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Mature Marketing Links of the Week – Barbie and Boomer Market Opportunities

Monday, March 9th, 2015

Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear Barbie …

Source: TruthDig.com http://www.truthdig.com/cartoon/item/20090301_barbie_at_50

Source: TruthDig.com http://www.truthdig.com/cartoon/item/20090301_barbie_at_50

Barbie, the iconic toy of the Baby Boom, turns 56 today. Like her peers, the doll has seen great personal and societal changes. From mass production to personalization. From activist (she received a black friend during the Civil Rights movement) to flashpoint for debates on female identity. And, like her peers, this Boomer has reinvented herself at least a thousand times.

Assuming that, like her peers, Barbie is going to enjoy a longevity bonus of several decades more … what will this Boomer be when she’s 86 years old? A frail patient, a blushing newlywed, a demanding consumer, an eager entrepreneur?

Last Thursday a large group gathered at Harvard Business School to consider Boomers, seniors and the market opportunities aging represents. Panelists and speakers included Fortune 100 companies such as CVS and Procter and Gamble, along with New England leader Benchmark Senior Living and many caregiver focused groups.

The event led to Creating Results’ MOST SHARED tweet of the week, quoting Joseph Coughlin of the MIT AgeLab:

“The greatest success of humankind is living longer.” Also its greatest challenge.

We’ll be sharing observations and insights from the “Our Aging Market” event on this blog in the near future.

 

There was quite a variety and quite a lot of sharing of Boomer- and aging-related links on Twitter this week. The top items:

* Health – 45% of RNs were over 50 years old in 2008; is there a mass exodus of experienced nurses coming?

“One of the greatest challenges the healthcare industry is facing in its efforts to prepare for the needs of the elderly is training and hiring the health professionals needed to care for this population, such as primary care workers. Yet, it is no secret that today the nation is facing a significant primary care shortage. As the situation stands, nearly 40,000 primary care physicians are needed to meet the demands of the nation – a number that is only expected to rise as insurance coverage is expanded to more people through the ACA and the baby boom generation ages.”

Download this PDF report from the Center for Health Affairs. http://ow.ly/JDcMa

* Digital — GOOD advice from HubSpot on the WORST advice given for driving website traffic: http://bit.ly/18uDjfl

RELATED: You’ll find website advice specific to boomers and seniors in our Social, Silver Surfers ebook. http://bit.ly/SSS13blog

Hands* Health — Is B2B is the next B2C in medtech marketing? How are you innovating to meet shift? http://bit.ly/1wjCP71

* Travel — While retireees spend more overall on luxury travel, Gen X burns through more money every day they are away from home. http://bit.ly/1MkP45j

 * Hysterical  —  Thank you, AdAge copywriters, for this fantastic headline: “Were Millennials Just Figments of Our Fevered Imagination All Along? Fear of Youth Demographic Overblown as Invasive Alien Species Grows Up.” http://bit.ly/1HmqEYh

 

Have an opinion on Barbie, or any of this week’s links? Please share your comments below.

Trends and Truths

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015

Next week at the LeadingAge Massachusetts 2015 Senior Living Symposium, Todd Harff and I will be talking about “The End of Advertising, The Advent of Engagement.” The topic was sparked by all those headlines we kept seeing proclaiming that ads were dead, by the many breathless posts heralding a new trend or extolling social marketing over all other tactics.LeadingAgeMA-TheEndOfAdvertising-MAR2015

I’m a GenXer. This doesn’t make me cynical, but it does make me a bit skeptical. So we wondered … Is it really the end of advertising? And are industries focused on older adults (active adult housing, continuing care retirement communities, etc.) really pursuing the hot marketing trends?

Only one way to find out what are trends and what are truths: Creating Results is surveying marketers and execs in 50+ housing and senior living.

It’s a VERY SHORT, 3 question, 1 minute survey. http://bit.ly/1CvpaeZ

This SHORT marketing survey is designed to get a snapshot of what the trends really are, whether those marketing to older adults are really shifting spending away from traditional channels or not. Creating Results will share the results in presentations at LeadingAge Massachusetts, LeadingAge Pennsylvania and other conferences. Of course we’ll also share those insights here on the blog.

Please help us separate facts from fads by taking this SHORT marketing survey!  http://bit.ly/1CvpaeZ

Thank you in advance. If you have questions or comments, please share them below.

