26 July 2010

Peace is good for business.

smithsoniancoverFun and very wise issue of Smithsonian Magazine for August.

I’m guessing anybody breezing through it will stop and thoroughly read at least a dozen or more of the 40 Things You Need To Know About The Next 40 Years

Two that will have a positive effect on business and advertising:

The Age of Peace
Maturing populations may mean a less violent future for many societies torn by internal conflict
By Carolyn O’Hara
Demographers have found that developing nations with “youth bulges”—more than 40 percent of people between the ages of 15 and 29—are 2.5 times more prone to internal conflict, including terrorism, than countries with fewer young people …

“If we know that youth bulges are a big source of violence, including terrorism, it’s good news if these youth bulges are receding…”

All this isn’t new.  I’ve blogged about it many times:

The world might become a better place
image The longevity revolution affects every country, every community and almost every household. It promises to restructure the economy, reshape the family, redefine politics and even rearrange the geopolitical order over the coming century. (Washington Post, Fred Pearce)


While a few industries might disagree, it’s generally acknowledged that peace is good for business. Many companies around the world are gearing up for the needs and wants of an older demographic.  A good resource: The Silver Market Phenomenon.

Sabiha Al Khemir on Islam and the West
The museum curator and author predicts that relations between the United States and the Muslim world will improve
By Amy Crawford
… I believe things are changing, on both sides. The East is no longer far away. Also, this new generation, in various parts of the Islamic world, they are modern in thinking and modern in seeing the world. With all the communication that’s happening and all the opening of boundaries, the connections are there …

… People want to know, because they realize quickly enough that the way Islam has been represented by a certain minority, extremism, et cetera, is not necessarily Islam the way it is.

I experienced the above when in Istanbul last March

Take a look at more future ‘things’ from the August issue of Smithsonian Magazine.

21 July 2010

Manipulation of the Crowd

As readers of this blog know, one of my favorite activities is WOMing WOMM:
image The Latest WOM On WOMM (2009)
Wouldn’t it be nice if this were my last post about WOMM?  I think it will be, since prattle marketing won’t be much of an issue from now on…
image I guess sometimes NostraChuckus gets it wrong.  Since the above post I’ve WOMed WOMM a few more times

And this post is even another WOMing.
Manipulation of the Crowd: How Trustworthy Are Online Ratings?
By Michael Moyer

image … The philosophy behind this so-called crowdsourcing strategy holds that the truest and most accurate evaluations will come from aggregating the opinions of a large and diverse group of people. Yet a closer look reveals that the wisdom of crowds may neither be wise nor necessarily made by a crowd. Its judgments are inaccurate at best, fraudulent at worst.
Pulled from the comment section:
This article does not mention paid shills who do the reviews. As a freelance writer, this is one of the more common things that I am paid to do. Yes, you heard that right. I get paid to write articles about "products". You should try going to freelancer.com and see for yourselves the prices of reviews, articles, tweets, blog posts, facebook friends, etc. Your world is a highly manipulated one.
No kidding.

Add to all this the fact that users just love all the marketing and advertising on social networking sites:
Social Sites Lag in Customer Satisfaction
by Mark Dolliver
image … In drawing thematic conclusions from the data, the report suggests that the increasing presence of advertising within social media could be a notable source of customer dissatisfaction.
Which makes me dig up this old chestnut:
image When it all comes out in the wash, WOMM will be the best thing to happen to (silly retronym ahead) traditional advertising. Pretty soon, consumers won't believe anybody - even their best friends. They'll realize that they receive the most honest and straightforward information about a product or service from a TV commercial, radio spot, print ad, direct marketing collateral, or product web site. At least we don't lie about who we are and why we're saying what we're saying.

Remember this: Advertising didn't die with the invention of the telephone.
But don't believe me. This is just some blog, and I'm just some blogger. Who knows if someone's paying me to trash word-of-mouth marketing ...

One thing's for sure: You'll never know.

19 July 2010

All this sounds vaguely familiar...

Nielsen: This Isn't Your Grandfather's Baby Boomer
Research Titan Claims Demographic's Retirement Upends Old Notions, Younger Consumers Are Losing Dominance
by Brian Steinberg
image … Most times senior citizens are still seen in ads selling life insurance or denture cream, yet the older person in the U.S. in the next decade is likely to be anything but helpless and in the market for more than just financial help and medications.

That’s this blog, my book, my speaking and consulting around the world, my articles since 2003.

Like this one:

Boomer Backlash II
… I guess what upsets me about this campaign is not the campaign itself.  I love it.  I see people around my age – they’re entertaining, loose, funny. I’m wondering what the payoff will be. What a letdown.  

Why couldn’t it have been a car?  Laundry soap?  Baked Beans? Gender-specific razors? Aluminum foil? A smart phone? Anything but some age-related malady …

image The Backlash: If every time someone over fifty sees a commercial targeting them and it’s always for an age-related product or service, pretty soon their eyes will glaze over, they’ll get itchy and grumpy.


