23 November 2010

Home Tweet Home: Age Lessons Boomer Social Media Study ™

imageNostraChuckus has never been a big fan of social media and WOMM as advertising mediums. In my previous post I talked a bit about this.

There are lots of reasons why I’m not a fan – but there are also lots of reasons for embracing social networking. An important one: its ability to gather people together with mutual interests and needs. From my book © 2005, 2007:




It’s time to add Caregiving to the list above.

Laurel Kennedy, author of The Daughter Trap and president of Age Lessons, has put together the authoritative study on the subject, due out November 26th:









I received an ARC the other day.  Wish I could quote more from it, toss up some trenchant graphs and charts – but Laurel would get mad at me.

Purchase it here (starting Friday).

21 November 2010

There’s a lot of bad advice out there.

Even a jaded, grizzled fellow like yours truly is often amazed at the poop on the web, along with what passes as cutting-edge thought. I’m not talking politics here – but marketing advice.  I expect silliness on political web sites.

The other day I read rubbish. I won’t be linking, simply quoting.  The site/company is all about generational marketing on the web. The quote is from a blog post dated November 8, 2010:

“Despite what you may think, Boomers are not complete digital Luddites. In fact, they are embracing digital social networks with almost one in four younger Boomers active in social networks, up from 15% in 2007. But not just Facebook. They are quickly populating their own corner of the social internet with sites such as Eons, BOOMj.com, Boomster.com and TeeBeeDee.”

No News News. I’ve been exposing the luddite ludicrousness for years:

14 November 2005
My Favorite Cyber-Myth
How I snicker and roll my eyes whenever I read about Baby Boomers fumbling around on computers…

13 January 2006
Baby Boomers Burst Online
imageFor example, she tells a story about her mother-in-law giving the 20 and 30-something youngsters in her family Logitech video WebCams for Christmas, then announcing:
"Now we can all iChat together and see each other wherever we are … Later, I'll show you all how to set it up."

23 February 2009
Snake Oil In Cyberspace
image… While it might be tempting to categorize all aging Americans as techno-dinosaurs and Luddites, more than 60 percent of baby boomers are avid consumers of social media like blogs, forums, podcasts and online videos…

Back to that quote:

“… Boomers active in social networks, up from 15% in 2007. But not just Facebook. They are quickly populating their own corner of the social internet with sites such as Eons, BOOMj.com, Boomster.com and TeeBeeDee.”

Poop. Eons is a joke, BOOMJ.com went belly-up over a year ago, and TeeBeeDee’s 2009 demise was well-documented. Dozens of others have come and gone.

imageI was fiddling around with Alexa and found out that this lowly blog (the one you’re reading now) has a higher traffic rank than general-interest consumer Boomster.com.  (Talk about a sad statistic.)

Digging deeper into the generational marketing site, I unearthed a report that was full of useless, goofy psychographics.  Baby Boomers were stuffed into categories such as Value Shifters, Worker-Bees, Independent Doers, etc. 

From January 2007:

Baby Boomers and The Joy of Tech: Part Two
image“Articles (in recent marketing magazines and press releases) inevitably contain the revelation that it is possible to divide older people into strange tribal groups. They are given names like the sophisticated 'Astute Cosmopolitans' and the boring 'Thrifty Traditionalists'. Other than the amusement value, why are consumers … dissected into so many weird sounding segments?” - Dick Stroud

And there are more. I've lost count. It seems that every time a marketing firm decides to specialize in Baby Boomers, we get more "strange tribal groups."

It's quite an odd phenomenon. With tongue firmly in cheek, I warned about this in my book - predicting that eventually they'd come up with 76 million cohorts.

From the book:


15 November 2010

The Next Phase Of The Web

Interesting tidbit from NPR:

Hmmm. Sounds familiar. From six months ago:

imageWith the exception of the workplace, smartphones (along with iPads and Kindles or something like them) might just make desktops and laptops and the web as we know it obsolete.  If ‘being connected’ mostly means communicating with friends, doing simple search, reading the news - then all that’s really needed is a smartphone…
That silly retronym “traditional advertising” will remain the premiere force for introducing people to a product or service, along with sustaining its shelf life. Television, print, radio, and billboard ads will continue to have the visceral power they’ve always had – if only for their sheer size, simplicity, and cutting-edge audio/visual qualities.  Advertising on smartphones will be considered an annoyance, invasive, and rather dinky – while marketing (coupons on steroids, and more) will flourish and dominate.
If you’re not up on apps …
Smart Phones, iPads, and Baby Boomers
Goodbye, Fancy-Schmancy Web Sites

The Silver Market Phenomenon 2nd Edition Released

An updated version of The Silver Market Phenomenon ©2008/2011 is available, published by Springer Press:

The Silver Market Phenomenon
Marketing and Innovation in the Aging Society
Kohlbacher, Florian; Herstatt, Cornelius (Eds.)
imageThe current shift in demographics – aging and shrinking populations – in many countries around the world presents a major challenge to companies and societies alike. One particularly essential implication is the emergence and constant growth of the so-called “graying market” or “silver market”, the market segment more or less broadly defined as those people aged 50 and older. Increasing in number and share of the total Dr. Florian Kohlbacherpopulation while at the same time being relatively well-off, this market segment can be seen as very attractive and promising, although still very underdeveloped in terms of product and service offerings. This book offers a thorough and Dr. Cornelius Herstattup-to-date analysis of the challenges and opportunities in leveraging innovation, technology, product development and marketing for older consumers and employees. Key lessons are drawn from a variety of industries and countries, including the lead market Japan.

I contributed, updating the 2nd Edition with lots of new material – as have the other contributors (along with nine  new chapters/contributors).

Springer does a good job promoting the book on their site.  You can read the introduction and the first few pages of each chapter (including mine). 


imageFrom an in‐depth global overview of the mature market, through design and product development for older consumers, to the marketing implications, this book has it all. With contributions from experts around the world, the book recognises that population ageing poses great challenges to industrialised and developing countries alike. Its well researched attention to detail means The Silver Market Phenomenon is a ‘must have’ for both practitioners and academics. – Kevin Lavery, Managing Director, Millennium, Founding Member and President, International Mature Marketing Network (IMMN), UK

imageThe Silver Market Phenomenon literally encapsulates the wisdom of the ages about the aged. What sets this book apart is the breadth of its geographic scope, informing readers of age‐related trends around the globe from the perspective of world‐class thinkers. From social theory to empirical evidence to practical applications, the Silver Market Phenomenon mines the collective wisdom of practitioners and academicians who bring rich and varied perspectives on the fallout from aging to the written page. If you’re looking for the survey course on mature consumers, this is it!
Laurel Kennedy, author, “The Daughter Trap”, and President, Age Lessons, LLC, USA

The Silver Market Phenomenon Press Release (PDF)

Preface & Introduction (PDF)

On Amazon

12 November 2010

Baby Boomers & Travel Companies & Irony Redux

A piece from across the pond:

Adventure holidays for the over 50s
imageAge is no obstacle when it comes to enjoying different and exciting experiences, according to World Travel Market's latest report.
The over-50s are keener than ever to see the world, and they won’t settle for two weeks in Torremolinos anymore. “They have a thirst for adventure,” says Archers Direct head of product David Binns. “They want to learn how to cook in Morocco, go walking in the Grand Canyon and explore South America. Touring in Jordan and Morocco is proving particularly popular for 2011.”

I wrote about this recently – and in my book, and in 2004:

Fun to see the travel industry catching up.