Monday, April 13, 2009

When it Comes to Marketing to Baby Boomers, it Pays to Think Like a Shrink.

Or at least think like a bona fide gerontology counselor. That means going beyond the conventional wisdom of conventional research about Boomers, and listening to their needs, deeply and actively. You’ll begin to genuinely appreciate how they think and feel. Then you’ll be able to communicate with them in respectful, insightful ways that motive them to act.

It also helps if you’ve lived through the developmental stages that Boomers have. The sad fact is that the overwhelming majority of younger people simply don’t have the life experience that allows them to go beyond an intellectual understanding of what the Boomers are all about. And it shows in the advertising strategies and tactics that they use.

Strange as it may seem, this is the one area of advertising and marketing where gray hair isn’t just necessary, it’s indispensable. When it comes to establishing rapport with an audience, there’s no substitute for careful listening and insightful messaging based on shared life experiences. As many sincere marketers and advertisers have found, superficial communications simply won’t fly with sophisticated consumers like the Boomers.

The most powerful advertising and marketing communication campaigns resonate with independence, identity, authenticity and community, four things Boomers hold sacred. And, of course, you always have to keep in mind the most important values of all: Individualism, because each Boomer is a “Market Segment of One.”

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