31 March 2006

Car Spots Driving in the Wrong Direction

Sometimes I just don't know what to say. That's because I've been saying the same things over and over again for close to four years.

From Brandweek:
Automakers pursuing the elusive youth demographic are chasing the wrong economic quarry, according to a study from auto industry marketing research and consultancy firm AutoPacific, which finds baby boomers have the economic means that should drive advertising efforts.

Yet, the study states that only 10% of car ads are aimed at consumers over 50, faulting an approach that seems to play down a demographic with three-quarters of the nation's financial assets and $2 trillion in disposable income annually.
Think of me as some brilliant seer. A visionary. NostraChuckus.

Or just some slob with a bit of common sense.

Take your pick. I'll be happy with any of these labels.

28 March 2006

Is Your Online Channel Boomer Friendly?

Dick Stroud, the U.K.'s 50+ marketing guru, is starting to make himself known on this side of the pond. From an article in CRMGuru.com:
The VW web site is packed full of animation and clever imagery, with lots of dynamic navigation. The site contains all the information car purchasers require-if they have the time, patience and inclination to look.

Web designers will love the site; clearly, car purchasers don't. (For some inexplicable reason, Volkswagen's European web sites are far simpler and customer-orientated.)
Mr. Stroud's newest tome is now available in the States. I predict that it will be the last great marketing book dealing with the current and growing 50+ demographic. (Trust me. I've read them all. If there's another book to be published on this subject, it will have to be beamed here from Planet Xerxes in the Ambartsumian Galaxy, and will probably take 639.43 million years to get here - and another six months to edit, proofread, and publish. So read this one.)

Dick will also be a screening judge for Mary Furlong's Boomer Venture Summit Competition this June.

4/3/06 Update: Dick is interviewed by Karen E. Klein for Businessweek. And on April 16th Dick will be the guest on Ad Age's The Advertising Show. The last time they had such an illustrious guest was back in August....

24 March 2006

At My Table at The Summit

I hosted a table at the What's Next? Boomer Business Summit's 'On the Beat' Author's Luncheon. It was fun for me, and I hope the same for my guests.

Sitting on my left was Eric Fleischer, Senior Manager, Ad Sales Research for Nick@Nite and TV Land. He'd read my book - and said he'd purchased five additional copies, doling them out to his sales reps. For some reason, I liked him.

On my right was a fascinating, brilliant character: Astro Teller. We had chatted earlier at a reception, and he'd presented that morning. I brought up some privacy issues with one of his products -- and just to goof around a bit, asked:
"So can you tell if someone is having sex?"
"…We think so."
"... Good sex?"
He smiled. Sort of like in this picture.
Astro was a good sport. BodyMedia has great products, and far be it from me to eschew clich├ęs - this medical/lifestyle company is truly cutting edge and the wave of the future.

Across from me was Julie Ruhlander of Clothing Solutions. Afterwards, I introduced her to a few folks also with companies wholly or partially targeting Baby Boomers as caregivers of their parents. Margit Novack of Moving Solutions was one - and has her company taken off! It was great to finally meet and chat with Margit.

Geoff Meredith came late, so we didn't get to huddle until the next day. His outfit is Family Virtual Visits -- pretty much self-explanatory, and a hot idea.

Also at the table: a banking executive from Canada (no surprise - at least the banking part) and a Communications executive from Wal-Mart.

Quite an eclectic group - all interested in advertising to Baby Boomers.

23 March 2006

Intrepid Reporters Brave Anaheim

The Business Forum on Aging and Mary Furlong & Associates put on quite a one-day Boomers Business Summit last week. It was packed with three-days worth of speakers and panels, so attending was a bargain.

Read Bob Moos' piece in the Dallas Morning News:
Most of the entrepreneurs at the Boomer Business Summit were boomers themselves who have decided to pursue a new passion and reinvent themselves...
The nation's burst in entrepreneurship is being driven mostly by boomers, not by 20-somethings, experts say. Boomers and older adults account for 54 percent of all self-employed workers.
Also at the Summit was Kelly Greene of the Wall Street Journal.

Luckily for me, a piece I had written for Aging Today was in the current issue, so copies were everywhere. For a few days, I was an honorary member of "The Press Corps." All thanks to Paul Kleyman, the editor (pictured).

Who knows -- with such sterling credentials, I may now qualify for a White House press pass! (Although as far as I know there are no naked pictures of me on the web - even though I'm quite the stud.)

A PDF of the article, Why Advertisers Will Stop Ignoring Aging Boomers

And my book sold very well.

More posts about the Boomer Business Summit and ASA/NCOA Conference over the next few weeks.

14 March 2006

What's Next? Boomer Business Summit

I'll be hopping off the blogging merry-go-round for a week or so to participate in Mary Furlong & Associates/BFA's Third Annual What's Next? Boomer Business Summit in Anaheim.

Jon Currie (Currie Communications) and Yours Truly will be entertaining the troops with a handpicked handful of commercials targeting Baby Boomers (Pillsbury, Stainmaster Carpet, etc). In everybody's welcome packet will be a survey. After being crunched by Currie, the results will be available to the participants.

There's also an Author's "On the Beat" Luncheon (scroll a screen or two). Some good folks have been lined up.

Although I'm not at all happy. When you register for the Summit, you pick your 1st, 2nd, and 3rd choices for authors you'd like to sit with — and I didn't get any of my choices (Myrna Blyth, Dr. Susan Love, Brent Green). That's because the powers-that-be have insisted that I sit at my table. So ..... if you're being forced to eat lunch with me, I'll be as upset about it as you are.

Then I'll spend the next day schmoozing and doing a book signing at 2006 ASA-NCOA Joint Conference on Aging.

And for the last few days I'll be in LA mixing business with pleasure, and generally causing trouble.

Back on the merry-go-round in a week.