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Jim Gilmartin

Member since October 2009 Contact Jim

Jim Gilmartin is President, of Oakbrook Terrace, IL based Coming of Age, ( 630-462-7100. Established in 1991, The full service Baby Boomer & Senior Marketing Agency specializes in helping clients to increase market share and profit in 50+ customer markets. Over the past 25 years, Jim has achieved national recognition for his expertise in sales and marketing to Baby Boomer and older customers. He is an experienced business development and marketing and sales professional and provides valuable insights into connecting more effectively and efficiently with Baby Boomer and older customers. The author of numerous articles on marketing and sales, Jim is a frequent keynote speaker at professional conferences. Jim earned his B.S. and Master’s Degree from the City University of New York. He can be reached at 630-462-7100 or

Articles by Jim All articles by Jim

  • To Connect With Baby Boomers, Shift Your Marketing Paradigms  in Engage:Boomers on 02/01/2016

    A paradigm is not a way of doing things; it is a way of thinking about things. A new marketing paradigm cannot be understood according to the rules of the paradigm it replaces. Says brain researcher Bernard Baars in "In the Theater of the Brain," "Our inability to report intentions and expectations simply reflect the fact that they are not qualitatively conscious. A more dramatic discovery is that motivations do not originate in the conscious mind. This discovery seriously undermines traditional ideas about how to learn about customers' motivations. It is a discovery that is bound to reshape both research and marketing."

  • Are You Willing To Swim In The Deep End To Connect With Baby Boomers? in Engage:Boomers on 01/04/2016

    In a post written by Lori Bitter on Dec. 21, 2015, headlined "The Psychology of Marketing to Grandparents," she discusses the value of understanding four of Abraham Maslow's attributes and how they relate to connecting with grandparents. This is a follow-up to my comments applauding Lori's insights.

  • Connecting With Boomers Requires Empathetic Connections, Part II in Engage:Boomers on 12/07/2015

    In our last post, we discussed empathy as the most important ingredient in lasting relationships. We all want to be understood by those who want to sell us something. When we think we are not understood, we erect defenses against those trying to connect with us or try to sell us something.

  • Connecting With Boomers Requires Empathetic Connections  in Engage:Boomers on 11/02/2015

    Empathy is the most important ingredient in lasting relationships. We all want to be understood by those who want to sell us something. When we think we are not understood, we erect defenses against those trying to connect with us or try to sell us something.

  • Marketers Have A Sex Problem in Engage:Boomers on 10/05/2015

    "Marketers have a sex problem," wrote Geoffrey Rowan in a recent article, "Sex in Advertising Sells: So why NOT to the Over 50s?," on "They slather it liberally onto any brand surface where it might stick - the ultimate consumption aphrodisiac. No one gets fired from a marketing job for saying sex sells. But at the same time, they ignore or alienate the source of half of all U.S. household spending because sexy older people ... well - that's ridiculous. "The failing of marketers is that we tend to prematurely sexualize young people, and prematurely desexualize older people," says Rowan.

  • The Average Baby Boomer Market Doesn't Exist  in Engage:Boomers on 09/08/2015

    The purpose of marketing and sales communications is to stimulate awareness, interest and desire in customer minds that lead to decisions to buy. An implicit presumption in marketing is that customer minds at least adult customer' minds process information more or less the same way. Therefore, marketers stereotypically direct communication to the "average customer."

  • Still The 800-Pound Gorilla; Let's Revisit the Opportunities in Engage:Boomers on 08/03/2015

    The media is currently promoting Millennials as targets to pursue. It's very clear the numbers are impressive but numbers don't buy anything. It would be short-sighted of marketers to ignore Baby Boomers in favor of Millennials.

  • Stop Putting 10 Pounds Of Copy Into A 5-Pound Page in Engage:Boomers on 07/06/2015

    Baby Boomers are more resistant to absolutism. Absolute positioning (putting ten pounds of copy into a five-pound page), aims to push the product and generate uniform perceptions of a brand while Conditional Positioning allows individual diverse perceptions/interpretations of a brand. It is a powerful marketing tool based upon research about how people respond to absolute statements vs. conditional statements.

  • Boomers Are Not a Generation New To Technology  in Engage:Boomers on 06/01/2015

    Boomers adopt tablets, wearable devices and other technologies just as energetically as younger users, according to participants at last year's Booming Tech forum, which focused on the use of technology in that generation.

