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Jim Gilmartin

Member since October 2009 Contact Jim

Jim Gilmartin is founding principal of Lisle, 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, Be A Servant Marketer in Engage:Boomers on 07/05/2016

    Contemporary theories of marketing are increasingly defined in the context of collaborative relationships between a marketer and customers that operate on behalf of meeting needs of the latter. But honoring this idea is often problematic because a continuing focus on sales quotas pressure marketing and sales staff to concentrate more on making deals than on helping people meet their needs and fulfill their aspirations.

  • How To Connect With Baby Boomer Women, Part II in Engage:Boomers on 06/06/2016

    Men and women are as different "shop-ologically" as they are biologically. What's important to men is typically not important to woman. In addition, keep in mind that women don't buy brands; they join them. Think about the things we join - clubs, political parties, organizations, even religions; they are the institutions in our lives that really matter. The ones we stick with through thick and thin. The ones we cherish and value.

  • How To Connect With Baby Boomer Women, Part I in Engage:Boomers on 05/02/2016

    In a recent "Marketing Daily" commentary, "Advertising's Gender Problem: Some Brands Are Starting To Get It," author Jean Freeman writes, "But here is another sad reality about advertising today: Women control an estimated 85% of purchasing decisions in this country, yet over 91% of them feel like advertisers don't understand them. Recently, the objectification of women in advertising reached a critical mass with the launch of the #WomenNotObjects movement. 'Women' have become the latest buzzword in the ad world, with more focus on the problems and not on the positive examples or solutions."

  • Experiential Segmentation: Allowing Boomers To Personally Define Value in Engage:Boomers on 04/04/2016

    Greater individuation brought into the marketplace by Baby Boomers lessens the usefulness of traditional customer segmentation for reasons of simple economics. The greater the degree of individuation (the older we get, the less alike we become), the smaller the sub-groups; the smaller the sub-groups, the less cost-effective it is to tailor marketing programs to such groups.

  • Do You Ever Wonder Why Baby Boomers Are Not Loyal To Your Brand? in Engage:Boomers on 03/07/2016

    Companies, often encouraged by legal counsel, regularly resist expressing vulnerability, sometimes at great expense. A classic example took place in the early 1980. The Audi 5000 was reported to accelerate spontaneously from a stand-still without driver involvement. Audi responded with not even a token amount of compassion and vulnerability. It said simply that drivers were at fault.

  • 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.

Comments by Jim All comments by Jim

  • Women STILL Hate Wall Street - Just When They Need It Most by Stephen Reily (Engage:Boomers on 06/13/2016)

    Stephen is on the mark as usual. However, little understanding of how to connect better with women has spread far beyond Wall  Street as evidenced by many surveys, reports and whitepapers on the subject.

  • Have We Overrated The Millennial Consumer? by Albert Luk (Engage:Boomers on 06/09/2016)

    Can't attest to the 500% stat or the generalities of Baby Boomer purchase habits, but the essence of the article is sound. We marketers "tend to trend" often. Remember the old cliché about the bank robber Willy Sutton. When asked "why do you rob banks?" he replied, "That’s where the money is." The big money is typically in the pockets of Boomers.

  • Women 45+: Worth Targeting In EVERY Category by Stephen Reily (Engage:Boomers on 04/11/2016)

    As usual, Stephen hits the mark again. In addition to research results mentioned, Tom Peters once said “The numbers are unequivocal, the gender differences are undeniable, the opportunity is inarguable and the market is enormous . . . economic opportunity No. 1. Statistics overawe - Women are responsible for 83% of all consumer purchases. Vacations - 92%. Houses - 91%. Consumer electronics - 51%. Cars - make 60% of purchases, significantly influence 90%. Choice of a new bank account by women - 89% of the time. Health care - 80% of decisions, over two-thirds of all health care spending. American women by themselves are, in effect, the largest ‘national’ economy on earth. Unfortunately, too many companies don't get it and often pay little attention to these lucrative targets.”

  • Experiential Segmentation: Allowing Boomers To Personally Define Value by Jim Gilmartin (Engage:Boomers on 04/04/2016)

    Paula, Thanks for your comment. However, I wasn't recommending Anthropologie as a retailer for Boomer women. I was using their approach as an example of a retailer that lets the customer define the experience rather than try to manipulate them through the shopping experience. 

  • From The Primaries To Hollywood, Ageism Takes A Well-Deserved Hit by Mark Bradbury (Engage:Boomers on 04/05/2016)

    A well laid out foundation for marketers to practice inclusion marketing.

  • 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.  

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