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Marketing To Baby Boomers – Is It A Game Of Chance?

by Jim Gilmartin – An esteemed colleague once told me that no category of business expense contains as much waste as marketing. The amounts are astounding. Some marketing-related activities are estimated to cost companies about $500 billion annually. There are those that consider that figure is double what it should be. That claim is not as outlandish as it might …

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Want To Connect With Baby Boomers? Get Your Messages Creatively Right

By Jim Gilmartin – Contrary to the perception that aging brings a calcification of shopping habits, many over-50 consumers diversify their spending habits as they grow older. That diversification, plus the narrower tactics of contemporary marketing practices, makes them much tougher to reach through advertising. As older consumers and the Baby Boomer cluster move from the crowd-think of their youth …

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People Make All Purchase Decisions

“All purchase decisions are made by people.” Gavin Finn, CEO of Kaon Interactive, wrote in a recent article. “While data science and analytics have become an essential element of every modern marketing arsenal, it is wise to remember that people make all purchase decisions.” He goes on to say, “Even in business purchases, the individual decision-makers are subject to the same …

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Baby Boomers Clearly Into The Fall And Winter Of Life Stages

Today, the oldest Boomers are 70+. The core needs and maturational changes in values, views and behaviors of 70-year-old Boomers are not materially different from those of 70-year-olds in the past. Boomers’ differences from previous generations are more differences of style than of substance. The core needs that are part of what defines us as human beings, such as self-actualization …

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To Connect With Baby Boomers, Be A Servant Marketer

By Jim Gilmartin – Contemporary theories of marketing are increasingly defined in the context of collaborative relationships between a marketer and customers that operate on behalf of meeting needs of the latter. But honoring this idea is often problematic because a continuing focus on sales quotas pressure marketing and sales staff to concentrate more on making deals than on helping …

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Experiential Segmentation: Allowing Boomers To Personally Define Value

By Jim Gilmartin – Greater individuation brought into the marketplace by Baby Boomers lessens the usefulness of traditional customer segmentation for reasons of simple economics. The greater the degree of individuation (the older we get, the less alike we become), the smaller the sub-groups; the smaller the sub-groups, the less cost-effective it is to tailor marketing programs to such groups. …

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Understanding What Your Customers Can’t Say

By G. Richard Ambrosius – In the world of marketing, there is general agreement that emotions play a larger role in consumer decision making than rational thought. So, doesn’t it follow that research that forces rational answers is generally flawed? Since breakthroughs in brain science challenge basic assumptions about consumer behavior, isn’t it time to re-write the rules of market …

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To Connect With Baby Boomers, Shift Your Marketing Paradigms

By Jim Gilmartin – A paradigm is not a way of doing things; it is a way of thinking about things. A new marketing paradigm cannot be understood according to the rules of the paradigm it replaces. Says brain researcher Bernard Baars in In the Theater of the Brain, “Our inability to report intentions and expectations simply reflect the fact that they …

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Connecting With Boomers Requires Empathetic Connections

by Jim Gilmartin – Empathy is the most important ingredient in lasting relationships. We all want to be understood by those who want to sell us something. When we think we are not understood, we erect defenses against those trying to connect with us or try to sell us something. However, empathy is not the same as sympathy. You will …

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The Average Baby Boomer Market Doesn’t Exist

by Jim Gilmartin – The purpose of marketing and sales communications is to stimulate awareness, interest and desire in customer minds that lead to decisions to buy. An implicit presumption in marketing is that customers’ minds – at least adult customers’ minds – process information more or less the same way. Therefore, marketers stereotypically direct communication to the “average customer.” …