He hasn't walked over a cliff or discovered any dead bodies, but Paul, a Pokemon Go aficionado, has ignored important phone calls, struck up conversations with complete strangers, and even tried driving while playing. (He doesn't recommend that last one, calling it "perilous.")
The marketing landscape today bares little similarity to that of the 1970s, yet, through the dawn of digital and proliferation of new channels, one element has remained consistent: the focus on consumers between ages 18 and 49.
For most of the recent past, when you thought about health care for people over 50, a few images came to mind. Mostly managing chronic illness and helping to keep sick people alive. Our grandparents' frequent trips to the doctor were often consumed with pain management and dealing with the negative results of the aging process. They'd go from specialist to specialist, getting treated for chronic diseases until they died or became too sick to care for themselves. A depressing prospect for those of us who just crossed the line into the 50 - 64 demographic.
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.
Language in the mature market space can be a minefield, with words like "senior" and "aging" getting a strong negative response.
I can't help but think that as a generation we are blowing it. Politically. We now have two candidates - squarely of the Baby Boomer generation and neither is talking about the aging of America. Why aren't we holding them accountable for that? Why hasn't the generation that created a "movement" for every cause taken up the cause of our own aging?
"Old is the new young." Is this one of those catchy but, ultimately, meaningless advertising slogans? Far from it. The 60-plus age group is going to be the most important consumer growth market over the next 15 years, generating more than one-third of global consumption growth.
Many years after some of the nation's largest financial services firms set out to win business from Boomer women, we're still in a spot where little has actually changed. Like a chauvinistic boss who thinks his resistant female employees will finally respond if he just keeps trying, the industry's attempts to charm women assumes that simply wanting to succeed will get them to respond differently. Well, it hasn't worked.
At age 47, I was inspired by athletes in the 2010 Winter Olympics to play ice hockey, a sport I'd given up seven years earlier after breaking my leg. A series of concussions forced me to quit again at age 50, but my passion for sports and competition remained intact, and I'm eager to find inspiration for taking up a new sport while watching the upcoming Olympics.
Last year, it was reported that advertisers spend a whopping 500% more targeting millennials than all other age groups combined. But what if the advertising industry targeted the wrong demographic?