Archive for the ‘Find Help 4 Seniors’ Category

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

Advertisements

New Years Resolutions – 2010

New Year’s Resolutions
I have just watched the movie “Julia and Julia”  its about a woman, Julia Powell’s 2002 challenge to cook all of Julia Child’s recipes in one year, and to blog about it.
I have decided to blog about my New Year’s resolutions for a year and try to document the struggles to actually keep them. I do not know of too many resolutions that are actually followed through to the end of the year so here goes let’s see if I can do what the young Julia did.
My New Year’s resolution.
Starting now. Day 1
1. I am going to return to my pre-menopausal weight and stay that way until the end of the year.
2. I am going exercise, end result I want to be able to participate in spinning, and a 75 minute exercise class period with having to call 911.
3. I want to be consistent about taking my vitamins and being good to my body.
4. Not only am I going to be good to my body but I am also going to be good to my financial side of the equation. By the end of the year I want be 10,000 in the black.
4. I am going to write everyday about my struggles to do this.
Now I think in order to be successful I need to tell you where I am starting from. I have always been a thin sickly kid. Never able to gain weight….not enjoying the time that it would take to consume food. In fact, there was one time that the winter winds would not allow me to walk out of my friend’s door. I had to call my brother to walk through a storm and pull me home like a kite blowing in the wind.
I am 5 feet 9 inches and when I got pregnant with my son I was 111 pounds. At the end of my pregnancy I was huge and had gain 57 pounds. Now I stepped on the scale this afternoon and I am 172 lbs. Are you kidding me? Do the math I am heavier by 5 pounds then when I was 10 months pregnant ( as a side note they say 9 months pregnant but 40 weeks is not 9 months anyway they slice it and if you add an additional 2 and 1/2 weeks on for being late that is 42 almost 11 months….just like an elephant’s) . This menopausal madness has to end.  Okay to some of you this isn’t a problem, however, Menopause is packing on weight that I have noticed is going on at the rate of 10 pounds per year.  This is where it begins.  So if it is meant to be its up to me.
Part of the problem is that I met and married my husband, Henry, June 14th 2008 and as a result eat more appetizers, and consume wines and other calorie ladden beverages. I met him 3 years ago. I was 140 pounds. So that is 32 pounds that I want to lose. I get close to that and fit and I am happy…  Dr Oz said the average woman is in danger of get diabetes if she is over 160 pounds Yikes. Anyway, when I stepped on the scale….after the heart attack and realized that the good life had added that much weight.   I decided right there and then I was cutting out wine for 2 months. Further, No bread shall pass my lips ….bread substitutes yes, but none of that delicious bread with a generous portion of butter that melts into the cracks……stop it.
Okay tonight, will be my first test. I exercised and burned off 220 calories, I am going to increase that by 10 calories every day. I had only one small portion of Sheppard’s pie. No food or snacks after 7:00 I did mention that I was menopausal right and that every time you have a minute to think that thoughts go back to food. Anyway. Join me tomorrow to see if I have broken my NEW YEARS RESOLUTION.

Parkinson’s Disease

Written by Chloe Hamilton of Warm Embrace Elder Care

After years of waiting rooms, tests, and false diagnoses, your doctor has given you the final verdict: you have Parkinson’s disease.  You’ve suspected it for a while.  It was pretty subtle at the beginning, but the fatigue and stiffness are becoming more pronounced.  Your signature no longer resembles the one on the back of your driver’s license, and people are always saying “pardon me?” since your voice has dropped.  So here you are, sitting on the table in the examining room, hearing the final diagnosis, “you have Parkinson’s Disease”.

You’re not sure how to feel.  Part of you is just relieved that you finally have an answer.  No more tests, no more uncertainty.  You know what it is, and now you can move forward.  The other part of you is completely crushed.  You had still been holding out hope that your illness was something curable, something that would be treated and go away.  Not a degenerative disease with symptoms that could be “managed” at best.

The real question burning on your mind is: “now what?”  Where do you go for more information?  What questions should you be asking? What happens next?  Instead, you’re quietly ushered out of the office.  Going home alone that day can feel quite alienating, because the more you think about it, the more you realize that you now have more questions than you did before seeing the doctor.

The important thing to know is that you are most certainly not alone. There are between 80,000 and 100,000 Canadians who have Parkinson’s disease.  One of the best places to get preliminary information is from the Parkinson’s Society of Canada.  You can browse their website at: www.parkinson.ca or call them at 1-888-851-7376.  There are local support groups available in most communities where people with Parkinson’s Disease (PD) can come together and discuss issues and solutions.  The support groups will not only provide you with information and social support, but will also help you to figure out which questions you need to be asking your doctor to maximize the treatment you receive.

You will discover that the course of PD is unique to each individual person with PD.  You may experience different symptoms than someone else in your support group, and your symptoms will fluctuate over time.  As PD progresses, you may experience some of the following symptoms: tremors, rigidity, slowness, impaired balance, lack of facial expression, lowered voice, fatigue, stooped posture, constipation, and sleep disturbance.  There is currently no cure for PD, but there are medications and therapies which can alleviate symptoms.

Therapies which help to manage symptoms may include: physical therapy for mobility, flexibility, and balance; occupational therapy for daily activities of living; speech therapy for voice control; and exercise programs to help muscle and joint strength while also improving overall health.  Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is essential and is one of the most proactive options you have to help PD.  You may also choose to participate in a research study through the local Movement Disorders Clinic at the Wilfred Laurier University.

Maintaining your social connection is also a vital element of wellness.  You need support systems in place that will be able to accommodate you as your needs may change.  It is important to plan ahead of time how you will receive assistance, and to make your wishes known.  Remember, you are not alone, and there are others who can support you along your journey with PD, so be sure to tap into the local resources that are available to you and your family.