Want to really get inside Boomers’ heads and win their hearts? Brain health may be the key.
According to our recent research, 95% of Boomers say that mental acuity is a top health concern, yet only 35% believe they have the resources necessary to stay mentally healthy. The resulting gap provides an excellent opportunity for marketers to connect with this desirable demographic.
While medical science and healthier lifestyle choices are adding years to our lives, Boomers are beginning to understand a potential downside. That is, our brains may give out before our bodies do. For a generation that prides itself on its ability to think for itself, this is a distressing notion—one that becomes all the more real as many watch their parents suffer the debilitating effects of dementia.
Through personal experience or word of mouth, Boomers find themselves on high alert and are taking action. Online brain training sites such as Posit Science’s Brain HQ and Lumosity have attracted more than 40 million paid users, many of whom are age 50+.
The most common form of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease, which is the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States. In fact, one in eight adults age 65 or older has Alzheimer’s, as do roughly half of those 85 and older. Boomer aging is expected to increase cases by 30% by the year 2030, to nearly 7 million. It’s no wonder the Alzheimer’s Association has stepped up efforts to find a cure, having launched several fund-raising TV spots this year encouraging Americans to contribute money and participate in fund-raising walks.
While individual citizens are being asked to do their part, there’s an opportunity—and a desperate need—for corporate America to get on board. While deaths from other major diseases—HIV, stroke, heart disease, and prostate cancer—all declined from 2000 to 2008, deaths from Alzheimer’s rose 66%.
However savvy Boomers are as consumers, they still rely on marketers’ assistance to navigate new life stage-related obstacles and opportunities. The good news, from a marketing perspective, is that there are numerous ways companies can be there for Boomers. Consider the following three:
1. Raise money. Make financial contributions, launch fundraising efforts, or donate a portion of sales to various brain health-related organizations.
2. Provide education. Provide opportunities for Boomers need to learn about forms of dementia, risks, symptoms, diagnosis, long-term care options, treatment, support services, and specifics on caregiving.
3. Empower consumers. Provide products, services and opportunities that promote specific behaviors that are recommended to potentially delay or prevent dementia. These behaviors include staying mentally stimulated (e.g., continuing to work, doing puzzles, learning a language); staying physically active (e.g., joining a gym, doing household chores, playing sports); staying socially engaged (e.g., joining social/hobby groups, taking group travel, volunteering); and maintaining a healthy diet (one rich in fish, nuts, chicken, avocados, whole grains, anything high in Omega 3 or low in fat).
Companies offering products and services that enable or encourage these behaviors will win favor among Boomers, while other companies can establish partnerships and sponsorships to participate.
There is no better time to get involved in fighting brain disease and promoting brain health. Boomer awareness is high, but brain disease has yet to strike members of this generation in a big way. Taking this journey alongside Boomers gives companies the opportunity to strike a deep emotional chord and become invaluable partners in their lives.
What better way to stay top-of-mind?