Baby Boomers bend the rules of Marketing

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    Posted: 16 November 2010 06:11 PM

    Thought this would be a good read, especially in light of the Beatles discussions today. Notice the Apple quotes at the end. I think they “get it” and this makes me believe in them even more.

    Big-spending Boomers bend rules of marketing

    Chris Bonney knows precisely when marketers abandoned him: the day he turned 55.
    Until then, the consultant from Virginia Beach says, his opinion on new products was valued by a major marketing research firm that crunches consumer preference data. It would ask him to respond to surveys almost daily. But after his 55th birthday, the e-mail surveys abruptly stopped.

    “The minute I turned 55, it was like nobody cared anymore,” Bonney says. “I didn’t change from one day to the next, but as far as they were concerned, I’d aged out of relevance.”

         
  • Posted: 16 November 2010 11:21 PM #1

    I think we’ve touched on this at least indirectly in a number of posts about the Beatles announcement. It speaks volumes Apple is aggressively pursuing this market. Though I’m a bit away from the age market noted in the post above, there’s some important points made in the article.

    Boomers can in all shapes, sizes and levels of personal wealth. But by and large this is a demographic (spanning people born between January 1, 1946 and December 31, 1964) with lots of discretionary income, expected longevity (up to 25% or more of adult life spent in active retirement).

    This is also a generation that is much more tech savvy than the generation before it and holds its own in tech savvy with the generations that have followed. This is a prime market for Apple products and bringing the Beatles to iTunes speaks of Apple’s understanding of the culture and outlook that’s unique to this generation.

         
  • Posted: 16 November 2010 11:32 PM #2

    I think AARP accepts new members at 50, but if you’re like many boomers, you’re not buying this rite of passage.  We are fighting age every step (and nip and tuck) of the way.  We have more money, better health, and generally don’t want to be called Grandpa (this one is not going to be a problem for me).

    In short, we’re different.  My generation needs a new card:  The Boomers.  AARP is for our parents.

         
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    Posted: 16 November 2010 11:42 PM #3

    Mercel - 17 November 2010 03:32 AM

    I think AARP accepts new members at 50, but if you’re like many boomers, you’re not buying this rite of passage.  We are fighting age every step (and nip and tuck) of the way.  We have more money, better health, and generally don’t want to be called Grandpa (this one is not going to be a problem for me).

    In short, we’re different.  My generation needs a new card:  The Boomers.  AARP is for our parents.


    Oh Mercel, you have opened up Pandora’s box. When I am in a better mood i am going to have some fun. :-D

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  • Posted: 17 November 2010 12:25 AM #4

    Mercel - 17 November 2010 03:32 AM

    My generation needs a new card:  The Boomers.  AARP is for our parents.

    So might be Social Security as well. We’re different in our outlook and different in our aspirations. Many of our parents came of age during the Great Depression or experienced it as a child. Next came the scarcities brought about by a global war and yet that generation enjoyed the era of Americana and created the culture of suburban America. 

    As Baby Boomers we are the children of the “space race,” the Cold War and the generation that decided collectively it would turn things upside down. We enjoy continuing to do the same.

    The Beatles announcement goes well beyond 13 albums and Beatles singles for sale. It’s a statement Boomers are relevant and we are a market that has Apple’s attention and respect.

         
  • Posted: 17 November 2010 12:56 AM #5

    mbeauch - 17 November 2010 03:42 AM
    Mercel - 17 November 2010 03:32 AM

    I think AARP accepts new members at 50, but if you’re like many boomers, you’re not buying this rite of passage.  We are fighting age every step (and nip and tuck) of the way.  We have more money, better health, and generally don’t want to be called Grandpa (this one is not going to be a problem for me).

    In short, we’re different.  My generation needs a new card:  The Boomers.  AARP is for our parents.


    Oh Mercel, you have opened up Pandora’s box. When I am in a better mood i am going to have some fun. :-D

    Lol.  I think AAPL will make your smile return tomorrow.  Don’t frown, it makes you look older.

         
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    Posted: 17 November 2010 01:10 AM #6

    My wife was pissed that I got her an AARP card when she turned 50. She didn’t mind so much though when we got some nice discounts because of it. I’m now in the club so I can’t tease her about it anymore :-(

    Interesting to hear that we’re considered Tech Savvy. I have a lot of friends that are either very savvy or they’re dinosaurs. There doesn’t seem to be a middle ground with my age group. They do love music for the most part, we grew up with some really great stuff.

    I hadn’t thought about the Boomers inheriting large sums from their frugal parents. That is definitely true. The generation before us lived through the Depression and war and lived within their means and saved. I love that Apple is doing a great job of taping into this market.

