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Marketing and Motivating Boomers and Beyond

Archive for the ‘50+’ Category

All About Housing: Mature Marketing Links of the Week

Monday, September 8th, 2014

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.  For Sale

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.

Read the full article here.

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.

Click here to read the full article.

 

Laboring Baby Boomers

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

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.”

Chart - baby boomer labor force participation - Business Insider

Source: Business Insider / Matthew Boesler

USA Today reports:

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.”women-wPlant

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.

RELATED:  Re-Thinking Retirement: 6 Lessons For Marketers

Mature Marketing Links of the Week – Class In Session

Monday, August 25th, 2014

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”!

ELDER logo1. 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.

Find out more: http://bit.ly/1ntoElT

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:

- Differentiate yourself online - agreed! (Insights for doing so: http://amzn.to/HSH0yD)

- Be patient, not pushy – agreed!

- Be an educator – agreed! (Our thoughts on baby boomers & lifelong learning: http://bit.ly/1soJxla)

I like to participate in classes, so I cheekily suggested a 6th way to sell to seniors: skip those tired, stock photos. (The article had a few, sadly.)

Read the item in LifeHealthPro: http://bit.ly/1p5m312

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.

thank you blog post

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!

Mature Marketing Links of the Week – Long Term Care, Short Term Travel

Monday, August 11th, 2014

Time once again for Creating Results’ mature marketing round-up, a collection of resources which garnered the most attention via Twitter, Google + and other platforms in the past week.

(Not engaged with us yet on these social networks? Please use the links above to connect.)

1. MOST SHARED: Financial planner Jill Schlesinger reminds readers that an aging America means an increase in need for long-term care. And an increase in costs.

“According to the 2014 Medicare & You, the national Medicare handbook … at least 70 percent of people over 65 years old will need long-term care services and support at some point … Unfortunately, many do not realize that Medicare and most health insurance plans, including Medicare supplement insurance (Medigap) policies, don’t pay for this type of care, sometimes called custodial care.”

Read the item in Newsday: http://nwsdy.li/Vfhzxs

2. MOST CLICKED: What is a “Celebration Vacation”? It’s a journey taken to mark a milestone, such as a birthday, anniversary or wedding. And it’s a growing trend with baby boomers, per AARP.Seniors spend money on travel, including travel with grandchildren or girlfriends.

“Nearly eight-in-ten (78 percent) of Baby Boomers over the age of 45 report they have taken or intend to take a Celebration Vacation in the next two years, the survey finds. ‘Travel is the number one aspirational activity for the boomer generation,’ noted AARP Chief Digital Officer Sami Hassanyeh.”

Aspirational travel as a trend isn’t news to Creating Results. Reunions and multigenerational trips were one of the segments identified in our strategic marketing plan for the Village of Valemount, a charming destination in the Canadian Rockies. (Click here to read a case study related to this award-winning project.)

In 2012, we helped client Traditions of America spread the word about a group of homeowners who frequently celebrate friendship via “girlfriend getaways.” And check out the travel category on this blog for more insights.

Read more about AARP’s baby boomer travel survey: http://bit.ly/1kW7oKD.

3. Also of note: Though they trail younger age groups, boomers do use digital tools for shopping (eMarketer): http://bit.ly/1B8B2B5 

Note that while online research is up, baby boomers are still more likely to to use offline resources than younger groups and less likely to rely on social media.

Chart - product research sources used by Millennials and Baby Boomers

We’d love to hear your thoughts on these mature marketing items. Please leave a comment below!

Mature Marketing Links of the Week: Pop Icons and Pdfs

Monday, August 4th, 2014

Happy Monday!  The mature marketing news that had people talking over the last week is brought to you by the letter “P”.  Have something to share?  Be sure to note in the comments below.senior calenar

“P” is for Pop Icons:  Beloved pop culture icons and moments in movie history including The Beatles, Wizard of Oz and I Love Lucy were given a new look within a calendar created by residents of Senior Living Communities.  Participants designed their own costumes and sets and even used green screen to bring a little movie-magic to the project.

Members were thrilled with being asked to not only participate by to use their vision to create memorable scenes.  Some Members were even asked for their autograph after the shoot!  They felt like movie stars.

See the pictures and discover how you can create a fun project that excites and involves residents of your community.

