For these individuals, quality-of-life issues are essential. Whether it's health care decisions, lifestyle choices or consumer purchases, these Boomers are making decisions based upon what's essential for maintaining their quality of life.
2011 feels like a turning point. Network executives have recognized the gold in the mature consumer target. They now willingly admit they have programming that targets older adults! Scarborough and Nielsen are reporting on the value of older adults as a consumer target. Brands are recognizing that engaging with consumers over 40 is the path out of this recession and a return to profit. Increasingly, this engagement takes place online, with support from traditional media buys.
I recently attended the annual TED Conference, which gathers attendees each year to hear cutting-edge scientists, inspiring artists, and global reformers give their own versions of the famous 18-minute "TED Talks." You have probably seen (or been sent) some TED Talks yourself; all the talks I saw will soon be available to see and share.
Can our company really maintain a meaningful presence on Facebook, Twitter, our blog, YouTube and LinkedIn and still maintain as a business? Ha! The no-upfront-cost aspect of having a presence in social media comes with an extremely high time cost.
Next month, I'm joining several hundred fellow Boomers who are trying to qualify for the Reebok Crossfit games as a Master (45+). Crossfit, a mix of functional fitness, kettle bells, rowing, running, Olympic lifting, and gymnastics, is a strength and conditioning system built on constantly varied, functional movements executed at high intensity.
Marketers seem to know that effective marketing, sales and service are essential for business and for survival in a highly competitive industry. Nevertheless, paradoxically, marketing and sales approaches may be getting worse for the largest segment (estimated at 60 to 80%) of the customer markets.
Creative directors of the future will be required to challenge their own prejudices of aging while communicating with Boomers. Unfortunately for them, most of the hotshots in the field are just too young to understand or empathize with Boomers, and that will be their downfall.