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Marketing and Motivating Boomers and Beyond

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Have Baby Boomer, Will Travel

Tuesday, May 5th, 2015

How to Effectively Leverage The Web To Attract Baby Boomers

According to a recent finding by Gallup, 26% of baby boomers are spending more on travel.  Quirk’s Marketing Research highlighted a study examining buying behaviors, and found that 90% of boomers are making their trBaby Boomers and Spending from Gallopavel purchases online.

Boomers and seniors are a perfect target market for travel, as they have the most disposable income and time. But are our websites firing on all cylinders to effectively capture this cohort and lead them to purchase? Creating Results’ Social, Silver Surfers research uncovered a number of website “pet peeves” that serve as top turn-offs for boomers and beyond.  Tops on the list of things to avoid: poor navigation and difficult to locate contact information.

Here are some tips for what you can do to help your travel website capture the boomer travel bookers:
*  Make it EASY - integrate all the tools they will need to book a complete trip- from room reservations to trip planners and highlight the availability of these tools so visitors use (and value) them.
*  Make it FRIENDLY - 67% of our mature respondents to Social, Silver Surfers noted a desire to have printer-friendly pages.
*  Make it ENGAGING – It should be fun for site visitors to discover the many facets of your city, town or attraction. Ultimately, excitement leads to action, so make it vibrant in both look and content.

Discover how Creating Results helped position one local Convention & Visitors Bureau digitally, leading to more traffic and more visitation.  Click here to read the case study.

RELATED:
Social, Silver Surfers
Traveling Baby Boomer Pet Peeves

Mature Marketing Links of the Week: The Power of Technology

Monday, March 23rd, 2015

Happy Monday!  This week our mature marketing stories of interest focus on technology—the power it provides for connecting with family and taking charge of our own health.  Have something to share? We’d love to hear from you.

MOST CLICKED:  The most clicked mature marketing story of the week was a blog post by one of our favorites, Chuck Nyren.  In the post Chuck chronicled his adventures in the hospital after a fainting spell, sharing his interactions with doctors, not-yet-doctors and the like.  After his “team” tossed around a number of likely reasons for his fainting, Chuck took the matter in his own hands and searched his symptoms online.

Early next morning. I grab my smartphone and search for orthostatic hypotension, find out there’s a good chance certain prescription drugs cause it, I search for a medication I take right before bed. Bingo. Recent studies link fainting to the med. If there’s a culprit, that’s the culprit.

While self-diagnosis (especially if you’re not a doctor) isn’t encouraged, many utilize online searches for this very need.  For marketers, knowing how your senior target uses technology (in real-time) is important when developing an integrated marketing strategy. Make sure you have a digital presence and the information you provide is easily digestible through a variety of platforms.

Read the full blog post.

MOST SHARED: According to a recent eMarketer article, mature consumers aren’t rejecting newer technology, they are Grandparent technologyembracing it.  The article highlighted findings of digital methods used for communicating with grandchildren.  What they found is that 54% owned a smartphone and 46% a tablet, with the most popular communication avenues including email, text and video conferencing.

Grandparents acknowledged that digital tools had reshaped the frequency and method of communicating with younger generations. Among this group, nearly half said that technology gave them the ability to communicate more with their grandchildren than they did with their own grandparents, and one-fifth even spent more time communicating with their grandchildren online than offline.

Creating Results’ Social, Silver Surfers research reinforces this trend of technology usage.  In fact, we found that email is the leading social tool among boomers and seniors.  While traditional print and online avenues are important, don’t be afraid to consider the possibilities for reaching your audience in a variety of digital methods.

RELATED: What older people do online infographic

Senior Living Online Reviews – Don’t Miss The Boat

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

It wasn’t too long ago when the only attention paid to online reviews of senior living communities was making sure only the positive comments saw the light of day.

A recent article within Senior Housing News confirmed that if you’re not thinking about online reviews you’re missing the boat.  The article included insights from a digital marketing survey conducted by Software Advice regarding seniors and their views/reliance on peer reviews when choosing an assisted living community.

“Good online reviews can be seen as marketing tools to attract high-paying residents,” says Software Advice. “Consumers are not only using reviews in the selection process—they are incorporating reviews significantly in their budgeting decisions, too.”

The article goes on to detail how a negative review could have far-reaching repercussions, as it could discourage other mature consumers from even considering your community.