“P” is for PDF: An article highlighting the pros and cons of pdfs from an SEO stand-point garnered a lot of interest this past week.  In the article the author explored how (and why) PDFs are valuable, as well and some drawbacks to use within your website.

Pros

* By incorporating clickable links within your PDFs you are giving site visitors yet another way to dive deeper into your website.

*Your content can be indexed and read by search engines when originally created as a text document.

Cons

* Excessive use of PDFs can make it difficult for your visitors to get back to your website, as they typically don’t include site navigation (thus the importance of including links within your content.)

*From an analytic standpoint it can be difficult to track engagement with the piece.

View other pros and cons here.

Mature Marketing Links of the Week: Viral Videos and PR Success

Monday, July 28th, 2014

Happy Monday!  The mature marketing stories and articles of the past week that garnered the most interest focused on tips and tricks for making your marketing efforts as successful as possible.  Have something to add?  Be sure to share it in the comment section below.

MOST SHARED: You can learn a lot from music groups regarding how to make your videos viral sensations, according to a recent ReelSEO article.  The article examined success of the group OK GO, who in a period of just six days received over 1 million views their music video.  By looking at tViral Video tipsheir approach the author offered tips that can be applied when creating your own videos to promote your brand or organization, including:

* Keep It Simple: You don’t need to be flashy to be impactful and interesting.

*Make it Relatable: Know your audience and what matters most to them and incorporate within your video, you’ll encourage more shares and expand your reach.

Read the full story here.

MOST CLICKED: According to PR Newswire, over 1 million press releases were sent through the online service in the last year. For a marketer, that translates to a great deal of competition for coverage.  The service recently conducted a review of the releases to determine the perfect recipe for success in driving the best results. The finding: the more visual the better.

The results are clear – visuals drive more content views, and adding multiple media assets to your content (press releases, and anything else you publish online, for that matter) generates even better results.

In fact, according the their research, half of the top performing releases included visual elements. By incorporating as many visuals as possible you can help stories gain attention in a variety of mediums, encourage social sharing and help connect your story to your audience and make it more appealing.

Read more here.

What do you do to make your news stand out?  We’d love to hear your thoughts.

 

 

Mature Marketing Links of the Week – Encore Jobs and Marketing Flashbacks

Monday, July 21st, 2014

Chart - living US veterans by age group

 

On this date in 1930, President Herbert Hoover established the Veterans Administration. There are an estimated 21,972,964 living US Veterans, and it’s a decidedly gray group — 72% are over the age of 50.

As we wrote on this blog back in 2009, senior veterans are educated, adaptable and everywhere. Since that post another half a million veterans entered the 65+ block, which means their health needs are have only increased.

(Does your organization’s marketing program consider the values and perspectives of elder veterans?)

Don’t want until November 11 to thank a Veteran. Do it today.

 

Now, on to the week’s top mature marketing links.

1. MOST SHARED: Roughly 9 million Americans over 44 are working in “encore” jobs, using skills and earning a living, reports the Chicago Tribune. Some do so by choice — this is how they want to spend their retirement. Others by necessity — they found themselves involuntarily retired.

“… 9% of the 100 million people [ages 44 to 70] work in encore jobs, according to a 2011 survey by Encore.org, a nonprofit organization, and the MetLife foundation. An additional 31 million would like to …

The share of older Americans in the workforce has risen sharply since the mid-1990s, and polls show millions of people plan to work in years that once were classified as retirement.”

Read the article: http://trib.in/WyunAu

RELATED: Un-Retiring Presidents

2. MOST CLICKED: McKinsey & Company recently posted an article from its archives — 1966, to be precise — that looked at the “changing face of marketing.” The analysis of six major trends struck a chord with me … and with Creating Results’ followers on Twitter who clicked through and responded.

Many of the changes identified by McKinsey consultant John D. Louth in 1966 continue to be strong forces in marketing today.

1. The dominance of the customer - Louth wrote that “the end users of almost every company’s products are shifting in makeup, location, and number at an ever-increasing rate. The significance of this to senior marketing executives is twofold: First, they cannot—indeed, they must not—assume that yesterday’s customers will be available tomorrow. Second, they had better be certain that they have adequate sources of market information.”

Todd Harff and I have stressed this point in a series of presentations to senior living associations this year. Pointing out the best practices of global brands such as Nordstrom and Marriott, we emphasize that continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs) cannot base today’s selections and offerings on what residents who moved in 10 years ago like. Or even those who arrived 2 years ago. CCRCs must be thinking of what people who will move in 2 years from now want.