Update: Good piece about all this by Eve Troeh of Marketplace: Over the hill but not in a rut

Update: Brent Green’s trenchant take on it all

Webinar: Engaging Baby Boomers

Engaging Baby Boomers:
Communications Tools, Technologies and Strategies
This Thursday, July 22, 12pm - 1pm EDT

Organized by...If your target market is the 50+ Baby Boomer and Senior demographic, then join the Boomer Authority™ Association and International Mature Marketing Network (IMMN) for this important webinar.

Register here for the July 22, 12pm -1pm EDT webinar!

12 July 2010

Generations Beat Online

Even a frenetic web mole like yours truly often digs every which way – and still misses the big, juicy virtual worms.

imageYears ago I followed Paul Kleyman’s Age Beat.  Then Paul moved on, we kept in touch a bit – but I had no idea that for the last year or so Mr. Kleyman has been publishing a new resource:

Generations Beat Online
image This is the home of the Generations Beat Online (GBO), the e-newsletter of the Journalists Network on Generations for writers/producers covering issues in aging and retirement.

The Latest GBO Issue (July 7, 2010)

This should make my life a lot easier.  I can continue to steal from the best.

06 July 2010

A Nod To The Netherlands

A few months ago I changed planes at Schiphol. Tramping around the terminals made me giddy. I wanted to stay. That’s because the last time I was there yours truly and a bunch of us had one of the times of our lives:

image World’s Largest Event For Active ‘50 plussers’
… And with only an hour and a half to goof off we only saw about one-quarter of the exhibits, maybe.  The four of us were racing around.  That’s how big it was. Nobody could see it all in one day.

Martijn de HaasimageThe event keeps getting bigger and bigger.  A report from 50 Plus Beurs 2008

Last week I visited the 50 plus fair in Utrecht (The Netherlands) to have a look at the world biggest event aimed directly at 50-plus consumers. My first emotion was again astonishment over the numbers of the exhibits and people present.

image What this event really is: Hundreds of mini-trade shows open to the public. When I was there about twenty bicycle manufactures had large booths and floor space. Ditto for cars, RVs, motorcycles, cosmetics, clothes, sporting equipment, vacation spots, gardening, cooking, housewares, houses – the list goes on and on.

The information sheet for 50 Plus Beurs 2010 (PDF)


There’s still time to reserve exhibit space or make plans to attend.

02 July 2010

Turkey: A Bright Star In The Region

In March I did a day-long workshop in Istanbul:

imageInternational Marketing/Advertising Techniques Targeting Baby Boomers

And blogged about it:

The Istanbul Posts
There are 15 million people living in Istanbul – and I think I saw all of them. And I met about two dozen of the brightest … 

Turkey is a vibrant, economic powerhouse – especially  the financial sector.  There will be no stopping them (not that you’d want to).

Over on Nigel Hollis’ Blog, I left a comment about the economy of Turkey:

April 9th, 2010 at 4:51 pm
I was in Istanbul a few weeks ago - speaking to twenty-five marketing execs in the financial sector - for a whole day …

I was talking about the 50+ Demo, showed examples of ad campaigns from around the world.  We talked a bit about branding Turkish products/services for European and U.S. consumption.  As far as banks and insurance companies - how many banks folded in Turkey because of the recession?  None.  That’s a selling point for sure.

The EU: Many European countries want Turkey to join because it’s an economic, political, and cultural powerhouse.  Many European countries do not want Turkey to join because it’s an economic, political, and cultural powerhouse.

If Turkey joins the EU, that will be the bedrock for cross-border marketing.  Then take the products one by one.  Turkey as a quality ‘brand’: the tourism industry.  You’re right - outside of Turkey, you don’t think of their products as quality brands - but I bet that will change if Turkey is serious (and the EU is serious) about EU inclusion.

A few days ago Bloomberg.com and Barclays Capital weighed in:

Turkish Economic Growth Accelerates to 11.7%, Fastest Pace in Six Years
“Turkey is a bright star in the region, the only country where we see something of a V-shaped recovery,” Christian Keller, chief economist for European emerging markets at Barclays Capital… 

I still exchange emails with a few of the attendees/organizers - and it’s great to know that the Turkish economic sector is doing so well.  No big surprise to me!

01 July 2010

NostraChuckus Scoops NYT II

image The first time:  We’re all miserably happy, or …

That famed Soothsayer has done it again:

Second-Act Aces
June 30, 2010, 9:00 pm
When does creativity peak? The second-act aces make a case for middle to late age. Take a look at some of the people who have not simply performed well but done their best work in their later years.

A post from 2006:

What Kind of Genius Are You?
Galenson maintains that this duality - conceptualists are from Mars, experimentalists are from Venus - is the core of the creative process. And it applies to virtually every field of intellectual endeavor, from painters and poets to economists.

From Advertising to Baby Boomers (© 2005):


Advertising creatives?  Young or old?  Or both?

"No, I don't think a 68-year-old copywriter can write with the kids. That he's as creative. That he's as fresh. But he may be a better surgeon. His ad may not be quite as fresh and glowing as the Madison Ave. fraternity would like to see it be, and yet he might write an ad that will produce five times the sales. And that's the name of the game, isn't it?" 
Rosser Reeves