We couldn’t agree more. In fact, when conducting our Social, Silver Surfers researcTop sharing toolsh, here is what we heard about online reviews:

*  User reviews were used by half of all Baby Boomers and 4 in 10 Silent Generation seniors. In fact, the percentage of people over 40 who used these reviews doubled in just three years.

*  Among those who had moved to a senior living or active adult community, more than a third had used online directories in their move decision. Most of these directories include star ratings or other reviews.

Perception is reality and online reviews do matter. The fact of the matter is, as people trust organizations less and peers more, reviews can lend credibility to your marketing claims.

Senior living organizations should employ a strategic approach to the capturing of insights from happy residents online. Here are three ways to make sure you not only capture reviews, but glowing ones at that.

  1. New resident?  Include a request to complete a review of the community online as a part of their welcome experience.
  2. Incorporate testimonials and reviews within your website/social media for further credibility. Senior living community Fairing Way created a “Neighbor’s Corner” that slides positive testimonials into engaging future resident profiles.FW-WEB-NeighborsCorner-2013.sm
  3. Ratings matter—encourage satisfied residents to give you positive rankings within directory listings sites.

Does your organization consider online listing rankings as a part of your marketing strategy?  How do you encourage participation?  We’d love to hear your thoughts- just share in the comments below.

Mature Marketing Links of the Week: Renter Stats and Effective Landing Pages

Monday, February 2nd, 2015

Happy Groundhog Day!  Word is that Phil saw his shadow, meaning 6 more weeks of winter. Here’s to spring… it can’t get here soon enough!

Now, let’s explore the mature marketing stories of the past week that had people talking and influenced marketers.  Have something to share?  We’d love your comments and look forward to hearing from you.

Residential lifestyle preference surveyMOST SHARED: Renter lifestyle preferences were front and center in a recent survey conducted by Multifamily Executive. More than 27,000 individuals of all ages were surveyed to identify preferences that shape their dream apartment living scenario.  Some key insights from the survey:

*  51% desire to buy a house within the next 5 years, which 25% indicate they are renters by choice (25% of boomers indicating their desire to rent and 6% of silents)

*  Overwhelmingly, respondents expressed that their dream community needs to provide a variety of options for staying fit and active.

*  47% of boomer renters indicate they go out on the weekends, and the proximity to entertainment, dining and retail is important to them.

*  While less is more for the younger cohorts, 29% of boomers and 26% of silents indicated a need for ample storage space within their apartments.

For mature marketers targeting boomer and senior renters, ensuring your communities not only include but tout these desired lifestyle options is key in motivating prospective renters.

Read more of the survey here.

MOST CLICKED:   SurveyGizmo’s recent checklist for creating successful landing pages generated a great deal of interest (and clicks) over the last week.  The post identified 9 aspects of a landing page that it notes as mission critical to success.  We couldn’t agree more with the importance of this vehicle for driving awareness and, most importantly, lead conversions.  Tips in the post included:

*  Ensuring the content makes sense.

* Making sure it answers the “What’s In It for Me” question for visitors.

*  Incorporating keywords to ensure it is fully optimized for search engines.

Discover more tips for landing pages when you read the full story.

Mature Marketing Links of the Week- Stuffing the Stockings

Monday, December 22nd, 2014

Happy Monday!   We’re mixing things up this week, with Santa, Mrs. Claus and the reindeer providing the mature marketing news and insights of the week.  We’ve included links to Creating Results’ holiday themed content of years past which are filled with fun and festive insights on boomers and beyond.

And we’re in the giving mood.  If you share a mature marketing idea/insight or simply comment below, we’ll enter you to win a copy of our Social, Silver Surfers eBook.

Enjoy and happy holidays!

Mrs. Claus’ Secrets Exposed:  Discover boomer and senior secrets as we explore senior tidbits and secrets from the Mrs. herself.  Click here for an infographic chalk-full of senior insights from Mrs. Claus’ perspective.

Santa’s Senior Secrets:  By some accounts, Santa Claus is now 2014 years old. By others, he’s around 200. Either way, he’s definitely our favorite senior .  Click here for secrets from the jolly man in red.

Open the Door to A Happy Holidays: Visit this interactive page each day leading up to New Year’s to discover a new holiday surprise.  Click here to explore our holiday doors.

