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Marketing and Motivating Boomers and Beyond

Archive for the ‘Generation Jones (trailing edge Boomers)’ Category

Mature Marketing Links of the Week: Booze and Brands

Monday, June 15th, 2015

Happy Monday!  This week the mature marketing stories that generated the most interest are brought to you by the letter “B”. Have something to share?  Please be sure to note in the comment section – we’d love to hear from you.

MOST SHARED: An apple aKey to Longevity day keeps the doctor away.  Some say this is the secret to longevity, others say a cup of coffee a day.  But if you ask Pauline Spagnola, a Pennsylvania resident who just turned 100, what her secret is she will tell you something different.  According to a recent article Pauline shared that her secret to a long, happy life is… “a lot of booze”.  Happy Birthday Pauline.

Read the article.

MOST CLICKED: When it comes to brand loyalty, Gen X is the most loyal but Gen Y will soon position themselves as the biggest spenders.  This, according to an article in The Sydney Herald regarding how different age cohorts respond to brand marketing.

The boomers are entering retirement largely healthy, energetic and cashed-up. They are spending money on meaningfully connecting to themselves, their family and friends. Excited by travel and technology, they refuse to be defined by their years, creating the notion of agelessness.

The article highlights research by a British trend forecaster who noted consumer trends by generation.  Additional insights include:

*  Gen Y consumers are poised to overtake Boomers as the biggest spenders. They also expect brands to engage with them digitally.

*  Generation Jones is described as “cautious spenders” who gravitate towards brands and products that are sustainable.

* Gen Xers are the most brand loyal and place high importance on value for their money (meaning they are always looking for a deal).

What does this mean for mature marketers? It is  important to understand the desires and motivators of your target marketing, regardless of their generation.  This understanding will help you effectively foster brand loyalty and maximize your marketing dollars.

Read more insights here.



Mature Marketing Links of the Week- Wi-Fi secrets and going native

Monday, January 20th, 2014

Happy Monday! We saw a lot of shares and clicks of mature marketing news last week – here is just an overview of some of the top pieces that drove interest.  Have something to share about these or other mature marketing articles?  Please be sure to share in the comments below.


When acting on data captured through prospect engagement, we like share with our mature marketing clients the mantra – “close but not creepy”. The Wall Street Journal recently ran an article regarding a company that provides the technology to follow your prospect’s movements through how they access Wi-Fi from their phones.  The company accesses data captured through sensors that track Wi-Fi signal emissions , allowing for the creation and promotion of content and offers based on individual habits.

“Instead of offering a general promotion that may or may not hit a nerve, we can promote specifically to the customer’s taste,” says Mr. Zhang. He recently emblazoned workout tank-tops with his restaurant’s logo, based on the data about his customers’ gym visits.

The idea of tracking (and using) this information is creating a lot of conversations regarding just what is that “close by not creepy” line in the sand.  Regardless of the side you fall on it certainly is a topic that will make you pause before turning your Wi-Fi on when in public. Read the full story here.

Related: Smartphone and tablet usage by the numbers


By far the article that had the most people talking was a roundtable regarding native advertising.  The article based on the discussion was shared by CPC Strategy Blog, featured insights from 18 industry experts on a topic that is creating a lot of buzz and interest.  Just what is native advertising? Here are some quotes straight from the experts contributing to the roundtable. Read the full article here.

Scott Reese of blurbIQ Inc:

Native advertising is a way for advertisers to produce, edit, and curate content that supports their brand and a publisher’s quality standards and provides information relevant to users’ interests.

Diana LaGattutta of NativeX:

We define native advertising as advertising that is contextual and complementary to the content in which it is placed. Not above, below, or beside, it becomes part of the user experience and often unique to the viewer or user.

Ari Jacoby of Solve Media:

Done correctly, native advertising symbolizes a new ability to give value back to consumers in a format that is in-the-flow of a user’s experience.


