It’s the start of a new week, which means a fresh look at the mature marketing news that had people talking. This week is all about the boomer and their approach to staying healthy. Have something to share? We’d love to hear from you.
MOST CLICKED: 84% of baby boomers turn to the web for health-related insights according to a recent Klick Health article. The survey examined responses across all generations, and explored how people use the web for health-related searches, questions and needs. Other insights from the survey: 27% of boomers and 22% of silents use the web to access personal health info while 58% use the web to learn more about health symptoms. The study also found that boomers and seniors are least likely to refill prescriptions online.
MOST SHARED: Boomers are increasingly more focused on sustaining their wellness, and look to the healthcare industry for helping them achieve it, according to a new eMarketer article.
Marketers are looking for ways to encourage them to take more responsibility for their own care and become comfortable with technology that will reduce long-term costs and keep them healthier. Digital advances, including electronic health records, mobile apps, video and wireless monitoring technology, allow for widespread adoption of digital care management.
The takeaway for senior living? A focus on wellness (and the programs to back up that dedication) is mission critical for enticing your residents of tomorrow, as boomers have a renewed passion for not just being healthy, but thriving.
Insider knowledge for your Monday morning: Creating Results’ team member Sally O’Donnell LOVES Beyonce. So it is with respect for both dynamic young women that we drew inspiration for this week’s headline. Indeed, it was the singular situations of women (specifically, dynamic older women) that captured the bulk of attention and action on social media platforms last week.
Just what were the top links for those marketing to 50+ women and men? Read on.
1. MOST SHARED: 1 in 5 single, senior women in America lives in poverty, with less than $11,173 a year. This video from the National Senior Citizens Law Center presents, as the Center puts it, “the stories of four brave and honest women as they share the reality of growing old poor in America.”
Older women are more likely to live alone than older men. And they’re far more likely to live in poverty. As the video notes, 1 in 5 seniors heading into retirement have no retirement savings at all. Mature marketing pros need to be aware of the many seniors who are struggling to pay bills, to eat, to pay for healthcare, to hold their heads up on a daily basis.
2. MOST CLICKED: Another video, but a very different group of older women … This song by Donnalou Stevens made us smile, and made our followers on Twitter and Facebook click through.
RELATED: “If you want a younger model, I wish you well, sweetpea. If you can’t see what it is you have, then you ain’t having me” — Donnalou could have been singing to many major advertisers! As we noted in this September blog post, older adults are unhappy with and frequently ignored by advertising: http://bit.ly/1ucWzGh
* Nielsen summarizes new research by The Demand Institute that shows boomers are not going to head south in retirement, as other generations have been perceived to do. They’ll try to age-in-place, making home renovations and accommodations as needed/if possible. http://bit.ly/1stHDiM
Source: Nielsen Wire
Creating Results would be remiss if we didn’t note that the reasons to renovate also are reasons to look at 55+ active adult and senior living communities … where you wouldn’t be consigned to living a singular life …
* Why are we working later in life — because we want to or because we have to? A research fellow at the Sloan Center on Aging and Work shares insights: http://bit.ly/10N7M4P
* Finally, whether women or men, nearly 70% of older adults will NOT use any social media channels for holiday shopping: http://mwne.ws/1stIbFn
What singular insights can you draw from this latest group of links? Please share your thoughts in the comments section, below.
Happy Monday! Let’s get right into the mature marketing stories that had people clicking and sharing this past week. Our focus- a road trip for the books and SEO tips. Have something to share? We’d love to hear from you so be sure to add it to our comment section.
MOST SHARED: For 26 years Gunther Holtorf traveled the world- exploring Brazil, Australia, Paris and even Hollywood…all from his car. A recent article highlighted snippets of his travels to many breathtaking (and sometimes dangerous) destinations. In total, he visited more than 170 countries, drove 549,000 miles and even interacted with baboons.
Click here to discover more about Gunther’s travels.
MOST CLICKED: The quality of content is the most important element for SEO rankings. This is just one insight from a MarketingCharts article for how to effectively improve your search engine optimization.
The article referenced research from Ascend2 and SearchMetrics that examined several ranking factors of search engine optimization.