CTA-CreatingResults_HappyHolidays2014

 

Mature Marketing Links of the Week: Shopping and Email

Monday, December 1st, 2014

Happy Cyber Monday!

Let’s jump right into the mature marketing stories that had people clicking and sharing.  This week we look at the holiday shopping habits of boomers and how to stick out in the inbox.  Have something to share?  Please be sure to add it to the comment section.

MOST CLICKED:  The holiday season is a time to gather with friends and family AND… for shopping.  A PunchTab report exploring shopping trends was of great interest this past week. More than 1,100 were asked to share how they will approach their shopping this holiday season.

Key findings of the report included:

* Mature consumers plan ahead, with 34% reporting their shopping begins in November and 22% starting even earlier.

* 70% of seniors do not plan on using social media channels for their purchases.

* Smartphones are increasingly important when shopping, with 35% indicating they plan on using (though boomers and beyond responded with a slightly lower percentage than millennials).

Read the full article here.

MOST SHARED: This time of year it can be especially difficult for email marketers to rise above the swell of retail noise.  With holiday emails beginning earlier and earlier (I received my first email for holiday shopping in August), it takes more than just a strong subject line to stand out.

A recent WhatCounts article reminds us that when shaping our email messages, knowing how your prospects receive your message is just as important as knowing what to say. The article shared key takeaways from a webinar of related content, noting that much has changed in how people choose to open their email messaging.

While many elect to scale back their email campaigns through the holiday season to make way for this flood, the article recommended a few things that can be done to make sure those emails you are sending make it to their recipient:

Google Analytics, your email marketing software’s reporting, and so on – you can drill into device- and operating system-specific information and use that to see where your customers “are,” which is to say how they’re contacting you and engaging with your content.

As the year wraps up it will become even more challenging to compete, use of mobile friendly messaging templates and testing your emails within multiple browser versions will help ensure a positive experience for all. Read the full article here.

RELATED: Content Marketing: Conversations not Campaigns, Empathy not Email Blasts

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.

Three Take-Aways from Senior Living Conference PEAK 2014

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

Last week several members of the Creating Results team attended the LeadingAge PEAK Leadership Summit, held right in our backyard in Washington, DC. Sponsored by LeadingAge, an association of not-for-profit senior living organizations and aging services providers, PEAK brings together senior level members of communities to share new innovations taking place within their organizations.

I left the conference energized and wanted to share some of the key take-aways that can help you, as a senior living professional, advance your own mission and ensure you are creating an environment that is enticing for your target markets.

Key Senior Living Lessons Learned (and Applied)

The importance of innovation in keeping senior living communities and their services relevant and (most importantly) competitive was a common theme throughout PEAK 2014. As baby boomers enter retirement they are making their own rules on what senior living should be. Several sessions included real-world examples on how CCRCs (Continuing Care Retirement Communities) are preparing for baby boomers and differentiating themselves from the competition.

It’s important to ensure you are innovating for the right reasons and in a way that will appeal to your target market – not just for innovation sake.  Here are some key lessons and applications that were shared during the conference.

1. Forge new partnerships. Consider how to increase relevance, convenience and affordability by partnering with other aging service providers, hospitals, Accountable Care Organizations (ACO’s), universities and local businesses.

* There is strength in numbers. Could a partnership increase your purchasing power and lower costs? Or, help you respond to changes in payment models?
* Be interesting NOT selly. Can a partnership with a college or business give your community an opportunity to have a conversation, or be helpful to your prospective residents?

2.  RepositioninSenior Living North Hill Community Rebrandingg and new offerings. Continuing Care at Home (CCAH) is one way to complement existing service options and reach those who cannot afford residency. This allows a CCRC to use their existing strengths to serve the greater community, while building awareness of their services.

*Lisa McCracken from Zeigler used North Hill (a CCRC in Needham, Mass., and a client of ours) as an example of how to make a positive change to your organization’s future in the market. Read a case study about how North Hill repositioned themselves.
*What’s in a name? Mather LifeWays is encouraging LeadingAge members to reconsider the term CCRC to appeal to the next generation of older adults. Senior living organizations can participate in their “NameStorm” – information and tools to facilitate ideas can be found here: http://bit.ly/1eFQ4Uy3.

