Thursday, May 21, 2009

GeroMarketing™ Basic #3: Use Research To Form Hypotheses About Boomers.

In gerontology counseling, the counselor’s active listening and accurate feedback enable clients to clarify issues, so they can effectively address them by using powerful inner resources, like insight and problem-solving. Before that can happen, however, the most salient issues have to be identified. Often, this is a problem for both client and counselor. To meet this challenge, counselors form hypotheses about the client’s behavior after assessing its overt manifestations and intuitively “researching” its hidden roots.

Marketers must do the same before attempting to craft advertising and marketing communications for Baby Boomers. The biggest flaw in forming marketing hypotheses based on research is that too often creativity is shunned in favor of the “safety of numbers,” as if attitudes and values can be measured like height and weight.

Instead of focusing on questions like “What are the most common characteristics of Boomers?”, or “What can we do for Boomers?,” it’s more useful to ask “How does this Boomer perceive him or herself, and what beliefs and values drive his or her motivation?” If you form your marketing hypotheses while looking through the subjective eyes of individual Boomers, you can use your creativity to intuitively connect with what drives their behavior.

The problem is that this seems dangerous if not impossible for most marketers. You can hear their despair in the common lament “I’m just not creative.” That’s a cop out. Everybody’s creative.

What separates creative pros from mere mortals is the ability to confidently and consistently tap into the imaginative power that all human beings are born with. Learn that skill, trust that power, and you’ll be able to boldly form

hypotheses about Boomers that will lead you to the Boomer Buying Center.

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