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."
With Boomers spending $120 billion a year on travel, there's a huge incentive for marketers to give them a better experience. So, if not for this holiday season but the next, I talked to a few Boomers to see what was on their travel wish lists. Although they visit a wide range of places, from local campgrounds to international cruises, it was surprising how many preferences they shared.
As we cross the threshold into 2017, it seems like a good time to let consumers speak for themselves. Much has been made in the last few months of the "voice of regular people" and those who are disenfranchised. Let's be honest, most of "those people" aren't the targets of campaigns. Many categories in the boomer marketing space target the mass affluent consumer. But there is a real sweet spot in a segment we call "Average Joes & Josephines." They are neither rich nor poor. They are articulate, smart consumers. As they age, they need brand heroes.
Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama represent the bookends of the Baby Boomer generation. Clinton (now 69) was born in 1947 and Obama (who will turn 53 before her husband leaves office) was born in 1964.
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.