 

RELATED: LeadingAge Massachusetts Senior Living Symposium

Mature Marketing Links of the Week: Dancing Grannies & Email Preferences

Monday, March 2nd, 2015

Happy Monday!  Let’s jump right into the mature marketing stories of the past week that had people clicking and sharing.  Have something to share?  We’d love to hear from you, just leave a note in our comment section.

 

MOST CLICKED

Cover songBy far the most clicked story of the past week was a Mashable article that shared a video of a remake of “Uptown Funk”.  This fun video featured seniors age 65-92 remaking the catchy song their way.  You can’t help but dance and tap your toes when you check out this fun remake.

Watch the video here.

 

MOST SHARED

At Creating Results we’ve long shared that email is a top avenue for engaging mature consumers. A recent MarketingSherpa survey reinforced this through findings from a recent study which noted that more than 70% of adults rank email as the #1 communication method with brands. During a survey individuals were asked to identify their preferred avenues for engaging with brands, with email blowing the others away.

sherpa emailInsights from the survey included:

*  Email was tops for females 65+ with 64% preferring this channel.

*  64% of those 55 and better selected postal mail.

*  34% of all respondents identified print media as a primary channel.

Read the full survey here.

The take away? For marketers it is important to utilize an integrated marketing approach.  This will effectively ensure you reach your target market where they are most comfortable engaging with you.

RELATED: Creating Results uncovered similar preferences within our Social, Silver Surfers research about email, as well as other digital portals including websites.  Click here to learn more and download our eBook

 

Mature Marketing Links of the Week – I Can Relate

Monday, February 16th, 2015

“Thomas Jefferson once said, ‘We should never judge a president by his age, only by his works.’

And ever since he told me that, I stopped worrying.”  – Ronald Reagan

Happy Presidents Day! For our readers in the U.S., today is the official celebration of George Washington’s birthday. But never fear — the Creating Results’ team wouldn’t let a federal holiday get between you and the top mature marketing links of the week.

1. MOST SHARED: A Last Thought from Las Vegas: Put Away the Poker Face

Creating Results’ Sally O’Donnell wraps up her series of posts offering a millennial’s perspective on marketing to baby boomers. This latesTOA-new-site-ratingst installment looks into transparency and why creating an environment of trust is actually a service to older home buyers. Testimonials and ratings help people relate to the current residents of a 50+ community.

“Millennials like me rely heavily on Yelp, for example, to find restaurants, hotels, etc. More and more 50-plus homebuyers are using similar tools to influence their purchasing decision.

Because there has been such a shift toward digital with less face-to-face time, it’s increasingly difficult to build trust with online prospects. Something as simple as a positive review tells a compelling story and reinforces confidence in your brand.”

Read more at http://bit.ly/1DY5hwI.

2. MOST CLICKED: 50 shades of white?

AdAge reports that sex therapist and media personality Dr. Ruth Westheimer is the new face of a laundry campaign. “Think of Valentine’s Day or sex, and chances are laundry doesn’t immediately come to mind. Clorox Co. has enlisted Dr. Ruth to change that.”

The 86-year-old brings her trademark good humor to the campaign. We had fun discovering she also has nearly 85,000 followers on Twitter. Seattle fans will want to look away …Tweets by Dr Ruth

Only 10% of Twitter users are older than 65. So this means it’s mostly the young who are following Dr. Ruth. They do so not because she’s a peer but because they relate to her humor and forthright approach.

Read more on the Clorox campaign at http://bit.ly/1BgYeiS.

RELATED: We’ve always appreciated marketing to baby boomers and seniors that recognizes these older adults as sexual. You don’t stop being interested in romance, sex and connections just because your AARP card has arrived. Click here to see how we addressed the topic in 2012, on this blog.

3. Also of noteRetiree housing wealth is “Battered but still significant,” reports MarketWatch  http://on.mktw.net/17Gs1VZ

 

Did you relate to any of the items in this week’s round-up? If so, please share your thoughts below!

A Last Thought from Las Vegas: Put Away the Poker Face

Wednesday, February 11th, 2015

Third in a series of posts reflecting on marketing homes to 50-plus homebuyers, from a Millennial’s perspective.

Last week I shared two take-aways from my time at the International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas — the importance of grabbing a prospect’s attention and the need to invest in a website the way you would a model home. We finished post #2 with a question:

“What’s the one thing your brand can give boomer homebuyers that they can’t search for on Google?”

If you guessed “service,” you’d be hitting the jackpot! Today’s 50-plus homebuyers are expecting on demand, high-quality service when it comes to their purchasing decisions. It is critical that your team meets boomer expectations.

