Archive for February, 2010|Monthly archive page

Tips for Marketing to Seniors and Baby Boomers

Article by Caron Beesley

Brought to you from FindHelp4Seniors.ca

For many years, marketing to seniors has been regarded as a waste of time – that this demographic was set in its ways and closed to new ideas. But a few years ago, marketing expert Seth Godin published a blog post entitled “Marketing to Seniors (open and closed)”, that essentially turned this misconception on its head.

In fact, Godin insists that seniors are just as open to new experiences, products, and lifestyle choices as the hot and favored marketing demographic – 18-34 year olds.

Why? Two words: “baby boomers”.

As Godin explains, “Baby boomers have been open their whole lives. And now they are seniors. So all the conventional wisdom goes out the window. Senior travel, senior fashion, senior experiences… it’s all fair game, because there’s a different demographic inhabiting that age group now.”

This got me thinking. My parents are baby boomers. They grew up in the 60s, were entrepreneurs and self-employed for 45 years. Now retired, they are enjoying the fruits of their labors – dining out, going to the gym, travelling the world (seniors account for account for 80% of all luxury travel), upgrading their home, embracing technology (I bought my mother a new laptop for her 65th birthday), and so on.

In fact, seniors are the fastest growing user segment to embrace computer technology; they spend $7 billion online annually. And with an average income per capita that is 26 percent higher than the national average (according to Senior Magazine Online), “seniorizing” your business marketing might just be a wise move.

Tips for Marketing to Seniors and Baby Boomers

Seniors and baby boomers make up a whopping 23.4 percent of the population. As with any other demographic, there is no silver bullet for marketing to this group. But one thing’s for sure, it’s not just about senior discounts anymore. Here are some tips to consider.

1. Focus your Message on “Feel Age” not “Real Age”

The expression “you’re only as old as you feel” actually has some scientific truth, and brings with it a lesson for marketers. Southern Methodist University (SMU) Marketing Professor Tom Barry has been researching the senior market with a particular focus on “cognitive age”, otherwise described as “feel age”.

Barry’s findings indicate that those with a younger outlook than their actual age generally evidence better health, which, in turn, influences personal economics, life satisfaction, attitudes toward aging, and activities and level of participation in organizations.

So the message to marketers is to focus on “feel age” not real age. But how does this translate into your marketing habits?

Barry suggests “Use models that are cognitively younger; they don’t have to look younger, but have a persona that is psychologically younger. The content of advertising, sales, and marketing messages should be cognitively based. For example, we don’t use medicine to avoid osteoporosis because we are afraid our bones will break, but because we want to go to the museum and play golf.”

Read more in SMU’s news bulletin: “Marketing to Seniors: Age Really is a State of Mind”.

2. Building Trust

Seniors and baby boomers generally buy what everyone else buys. But they tend to take more time to research and plan what and how they spend their money.

As a business owner, this means earning their trust. And. one of the best tools in your marketing toolkit for achieving this is to perfect your customer service – satisfaction comes first, but loyalty is earned and in the long term counts for much more.

3. Which Marketing Vehicles Should you Use to Reach Seniors and Boomers?

If you are thinking of developing a specific marketing strategy to reach and engage seniors, start small, keep an eye on ROI and adjust your tactics as needed.

Small might mean running a series of ads in your local newspaper accompanied by a “sponsored editorial piece” that showcases your knowledge about the needs of your market and how your product can serve it.

As with all target markets, you need to reach your customers where they are – and for more and more seniors and baby boomers this means taking your marketing online.

According to Kinsesis, a Portland, Oregon, web design and branding firm, the number of seniors using the Internet grew by 55 percent between 2004 and 2009. The largest percentage increase in use of the Internet has actually been in the 70-75 age group. And it’s not just Internet that seniors are embracing, they are a big presence on social media sites too.

“The No. 1 online destination for people over 65 in November 2009 was Google Search, with 10.3 million unique visitors.” Facebook jumped to the number three slot from (it was number 45 in 2008, with Windows Media Player at number two).

Baby boomers, however, are the real online force, as the Kinesis article goes on to explain: “More than 60 percent of those in the Baby Boomer generational group actively consume socially created content like blogs, videos, podcasts, and forum.”

So if your target market is seniors and baby boomers, you clearly cannot ignore search engine optimization and social media marketing.

Read the original article for more data: “Marketing to Seniors and Baby Boomers? Use Internet Marketing and Social Media to Reach Them!” and for tips read this article from my fellow blogger Sean Gallagher: “Getting Started with Social Media Marketing”.

Email marketing also remains a powerful force in marketing to seniors – when used properly it still outranks all other forms of direct marketing in terms of ROI. Depending on your particular target you may need to pay attention to the visual preferences and needs of the senior market – are your fonts too small? Is your email too visually cluttered? Is your call to action clear and apparent?

For more tips on using email marketing read “Getting Started with Email Marketing: ‘The Most Powerful Tool in Your Relationship-Building Toolbox“.