The importance of keywords in the URL and domain name has disappeared over the past couple of years, to the extent that this “no longer exists as a ranking factor.” However, there are some onpage keyword factors that have a positive correlation with rankings; namely, keywords in description, the title and the H1 heading, with the latter two increasing in importance from last year.
Other results of note:
*The highest ranking content typically has a higher word count.
*Even though its importance has decreased slightly from previous years, backlinks remain incredibly important.
*Look at your webstats, as longer time on site and lower bounce rates matter.
While the importance of some individual factors may shift over time, one thing remains—a properly optimized website is critical to ensure your prospects can find you, and is not a one-time set it and forget it. It takes care and ongoing review and adjustments.
Happy Monday! This week’s mature marketing stories that had people talking examine the benefits of resident surveys and content marketing. Have something to add? Please be sure to incorporate in the comment section.
MOST CLICKED: Content marketing (also known as inbound marketing) is all the rage these days. Why you ask? Because it generates more leads and sales while increasing your ROI, by highlighting the value of your brand in a non-threatening way. A recent article examined just how (and why) it is so effective.
First and foremost, the author defines inbound marketing as:
Inbound marketing strives to convert website visitors to customers through tactics that align content with customer interests, nurture these leads along conversion paths into customers, and delighting these customers so they become outspoken promoters of the company.
Some statistics the article included:
* 80% of business decision makers prefer to receive insights about your brand through a series of pieces.
* 90% of consumers will find the information you incorporate within custom content more useful in their decision making process.
* Brands that create 15 blog posts per month generate an average of 1,200 leads through that content.
An inbound marketing strategy can be incredibly effective in creating relevant, motivating pieces that inspire your prospects and reinforce why your service or community is THE BEST choice. How do you approach your strategy? We’d love to hear your thoughts or discuss how you can take a few easy steps that make your inbound marketing shine.
MOST SHARED: Never underestimate the power of a resident satisfaction survey. At Creating Results we work closely with many Senior Living clients as they strive to not only attract new prospects, but work with happy residents to generate even more word-of-mouth marketing (and leads) for their communities. It goes without saying that the more content the resident, the more enthusiastic the recommendation to friends.
A Senior Housing News recent article and webinar discussed just how powerful a resident satisfaction survey can be. The piece followed The Marshes at Skidaway Island, a CCRC in Georgia. After struggling with resident satisfaction the community decided to do something about it by capturing insights from residents to help improve the community. The result? Within the first year The Marshes reported positive increases in occupancy, sales and referrals.
Resident surveys can help identify not only areas for improvement, but where your community already is heads above the competition. But a survey is only as effective as your approach to what happens next, what you do with those insights.
“You get out of a resident satisfaction survey what you put into it,” said Catherine Jenkins, vice president and director of operations management at Life Care Services. “I’m not talking about just the process of getting it distributed, but what you put into those results. … The commitment to put the hard work in [during] the years leading up to that survey is really critical.”
For The Marshes, they received feedback from residents that highlighted the need to make some improvements within their Health Center. By implementing some changes to their overall approach they were able to move the satisfaction needle from 59% to 90%. This satisfaction has led to more resident referrals and new members of the community.
Happy Monday. This week’s mature marketing links are brought to you by the letter “E”. Let’s jump right in. Have something to share or add? Please leave in the comment section.
MOST CLICKED: E is for EMAIL
We continually work to remind our clients that email isn’t dead. In fact, it continues to serve as an important avenue for engaging your boomer and senior target markets. But an email list doesn’t grow on its own—there is a lot of care and nurturing that needs to go into it. Why is growth important you ask? Each year current subscribers will leave you. It’s sad but true. You need to be able to account for the inevitable unsubscribes and bounces your list will receive by continually adding new subscribers.
A recent article focusing on tips for driving subscriptions through offline avenues generated a lot of interest this past week. The author focused on 8 things you can do in your everyday marketing efforts to generate more awareness of your email program. These tips included:
* Incorporating incentives for sign up
* Using a paper sign up at special events
* Using planned signage to promote
No matter which promotional avenue you pick, remember to highlight the value of your program. You need to give your prospects a reason to join (and engage with you). Get more tips here when you read the full article.