How can you do this?

1) Create an environment of trust and transparency. Previously, buyers would rely on longevity for purchasing decisions. For example, your family has gone to Walgreens for decades. Therefore, it is your “trusted” go-to pharmacy. Nowadays, buyers are more concerned with transparency vs. longevity. Think about those calorie counts on all food menus. While learning how many calories are really in that “skinny” salad could ruin your appetite, the transparency allows for a feeling of confidence in the brand.

You want your sales teams to convey that same feeling. 50-plus homebuyers want transparency in price, offerings and selections. This means that your team should have a strong grasp on all of these pieces to deliver high-quality service – creating credibility and a bond between you and your buyer.

2) Resident testimonials are a powerful tool to use in marketing to boomers that can communicate transparency. From a millennial perspective, I appreciate a story from someone in my demographic. But, there are so many variables and perspectives that it sometimes can be hard to relate. For example, I follow a few fellow millennial fashion bloggers to keep up with what’s in style. They may be the same age as me, but I don’t actually relate to them – there is no way I would spend $2,500 on a handbag.

The 50+ audience is different. Their upbringing and current situations are more aligned than my generation. They are looking for similar things in this stage in their lives. Use that to your advantage. Leveraging positive experiences from your homeowners through testimonials is a service. It allows for your target audience to say “I relate to that person and I can picture myself there.”

Source: North Hill

3)  Ratings and reviews are another increasingly popular way to create an environment of trust. Millennials like me rely heavily on Yelp, for example, to find restaurants, hotels, etc. More and more 50-plus homebuyers are using similar tools to influence their purchasing decision.

Because there has been such a shift toward digital with less face-to-face time, it’s increasingly difficult to build trust with online prospects. Something as simple as a positive review tells a compelling story and reinforces confidence in your brand.

Creating Results recently applied these insights into a site redesign for leading 50-plus homebuilder, Traditions of America. Their ratings and reviews pages are something they can give buyers that Google can’t.

TOA-new-site-ratings TOA-new-site-reviews

 

Your marketing is definitely not something to gamble with. By incorporating these ideas and suggestions, you can bet that you’ll reach your 50-plus audience in an impactful way.

How do you plan on hitting the marketing jackpot? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

RELATED: Part 1, Playing the Best Hand to Reach Your Audience

Part 2, How to “Up the Ante” When Marketing to Baby Boomer Homebuyers

Mature Marketing Links of the Week – Vegas, Baby (Boomer)!

Monday, February 9th, 2015

Snowy days and Mondays always got you down? We’ve got the cure. Put on your shades and dream of Las Vegas, as it prompted the top content in this week’s 50+ marketing links round-up.

1. MOST CLICKED: Creating Results’ Sally O’Donnell went to Las Vegas in late January, for the International Builders’ Show. Her focus at the conference (as it is on a daily basis) was 50+ or “active adult” housing. Sally fought the crowds on the show floor, attended various sessions and cheered on two of our clients who won national Best of 50+ Housing Awards. (See below.)

Then Sally made her way back to our West Coast office and shared “A Millennial’s Perspective on Marketing to Boomers,” a series of posts for this blog.

To continue the Vegas theme, her first post was a winning hand. She wrote:

“Did you know that the average attention span now is only 8 seconds? That’s less than the attention span of a goldfish. While I didn’t even know that goldfish had attention spans, it brings to light a critical issue in marketing to your audience.

You now have less time than it took Usain Bolt to break a world record to introduce and reinforce your brand so that people even take a second look.”

Find out how Sally recommends 50+ housing marketers “get lucky in 8 seconds:” http://bit.ly/1AO7Q4q

2. MOST SHARED: Part 2 of Sally’s 50+ housing series had our audience of mature marketing pros going all in, re-tweeting, sharing and favoriting the post.

“It’s time to invest in your website the way you would invest in a model home or printing collateral,” she wrote, and offered some recent research findings to explain why. Larry Guengerich of Landis Homes then shared a terrific example of website upgrades in a comment on the post.

Check out Landis’ idea, and add your own: http://bit.ly/1zOCaZG

RELATED: White paper – “Web Usability Guidelines for Active Adult Home Buyers”

3. Also of note

* 4 Things Every CEO Should Know About Their Inbound Marketing, by Neil Eniex  http://bit.ly/1KA7JLE

* Video will become the “content of choice” + more predictions from Social Media Examiner  http://bit.ly/1zOCOq3

* “Next year, old people will be the new puppy dogs” of Super Bowl advertising, says the Ad Contrarian in his recap of the Big Game’s big ads  http://bit.ly/1733KZO

 

Creating Results' Sally O'Donnell at the 2015 Best of 50+ Housing Awards

2015 Best of 50+ Housing Awards

A hearty CONGRATULATIONS to Creating Results’ clients on their 2015 Best of 50+ Housing awards!