3.  Innovation is not limited to IT, and it’s ok to start small. Sometimes the best innovations in senior living start small and grow. Caution: Avoid trying too much at once as your efforts may get diluted. Focus on a few key goals or changes you wish to accomplish and start there.

* One of the first areas that LeadingAge members have invested in when looking at IT is actually their marketing.  They’ve incorporated tools like Customer Relationship Databases (CRM) as well as enhanced programming of their websites.  Several speakers categorized these innovations as their largest.  Is this true in your organization?  Are you planning to invest in change here?
*When implementing IT changes, the biggest leadership challenge is often getting team members excited about and used to the new technology.
*Leading an organization past the resistance to change has been done successfully by getting everyone believing in the common vision. Find the champions – or super users – who will “Inspire and Connect to Transform” (in the words of Masonicare’s Kelly Papa).

The insights don’t stop here… Stay tuned for insights in a future blog post for how you can implement and lead change.

Mature Marketing Links of the Week: Senior Housing and Creative Inspiration

Monday, March 24th, 2014

Happy Monday!  Let’s jump right into the mature marketing news and insights from the past week that had people talking, clicking and sharing.  Have other senior marketing news to share?  Please be sure to post it in the comment section.

1. MOST CLICKED

A 2012 survey identifying real estate trends reported that senior housing was  “among the most attSenior Housing Trendsractive property types for new investments.”  The research was shared in a recent Senior Housing News article, and noted that 1/5 of survey respondents indicated they had current investments in senior housing properties.

The sector has, according to NIC, “consistently remained among the respondents’ five most attractive property types” for new investment.

This is of no surprise as more and more baby boomers come of age and begin to look for communities that offer maintenance free living and amenity packages.  For marketers, knowing senior housing continues to be a focus for developers and how to best distinguish your community from the increasing competition will be key.

Learn more about the findings here.

2. MOST SHARED

As marketers, we’ve seen great success in launching new brands or initiatives by creating experiences with the marketing. Several people shared (and were inspired by) an Advertising Age article that identified what they felt are 15 of the most memorable experiential marketing campaigns. While each of the examples they noted took very different approaches, one thing that ties them together is that they were unique and engaging.  From transforming local gas stations for the premier of “Dallas”, to staging senior year football games between rival schools 15 years after the fact to virtual balconies on a cruise ship, these campaigns definitely inspire.

What experiential marketing are you doing that is relevant to your brand and helps it stand out to the mature consumer in an authentic way?  We’d love to learn about successful campaigns – please share within the comment section below.

Read the full article here.

Mature Marketing Links of the Week – Senior Happiness and the Power of Twitter

Monday, February 24th, 2014

Happy Monday! Let’s jump right into the mature marketing stories that had people talking last week.  Have something to share or add?  Please note in the comments below.

1. MOST CLICKED

Using Tailored Audiences to Drive Relevancy in TwitterThere was a lot of interest in a recent article by Shift Communications, which shared ideas for how to effectively leverage Twitter’s Tailored Audiences functionality.  Tailored Audiences was launched by Twitter in December of 2013 as a way for marketers to use tracking cookies to target subscribers who had visited their website.

The article highlighted new features which allow brands to expand their reach, including using  email databases, to identify additional brand enthusiasts within the Twitter realm.  One such example provided was to create an audience using email addresses to promote exclusive offers/news through Twitter.  Because of increased relevancy among this segment you can more effectively encourage a desired action.

Privacy concerns among boomers and seniors is one thing to keep in mind when leveraging Tailored Audiences.  While using this as a part of an integrated marketing strategy can be effective, remember to include reminders that people are receiving offers and news because of their previously expressed interest in your brand.

Read the full article here.

2. MOST SHARED

What makes us happy changes as we get older.  This is the focus of a New York Times article and associated study that drew a lot of interest this past week.  At the heart of the study was understanding why interests and desires tend to change as we age.

According to the article:

For young people trying to figure out who they want to become, extraordinary experiences help establish personal identities and are therefore prized, said Amit Bhattacharjee, the lead author of the study and a visiting assistant professor of marketing at Dartmouth College. As people become more settled, ordinary experiences become central to a sense of self and therefore more valued.

The article goes on to note that for seniors, the feeling that time is limited causes an increased desire to focus on the things (and relationships) that are most meaningful. For mature marketing professionals, knowing that time with loved ones is highly valued can help when positioning the unique selling points of a brand or organization.  Learn more about the study here.


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