Do you use native marketing as a tactic for positioning your brand? How do you measure success?  We’d love to hear your thoughts, please share in the comment box below.

Mature Marketing Links of the Week – Retirement Planning and Hybrids

Monday, October 28th, 2013

Happy Monday!  Let’s get to it – these are the mature marketing stories that had people talking this past week.  Have an interesting piece that we should share?  Please be sure to post in the comment section below.

MOST CLICKED: A retirement article from Time entitled Here Come the Three Horsemen of the Retirement Apocalypse had many clicking away this past week.  The article focuses on three key retirement plans in the US –  Social Security, employer plans and personal savings, all of which have weakened over the last several years. According to the article and Barbara Novick of BlackRock:

 The time has come for “out-of-the-box thinking” and a “holistic solution.

Recommendations from BlackRock for making the most of retirement investments include looking to annuities and setting aside more of that monthly paycheck. Regardless of the approach, this is a topic that has many boomers nearing retirement watching closely.

MOST SHARED: Boomers are going gaga for hybrid cars, according to a recent study by Baylor University detailed within Quartz. According to the article boomers, who account for more than half of all consumer spending, are flocking to more environmentallhybridy friendly vehicles, with the average age of owners surveyed being 70.  The appeal of hybrids for this cohort?  The pride of doing their part to help protect the environment.

Today’s older consumers came of age during the height of the environmental movement in the 1970s, and for some the propensity to pay more for products perceived as green, whether it’s organic food or a $30,000 car, has been baked into their purchasing habits.

That suggests carmakers should tweak their marketing: less Raphael and more Rolling Stones, for one thing. And emphasize the greener-than-thou psychic benefits of buying a hybrid. And keep hyping the fuel savings.

BE ON THE LOOKOUT: The Creating Results team is currently attending the Annual LeadingAge Conference in Dallas.  Be sure to be on the lookout for tweets and real-time news from the conference and, if you are attending, we’d love to share your insights and takeaways as well.

Mobile News Reading Increases, Though Print Newspapers Maintain Hold On Seniors

Tuesday, August 13th, 2013

A substantial number of us are now taking our news on the go, reports eMarketer. 62% of 45-54 year olds (younger Baby Boomers) and 64% of 55-64 year olds (leading edge Boomers) who use smartphones are now consuming news on that device. In fact, more than 1/2 of smartphone users at every age are reading news that way, except 65+ers (older Boomers and seniors). Because of the small text size and lower mobile adoption rates, only 35% read news on their smartphones.

The data also shows that if you’re targeting older adults, print newspapers should continue to be an important part of your marketing plan. Comparing the first quarter of 2012 to the first quarter of 2013, print news subscriptions fell among every age group EXCEPT 65+ seniors.

Chart - print newspaper subscriptions fell for every age group but 65+ seniors

As the  Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute study noted:

“This [65+] age group, which includes a high percentage of retirees and a relatively low percentage of mobile news consumers, now has the most newspaper subscribers. The aging of print news consumers is clearly evident in our survey results. Last year slightly less than half of the newspaper subscribers were age 55 or older. This year they accounted for 61 percent.”

The study also notes that even among 45+ print subscribers there has been a big increase in mobile news consumption.  “Respondents in the 45-54 age group had the most rapid transition to mobile media and the highest percentage of [print newspaper] cancellations among mobile news consumers in the past 12 months.”

Many of these older mobile news readers are using tablets. More on that device later this week.

Read the eMarketer post: http://bit.ly/17IBDrf

Read the source study from Reynolds Journalism Institutehttp://www.rjionline.org/research

RELATED: Who Pays for News? 50 Plus Boomers and Seniors


CR Speaks! Marketing News (and Presentations) You Can Use

Thursday, April 18th, 2013

We’ve Updated our Library

Gain insights into marketing to Boomers and Seniors when you click here to view our library of recent presentations.

