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Marketing and Motivating Boomers and Beyond

Mind the (Social Media) Gap, Keep Web Simple for Boomer Success

September 20th, 2012 Posted by Creating Results

Two Strong Pieces of Online Marketing Advice We Wanted to Share

Joel Don of WindMill Networking  had a thoughtful post about social media marketing recently, sparked by his high school reunion. He noted that Facebook works really well to find people who wanted to be found. But what about baby boomers who are on the fence about online social networks? Joel says think baby steps.A senior at North Hill retirement community uses an iPad after joining the iPad club

“I recently spoke at an Austin, Texas conference of automation industry sales and marketing professionals, where one senior executive confessed he just didn’t know where to begin with social media.  I recommended the company convert its existing printed monthly newsletter into an email marketing vehicle with unique, trackable links driving customers back to the corporate website.  No Twitter.  No Facebook.  Not even Pinterest.  This simple step would not only create important, new inbound events, but it also would enable the company to better measure the effectiveness of its sales mailings and deliver a means of calculating the ROI of at least the monthly customer newsletter.  Facing generational pushback, baby steps are the path to social business growth.

… High school alumni reluctant to join the social grid and CEOs understandably overwhelmed by a deluge of social platforms and tools have a lot in common when it comes to social media adoption.  In the race to embrace and proselytize every new shiny thing, sometimes a more measured marketing strategy might help overcome the many obstacles in our path and lead to a higher degree of successful outcomes.”

Research by Creating Results showed this generational pushback Joel is talking about. The #1 pet peeve voiced by baby boomers and seniors about social? “It is tedious and time consuming for marginal return.” Joel echoes that in his concerns about a social marketing deluge.

We really liked Joel’s recommendation to drive customers to the corporate website. Not because we don’t think social media has a  place in the online marketing mix. But because websites have been shown to be more influential, more able to drive to business goals. Joel’s strategy is measurable. It gets 50+ consumers to the return they want (and your goal) faster. It also gives baby boomers two things they like: a feeling of trust and an ability to control the relationship with your brand.

Read Joel’s post: http://windmillnetworking.com/2012/09/06/social-media-marketing-is-there-a-generation-gap/

* * * * *

Suzie Mitchell’s article in UX Magazine this week addressed privacy, security and ease of use when it comes to websites for baby boomers. She notes that “Boomers tend to think we know how to do everything, and when it turns out that we don’t, we quickly label an experience as bad.”

What don’t baby boomers know? Our survey found they feel uncomfortable with special applications, fancy navigation, too much Flash/animation. Which is why we wanted to share Suzie’s advice with our own readers:

“Educate us. Make us watch the video before we can navigate the buttons. That’s right—force us. Put the video front and center. Maybe even with big bold letters that say ‘Watch this First for Easy Instructions.’ … Head us off at the pass. We may not know how to find the information we need, but we definitely know how to press play.”

Video is simple, ageless, smart marketing.

Read Suzie’s article for more tips: http://uxmag.com/articles/simple-and-secure-sites-keep-boomers-happy

2 Responses to “Mind the (Social Media) Gap, Keep Web Simple for Boomer Success”

  1. Everything is all about “trending.” We are in advance of the curve with what’s sizzling and what is not.

  2. […] Related: If 43% of online seniors are using social networks, that means 57% are not. Don’t overlook “good ol’ fashioned” websites in your digital strategy. Click here for more insights – Mind the (Social Media) Gap, Keep Web Simple for Boomer Success. […]

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