“What’s in a name? that which we call a rose / By any other name would smell as sweet …”
– William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, Act II, Scene II
What’s in a name? When it comes to mature marketing, a great deal. Tell an 80 year old that their cohort is officially the Silent Generation and be prepared for a not-so-silent retort. Remind a 40-year-old that Gen X became a popular term for their cohort because elders felt these young folks stood for nothing and well … You are guaranteed to hear something!
Working with our clients, the team at Creating Results sometimes struggles to find just the right balance, just the right words. One client wanted to strike the word “retirement” from their website, feeling that retirement had been completely re-defined. But a look at their webstats showed the highest conversions came from organic searchers using that word. Another hates the word “senior,” yet a significant portion source of leads is from a printed magazine with “Senior” in its title.
This theme of language came up when prepping our recap of the links that captured the attention of mature marketing pros last week. Most clicked?
* Luzerne County (PA) renames senior centers as “active adult centers” to attract baby boomers:
Photo credit: timesleader.com
“County officials first zeroed in on the need to change the stereotype of senior centers for incoming boomers several years ago, which led to the 2007 introduction of salad bars as an alternative to hot meals on center luncheon menus.
While many boomers are not ready to spend hours at their local center, the changes are meant to warm them up to the center concept, [Aging Director Trula] Hollywood said.
‘We want to give them a chance to see it’s not their vision of what a senior center is,’ she said.”
Read about this new vision at http://ow.ly/n3K9I
* Confessions of a senior center snob. Ronni Bennett writes
“Throughout my adulthood, when my ignorance of senior centers was total, they conjured never-ending bingo games in my mind, daycare for old people who hadn’t the wit about them for anything more challenging … “
Read what changed Ronni’s mind at http://ow.ly/mU62g
Everything with the label “senior” seems to be getting the once-over.
* Seniors Picky Over What They Are Called, reports MediaPost. A survey by SeniorMarketing.com of 1114 people gauged responses to words commonly used to describe mature consumers.
“Most respondents (71%) were comfortable with the term ‘Baby Boomer,’ but opinions were evenly split over the term ‘senior,’ with only 49% approving … Perhaps most surprisingly, 44.2% agreed that the terms ‘senior living’ and ‘retirement community’ are outdated. However ‘retirement community’ only had a 13% negative association versus ‘retirement home,’ which had a 48% negative association.”
The folks conducting the survey offered no alternatives, however.
Read the article: http://bit.ly/1dPHazE
A little digging shows we have a disconnect between what language people SAY they like and what language they actually USE. Google’s keyword tool shows us that senior and retirement (what SeniorMarketing.com’s Kevin Williams calls the “wrong terms”) trump the industry-preferred alternatives.
What’s not on the most-searched-for list? “Retirement community.” But “retirement home” and “senior living” are pulling in eyeballs and visitors.
For those of you crying foul because I didn’t use “baby boomer,” here ya go:
The dash means not enough monthly searches for “baby boomer apartment” for Google to register. We got the same results with “residence,” another industry-preferred term.
I’m certainly not saying we shouldn’t try to anticipate changing language or even accelerate those changes. Words are incredibly powerful. I’m simply noting that we shouldn’t rush to deny our culture and refuse the name of senior. Smart marketers should consider all tools/perspectives possible when choosing the words and names that lead to sweet-smelling senior success.
Have some choice words to share about this post? Please use the comments section below.