up.
1. MOST CLICKED: Creating Results’ Sally O’Donnell went to Las Vegas in late January, for the International Builders’ Show. Her focus at the conference (as it is on a daily basis) was 50+ or “active adult” housing. Sally fought the crowds on the show floor, attended various sessions and cheered on two of our clients who won national Best of 50+ Housing Awards. (See below.)
Then Sally made her way back to our West Coast office and shared “A Millennial’s Perspective on Marketing to Boomers,” a series of posts for this blog.
To continue the Vegas theme, her first post was a winning hand. She wrote:
“Did you know that the average attention span now is only 8 seconds? That’s less than the attention span of a goldfish. While I didn’t even know that goldfish had attention spans, it brings to light a critical issue in marketing to your audience.
You now have less time than it took Usain Bolt to break a world record to introduce and reinforce your brand so that people even take a second look.”
2. MOST SHARED: Part 2 of Sally’s 50+ housing series had our audience of mature marketing pros going all in, re-tweeting, sharing and favoriting the post.
“It’s time to invest in your website the way you would invest in a model home or printing collateral,” she wrote, and offered some recent research findings to explain why. Larry Guengerich of Landis Homes then shared a terrific example of website upgrades in a comment on the post.
Second in a series of posts featuring insights from the 2015 International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas.
While at the International Builders’ Show I attended a session which offered some interesting stats on home buying and your website:
* 92% hunt for their new home online
* 75% of prospective buyers start searching within a year of purchase – starting with Google
* 36% use their mobile phone as their shopping companion
Those stats, from the National Association of Realtors, are for buyers of all ages. Creating Results surveyed senior and baby boomer homebuyers, and found that 37% of “Social, Silver Surfers” have rejected a community solely based on their website.
Your website is rapidly becoming the most powerful part of the sales process. The reason is simple: baby boomer homebuyers form an opinion of you before they even step foot on your site entirely based on your website. The statistics speak for themselves. And while it may be a harsh reality, you’ll lose prospects if your website doesn’t meet their standards.
It’s time to invest in your website the way you would invest in a model home or printing collateral. Treating your website as the heart of an integrated marketing plan is your best bet.
A strong website is responsive with rich content. Responsive design is an increasingly popular (and recommended) approach that provides visitors with an optimal viewing experience across a wide range of devices (mobile, tablet and desktop). Going responsive should be your goal this year – not only to provide your users with a positive experience, but also to get on Google’s good side. Google rewards responsive/mobile-friendly sites with higher organic search rankings.
Believe it or not, Millennials are not the only ones on the go. Yes, my cell phone may be within arm’s reach of me at all times. But that’s true of baby boomers, too!
88% of baby boomers have a cell phone. At the same token, 37% of those aged 50-64 own a tablet – and that number is rising fast. Developing a mobile strategy through responsive design allows you to get ahead of your baby boomer audience, stay on the digital curve, and most importantly, be visible.
Website upgrades are a solid investment, one that will absolutely pay off. Being visible online to your prospects is increasingly becoming the only way to reach them.
But what’s the one thing your brand can give boomer homebuyers that they can’t search for on Google? We’ll explore that in our next post.
A Millennial’s Perspective on Marketing to Boomers
In the spirit of gambling…
When someone considers a 24-year-old heading to Las Vegas, I’m willing to bet they don’t think she’s there to learn about marketing to boomers.
Source: International Builders’ Show, 2015
Believe it or not, that’s just what I got to do two weeks ago at the International Builders’ Show. Me and 125,000 builders, marketers, designers and more hit the Las Vegas Convention Center – all 3.2 million square feet of it – to kick off 2015. There were opportunities to learn new trends, share expert advice and, most importantly, tap creative and innovative ideas to put into play this year.
While I’m not much of a gambler, Vegas did teach me some tricks to play my cards right when marketing to not only the 50+ audience, but also homebuyers of any age.
For the next few days, I’ll be sharing insights from Las Vegas that can help you “win” with baby boomer homebuyers.
Lucky Number 8
Did you know that the average attention span now is only 8 seconds? That’s less than the attention span of a goldfish. While I didn’t even know that goldfish had attention spans, it brings to light a critical issue in marketing to your audience.
You now have less time than it took Usain Bolt to break a world record to introduce and reinforce your brand so that people even take a second look.
How do you do this?
Source: The Logo Company
1) First off, people are visual. The use of color in your strategy can convey so much in so little time. The Color Emotion Guide shows consumers’ responses to certain colors. What does your logo say about you?