You can learn:

Aliging Brand with Mission1. The Ins and Outs of Social Media: Explore how to use social networking to motivate the 50+ consumer.
2. The Nuts and Bolts of Email Marketing: Discover how you can effectively reach mature consumers, motivate them to act and measure your results with these simple action steps.
3. How to Align Your Brand with Mission: Learn how you can develop an authentic brand that allows your organization to thrive.
4. The Power of Generational Marketing: Identify how to move various cohorts through the purchase funnel.
5. How to Market to both Gen Yers and Boomers using Social Media and more: Identify the similarities between the two generations and how you can leverage within your marketing efforts.

Upcoming Events and Presentations
VANHA – May 21-24 – The Homestead, Hot Springs, VA
LeadingAge PA – June 19-21 – Hershey Lodge, Hershey, PA

Click here for a list of all upcoming speaking engagements. If you’ll be attending any of these conferences, we hope you’ll a) attend our sessions and/or b) meet us for a coffee! Just email todd@creatingresults.com.


War of the Worlds? Email vs Social Media Marketing for Targeting Older People

Tuesday, March 19th, 2013

Recently Creating Results has spoken about the benefits of an integrated email and social media strategy at a variety of settings, including the LeadingAge annual meeting, International Conference on Active Aging, the Planned Giving Group of New England, and the International Builder Show.  Some audience members express concern with how to effectively use each avenue to reach mature consumers, others worry about how to avoid fatiguing followers and yet others aren’t sure how to establish each avenue independently.

Some marketing experts will tell you to never, under any circumstance should you promote the same messages within these two channels. CS Penn cites cannibalizing your list and fatiguing your followers as risks of cross promoting social and email.

I love CS Penn and recommend you subscribe to his blog (if you don’t already). But I have to say that I disagree to an extent. Below we’ve identified the pros and cons of running a successful email and social media marketing program that targets Boomers and Seniors, and how you can maximize both.


According to Penn, “if you share a newsletter socially, meaning that it’s viewable on the web from social media posts, does that then mean that your most engaged fans (who follow you, Like your Facebook page, etc.) will read straight from social and not open the email?”

PRO:  Mature consumers are flocking to both avenues, so why not leverage to reach a larger audience.Email by Age Group from Pew Research

According to Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, 52% of Internet Users aged 50-64 are using social networking sites, as are 32% of 65+ers online.  Pew’s 2012 Generations Report found that 90% of online Boomers and and 86% of online Seniors use email.

How To Maximize

Many marketers will call out social media efforts within email by incorporating icons and links within their messaging to their social avenues.  While this is a good start, you need to take it further to be successful.

1.    Distinguish Yourself:
Formulate a concrete email strategy and a concrete social strategy that clearly identify the benefits to each.  And (most importantly) the lion share of those benefits needs to be DIFFERENT.  For example, a benefit of email sign up could be special event invitations and a benefit exclusive to social media channels could include behind the scenes tour/images.

Boomers and seniors especially can be sensitive to perceived privacy issues from both avenues. Be sure you are as clear as possible when describing the benefits of both email and social, and let them know you won’t sell their information.

2.    Know the Differences:
The nature of the engagement through these two channels is inherently different. Social media is a more immediate, one-on-one communication channel (I can respond to an engagement in real time, as can other followers). Email is a one-way communication with opportunities to engage through other portals. It requires a stronger call to action than social.

Yes, if you’re posting the same info all the time on both avenues it doesn’t make sense to share your emails in the social world.  Both channels are comprised of followers who want exclusive content.  That needs to be a chief priority when creating content for either avenue.  If you do this you can absolutely cross promote the two.

3. Email and Social Play Nice:
Both email and social media have great capabilities for allowing brand enthusiasts to spread the word through icons and forward to a friend tools …  In other words email can grow your social base and social can grow your email list so be sure to use them accordingly.  All emails should include links to your social media and many Email Service Providers (ESPs) provide ways to integrate an email sign up form right within your Facebook page.

Do your email and social strategies share nicely?  Let us know how you approach to integrating these two marketing avenues.


