04 April 2008

IMMN Webinar, April 15: Boomers From The Inside Out

The International Mature Marketing Network (IMMN) is sponsoring a webinar April 15th, 11am EST.

Presenters will be Dr. John Migliaccio (Director of Research for The MetLife Mature Market Institute) and Yours Truly.

I'll jump into the ethereal spotlight first and rattle on about the brouhaha surrounding word-of-mouth marketing. Then John will reveal a new MetLife study conducted by The Institute for The Future: Boomers From the Inside Out.

John and Chuck have been on the same bill more than once. In fact, twice. And that doesn't include the time we were talking heads on The History Channel series Our Generation. Some have called us the Martin & Lewis of Boomer Bloviating.

Here's more about the webinar.

And a chunk of email I received yesterday:
You guys are a hot ticket! We just sent out the second eBlast and already have 42 people signed up. Since people don't have much of a sense of urgency until the week before a webinar, you can expect many more additional attendees.

Way to go!
Just shows you my pull in the marketing/business world. No doubt John and MetLife are grateful to me for dragging them along on my coattails.

29 March 2008

FH Boom and Natural Marketing Institute Survey

FH Boom and The Natural Marketing Institute have come out with a survey:
NEW STUDY PROVIDES FIRST GLIMPSE OF BOOMERS AT 70: From Revolutionaries to "Retrolutionaries" by 2016

A new study of 1,100 Baby Boomers released yesterday by FH Boom and NMI gives marketers new insight into the Boomer consumer at age 70.

In brief, today's Baby Boomers predict that when they turn 70:

* 74% still won't be describing themselves as old
* 86% will be more practical and pragmatic in their purchases, and much less concerned about trendiness and indulgences
* 76% will be using technology to stay connected with family and friends
* 93% will have more time to do things like travel, dine out and pursue hobbies
* 63% will be making some kind of move, but only nine percent of Boomers now in their 50's or older imagine themselves at 70 still in search of "the dream home"
Deeper into the survey/press release there's some old stuff, some new stuff, some obvious stuff, some common sense stuff. For example, I've been talking about practical, comfortable, easy-to-use cars for years. (I'd make you listen to a radio interview from 2005 where I go on and on about this - but it's an eighty-minute MP3 and my worst enemy shouldn't be subjected to such torture.)

Now for the sort-of controversy: Matt Thornhill of the Boomer Project wasn't too thrilled with the survey.

For transparency, let me reveal that I have no actual business relationship with FH BOOM or The Boomer Project - but I know Matt and his work and admire it - and Carol Orsborn and Yours Truly (along with Brent Green) travelled to Europe recently for a two-week speaking/consulting tour. We've stayed good friends and I consider Carol one of my top business contacts.

So what do I think of this survey? I do agree a bit with Matt. Meaning - the way the survey has been positioned for uptake is silly. Except for NostraChuckus - nobody can predict the future.

And for various reasons Baby Boomers are not following many conventional wisdom rules for aging. Predicting what they'll be doing (or thinking) in ten or twenty years would be, at best, a guess. At worst, complete fantasy.

But the survey has some revealing and valuable information. It's what Baby Boomers think they'll be doing in the future - not necessarily what they will be doing. A few of the survey points might end up being spot on. With a few, the participants might be deluding themselves.

The Good News: This survey is not 'new insight' into Baby Boomers at 70 - but juicy insight into Baby Boomers today. What they think they'll be doing in ten or twenty years could be helpful in marketing and advertising to them now.

But as some guide for laying the groundwork for targeting this unwieldy, diverse group in ten or fifteen years? That's wishful thinking.

Even the most famous futurists are usually wrong. They make ten predictions, one or two come true eventually - and the rest are forgotten. Down the line, their PR only mentions when they were correct.

As far as I can tell, there's nothing wrong or amiss with the questions, answers, or crunching in this survey. However, FH BOOM/NMI should have positioned it as helpful data for today - not as a crystal ball.

Read Carol Orsborn's blog posting.

Download the press release PDF.

25 March 2008

You'll Make Even More Money

Scott Rains scrawled this on my ‘wall’ at Facebook:
I just wrote to a list on disability rights something that reminds me of our conversations:

Our campaign for social inclusion is like the waves sculpting the shoreline and a ship moving forward under their power. The barriers left for us to wear down - forty years after first stirring up the waters with the modern Disability Rights Movement - are rocky, resistant, and dangerous to navigate. That is why we have enlisted the captains of industry and alerted them that the remaining threats to our passage to freedom threaten to sink their own ships as well. When they see people with disabilities as risks of lawsuits over the barriers threatening us they confuse the messenger with the message. Businesses who create, or delay in removing, those barriers will be run aground against them by the tsunami of Baby Boomers who will be the greatest business opportunity of a generation - the same generation whose impatience with injustice launched the Disability Rights Movement.
And a few other movements as well.

Scott understands that this isn’t all altruistic stuff. It’s simply good business. Even if you're in your fifties, sixties, seventies, or beyond - and with no disabilities - it's nice not to have to go through too much hell when you're out and about.

Repeating: Say to the powers-that-be, “Retrofit your restaurants, hotels, stores, and any place where people need to physically negotiate, and you’ll be prepared to do business with ‘the tsunami of Baby Boomers’ willing to spend their trillions of dollars around the world. You'll make even more money.”

23 March 2008

You Can't Fool Mother Nature. Or Chuck.

How could my silly ego not blog this:

Guess Which Photo Was Retouched?

Read through the comments at Richard Rosenthal's [freaking marketing] Blog.

And visit Amy Dresser's site. We've all seen her work. It's great.