Liberty Healthcare was honored with two Gold awards, for the “Best 50+ Independent Living Community On the Boards,” and “Best 50+ Fitness & Wellness Program.” Fantastic news!

Traditions of America received 6 Golds and 1 Silver, including four awards for marketing. Creating Results is proud to have partnered with Traditions on these innovative programs. And we just had to take a photo of our favorite Millennial after the event …

Kudos to Sally and the whole team!

How to “Up the Ante” When Marketing to Baby Boomer Homebuyers

Thursday, February 5th, 2015

Second in a series of posts featuring insights from the 2015 International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas.

While at the International Builders’ Show I attended a session which offered some interesting stats on home buying and your website:

* 92% hunt for their new home online

* 75% of prospective buyers start searching within a year of purchase – starting with Google

* 36% use their mobile phone as their shopping companion

Those stats, from the National Association of Realtors, are for buyers of all ages. Creating Results surveyed senior and baby boomer homebuyers, and found that 37% of “Social, Silver Surfers” have rejected a community solely based on their website.

YResponsive website, active adult builder Traditions of Americaour website is rapidly becoming the most powerful part of the sales process. The reason is simple: baby boomer homebuyers form an opinion of you before they even step foot on your site entirely based on your website. The statistics speak for themselves. And while it may be a harsh reality, you’ll lose prospects if your website doesn’t meet their standards.

It’s time to invest in your website the way you would invest in a model home or printing collateral. Treating your website as the heart of an integrated marketing plan is your best bet.

A strong website is responsive with rich content. Responsive design is an increasingly popular (and recommended) approach that provides visitors with an optimal viewing experience across a wide range of devices (mobile, tablet and desktop). Going responsive should be your goal this year – not only to provide your users with a positive experience, but also to get on Google’s good side. Google rewards responsive/mobile-friendly sites with higher organic search rankings.

Believe it or not, Millennials are not the only ones on the go. Yes, my cell phone may be within arm’s reach of me at all times. But that’s true of baby boomers, too!

88% of baby boomers have a cell phone. At the same token, 37% of those aged 50-64 own a tablet – and that number is rising fast. Developing a mobile strategy through responsive design allows you to get ahead of your baby boomer audience, stay on the digital curve, and most importantly, be visible.

Pew-US-Tablet-Adoption-Rates-in-Jan-2014-Jan2014

Website upgrades are a solid investment, one that will absolutely pay off. Being visible online to your prospects is increasingly becoming the only way to reach them.

But what’s the one thing your brand can give boomer homebuyers that they can’t search for on Google? We’ll explore that in our next post.

 

RELATED: Part 1, Playing the Best Hand to Reach Your Audience

Playing the Best Hand to Reach Your Audience

Wednesday, February 4th, 2015

A Millennial’s Perspective on Marketing to Boomers

In the spirit of gambling…
When someone considers a 24-year-old heading to Las Vegas, I’m willing to bet they don’t think she’s there to learn about marketing to boomers.

Crowds at International Builders' Show, 2015

Source: International Builders’ Show, 2015

Believe it or not, that’s just what I got to do two weeks ago at the International Builders’ Show. Me and 125,000 builders, marketers, designers and more hit the Las Vegas Convention Center – all 3.2 million square feet of it – to kick off 2015. There were opportunities to learn new trends, share expert advice and, most importantly, tap creative and innovative ideas to put into play this year.

While I’m not much of a gambler, Vegas did teach me some tricks to play my cards right when marketing to not only the 50+ audience, but also homebuyers of any age.

For the next few days, I’ll be sharing insights from Las Vegas that can help you “win” with baby boomer homebuyers.

Lucky Number 8

Did you know that the average attention span now is only 8 seconds? That’s less than the attention span of a goldfish. While I didn’t even know that goldfish had attention spans, it brings to light a critical issue in marketing to your audience.

You now have less time than it took Usain Bolt to break a world record to introduce and reinforce your brand so that people even take a second look.

How do you do this?

Color Emotion Guide - Source: The Logo Company

Source: The Logo Company

1) First off, people are visual. The use of color in your strategy can convey so much in so little time. The Color Emotion Guide shows consumers’ responses to certain colors. What does your logo say about you?

