An esteemed colleague once told me that no category of business expense contains as much waste as marketing. The amounts are astounding. Some marketing-related activities are estimated to cost companies about $500 billion annually. There are those that consider that figure is double what it should be. That claim is not as outlandish as it might seem, it's the single biggest expense in many companies' marketing budgets.
It's Movember, which means that men all over the world have spent the month feeling the tickle of a growing moustache - all to raise awareness of men's health issues. As the month of moustachery draws to a close, some other seasonal traditions are sprouting: Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday and, last but not least, Giving Tuesday.
While store decor turned to yuletide twinkle before the candy corn was totally off the shelves, this week is when the holiday shopping season kicks in. According to projections, it will be a big one, too. The National Retail Federation expects November and December retail sales to hit $655.8 billion, a 3.6% increase from 2015.
Despite all the polls and predictions, Donald Trump was elected President of the United States. How did this happen? It's a complex answer but one thing is clear: He used superior marketing to get Boomers to pull him over the line. His campaign saw an underserved audience and directed the campaign at them knowing it exploited a weakness in his competitor.
Most of us love stories. That's nothing new. However, marketers need to understand better the value of storytelling in communicating messages. As we age, stories play an even more important role in how our brains process information about your products and services.
The holiday season, the most pivotal time of the year for marketers, is just around the corner. With consumer spending booming during this period (NRF reported $626.1 billion spent last year), understanding the mindset of consumers is vital.
The number of older people who live alone at home continues to climb: 13 million in 2015. And for women over 75, the numbers are even more shocking. 45% live alone, according to a recent "Philadelphia Inquirer" article.
Older consumers are disproportionately skeptical of marketing, believing that marketers either don't understand them or ignore them altogether. A recent study indicated that fewer than one in four people age 50+ believe marketers do a good job of representing people like them in advertising. How can marketers who want to meaningfully impact America's most powerful spending block-who are responsible for more than half of all consumer spending-address Boomers' skepticism?
Tiny homes are emerging as a trend in the 50+ consumer marketplace. According to research by The Tiny Life, 38% of tiny-home owners are over the age of 50. The movement has shifted from pioneers living off the grid to a mainstream desire to downsize our lives. Keep in mind, the average home in the U.S. is around 2,600 square feet. Tiny homes vary from 100-400 square feet. The movement is being fed by FYI's "Tiny House Nation" and HGTV's "Tiny House Hunters," the growing number of web sites, and how-to books.
While unemployment seemed to drive millions of young adults back to their childhood homes, the fact of having gotten jobs did not result in their moving out. Recent research suggests that the adult Millennial child and his or her Boomer parents are now a permanent part of our landscape. Marketers need to face this new reality: their "coveted 18-34 year old" is probably eating food, sitting on furniture, and streaming content via wifi that has all been purchased by his or her midlife parent.