While I am a millennial myself, understanding the 50+ audience should influence your strategy regarding color and design. As you age, eyes and comfort levels change. Calm tones of blue, green and purple are the most appealing, while serif fonts are most readable.
2) The use of bold and eye-catching imagery is another way to convey emotion quickly. (Download our whitepaper “15 Design Tips for the Mature Consumer” to learn more about photography and color use with baby boomers.)
3) Beyond that, phrasing is key. With digital marketing taking precedence, you now have even less space and less time to deliver messages.
To get lucky in 8 seconds or less, don’t try to say everything at once. Focus on what makes you different – whether that’s your location, your offerings, your lifestyle, etc. What makes you special enough for a prospect to want to learn more?
Keep it short so that after 8 seconds, they head to your website. That is where you want them to dig deeper…
Happy Groundhog Day! Word is that Phil saw his shadow, meaning 6 more weeks of winter. Here’s to spring… it can’t get here soon enough!
Now, let’s explore the mature marketing stories of the past week that had people talking and influenced marketers. Have something to share? We’d love your comments and look forward to hearing from you.
MOST SHARED: Renter lifestyle preferences were front and center in a recent survey conducted by Multifamily Executive. More than 27,000 individuals of all ages were surveyed to identify preferences that shape their dream apartment living scenario. Some key insights from the survey:
* 51% desire to buy a house within the next 5 years, which 25% indicate they are renters by choice (25% of boomers indicating their desire to rent and 6% of silents)
* Overwhelmingly, respondents expressed that their dream community needs to provide a variety of options for staying fit and active.
* 47% of boomer renters indicate they go out on the weekends, and the proximity to entertainment, dining and retail is important to them.
* While less is more for the younger cohorts, 29% of boomers and 26% of silents indicated a need for ample storage space within their apartments.
For mature marketers targeting boomer and senior renters, ensuring your communities not only include but tout these desired lifestyle options is key in motivating prospective renters.
MOST CLICKED: SurveyGizmo’s recent checklist for creating successful landing pages generated a great deal of interest (and clicks) over the last week. The post identified 9 aspects of a landing page that it notes as mission critical to success. We couldn’t agree more with the importance of this vehicle for driving awareness and, most importantly, lead conversions. Tips in the post included:
* Ensuring the content makes sense.
* Making sure it answers the “What’s In It for Me” question for visitors.
* Incorporating keywords to ensure it is fully optimized for search engines.
It’s a sad fact for many seniors that as they age, they feel ignored. (Certainly most of today’s youth-focused advertising overlooks older adults!) This week’s recap of top mature marketing links shares two stories that buck that trend.
Photo source: Nicholas Zurcher/IDEO
1. MOST CLICKED: At 90, Barbara Beskind is designing tech for aging boomers.
After seeing a feature on the innovation firm, IDEO, in which the founder emphasized the need for a diverse team, she wrote the firm. Her hiring added a new kind of diversity: age.
Beskind also has macular degeneration, making her perspective highly valued at a company designing products to help aging consumers.
“Beskind says as she gets older and faces new problems in the world, she’s thankful she’s a designer. ‘It makes aging more tolerable, more enjoyable,” she says. “I enjoy the age I’m in. I think it’s one of the best chapters of my life.'”
A not-unrelated stat: The average age of a Creating Results team member is 42 years old. Our maturity means that clients don’t have to struggle with a 22-year-old designer who wants to be cool and trendy; we get the need to balance fresh creative with considerations for aging eyes. And we are, many of us, in the lifestage our clients market to. We’re wondering about our next chapters, helping aging parents find the right housing solutions, planning for retirement of some sort …
2. MOST SHARED: If you could say ONE thing to a younger person, what would it be? A YouTube producer called Freddy Fairhair (yup) asked seniors in a number of countries that question. Their answers proved inspiring to Creating Results’ followers on various social platforms!
What advice would YOU give? You don’t have to be a senior … Thoughts from all our readers are welcome in the comments below.
3. Also of note: Tech tips topped the Twit parade this week –
* Via SurveyGizmo (my personal favorite for online polling and surveying): Handy 9 point checklist for optimizing your PPC landing pages http://bit.ly/1LaO9qw
* Via Duct Tape Marketing: 5 ways to get the most out of social media marketing. http://bit.ly/1EMdhiU We’d of course add a 6th way: study how the boomer and senior audiences differ from other ages! http://bit.ly/SocSilTw
George Bernard Shaw wrote that “We are made wise not by the recollection of our past, but by the responsibility for our future.” At Creating Results, we’re looking forward to another week doing what we can to create a more positive future for older adults. Happy Monday!