What’s your experience of selling and marketing to seniors and baby boomers? Share your experiences and tips with other small business owners below.

Brought to you from FindHelp4Seniors.ca

For assistance with marketing to seniors, contact Saskia Wijngaard, founder of FindHelp4Seniors.ca – home to the most comprehensive online directory for senior-friendly services across Canada.

FindHelp4Seniors.ca is a meeting place for seniors across Canada as well as their families and caregivers, and provides Canadian seniors with access to the best senior-friendly community resources, services, agencies, and businesses.

For peace of mind for you and your loved ones, contact Saskia directly at 905.855.1558 or via email at Saskia@Everything4Seniors.ca

Physical Activity Has an Anti-Aging Effect on Cardiovascular System

Brought to you from FindHelp4Seniors.ca

Article by SeniorJournal.com, December 1, 2009

People who engage in regular physical activity are gaining an anti-aging weapon that will help them live longer lives. New research finds intensive exercise prevents aging of the cardiovascular system by preventing shortening of telomeres – the DNA that bookends the chromosomes and protects the ends from damage, a protective effect against aging.

Researchers report in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association that they measured the length of telomeres in blood samples from two groups of professional athletes and two groups who were healthy nonsmokers, but not regular exercisers.

The telomere shortening mechanism limits cells to a fixed number of divisions and can be regarded as a “biological clock.” Gradual shortening of telomeres through cell divisions leads to aging on the cellular level and may limit lifetimes. When the telomeres become critically short the cell undergoes death.

The 2009 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to researchers who discovered the nature of telomeres and how chromosomes are protected by telomeres and the enzyme telomerase.

“The most significant finding of this study is that physical exercise of the professional athletes leads to activation of the important enzyme telomerase and stabilizes the telomere,” said Ulrich Laufs, M.D., the study’s lead author and professor of clinical and experimental medicine in the department of internal medicine at Saarland University in Homburg, Germany.

“This is direct evidence of an anti-aging effect of physical exercise. Physical exercise could prevent the aging of the cardiovascular system, reflecting this molecular principle.”

Essentially, the longer telomere of athletes is an efficient telomere.

The body’s cells are constantly growing and dividing and eventually dying off, a process controlled by the chromosomes within each cell. These chromosomal “end caps” — which have been likened to the tips of shoelaces, preventing them from fraying — become shorter with each cell division, and when they’re gone, the cell dies. Short telomeres limit the number of cell divisions, Laufs said.

In addition, the animal studies of Laufs and colleagues show that the regulation of telomere stabilizing proteins by exercise exerts important cellular functions beyond the regulation of telomere length itself by protecting from cellular deterioration and programmed cell death.

In the clinical study, researchers analyzed 32 professional runners, average age 20, from the German National Team of Track and Field. Their average running distance was about 73 kilometers (km), a little over 45 miles, per week.

Researchers compared the young professional athletes with middle-aged athletes with a history of continuous endurance exercise since their youth. Their average age was 51 and their average distance was about 80 km, or almost 50 miles, per week.

The two groups were evaluated against untrained athletes who were healthy nonsmokers, but who did not exercise regularly. They were matched for age with the professional athletes.

The fitness level of the athletes was superior to the untrained individuals. The athletes had a slower resting heart rate, lower blood pressure and body mass index, and a more favorable cholesterol profile, researchers said.

Long-term exercise training activates telomerase and reduces telomere shortening in human leukocytes. The age-dependent telomere loss was lower in the master athletes who had performed endurance exercising for several decades.

“Our data improves the molecular understanding of the protective effects of exercise on the vessel wall and underlines the potency of physical training in reducing the impact of age-related disease,” Laufs said.

The German Research Association and the University of Saarland funded the study.

Co-authors are: Christian Werner, M.D.; Tobias Furster, medical student; Thomas Widmann, M.D.; Janine Pöss, M.D.; Christiana Roggia, Ph. D.; Milad Hanhoun, M.D.; Jürgen Scharhag, M.D.; Nicole Buchner, Ph. D.; Tim Meyer, M.D.; Willfried Kindermann, M.D.; Judith Haendeler, Ph. D. and Michael Böhm, M.D.

Additional Resources:
• The American Heart Association’s Start! initiative encourages all Americans to participate in regular physical activity. Start! includes personalized walking plans for people at any fitness level. Visit http://www.startwalkingnow.org to download the Start! Walking Plans and locate Start! Walking Paths near you.

Saskia Wijngaard is founder of FindHelp4Seniors.ca, which is home to the most comprehensive online directory for senior-friendly services across Canada. FindHelp4Seniors.ca is a meeting place for seniors across Canada as well as their families and caregivers. The goal has been to ensure that Canadian seniors have access to the best senior-friendly community resources, services, agencies, and businesses – giving you and your loved ones peace of mind.

Saskia can be reached at 905.855.1558 or via email at Saskia@Everything4Seniors.ca

Awesome new service from Google!

Okay check this out.