How do you promote your eNews? We’d love to hear your ideas.
Now, five years after the recession ended, the economy appears to be improving, but middle-class consumers still haven’t bounced back.
In fact, a recent Federal Reserve report found that more than a third of American households say they’re worse off now than in 2008, and nearly 40 percent said they’re “just getting by” or struggling to do so.
As savings shrink and money remains tight, people continue to scale back. For the mature consumer, this means a focus on the essentials, like healthcare, and possibly putting off a desired home move. For Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs), opportunities do exist to demonstrate how a move would be smart financially and allow for planning for the future, however this does require examination of how you are positioning your communities during the critical awareness and interest phases of the purchase process.
How do you address the changing economic tide? We’d love to hear your thoughts.
October: changing leaves, carving pumpkins, discovering you’re half-way through the bag of candy you bought for Halloween … Time to drop the peanut butter cup and read on for the top mature marketing links for the first week of this new month.
1. MOST SHARED: The “Ten Commandments for Social Media Failure.” Want to avoid socnet #failures? Take a look at the the ten ways marketers guarantee such problems, as described by Tania Yuki of Shareablee. Yuki’s excellent list ranges from treating social media marketing “as a magical ATM” to not measuring results to focusing on the number of followers/fans over more meaningful numbers such as conversions.
Here’s one sure-fire way to fail that we see all-too-frequently in 50+ marketing. As Yuki writes:
“Delegate social media only to the young — and then don’t support them
After all, if you can eat a pizza, you can make a pizza, so it makes sense to give social media over to the digital natives. Any one of them will do. They grew up on Facebook so they will know how to market your 100-year-old brand without any training, guidelines, or strategy. A no-rules policy inspires creativity and honesty, leading to gems like this.
And if you can’t hand social over to a Millennial, you can just make it someone’s second job and see what happens. How much time could social media require, anyway? It’s not like there’s over a billion people on it or anything.”
We’ve seen clients greatly improve results after investing in social media training for ALL team members, or at a minimum all leadership team members. Education leads to early buy-in, ongoing enthusiasm and more effective storytelling that drives to business goals.
2. MOST CLICKED: This interactive chart shows traditional TV viewing is trending down for cohorts, but slightly up for baby boomers and seniors (seen in a gradual up-and-to-the-right slope). http://bit.ly/1vH0skZ
We included that chart in a post last week on TV viewing and older consumers. A related link also got a high number of click-throughs: it was to a November 2013 post with stats on the use of buzzed-about marketing channels such as Instagram and Snapchat (http://bit.ly/1mLbypj)
This led us to wonder if the age gap on Instagram was narrowing at all. Instagram’s user base has grown to about 200 million. (Compare to Pinterest at 70 million and Facebook at 1.37 billion registered users, per Craig Smith at Digital Marketing Ramblings.)
In March of 2014, eMarketer reported that 69% of Instagram users were between 18 and 44. They project that 200,000 65+ seniors will use the service this year vs. 20+ million 18-34 year olds. And by 2016, that number of senior uses will grow to 800,000 while the number of 18-34 year old users will grow to 24+ million.
So while Instagram shouldn’t be overlooked and the service does continue to grow, it wouldn’t be our first choice for marketing to baby boomers and seniors.
3. Also of note:
* Even though 53% of boomers plan to leave New York City on retirement, by 2035 1 in 5 residents will be over 65, via The Epoch Times: http://bit.ly/1yHdKU7
* 8 simple ways you can use old fashioned Marketing Tactics to build your email marketing list, by Lorraine Ball: http://bit.ly/1sZrzL7
Monday morning and your to do list is already full. To help you get better results from your many efforts, let’s jump right into our top mature marketing links of the week, based on social media clicks/shares/+1s/etc.
