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This Veteran’s Day, there are an estimated 23.2 million men and women who have served in the American Armed Forces. 9.2 million are over the age of 65 (the Silent and Greatest generations and their elders). As we recognize those who have given years (and lives) in service, marketers can and should consider the veteran population as a distinct subgroup of older consumers. Mature marketing experts Creating Results offers five facts and marketing insights into the “niche” of elder veterans.

What does Missouri have to do with your marketing plans?  If you’re challenging your team to aim for the sky in 2010, we recommend you start by grounding yourselves in Missouri. It’s the “show me” state, and any planning should start with an understanding of how to show consumers (especially mature, Baby Boomers and beyond) that your product/service will deliver…

Elderhostel - the non-profit organization that has given hundreds of thousands of seniors educational/travel experiences - is changing its name and opening its tours to anyone over 21 years of age. Participation in programs has been dropping. Baby Boomers weren't joining their tours.  Many of their most loyal travelers (Silent Generation and older) are becoming too frail to participate fully. Will Exploritas'…

Two new sources of data, statistics and insight into how the current economic conditions are affecting mature consumers.  First, the Pew Research Center finds that the majority of 65+ers (Silent Generation members) keep working because they want to and that older workers are happier on the job than younger workers.   However, as the AARP Economic Team notes in a July…

Part 2 of a series on using Social Media to market to Boomers and beyond.

PART 2: BABY BOOMERS, SENIORS AND TWITTER

The media appears to have fallen in love with Twitter (heck, even my 97-year-old Nana has heard of Twitter by now). Who’s on Twitter? The New York Times reports that younger Boomers are fueling Twitter’s growth, while Sysomos data suggests 81% of all Twitter users are 29 or younger.  How important is Twitter for marketing to Baby Boomers and seniors?

Paul Briand of the Examiner notes “Baby Boomers 55 to 64 are Twitter users on a slightly lower level, but at a greater frequency than users aged 18 to 24. That’s because Twitter has become less of a social network and more of a marketing/social network.” We see that as in keeping with this cohort’s lifestage; it’s a time in their lives when they are focused on both social and vocational development.

The New York Times points out mature consumers and technology adoption are not actually strange bedfellows.

As the Web grows up, so do its users, and for many analysts, Twitter’s success represents a new model for Internet success. The notion that children are essential to a new technology’s success has proved to be largely a myth.

Adults have driven the growth of many perennially popular Web services. YouTube attracted young adults and then senior citizens before teenagers piled on. Blogger’s early user base was adults and LinkedIn has built a successful social network with professionals as its target.

At Creating Results, the jury’s still out on Twitter’s effectiveness as a business engine for effectively motivating seniors and Boomers to buy.

Curious about the role social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn can play in your Boomer marketing programs?  When deciding where to budget your dollars and effort to reach mature consumers, consider the research/statistics.  Also, consider the similarities between the offline and online behavior of Baby Boomers and beyond. 

“Businesses and mature consumers often approach challenges and decision-making in a similar fashion – cautiously,” we wrote in our summer newsletter.  As Creating Results works with clients on comprehensive internet marketing strategies, we recommend acting like the Boomers and Silent Generation members we target:  go slowly and be choosy.

Over the next few posts, we’ll be sharing stats on how Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and/or niche sites are used by mature (40+) consumers, along with some generational marketing insights to help your organization reach its goals. 

PART 1:  SOCIAL NETWORKING USE BY GENERATION 

eMarketer statistics identify which social networking sites are used by Baby Boomers, WWII, and Generations X, Y and Z:

Networking Sites Used in US by Generation.eMarketer 

(Where are the Silents? Anderson Analytics either lumped the roughly 59 million people born between 1925 and 1942 in with the WWII generation or this cohort is very, very quiet indeed.)

The reasons for joining a social network are quite similar across the generations, per eMarketer:

Golden Gateway Financial released some sobering news last month:  the number of older Americans who will delay retirement past age 70 has doubled, thanks to today's economic challenges.  The report also states that half of all seniors' net worth has decreased by 10 to 30 percent. The problem is that time is not on the side of older workers who are…

"It's getting awfully tricky to advertise to this audience."  So says Mark Dolliver in an AdWeek article that offers insights into how to reach 65+ consumers.  The author does a nice job of sharing and explaining recent research.  Todd Harff is among the experts he spoke to for perspective and strategies. For Sandra Timmermann, executive director of the MetLife Mature Market Institute,…

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