A recent article by Brent Bouchez found on Media Post inspired me. Bouchez identifies a misconception held among many marketers about baby boomers: that they want to be 30 again. Interestingly, while the 50+ year old may feel 30, they aren't interested in acting 30.
Nielsen's SVP of research and development, Doug Anderson, touts: "There is practically no segment or category out there where Boomers aren't a significant audience." They represent nearly 39% of all consumer-packaged goods spending, yet equate for only 5% of current ad spending.
That boomers are an ideal target, and an underserved one, is hardly news. Bouchez's insight is that marketers too often miss the mark when it comes to resonate messaging to boomers. Specifically, he points out that while people in their 20's, 30's and 40's equate happiness with excitement, their 50+ peers find happiness synonymous with peacefulness -- practically polar opposite emotions.
Meanwhile, boomer-intensive marketers like hospitals continue to position themselves as large, hi-tech, even fast-paced. Likewise, many destination marketing organizations catering to the 50+ crowd offer something for everyone, action packed getaways. There's an astonishing lack of peaceful positioning and calm messaging.
The economy has made the message architects speed up. Volume is king. The core positioning strategy in 2010 seems to be, be everything to everyone all the time. This is merely a flight to safety that guarantees poor performance. We're rushing past relevant communications that showcase what people want.
Working with clients on Hilton Head Island, I'm struck by how the pace slows when I arrive on Island. The hotel staff does something remarkable. They slow down. They take their time. It's not slow, it's attentive.
In an economy that has everything in fast forward mode, there's nothing more meaningful than demonstrating that your consumer is worth your time. It's time to take your time, and find some peace of marketing.