2. The spread of marketing research - “Beyond this value in reporting on historical and current conditions, however, I see a trend toward increased use of marketing research as a creative tool to help solve future management problems.” Well put, Mr. Louth!

3. The rise of the computer - “Generally speaking, I think it must be conceded that companies have dragged their feet in taking advantage of electronic data-processing analyses, online communications, and information-retrieval systems as tools to help make marketing more efficient.” The more things change …

4. Expanded use of test marketing - Louth notes that with rising costs of introducing new products and packaging and training salespeople, market tests can “narrow the odds of an error.”

5. Metamorphosis of field selling - Could Louth have imagined today’s network marketing? Every month I am invited to join or host a house party featuring baskets, jewelry, kitchen ware, natural skin care. At times the “party” is a one-day event promoted on Facebook.

6. Global market planning - “For the smaller company, this trend may emphasize the need to establish or strengthen export relationships so that it too may market on a worldwide basis. For many larger companies, it points to a day when the United States may be merely a domestic division within the worldwide corporation,” wrote Louth. Even CCRCs are not immune to globalization. The smartest ones are looking at what innovative, successful ideas are being implemented around the world, and then applying those learnings closer to home.

Read McKinsey’s archive feature: http://bit.ly/1kLELdB

The piece got a few of us flashing back, as you can see in this exchange with George Harben, of Prince William County Economic Development.

tweet exchange

 

Then George won the internet with the video he shared:

What do you think of the 6 marketing changes ID’d by McKinsey in 1966? Do they resonate with your challenges today? Please share your insights below.

Mature Marketing Links of the Week – Is that All You Blighters Can Do?

Monday, July 14th, 2014

Words! Words! Words! I’m so sick of words! 
I get words all day through;
First from him, now from you! 
Is that all you blighters can do? 

My teenage daughter and I watched the wonderful musical My Fair Lady this weekend. The Lerner & Loewe song “Show Me” seemed to perfectly capture the sentiment of last week’s top mature marketing links.

There’s Freddie, full of best intentions, desperately trying to connect with Eliza through passionate prose. There’s Eliza, tired of talking. If the movie were made today, she’d likely respond with Elvis’ “A Little Less Conversation (a lot more action).” Instead Eliza demands: “don’t waste my time, show me!”

Have mature marketers been too worried about the words, words, words they use? The items that got the most shares, clicks and comments last week had to do with the language of aging.

1. MOST SHARED: “Updating the Language of Aging,” an article by LeadingAge’s Jane Sherwin about why language is so important in the senior living industry.  Sherwin shows how leading providers are not just picking words that don’t offend but are choosing those that will uplift and empower.

Michelle Seitzer of SeniorsForLiving summed it up when she shared the link:

updating-language-of-aging-tweet

Can words change the world? Read the piece at http://bit.ly/1mwDomu.

2. MOST COMMENTED: “Banana-fana Fo-senior …The Name Game and 50+ Marketing.”

This post on this blog generated some great discussion. We shared the results of two surveys related to the language of aging — namely, which words are loathed and which are liked. (No age-related labels seem to really be loved.)

Deb Unger is definitely in the show me camp. She wrote on the blog:

“Don’t market to my age. If you do you are in essence telling me what I should like or use based on my age. Market to a person instead and let me decide if it’s for me regardless of my age.”

Ronni Bennett, elderblogger, journalist and source of one of the two polls, countered:

“I don’t agree that descriptive words for old people shouldn’t refer to their age. There are a zillion reasons stories, reports and advertising need to target by age – sometimes for medications or for over-the-counter products (I, at 73, don’t need acne cream and it’s a waste of advertisers’ money to include me) and any reporter would be negligent to not declare teen, young adult, elder, etc. when they don’t have an age to report.”

The conversation’s just begun. Add your two cents here: http://bit.ly/1oVuRtA

3. Also of note:  No matter what marketers choose to call older adults, we can connect by understanding the stress they’re under and showing them we have solutions. NPR Health had a fine series of reports on stress last week.

What stresses older adults? Health problems are the dominant concern for seniors, while money is tops for baby boomers.

Table - Reasons for Stress by age group - NPR, Robert Wood Johnson, Harvard Health

The study was conducted by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health. Read more here: http://n.pr/1jHUM9q

 

My solution to stress? Curling up on the couch with my kids and a good movie. And singing along with Eliza as she uses words to change her world.