  • More Of 'The Problem Isn't The Things We Don't Know, It's What We Know That Ain't So' in Engage:Boomers on 05/04/2015

    Awhile back I wrote an article headlined, "The Problem Isn't The Things We Know, It's What We Know That Ain't So," quoting Mark Twain. His comment is simply a reflection of a common sense reality. Today, traditional marketing and selling continues to draw on many beliefs "we 'know' that ain't so."

Comments by Jim All comments by Jim

  • How To Sell Fitness? It's All About Energy! by Stephen Reily (Engage:Boomers on 02/08/2016)

    I agree with the concusions reached by Stephen. Creating gateways to higher energy and good feelings for 50+ women will result in higher sales for providers and increased positive word of mouth.    

  • Look Who's Turning 50: From The Super Bowl To Cindy Crawford by Patricia Lippe Davis (Engage:Boomers on 02/04/2016)

    Good article and accutate stats. Unfortunately, too many marketers don't subscribe to promoting the value of inclusivity in advertising.

  • Unholy And Undone by Bob Garfield (Garfield at Large on 12/28/2015)

    Well said! Native advertising is hucksterism in its lowest form. 

  • 13 Challenging 2016 Trends Luxury Brands Must Manage by Gregory J. Furman (Engage:Affluent on 12/23/2015)

    Good insights and "myth" breaking suggestions. Much of what the author recommends is also applicable to non-luxury products and services. 

  • The Psychology Of Marketing To Grandparents by Lori Bitter (Engage:Boomers on 12/21/2015)

    Lori is right on the mark. Maslow’s said that a person must experience “substantial gratification” at one level before advancing to a higher level. For example the newborn infant’s basic needs are first and foremost “basic psychological needs." As the infant grows and develops needs of a higher order begin to emerge. In July 2008 David Armano wrote in Advertising Age, “The problem with marketing is that it often doesn't allow marketers to go deep, to gain an intimate understanding of human behavior. We're strapped for time, spread thin and torn between making our clients or bosses happy while trying to do what we think is right. We may have access to the latest trend reports, market segments, personas and metrics. We may be surrounded by smart, capable people who know what they are doing. But there's a question we need to ask ourselves. Are we making the time to walk in the shoes of the people we market to? Are we willing to swim in the deep end?” If your target is baby boomers, and you're spending most of your switching from iPhone to text to chat, you'll need to understand first hand that not everyone lives like this, even though you might be. It stands beyond any need to defend the proposition that marketing success rises or falls according to the marketer’s understanding of the customer’s worldview, values and aspirations. However, this basic need of marketing cannot be satisfied by asking customers about such issues. Few people know themselves well enough to give a marketer the answer he or she wants. You likely need to step outside of your own behavioral patterns.  

  • Boomers And The Importance Of Modern-day Nostalgia by Samantha Johnson (Engage:Boomers on 06/29/2015)

    Very on point and insightful commentary. Simplicity and offering control are two of the customer experiences that give a product a strong competitive edge. Meeting the expectations of aging customers isn't very difficult. The aging customer loathes artifice. As the author states, Ad agencies are continuing to ignore the aging customer by pumping out advertising that was more suitable in the pre-1990s marketplace. The shift from a product centric mindset to a customer centric mindset dramatically changes how both marketing and customers are viewed: ·Customers are no longer targets; they are people to be served. ·Marketing is no longer a game of persuasion or hucksterism; it is a  service. ·Customers are no longer data sets; they are human beings. ·The focus is no longer on products; it is on the customer experience.  Making such changes in marketing think requires the power of company and agency leadership. For no change can take place in company mindset to support a customer centric business model without the unequivocal commitment of executive leadership. 

  • Boomers Are Not a Generation New To Technology by Jim Gilmartin (Engage:Boomers on 06/01/2015)

    Here's another perspective.

  • The Emergence Of The Affluent Millennial by Alexis DeVilling (Engage:Affluent on 04/29/2015)

    The author's last paragraph says it all, however, the advice should not be limited to just appealing to millennials. Baby Boomers desire and demand such values and motivators even more. 

  • Do You Have A Story To Tell? Baby Boomers Want To Hear It by Jim Gilmartin (Engage:Boomers on 04/06/2015)

    Stephen,You've captured the essence of my intent.

  • Ever Wonder Why Baby Boomers Don't Respond To Your Advertising? by Jim Gilmartin (Engage:Boomers on 03/02/2015)

    You tell 'em Sue!

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