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This round-up of links could be called the “Meaningful Monday Edition.” There’s a strong thread running through the resources and articles that earned the attention of mature marketing pros last week.

Photo Credit: Chicago Tribune
1. MOST CLICKED: Last week’s post about the meaning of words like “mature” when discussing the members of social networking platforms. Who exactly IS an “older consumer?”

Read the post:

RELATED: A thought-provoking article that earned a few clicks and sparked a vibrant LinkedIn discussion. “I’m Not Your Consumer,” proclaimed Douglas Van Praet. But his concern with the term goes far beyond concepts of universal language.

“Whenever I hear the word “consumer,” a term unavoidable in marketing, a part of me winces. The label is counterproductive and misguided, suggesting hubris by putting corporate interests over customer concerns. The worst offense is that it presupposes a response you haven’t earned yet. Their purpose is not to consume your product!

Yet this label frames market research, with an emphasis on sales and usage, in other words, the bottom line, market share, or ROI. The ultimate goal is profitability, not helping people better themselves.”

Van Praet is arguing that the purpose of market research should be to uncover unconscious intentions, our core, our essence. Then, the advertising based on this research would not only be more relevant, it would generate stronger sales. As he puts it, the resulting marketing would have “recognized that our purpose as people is to lead better lives, not to consume their products.”

Read the FastCompany article: (you might have to scroll down past the black/white checkerboard)

Read a fascinating conversation triggered by my sharing that article in a LinkedIn group:

2. MOST SHARED:  Two inspiring stories of older adults who have pursued and achieved lives of meaning in their later years.

Photo Credit: Boston Globe

A 93 year old nun who in her late 70s was asked to take on a new role: as chaplain of a college basketball team. The way Sister Jean (pictured above) shepherds her flock of young men … We should all be so blessed.

Fred Butler (left) is a 106 year old man for whom education meant the most — yet he had to drop out of high school to support his family. Last week, he earned his diploma.

Also of note:

* What does “retirement” now mean? Encore Careers’ Marc Freedman writes it should mean a vision of a stage of life in which we are productive and following our dreams.

* What does “buying American” mean? Years ago when Creating Results started focusing on older consumers people, the commonly held belief was that it meant a great deal to the Silent Generation, who in their childhoold had rolled socks for the GIs and planted Victory Gardens, but that it would not be a selling point for the Baby Boomers, a large number of whom who experienced anger and resentment over the Vietnam War and Watergate and …

However, a new Harris poll shows that the Boomers are the most influenced by an American label. For all categories of goods — from washing machines to cars to smartphones — Baby Boomers (age 48 to 66) were most likely to say “buying American” was very important/important. 67+ seniors were just behind them in saying this aspect influences their purchase decisions. Residents of rural areas and women are also more likely to rate it as very important.


What does this mean for your marketing? Please share your thought below.


About The Author

Erin Read

For nearly 13 years, Erin Read spearheaded integrated and digital marketing programs for Creating Results' clients. She directed and co-authored four national studies/eBooks (Photo Finish and three editions of Social, Silver Surfers) and served as the principal blogger for Mature Marketing Matters. Now a consultant to the agency, Erin is leveraging her expertise in marketing to baby boomers and seniors while tackling new challenges. Find her on LinkedIn .