While I am a millennial myself, understanding the 50+ audience should influence your strategy regarding color and design. As you age, eyes and comfort levels change. Calm tones of blue, green and purple are the most appealing, while serif fonts are most readable.

2) The use of bold and eye-catching imagery is another way to convey emotion quickly. (Download our whitepaper “15 Design Tips for the Mature Consumer” to learn more about photography and color use with baby boomers.)

3) Beyond that, phrasing is key. With digital marketing taking precedence, you now have even less space and less time to deliver messages.

To get lucky in 8 seconds or less, don’t try to say everything at once. Focus on what makes you different – whether that’s your location, your offerings, your lifestyle, etc. What makes you special enough for a prospect to want to learn more?

Keep it short so that after 8 seconds, they head to your website. That is where you want them to dig deeper…

And where we’ll focus tomorrow’s post.

Mature Marketing Links of the Week: Giving and Graying

Monday, January 19th, 2015

Happy Monday!  Before we jump into the mature marketing stories of the past week that generated the greatest amount of interest around the water cooler, we pause to honor Martin Luther King, Jr on this holiday Monday.  His words were inspiring and his efforts so important in shaping the future for us all.

I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. That is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant. – Martin Luther King, Jr.

MOST CLICKED: A majority of individuals were intrigued by a recent Forbes article detailing the graying of America.  Entitled “Aging America: The U.S. Cities Going Gray The Fastest”, the article highlights research into what cities not only contain the largest concentrations of those 65+, but cities that have seen the largest gains in this segment over the last 3 years.

America's Grayest CitiesSome key findings include:

* The overall senior population has increased 29% since 2000, compared to the general growth of population at just 12% since 2000.

* Florida continues to have the highest concentration of seniors, with the Tampa-St. Petersburg area having the largest in-state percentage.

* Pittsburgh has the second largest concentration with 18% of the population over 65.

* Those cities with the lowest concentration of seniors: Salt Lake City, Houston and Dallas-Fort Worth.

The report also examined cities that have seen the largest increases in this part of the population. However, it first noted that in many cases the reason for the increases are partially based on the fact that many actually relocated when they were younger, and have simply decided to remain in their current towns. So who is graying the fastest?  According to research the top locations include Atlanta, Raleigh and Austin.  And, the article noted, the suburb areas of these and other locations are seeing the largest gains with many moving away from the big cities.  For marketers targeting mature consumers, knowing the demographics of your regions is key to ensuring your messaging is aligned with reality.

Read the full article.

MOST SHARED: The Chronicle of Philanthropy recently released what it says are “6 Trends to Watch in 2015″. Overall, the article noted that charitable giving in 2015 is predicted to exceed pre-recession highs, potentially making it a record year for many organizations.

Despite stock-market volatility and weaknesses in the global economy, experts say we’re headed for another year of increased giving, thanks in part to an acceleration in the generational transfer of family wealth.

Top trend predictions include:

1. Nonprofits and foundations will continue to see a changing of the guard in leadership, with many baby boomers stepping down from key roles, opening doors for Gen X to take charge.

2. Many nonprofits are helping people raise larger amount of money and generate more exposure to their efforts by providing how-to inspirations.  One example was a recent program by The World Wildlife Fund which encouraged supporters to turn milestones such as birthdays and events into fundraising opportunities.

Discover more trends when you read the complete article.

 

31% of all Seniors are on Facebook, Finds Pew Research Center

Wednesday, January 14th, 2015

The holidays were very good to me this year, and it appears the gifts keep coming. The Pew Research Internet Project has released its annual look at social media site usage. New this new year? More seniors than ever using social networks, specifically Facebook.

Chart - Social network site use by age

When we look at the 50-64 year old age group, we see the biggest gainer among the social networks was Pinterest. 14% of online Baby Boomers were pinning in 2013; 27% of online Boomers were using the platform in 2014.

Specific to seniors 65 years or older … Maeve Duggan and the other authors of this Pew report write:

“For the first time, more than half of all online adults 65 and older (56%) use Facebook. This represents 31% of all seniors.”

LinkedIn saw a big uptick from this group, reflecting the influx of Boomers into the “senior” category. Pinterest also is gaining in popularity with older adults, as the table below shows.

Table - use of Facebook LinkedIn Pinterest by Boomers and Seniors - 2015

To access Pew’s report: http://pewrsr.ch/17HC1Op

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