What Older People Do Online-Infographic

Social Media and Marketing to Boomers, Seniors

Facebook, Internet Users More Similar to Offline Population Ages Than Ever


Is 50+ Housing Declining or Thriving?

Thursday, February 9th, 2012

That provocative headline is the topic of a panel Todd Harff will host today at the International Builders’ Show in Orlando. Todd will be joined by three panelists who are nationally respected developers/marketers of a dozen communities catering to 50+ homebuyers.

What the panelists have in common is persistence, creativity and success. What distinguishes them is the variety of approaches they use to reach 50+ homebuyers – from senior rentals to multifamily to age-qualified communities and $900,000 single family homes. As Todd puts it, “Success in 50+ housing doesn’t come in one size anymore. ”

No one disputes that the population is aging.

No one disputes that there is opportunity in addressing the housing needs of people in their fifties and beyond. However, there is much debate over what the housing and communities for the active adult should look like and live like.

Let’s face it, our world has changed. We know that the large scale master planned retirement communities are too capital intensive to get started today. We know that many age-qualified communities are struggling. What isn’t clear is where the opportunity is to make money with the 50+ homebuyer.

Economic Realities Differ by Age Group

Money is a critical issue with today’s 50+ buyer, as Todd demonstrates in the following three graphs. These show how developers must consider the different circumstances of different age bands within 50+ housing.

75+ homeowners saw their income go up in the late 90s and then pretty much go flat in the last five years. Those who are 65 to 74 are continuing to do well. They had a little dip in the last recession of 2001, but in 2010 they were hardly hit.

Contrast that with the next chart which shows 45-54 year olds. Their incomes have taken a much harder hit. This group had been the “move-up buyer.” Now, they’re not moving up.  This in turn is making it harder for active adults to sell their homes.  “It’s not just the rich that are getting richer, it’s the older getting richer”, observed  Todd

As the following chart shows, older Baby Boomers are actually better off economically than most other age groups. If you were fortunate enough to be in your 20s in the year 2000, your household income was nearly $46K a year. Ten years later, the household income of mid 20-year-olds is struggling to get to$40K. But for the people who are 65+, every year is getting better and better. Their best year was last year!

Asking the Tough Questions about the Future of 50+ Housing

Todd will be putting some challenging questions to his panel today, including:

* Are age qualified communities viable anymore or are they too restrictive?
* Is it possible today to have a successful homebuilding business that focuses on high-end homebuyers?  What features and amenities do today’s buyers want?
* How is the age-in-place movement helping and hurting 50+ housing?
* What advice would you give to a builder looking to succeed in this market?
* What did you do differently last year that was successful?

Tune into this blog next week to read some of the answers provided. Or, share your own answers and thoughts, below!

RELATED POST: What is the Future of Active Adult Housing?

Mature Marketing Tweets of the Week- 12/19/2011

Monday, December 19th, 2011

Tweets from @CreatingResults over the course of the last week that were most shared, discussed and clicked.  Happy Tweeting!

By far the most shared post was Gaining Boomer and Senior Marketing Insights from Social Media. Find out what messages/strategies are hitting (or missing) the mark. Todd Harff recaps a number of resources that can be extremely helpful in determining and leveraging boomer and senior social preferences and behaviors, including  LinkedIn’s which allows you to see what is generating the most interest segmented by industry or group.

Statistics on Groups in LinkedIn give insights for marketing to baby boomers, seniors

Other Top Tweets:

1. Santa’s Senior Secrets- An infographic chock full of not only holiday cheer but stats on seniors the world over.

Infographic - Statistics for Seniors Marketing - Secrets of Santa Claus

2.  Baby Boomer social media revolution: More and more boomers flock to sites such as Facebook and Twitter.  How will you reach them?