1. MOST SHARED: A tie!
* Pictures are proven to motivate 50+ consumers. But how can you make an impact when email images get turned off? A case study from What Counts on a very clever effort for “A Place for Mom:” http://bit.ly/1v8jFM0
RELATED: Free ebook from Creating Results with insights into WHY photos are so powerful with older adults and tips for HOW to choose the images that will connect with baby boomers and seniors: http://bit.ly/50Photo
“The only purpose of a landing page is to sell. Either you’re selling your design services or you’re selling your information for their email address. Your information comes in the form of newsletters, downloadable books, design freebies, pay-what-you-can fonts, courses, etc. … No matter how you use a landing page, the goal is to convert visitors into clients or community.”
At Creating Results, we love landing pages, especially when deployed as part of strategic integrated programs such as this one for CCRC Westminster at Lake Ridge. You’ll note that a critical element to its success was photography, #4 on Thomas’ list. This campaign featured original, authentic and engaging images of community residents (including a four-legged one!).
Offline direct mail and print ads drove to online landing pages in a CCRC (continuing care retirement community) campaign that boosted leads 267%.
2. MOST CLICKED: Why don’t advertisers value seniors? Public radio’s Marketplace tapped CreatingResults for an answer: http://bit.ly/1mp7xGU
And here are two articles that should have gotten more attention. They include new statistics to inform your mature marketing decisions:
* Snapshots of US 65+ seniors. Ronni Bennett calls out a few stats from the new Census Bureau report, “65+ in the United States.” Her post shares a few report highlights on life expectancy, income, and the seven leading causes of death among elders:
“Death rates declined for the 65-plus populations (other age groups too) between 2000 and 2010 but it was the same old, same old diseases – heart disease and cancer being the top two – that carried elders away.”
* What does the “Boomer Nation” look like? Thanks to the AARP, you can explore an interactive, state-by-state snapshot.
It includes top 10s for the highest concentration of baby boomers, where the richest boomers live and where Spanish-speaking boomers are most likely to live. Haga clic aqui para aprender mas: http://bit.ly/1uYKsLL
Feliz Lunes! Happy Monday! (Whatever language you prefer, please share your comments and thoughts below. Gracias!)
Happy Monday! Let’s jump right into those mature marketing stories of the week that had people talking around the water coolers. This week’s focus is all about housing. Have something to add? Please note in the comments below, we’d love to hear from you.
MOST CLICKED: Don’t blame the Millennials for housing market woes. At least that is the sentiment in a recent article in Market Watch. The article is based on new housing purchase insights released by Zillow. Many homeowners are suffering from negative equity issues, which are preventing them from putting their current homes on the market. This is especially the case for Millennials and Gen Xers, with the number of underwater homes for these cohorts nearly twice that of baby boomers.
While boomers may not be as impacted directly by negative equity, they are still feeling the effects. Those boomers who want to sell homes and downsize are unable to find buyers, as Gen Xers and Millennials aren’t in a position to want to upgrade to a larger home.
According to the director of UCLA’s Richard S. Ziman Center for Real Estate:
Many millennials don’t have the resources to compete with cash offers or engage in bidding wars with older buyers, he adds. “The reality is, negative equity is part of the new normal, and finding creative solutions to keeping homes affordable, available and accessible to this generation will be critical,” he says.
There is good news, however, the article concludes: as home prices rise the negative equity issues decrease.
MOST SHARED: An article referencing the recent report “Housing America’s Older Adults – Meeting the Needs of an Aging Population” discussed the current housing shortage for seniors. Specifically, that there are not enough affordable options that offer senior-friendly accessibility and are well-located.
Some points of the report included:
* 1/3 of boomers and beyond spend more than 30% of their income on housing, which could make it difficult if additional care/support is required as they age.
Younger baby boomers, those now in their 50s, are of special concern, since they’re less financially secure than generations past — thanks to the Great Recession, according to the report. This is a group of people with lower incomes, wealth and home ownership rates, who may struggle to afford housing and long-term care in retirement.
*Most seniors’ homes don’t have accessibility features to help them as they age, including no-step entries and single-floor living. This makes either substantial renovations or moving required.
*For many seniors there is a lack of amenities within close proximity to their current homes. This is especially important as people become unable to drive and require easy access to nearby health-care and opportunities to remain socially active.
