Monday, May 18, 2009

4 GeroMarketing™ Basics that Will Help You Communicate More Effectively with Boomers.

Effective advertising and marketing communications depend on a number of skills that are similar to those that gerontology counselors use. They may hate to admit it, but cut through the dense academic jungle, and you’ll find that many of the most popular and effective counseling paradigms follow a process that resembles personal selling.

Of course, there are crucial differences between counseling and selling. Authentic psychosocial counseling is inevitably much more complex and volatile than the sales process, and the outcome is far more significant than dollars gained or lost. Furthermore, attempting to follow the ground rules of professional counseling ethics would quickly and permanently cripple any marketer or advertiser. Despite those crucial differences, it’s still useful to consider some of the skills that form the foundation for effective person-to-person communication.

In 1994, there was no name for the marriage of gerontology counseling and marketing communications, so I named it GeroMarketing™. Not too catchy, but descriptive nonetheless. No matter what you call it, master these four basic GeroMarketing skills, and you’ll be well on your way to reaching the Boomer Buying Center, and that can prove to be a very rewarding journey.

1. Establish rapport.
2. Listen actively.
3. Use research to help form hypotheses about Boomers.
4. Communicate meaningfully.

The next four blogs will consider the above as concisely as possible. It would be easy to write volumes about each, but a more important goal is to understand their essence, so you can easily wrap your mind around these concepts and begin to use them effectively in your advertising and marcom. If, in the final analysis, it all seems a bit too touchy-feely for you, hire someone who has a solid counseling skill set, as well as the advertising and marcom experience to help you accomplish your goals.

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