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In 2013, we blogged about smartphone and tablet usage in the United States by age and gender. In those five years, a lot has changed: A mobile-first focus for websites, better information access, new social media apps, enhanced online shopping and more. Here's an updated look at the current landscape of mobile device ownership and usage, especially among older adults.…

Good morning! Each Monday we recap the top activity on our social channels the previous week -- which links / resources got the most clicks, likes, shares, etc. on Twitter, Google Plus, LinkedIn and Facebook. Here are three items that caught the attention of mature marketing professionals.

1. MOST SHARED: Does it "pay to be gray"? Is there a "silver lining" to recent data showing the U.S. middle class is disappearing?

The Pew Research Center has released new study that shows that middle class Americans are "falling behind relative to upper income adults," as co-author Richard Fry states. However, "The biggest winners since 1971 are people 65 and older."

Many moons ago when Creating Results began to focus exclusively on marketing to boomers and seniors there was a "basic rule" for choosing images: Pick photos that showed people 10 to 15 years younger than the age you were targeting. Why? Because, "they" said, that's how people saw themselves.

Literature and movies have long played with the idea of people's perceptions of themselves as different from reality. Those perceptions extend to the labels we choose to accept or reject for our tribes and ourselves. A new study from Pew Research gives insights into how Millennials, Gen X, Boomers and Silent Generation members feel about their generational labels.

New data shows more Millennials living with their parents, a rise in multigenerational housing.

I remember graduating from college in 1992. I had a degree from an excellent college, a decent GPA, a pretty strong track record of leadership and work while an undergraduate, and what seemed like no prospects for a job. Why? The early 1990s Recession.

So, what to do? I moved back home to Mom. Then I applied my most marketable skill (not the degree, no, but the 90-words-a-minute I could type) and got a job as a temporary secretary for a few months until I could afford to move out. A few months of multigenerational living with 60ish Mom and my 80-year-old Nana was more than enough for me.

With that context in mind ... This week's top mature marketing links could be a flashback for readers who are fellow Gen Xers or a present pain point for readers who are Boomers.

1. MOST SHARED: Boomerang kids are staying put with Mom and Dad. Is this the "new normal"? That's what Next Avenue's Sue Campbell asked after reading the latest Pew Research.

Yesterday we shared four facts from a new Pew Research Center report on technology adoption by older people, specifically Americans over the age of 65. It was a story of Internet haves and have nots, as younger, more affluent seniors dive into the web while older, lower-income elders remain disconnected. Overall, though, there has been significant, positive movement when it…

Only 6 days until LeadingAge Annual Meeting in Denver! Looking forward to sharing insights into older consumers at our booth, #1443. In the meantime, here are the resources and links which got the most attention in the past week from those marketing to baby boomers and seniors. 1. MOST CLICKED: (Okay, you guys are trying to get me in trouble,…

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.

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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.

Wrapping up our short takes from new Pew Research Center data, we turn to religion.  Pew's study says that Millennials are not as religious as the four elder cohorts - Gen X, Baby Boom, and generations Silent and Greatest.

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Pew points to people's natural “tendency to place greater emphasis on religion as they age" but notes that - when you look at how the generations felt when they were of similar ages (18-29 years old), Millennials are more like Baby Boomers than Gen X.
"[Y]oung people today look very much like Baby Boomers did at a similar point in their life cycle; in a 1978 Gallup poll, 39% of Boomers said religion was very important to them."
We are reminded that marketing to Boomers or any other generation for that matter) cannot be based on a cohort's label alone.  It's what what Dick Stroud once called the "the blindingly obvious – lifestyle and lifestage trumps age."

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