Yesterday, the United States celebrated Labor Day. According to the United State Department of Labor, “Labor Day … constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.” Each year, fewer of those workers are baby boomers, as millions of the cohort have retired in recent years.
With the aging of baby boomers, we see three labor force trends.
Decline in labor force participation by people 55+
Between the fourth quarter of 2007 to the fourth quarter of 2013, about 5.5 million more people retired. Business Insider reported this as a 16% increase. Despite this, the publication notes, “the labor force participation rate for those 55 years of age and over has only been falling for the last year, whereas the total labor force participation rate has been falling for over five years.”
About 76% of those leaving the workforce in 2013 last year represented people over age 55 who say they don’t want jobs, the Labor Department estimates.
“Arithmetically, the Boomers will keep pushing (participation) down done for another 15 years,” said Dean Maki, economist at investment bank Barclays.
Rising 55+ entrepreneurship
Many of the baby boomers who are “retiring” may actually be redefining employment by starting their own ventures. Their age group (born 1946-1964) has had the largest increase in entrepreneurial activity over the last decade, per the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. A 2011 study by Civic Ventures found that 25% of Americans ages 44 to 70 were interested in starting businesses or nonprofit ventures within 5 to 10 years.
Encore careers – a match made in economic heaven?
Boomers are also pursuing new jobs, whether full- or part-time, often called “encore careers.”
Non-profit organization Encore.org reports that boomer interest in encore careers rose 17% between 2011 and 2014.
“More than 25 million Americans 50 to 70 years old are eager to share their skills, passions and expertise in encore careers that address social needs, typically in education, health care, human services and the environment, according to a 2014 study by Encore.org and Penn Schoen Berland. Of this larger group, more than 4.5 million, or 6 percent, are already working for social impact. Another 21 million are ready to join them, nearly six in ten within the next five years.”
Why should boomers want to try a second act, a new chapter in employment? As we noted in a 2012 post called “Re-Thinking Retirement: 6 Lessons For Marketers,” “Work during retirement provides a paycheck … and much more.”
Baby boomers pursue these encore careers for a mix of reasons, primary among them a sense of purpose. Meeting financial needs and/or earning enough to maintain their lifestyle are also important.
Now that the Labor Day cookouts have ended, and we’re all back to work (sigh), marketers should consider what impact these trends will have on boomer lifestyle and purchase decisions. Then apply those insights to your marketing program. You’ll find your own labors become more effective.
Around the US, many elementary and secondary education kids are going back to school this week. Seemed an appropriate theme for this week’s round-up of links and resources for mature marketing “kids”!
1. MOST CLICKED: Todd Harff and I are thrilled to be teaching a course for Lasell College: Developing a Mature Consumer Strategy. Designed for professionals in elder services, the class will cover the fundamentals of strategic marketing so that emerging leaders can understand and support organizational marketing efforts.
The course is offered through the new E.L.D.E.R. certificate program at Lasell. E.L.D.E.R. features eldercare and 50+ market experts from retirement communities, day health, adult learning and more teaching alongside Lasell’s excellent faculty. The result is a variety of unique management learning experiences, and Creating Results is proud to be a part of this initiative.
2. Several people clicked through to read what LifeHealthPro, an online resource for life and health insurance providers, suggested in its educational post called “5 Ways to Sell to Seniors.” Their tips include:
3. MOST SHARED: It never fails. At the end of a week, the tweets that are most frequently retweeted or favorited (another way of sharing with your followers) are those in which we thank people! We express our gratitude to someone for becoming a follower, or for sharing one of our posts, or for sharing great content … and they will RT or favorite that item.
What lesson can you learn from the behavior of this class?
Never underestimate the power of a “thank you.” Especially with Silent Generation seniors, who were raised in an era where manners mattered. Do your sales and marketing team members thank folks for their time? For their referrals? For attending an event? For considering your brand (even if they didn’t purchase)?
In The Cluetrain Manifesto, thesis #2 is that “Markets consist of human beings, not demographic sectors.” A “thank you” is a great way to connect with the humans your brand wants to motivate.
How frequently does your brand say “thank you,” on- and offline?
With that, I want to THANK YOU for subscribing to this blog! Happy Monday!