Go to http://www.google.ca

At the very top corner where is says web, images, video ….. click on books.

You can read any book on you labtop for free.

Why is this great. Okay its raining, and you and to read. but don’t want to go to the store or the library. Pick up a book. Read it if you don’t like it it didn’t cost you anything. If you did continue reading or pick up a copy.

Lets say you left your copy at the train station or at your cottage. Simply go online and continue reading where you left off. What a great service.

New Years Resolutions Day 40

Okay on this cold and yucck day I need an excuse not to go to fitness today. Who has one.

Let see. Car won’t start…… It did!
Outfit is dirty and smelly……. just cleanned it!
Showered already ….true but after exercise you will need to shower again.
I have a big partyto plan for ….nope
no chocolate in the house so there is nothing to exercise off. ……. RU Kidding me.
Got a headache…take an aspirin.
Got to go to Rotary….. So its only 4:00
Can I call it in. NO

Everyone I need some inspiration.

New Years Resolution – Day 39

Well it has been a busy month,  and very little time to think about the weight situation. Hormones are flaring, and the February blahs are insight. How is a girl suppose to cope.

Every notice that a woman is given the “gift” of a fitness membership and thinks” spa and relaxation” and a man buys his membership when he is wants to get buff and pick up chicks.   Last night  I came across this joke and I thought it was appropriate for this post. Enjoy.




A WOMAN’S WEEK AT THE GYM

Dear Diary,
For my birthday this year, my Husband (the dear) purchased a week of personal training at the local health club for me.

Although I am still in great shape since being a high school football cheerleader 43 years ago, I decided it would be a good idea to go ahead and give it a try.

I called the club and made my reservations with a personal trainer named Christo, who identified himself as a 26-year-old aerobics instructor and model for athletic clothing and swim wear.

My husband seemed pleased with my enthusiasm to get started! The club encouraged me to keep a diary to chart my progress.

________________________________
MONDAY:
Started my day at 6:00 a.m. Tough to get out of bed, but found it was well worth it when I arrived at the health club to find Christo waiting for me. He is something of a Greek god – with blond hair, dancing eyes and a dazzling white smile. Woo Hoo!!

Christo gave me a tour and showed me the machines. I enjoyed watching the skilful way in which he conducted his aerobics class after my workout today. Very inspiring!

Christo was encouraging as I did my sit-ups, although my gut was already aching from holding it in the whole time he was around. This is going to be a FANTASTIC week-!!

________________________________
TUESDAY:
I drank a whole pot of coffee, but I finally made it out the door. Christo made me lie on my back and push a heavy iron bar into the air then he put weights on it! My legs were a little wobbly on the treadmill, but I made the full mile. His rewarding smile made it all worthwhile. I feel GREAT-!! It’s a whole new life for me.

_______________________________
WEDNESDAY:
The only way I can brush my teeth is by laying the toothbrush on the counter and moving my mouth back and forth over it. I believe I have a hernia in both pectorals. Driving was OK as long as I didn’t try to steer or stop. I parked on top of a GEO in the club parking lot.

Christo was impatient with me, insisting that my screams bothered other club members. His voice is a little too perky for that early in the morning and when he scolds, he gets this nasally whine that is VERY annoying..

My chest hurt when I got on the treadmill, so Christo put me on the stair monster. Why the hell would anyone invent a machine to simulate an activity rendered obsolete by elevators? Christo told me it would help me get in shape and enjoy life. He said some other shit too.

_______________________________
THURSDAY:
Asshole was waiting for me with his vampire-like te eth exposed as his thin, cruel lips were pulled back in a full snarl. I couldn’t help being a half an hour late – it took me that long to tie my shoes.

He took me to work out with dumbbells. When he was not looking, I ran and hid in the restroom. He sent some skinny bitch to find me.

Then, as punishment, he put me on the rowing machine — which I sank.
_________________________________
FRIDAY:
I hate that bastard Christo more than any human being has ever hated any other human being in the history of the world. Stupid, skinny, anaemic, anorexic little aerobics instructor. If there was a part of my body I could move without unbearable pain, I would beat him with it.

Christo wanted me to work on my triceps. I don’t have any triceps! And if you don’t want dents in the floor, don’t hand me the damn barbells or anything that weighs more than a sandwich..

The treadmill flung me off and I landed on a health and nutrition teacher. Why couldn’t it have been someone softer, like the drama coach or the choir director?

________________________________
SATURDAY:
Satan left a message on my answering machine in his grating, shrilly voice wondering why I did not show up today. Just hearing his voice made me want to smash the machine with my planner; however, I lacked the strength to even use the TV remote and ended up catching eleven straight hours of the Weather Channel.

________________________________
SUNDAY:
I’m having the Church van pick me up for services today so I can go and thank GOD that this week is over. I will also pray that next year my husband will choose a gift for me that is fun — like a root canal or a hysterectomy. I still say if God had wanted me to bend over, he would have sprinkled the floor with diamonds!!!