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Today’s round-up of top posts for marketing to older adults is like a “choose your own adventure” novel.

Feeling business-like? Check out the insights into marketing preferences via MarketingSherpa. Curious about mortality? The CDC’s stats on centenarians should interest you. Ready for a good cry? Grab your hankie and listen to Maurice Sendak’s words of wisdom.

MOST CLICKED: How do Baby Boomers want to discover and then learn more about products? And how do their preferences differ from that other big cohort, the Millennials?

Two recent posts by MarketingSherpa offer actionable insights. First, product introduction. The top ways that Baby Boomers discover new products are not the stuff of buzzy headlines. Offline sources trump online, as this chart illustrates.

Chart - ways Millennials and baby boomers discover new products. Marketing Sherpa data.

I was a little surprised to see that older women seem not to be discovering new products via online advertising, as we’re seeing good success with search engine marketing and display marketing for our senior-focused clients. Maybe that’s the difference between products and services? Something to explore further.

MarketingSherpa notes that “people without children in their households (30%) favored offline advertising more than people who had children (22%).” A helpful insight for those marketing to empty-nesters.

ACTION ITEM: Invest in PR!

Since I first started working in public relations 20+ years ago, so-called “earned media” has always been more than worth its weight in paper. An article has great credibility, especially with skeptical Boomers who resist being sold to.

Next, once a Baby Boomer has found you, how would they like to keep learning about your products and services?

MarketingSherpa asked consumers, “In which of the following ways, if any, would you prefer to receive regular updates and promotions from companies that you are interested in doing business with?” In this case, the promotional preferences of Millennials and Boomers are more closely aligned: email and snail mail once again trump that buzzy social media.

Chart - how Millennials and Baby Boomers prefer to receive company updates and promotional communications. Data from Marketing Sherpa.

Research Manager Liva LaMontagne notes:

“In regard to mobile methods of communication, also not surprisingly Millennials (27%) were more interested in receiving text messages from brands than Baby Boomers (8%). Millennials (26%) were also more interested in downloading mobile apps than Boomers (5%).

Millennials (17%) were more interested in attending local events than Baby Boomers (3%).”

That last point IS surprising to us! Creating Results has found experiential marketing to be a very effective tactic for marketing to Boomers and beyond, particularly for complex purchase decisions such as 55+ and retirement housing. (You can download a white paper on the topic here.)

ACTION ITEM: Invest in email! This research by MarketingSherpa is just one of many, many studies that show email is how older adults want to hear from your brand. Email is the “killer app” for Baby Boomers and seniors. What’s keeping you from using this channel to its full potential?

Read More: product discovery – http://bit.ly/1XGZKlx; promotional preferences – http://bit.ly/22yBS6Q

 

MOST HANKY-WORTHY: “Cry my way all the way to the grave.”

Push ‘play’ below (or click here) to hear a moving interview between Fresh Air’s Terry Gross and the inimitable Maurice Sendak, author of “Where The Wild Things Are” among other beloved books.

ACTION ITEM: Live your life. Live your life. Live your life.

 

MOST SHARED: What’s killing U.S. centenarians? More than ever, it’s Alzheimer’s.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has shared new data on mortality among Americans aged 100 or older. While still uncommon to live to 100, the number of centenarians is on the rise, increasing 43.6%, from 2000 to 2014. There are now 72,197 centenarians in the U.S. Naturally, the death rate of 100-year-olds will increase with the size of the group.

Over a 14 year span, the CDC reports that death rates for centenarians increased 119% for Alzheimer’s disease, 88% for hypertension, 34% for chronic lower respiratory diseases (CLRD), and 33% for unintentional injuries.

Chart - causes of death among US centenarians. Data from CDC.

RELATED: Mature Marketing and the Longevity Revolution

More charts about mortality and centenarians: http://1.usa.gov/1Rcr49u

 

About The Author

Erin Read

Erin Read spearheads integrated and digital marketing programs for organizations targeting mature consumers. She writes, researches and speaks about marketing to baby boomers and seniors. Erin has addressed local, regional, international conferences on generational marketing. She is the co-author of three national studies/eBooks (Photo Finish; Social, Silver Surfers 2010 & 2013) and the principal blogger for Mature Marketing Matters.

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