Companies are attempting to provide their marketing and sales associates deeper insight into the mind and behavior of Baby Boomer customers. But, they are fast learning that the same as we need software to operate our computers, we need “Mindware” to more effectively carry out marketing and sales operations. A key objective of Mindware (insights into building empathetic relationships with aging customers) is to give you tools to think your way through marketing and selling challenges rather than trying to make one solution fit many challenges.
The aging of society has changed the calculus of supply and demand. Aging Boomers often look at a product or service as a gateway to meaningful experiences they want to have. It has dramatically changed the “mind of the market” Older people tend to be more patient, more questioning, and more interested in relationships with those they buy from than younger consumers.
Mindware will increase your success potential, whatever your role is in serving Baby Boomer customers. Mindware goes beyond marketing & sales 101. There’s an old saying, “Give a man to fish and he eats for a day. Teach him to fish and he eats for a life time.” A knowledge of the elements of Mindware may improve your fishing skills.
The 7 Modules of Mindware:
- A Profession in Crisis – Nearly everything we know about marketing was learned when youth ruled the marketplace. That is no longer the case; people in the second half of life now rule the marketplace. This has made a number of traditional rules in marketing and sales obsolete.
- The Brain Has a Mind of Its Own – Brain research has exploded in the last two decades and has revealed new insights into how we perceive, think and make decisions that reveal a number of errors in how we have thought the mind and brain work.
- The DNA of Behavior – Learning the path to a deeper understanding of the customers’ psyche where root motivations form.
- Change Affects Choices – A little recognized fact in marketing is how large a role a customers’ season of life plays in their customer behavior.
- Building Empathetic Bridges to Customers Minds – Because relationships with those they buy from is generally more important with Baby Boomers, knowing how to build empathetic relationships with them is vitally important.
- In the Theater of the Brain – Everybody loves a story. Baby Boomers even more so. Storytelling is one of the most valuable skills you can have in selling to them.
- Obey the Gender Rules in Marketing and Selling – Men are from Mars, women from Venus. We all know that. Once differences are learned you should apply your understanding to marketing and sales.
There has also been a surging interest in spirituality. Studies show that Baby Boomers in general have an intense interest in spirituality. Gen Xers, persons born between 1965 and 1977, seem to follow suit. For example, a third of the members of the National Tour Organization offer faith-based travel. A Gallup Poll asked Americans at the turn of the decade if they felt a need to experience spiritual growth, 78% said yes.
Shifting to new marketing and sales paradigms is hard work and can be scary. What you are saying to yourself when you move into a new consciousness that produces a new paradigm is that what you have been doing is wrong. However, don’t get too down on yourself. How you did things in the past were based on conditions that existed in the past. Paradigm shifts come about when new conditions arise that make current practices obsolete and you realize maintaining the status quo can be painful and requires new approaches.
Finally, meaningful customer experiences has become the main focus among many successful companies. Marketing Guru Seth Godin says, “Nearly every product is good enough today.” What he means is that competing products within a given price category are usually not all that different today. This leaves the customer experience as the place where you need to draw sharp distinctions between your company products and your competitors. As we age, the quest for meaningful experiences grows in the mind of Baby Boomers.