3. Seven reasons direct mail and print remain effective marketing tools.

4. Interesting article via @AllThingsAging examining the rise of Ethnogeriatrics within diverse communities.

Social Networks on the Rise, Email for Everyone, Finds Pew

Monday, December 20th, 2010

The Pew Internet & American Life Project released its second ‘Generations” reportlast week, with data about what various cohorts – from Gen Y/Millennials to Baby Boomers to the Greatest Generation – are doing on the Internet.  Turns out, these cohorts are becoming more alike in their online activities.  A quick synopsis:

Activities Dominated by Millennials

Pew found that Gen Y/Millennials aged 18-33 are much more likely to use instant messaging, watch a video, or play online games.  While larger numbers of older Americans are joining online social networks, they still lag their grandkids/great grandkids in this activity.  Social network sites are used by:

* 16% of Greatest Generation (74+)
* 34% of Silent Generation seniors (65-73 years old)
* 43% of older Baby Boomers (56-64)
* 50% of younger Boomers (aka Generation Jones, 46-55)
* 62% of Gen X (34-45)
* 83% of Gen Y/Millennials

Use of the Internet itself is an area where older cohorts still lag.  79% of all Americans go online, states Pew, yet younger folks are overrepresented in a census of Web citizenry.

The percentage of each generation who go online

Chart: Pew Internet & American Life Project, Generations 2010

Online Activities Where Older (Gen X, Boomers & matures) Dominate

Pew found only 2 areas where older cohorts are more likely than Millennials to be active:  visiting government websites and getting financial information online.  Consistent with lifestage, Baby Boomers and Silent Generation seniors are spending the most time seeking out financial information, including mortgage rates, stock quotes and advice to help them plan for retirement or make the best of un-retirement.

Everybody Loves Email

As Pew puts it, the bulk of online activities are now more consistently popular across the age groups.  Some have significant differences between the oldest cohort (Greatest Generation) and the youngest (teens & Millennial) generations – if they didn’t, THAT would be a headline!

For marketers feeling the pressure to put dollars into social media, if you’re targeting Boomers and beyond, remember that email is used by nearly 9 in 10 of all people over 50.  Email is the most popular of all online activities regardless of age:

* 88% of 74+ers
* 90% of the Silent Generation
* 93% of older Boomers
* 91% of younger Boomers
* 94% of Gen X
* 96% of Millennials

Now that Pew has detailed what online activities Boomers and seniors are pursuing, how do you apply these statistics to your marketing program?

In January 2011, Creating Results will release findings from our proprietary, national survey of mature consumers that could offer some answers.  More than 400 consumers over 40 answered questions about web preferences – pet peeves, favorite features & more – and attitudes toward social media.

And we went “beyond the numbers,” inviting 40+ Americans to share their opinions in their own words.  There also are specific take-aways for those marketing housing to Boomers and seniors.

To be first to receive the full findings of “Social, Silver Surfers,” please register here:  http://www.creatingresults.com/silver_social_surfers/.

How Baby Boomers Eat, Pray, Love

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

Last Friday, “Eat, Pray, Love” opened in movie theatres around the nation.  It’s likely many a Baby Boomer woman was in the audience, marveling at the tale of self-discovery.  Professionals marketing to Baby Boomers and 65+ seniors can discover a few insights into their own mature audiences by considering how we eat, pray and love.

Baby Boomer Spending on Food

* I really appreciate The Bundle’s infographics that illustrate household spending by age.  Take a peek at their 2010 report and you’ll see that Baby Boomers (aged 50-65) and Silent Generation (65+)  spend more on food and drink than the “coveted” 18-25 year olds – $6,992 and $5,211 respectively.  36-49 year olds are the tops in food and food and drink, averaging $7,487 in 2010 per household.

* Reflecting their lifestage, 35-50 year olds spend the most each year on groceries - $4,322 per Bundle.  50-65 yr old BInfographicFoodSpendingByAgeoomers are in second place, spending an average of $4,001.

* Mature marketing expert Brent Green has called Baby Boomer men the “next marketing frontier,” noting that men are more apt to spend than save (even in a downturn) and more prone to buy national brands at the grocery store.  (more…)

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