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I have a long-lasting love of pigs.

A few things reminded me of this affection last week.

One, a discussion with my college-bound teens about what should or should not go with them to university. She wants to bring her Harry Potter wand. I stopped protesting after recalling that I headed off to “adulthood” with three stuffed pigs, including one who snorted loudly when stepped on in the middle of the night. (My roommates loved me.)

Two, this tweet from our Director of Business Development, Beth Spohn:

Tweet -- LeadingAge Maryland 2016 conference, advice from Scott Townsley

To translate Twitter-speak, this was advice shared from the LeadingAge Maryland 2016 Conference (the @ sign tags the person or organization with that “handle”) by Scott Townsley of CliftonLarsonAllen (known on Twitter as @CLA-CPAs).

Townsley was challenging the senior services providers gathered with seven ideas for gaining a strategic edge in the marketplace. He urged those gathered to create clarity around the non-profit difference. And he told them to “embrace flying pigs!”

In other words, continuing care retirement communities should start doing things that you would only do “when pigs fly.”

Townsley’s advice became our MOST SHARED item for this weekly links round-up.

Here’s more of Townsley’s insight, from a 2015 speech to a Provider Magazine audience:

“The business case for change is we can either look at it defensively which is we’re losing market share, the consumer doesn’t want us, and in a certain period of time we will be challenged to stay in business after the baby boomers hit their aging point.

The positive case for change is we’ve got a vast number of baby boomers turning 70. It’s time for us to take advantage of that …

[You can get in trouble if you start your strategy with] ‘we have this in terms of resources and capital capacity, we have this in terms of the people that we have available.’ When you do that you will for sure limit what you are able to change, innovate and disrupt.

If you look at this and … say to me ‘my gosh, Scott, that will only work when pigs fly’ I will embrace you. Because you know what — if a pig never flies, but we said it out loud and we get halfway there — we’ve done a lot in terms of the consumer in America, we’ve done a lot in terms of disruptive change, we’ve done a lot in terms of having consistent, successful business.”

You can  watch Townsley’s speech below. (It’s cued up to the hovering hogs, so to see the full presentation click here.)

What would you do if pigs could fly? What’s holding you back from taking that action today? Share your ideas for innovation in the comments, below.


MOST CLICKED: A trio of items tied for this honor.

1. Are Baby Boomers causing a shortage in real estate listings? Or is it entry #17,659 in “things to blame on Boomers” …

“Boomers are part of a ‘clogging up of the whole chain of home sales,’ Sean Becketti, chief economist of giant mortgage investor Freddie Mac, told [Chicago Tribune reporter Kenneth Harney] recently. ‘They appear to be staying in the family home longer than previous generations,’ Becketti wrote in a new outlook report, ‘and the imbalance between housing demand and supply continues to boost prices.”

Read more:


2. Only 1 in 8 Tumblr users are over 45. They don’t use Snapchat, either. The stats, via GlobalWebIndex:

Source: GlobalWebIndex
Source: GlobalWebIndex


3. A smart piece by Andy Crestodina on design web design decisions that make it hard to measure what’s working and what’s not. I am happy to report that the Content Management System and team Creating Results works with on the majority of the websites we design and build avoids most of these oopses.


What tips from today’s round-up will you apply to your Baby Boomers marketing? Please follow the flapping wings and leave your thoughts in the comment.

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.

  • Ronni

    Pigs are terrific and you’ve reminded me of a fantastic new TV commercial from Chase retirement services. A kind of blissed out retired couple are walking their miniature pig along a waterfront in moderate slomo. There is music in a language I don’t understand. The whole thing is kind of mysterious which means, of course, you’re going to stick with it for 40 minutes to see what it’s about.

    You can check it out here:

  • Erin Read

    What a fabulous ad! I love how they’re showing (not telling) the viewer that retirement can be anything you want it to be. Thanks for sharing, Ronni.