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Posts By Todd Harff

“I'm about to just give you all of my money And all I'm asking, hey, is a little respect” (Otis Redding in 1965. Made popular by Aretha Franklin in 1967.)

Be honest.

Looking at all of your marketing initiatives, is your team truly respecting people?

Mature consumers are experienced buyers and they want to give someone a whole lot of money. Since Baby Boomers and seniors value respect, make emotional decisions and hate BS, they do business with organizations that they trust and feel good about.

If you want their money, challenge your organization to be more personal and demonstrate R-E-S-P-E-C-T in every aspect of your 2017 Marketing Plan.

This week I am writing from the International Builders' Show in Las Vegas. I'm particularly excited because during this year's conference I will be part of a panel of real estate industry suppliers discussing housing for Baby Boomers and Millennials.

To read some of the headlines, you’d think these weren’t only two generations, but two different species. But we aim to reveal similarities that could lead builders and developers to greater success in marketing to both groups. On Thursday, January 21st, I'll be addressing this topic with experts from KEPHART, an architecture and land planning firm, and Market Perspectives, a real estate research firm.

Diversity Driven

Boomers have more complex household structures than any prior generation ...

One thing we love about marketing senior living is the chance to collaborate with organizations that help people live rewarding, meaningful and engaging lives. But do most organizations genuinely believe this is possible regardless of age and health challenges? Do their residents and team members share these beliefs? And do the organization’s words and deeds support a transformative idea of…

The Need for Marketing Strategy for Mid-Sized Organizations We live in a faced-paced world with incredible changes every day. While there has always been change, never before has so much changed so quickly. Entire industries are being rendered obsolete as others (which no one had even thought of two years ago) are being valued at billions of dollars. Opportunties are endless. Resources…

I recently received an S.O.S. from a former active adult community client thinking of starting a blog as part of their online marketing to 50+ (baby boomer and senior) home buyers. "I've been charged by the big boss to start blogging as a way to connect with older buyers. But I'm not sure of where - or even if -…

Using social media as part of your marketing program? Most likely you are. May 2011 research from Brian Solis revealed that two-thirds of marketers are conducting social media advertising activities. More and more retirement communities and other organizations targeting baby boomers and seniors are jumping on the social media bandwagon each day. What doesn’t seem to vary is the struggle…

Part 1 of a series on market research to better understand - and motivate - baby boomers and seniors. Today’s boomers and seniors are telling marketers what works – and what doesn’t – in motivating them to buy a product, sign up for a list, join a club or take other actions. You just have to know what to ask and how to listen. Unfortunately, many organizations working to attract or motivate older adults aren’t taking advantage of new, digital research methods. Why? I addressed three main reasons in my presentation: * Misconception: seniors and boomers are not online or expressing their opinions online * Fear: digital research requires costly, specialized tools or platforms * Cloudy vision: not seeing the gold to be found in the marketing platforms and services already in use All this week I’ll challenge the obstacles noted above. Posts will share actionable tips for following your customer’s lead. I’ll include lists and links to resources available to organizations of all sizes.

AdAge this week looked at the "accelerating trend of multigenerational households" and what it might mean for marketing to Baby Boomers, their parents and their adult children.  The evolution of multigenerational households already has fundamentally changed the nature of active adult communities (50+ age-qualified).  If this trend continues, it will call into question the viability of age qualified communities as we know them today. But first, some context and a walk down memory lane.

Rising Numbers of Multigenerational Households

As AdAge notes,
Today 49 million Americans -- more than one in six people in the U.S. -- live in households with three or more generations, according to the Pew Research Center. The percentage is even higher for age groups 25-to-34 and 65 and older, where one in five, or 20%, live in these extended families.


While much of the increase in multigenerational households can be attributed to the recession, there is also an increased appreciation for the value of family. I grew up with my grandmothers living with us for a combined 10 years.  I know how much I benefited from their involvement in my life. From playing games ... to hearing the same stories again and again ... to having people who had the time and desire to focus all their energies on a child ... to learning to be patient and help my elders ... Growing up in a multigenerational household was a gift.

A Trend Already Impacting Age-Qualified Communities

Creating Results has marketed 52 active adult and age-qualified communities in 12 states over the course of 10+ years.  At first the communities were marketed to empty nesters and the vast majority of people who lived in the community were in their 50-70s (Baby Boomers and Silent Generation). Gradually, we began to see parents moving in with their adult children. These moves were prior to the economic downturn and were motivated by a desire to be with family.