Mature Marketing Links of the Week: Landing Page Tips & “Free” ROI

Monday, June 23rd, 2014

Happy Monday!  It’s hard to believe that June is coming to a close, where did the time go?!  Let’s jump right into the mature marketing news that had people talking this past week.  Have something to share?  We’d love to see it in our comment section.

MOST CLICKED: As more and more mature consumers flock to online avenues for gathering information about your brand and moving themselves father down the purchase funnel, having a sound landing page strategy is critical. First and foremost, your landing page should serve as a vehicle for lead capture. Ed Kedzierski recently shared his tips for creating great landing page forms:

*Avoid lengthy fields: Keep it simple as long forms can be a huge turn off.  Rule of thumb: if you aren’t going to use the information don’t ask for it.

*Adjust the styling of your form: Make your form appear even shorter—less is more when it comes to driving completions.

*Don’t Submit: Try other wording on the button to capture information that more closely relates to the action and drives higher conversions.

*Eliminate Fear: We found in our Social, Silver Surfer research that privacy concerns run high, especially among boomers and beyond.  You’re capturing personal information, put people at ease by including your privacy policy and reconfirming a safe submission.

Read the full article here.

Related: Learn about Creating Results’ digital initiatives and discover how we can help you maximize your ROI.  Visit our website.

MOST SHARED:

Free ROI  In an age where everyone is looking to stand out, incentives are typically a go-to for quickly driving prospect interest and action. Marketing Profs recently shared an article regarding free offers and how you can measure effectiveness.

The reality is that free is never free for the marketer. There’s always an expense that has to be paid, even if it’s not paid by the customer. Moreover, that cost is often higher than marketer anticipates.

The article explored a variety of “free” incentives, including product and content, along with benefits to utilizing each.  At the end of the day, as marketers it is our job to evaluate potential incentives we want to include and ensure it is not only worth the cost but relevant to our brand.

Read the full post.

Mature Marketing Links of the Week – Tablets for Responsive Design, (un) Retirement

Monday, June 16th, 2014

Three bears, two speakers, and one exciting milestone. Let the round-up of top mature marketing links begin!

Older woman at North Hill senior living using iPad.

iPads in use at North Hill senior living.

1. MOST SHARED: Goldilocks and websites: Why designers should see tablets as “just right.”  http://bit.ly/T0Q8GQ In this post by Monetate, Nathan Richter suggests that tablets are the perfect device for designers to focus on when trying to improve user experience.

“Tablets, which continue to eat up market share, are not just ‘middle of the road’ options when it comes to design. They offer a ‘medium-sized’ view that might be ‘just right’ for all your digital touch points.”

Tablets are especially popular with baby boomers, which might explain why this tweet got so much attention last week. 38% of younger Boomers (ages 45-54) own one, along with 28% of older Boomers (ages 55-64) and 18% of 65+ seniors. As we wrote in April,

“Start thinking about, testing and perhaps re-designing your emails and website for better mobile experience. Because whether older people are using desktops, smartphones or tablets, they’re more connected than ever and their expectations are rising.”

RELATED:  Smartphone, Tablet Use by Age and Gender, and  Baby Boomers: Past, Present, Powerful (Future of Media)

2. MOST CLICKED: Look who’s speaking at the International Conference on Active Aging conference in Orlando! http://bit.ly/1p9bnR5 Todd Harff and I are thrilled to be part of an exciting new addition to what is always an exceptional conference — a Marketing Symposium on November 12. Boomer expert Dr. Alexis Abramson and RLTV’s Elliot Jacobson are the other speakers for the day.

3. Also of note

Fairing Way 55+ community groundbreaking

* Congratulations to client Fairing Way for breaking ground on their new 55+ community! Creating Results has have been privileged to hel

RELATED: Case study – direct marketing newsletterp Fairing Way drive leads, capture deposits and make their way towards this milestone.

* Ina Jaffe of NPR reports on a new study that finds nearly half of people surveyed who say they’re retired are working or have worked in the recent past. And nearly three quarters of baby boomers say they plan to stay on the job past retirement age.  Listen to the story: http://n.pr/1kShT0b

RELATED: Re-thinking Retirement – 6 Lessons for Marketers, and Working for a Life (Not A Living): How people who refuse to retire are changing 55+ communities


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