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Jim Gilmartin

Member since October 2009Contact Jim

Jim Gilmartin is the founding principal of Lisle, IL based Coming of Age, ( 630-462-7100. Established in 1991, The full service 50+ 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

  • What We've Learned About Marketing To Baby Boomers - Part IV in Engage:Boomers on 04/03/2017

    Research has shown that customers' final decisions are not the direct product of the reasoning process; in fact, emotions drive Baby Boomers in their purchase decisions. The reasoning process will confirm their decision, but it doesn't start there.

  • What We've Learned About Marketing To Baby Boomers - Part III in Engage:Boomers on 03/06/2017

    There are many perspectives on how to effectively market to Baby Boomers. We've shared several in Part I and II of this series. We believe we can roughly divide Baby Boomer behavior perspectives into two approaches. The first emphasizes the objectivity of science and that the customer is considered a rational decision maker. In contrast, the subjective or emotional approach stresses the customer's individual experience and the idea that Baby Boomer behavior is subject to multiple interpretations rather than one explanation only.

  • What We've Learned About Marketing To Baby Boomers - Part II in Engage:Boomers on 02/06/2017

    These drivers tend to be stage-of-life specific. For example, older people's motivations tend to be qualitatively more experiential and less materialistic than younger people's motivations.

  • What We've Learned About Marketing To Baby Boomers in Engage:Boomers on 01/03/2017

    Mark Twain wrote, "The problem isn't the things that we don't know; it's the things we 'know' that ain't so." His comment is simply a reflection of a common-sense reality. Today, marketing and selling draw on a lot of things "we 'know' that ain't so."

  • Marketing To Baby Boomers - Is It A Game Of Chance? in Engage:Boomers on 12/05/2016

    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.

  • Marketing To Baby Boomers - 'For Sale: Baby Shoes, Never Worn' in Engage:Boomers on 11/07/2016

    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.

  • Want To Connect With Baby Boomers? Get Your Messages Creatively Right in Engage:Boomers on 10/03/2016

    Contrary to the perception that aging brings a calcification of shopping habits, many over-50 consumers diversify their spending habits as they grow older. That diversification, plus the narrower tactics of contemporary marketing practices, makes them much tougher to reach through advertising. As older consumers and the Baby Boomer cluster move from the crowd-think of their youth to personal uniqueness, marketing messaging should also move to meet them on their new turf.

  • People Make All Purchase Decisions in Engage:Boomers on 09/06/2016

    In a recent article, "All purchase decisions are made by people" Gavin Finn, CEO of Kaon Interactive wrote, "While data science and analytics have become an essential element of every modern marketing arsenal, it is wise to remember that people make all purchase decisions."

  • Baby Boomers Clearly Into The Fall And Winter Of Life Stages in Engage:Boomers on 08/01/2016

    Today, the oldest Boomers are 70. The core needs and maturational changes in values, views and behaviors of 70-year-old Boomers are not materially different from those of 70-year-olds in the past. Boomers' differences from previous generations are more differences of style than of substance.

  • 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.

Comments by Jim All comments by Jim

  • What We've Learned About Marketing To Baby Boomers - Part III by Jim Gilmartin (Engage:Boomers on 03/06/2017)

    Thanks Lori, always an honor to receive a compliment from you. One more article completes the series.Jim

  • Influencer Marketing For Boomers: It's About Experience, Not Marketing by Stephen Reily (Engage:Boomers on 02/13/2017)

    Stephen's points are on the mark.  As overall consumer demand shrinks and companies look for new segments of growth, the Baby Boomer women consumer represents a significant opportunity now and in the long term. But, marketing to women doesn’t mean think “pink.” It means you have to understand who they are and that a 55-year-old woman is not simply a 30-year-older version of her 25-year-old self. Getting Baby Boomer women to join your brand is not one single step. There is no magic bullet. It's a systematic rethinking of how you present your plan to women consisting of dozens of subtle shifts and fine alterations. Boomer women want you to speak to their heads and to their hearts. And, if you’re successful, women will deliver more profit to you through being loyal and making more referrals. They want you to understand them. To recognize their needs, values and dreams. They don’t want to do business with a person that condescends to them. They don’t want to be inconvenienced, made to wait, argue or defend themselves. Moreover, women are three times more likely as men to recommend brands when they know friends are looking for a particular product or service. Although men’s brains are wired differently, if you meet the needs of women you’ll most likely meet the demands of men. But not the other way around.

  • Holding Out For A Hero: Average Joes & Josephines by Lori Bitter (Engage:Boomers on 12/19/2016)

    On target, as usual, Lori. Marketers that only focus on age, income, and so forth, are not connecting with a significant portion of these populations. They should pay attention to the first sentence of the last paragraph.

  • Tiny Living For The Not-so-small Life by Lori Bitter (Engage:Boomers on 10/17/2016)

    Great insights and a harbinger of things to come.

  • People Make All Purchase Decisions by Jim Gilmartin (Engage:Boomers on 09/06/2016)

    Hi Pete, Thanks for the kudos. The point I was making in “Deliver objective information at a slow-to-moderate pace. Avoid jumping around on the issue. Maintain a steady equilibrium as you speak. Ask many open-ended questions that start the customer talking” was to caution a staccato approach to the conversation.  Jim  

  • Mr. Garfield In The Echo Chamber With A Microphone by Bob Garfield (Garfield at Large on 08/08/2016)

    Why bother, indeed! Most Americans absorb media that supports and validates their current beliefs.

  • 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. 

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