         
  • Posted: 17 November 2010 02:42 AM #7

    ChasMac77 - 17 November 2010 05:10 AM

    My wife was pissed that I got her an AARP card when she turned 50. She didn’t mind so much though when we got some nice discounts because of it. I’m now in the club so I can’t tease her about it anymore :-(

    Interesting to hear that we’re considered Tech Savvy. I have a lot of friends that are either very savvy or they’re dinosaurs. There doesn’t seem to be a middle ground with my age group. They do love music for the most part, we grew up with some really great stuff.

    I hadn’t thought about the Boomers inheriting large sums from their frugal parents. That is definitely true. The generation before us lived through the Depression and war and lived within their means and saved. I love that Apple is doing a great job of taping into this market.

    And don’t forget that when and if they retire their IT dept. goes with them along with it’s trouble shooting.  Macs for everyone!

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    Posted: 17 November 2010 09:01 AM #8

    billH,

    Macs for everyone indeed! They just Need something that works and will pay for it. The iPad fits in perfectly here. Great point.

    [ Edited: 17 November 2010 07:09 PM by ChasMac77 ]      
  • Posted: 17 November 2010 01:32 PM #9

    BillH - 17 November 2010 06:42 AM
    ChasMac77 - 17 November 2010 05:10 AM

    My wife was pissed that I got her an AARP card when she turned 50. She didn’t mind so much though when we got some nice discounts because of it. I’m now in the club so I can’t tease her about it anymore :-(

    Interesting to hear that we’re considered Tech Savvy. I have a lot of friends that are either very savvy or they’re dinosaurs. There doesn’t seem to be a middle ground with my age group. They do love music for the most part, we grew up with some really great stuff.

    I hadn’t thought about the Boomers inheriting large sums from their frugal parents. That is definitely true. The generation before us lived through the Depression and war and lived within their means and saved. I love that Apple is doing a great job of taping into this market.

    And don’t forget that when and if they retire their IT dept. goes with them along with it’s trouble shooting.  Macs for everyone!

    The company I work for is clueless.  45% of their employees can retire within 5 years from now.  They have NO succession or knowledge transfer plan.  Apparently they think us “dinosaurs” don’t know anything worth keeping.  This is borne out by our relatively new CTO’s recent strategy edict:

    1.  We will standardize on Windows and AIX.
    2.  We will standardize on IBM and Dell hardware.
    3.  We will standardize on off-the-shelf applications.
    4.  IT personnel will be generic and interchangeable: No specialists.
    5.  No embedded developers.  All development personnel will work for a centralized IT department.

    In our industry this is a recipe for disaster.  Our new CEO used to be the CFO and apparently knows zip about IT, so he’s lapping up the Koolaid.  I’ll be glad to be leaving soon.

         
  • Posted: 17 November 2010 02:34 PM #10

    Zeke - 17 November 2010 05:32 PM

    In our industry this is a recipe for disaster.


    ...for the company. For you it means “time to start a consultancy business with the brightest of the other guys”. Then lean back, and cash in to the tune of 2-10 times your former hourly pay.

    It’s becoming embarrassingly common.

    It is the basis of both my current workplace, and our next door neighbors. Biggest shipping company in the world decided to drop all internal development a decade ago, and things have predictably gone to s***. Every once in a while they rag on us about how the indian programmers only cost a tenth pr. hour, to which we can only reply “how very interesting”.

         
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    Posted: 17 November 2010 03:50 PM #11

    dduck - 17 November 2010 06:34 PM

    ... Every once in a while they rag on us about how the indian programmers only cost a tenth pr. hour, to which we can only reply “how very interesting”.

    One way to operate is:  Americans do the conceptual and system design, indians do the programming.

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  • Posted: 17 November 2010 03:53 PM #12

    Mace - 17 November 2010 07:50 PM
    dduck - 17 November 2010 06:34 PM

    ... Every once in a while they rag on us about how the indian programmers only cost a tenth pr. hour, to which we can only reply “how very interesting”.

    One way to operate is:  Americans do the conceptual and system design, indians do the programming.

    Fact is they know the indians spend ten times the hours that we would on simple system maintenance, so they know the total price will be the same and the quality lower and the risk higher.

         
  • Posted: 17 November 2010 04:04 PM #13

    Zeke - 17 November 2010 05:32 PM

    The company I work for is clueless.  45% of their employees can retire within 5 years from now.  They have NO succession or knowledge transfer plan.  Apparently they think us “dinosaurs” don’t know anything worth keeping.  This is borne out by our relatively new CTO’s recent strategy edict:

    1.  We will standardize on Windows and AIX.
    2.  We will standardize on IBM and Dell hardware.
    3.  We will standardize on off-the-shelf applications.
    4.  IT personnel will be generic and interchangeable: No specialists.
    5.  No embedded developers.  All development personnel will work for a centralized IT department.

    In our industry this is a recipe for disaster.  Our new CEO used to be the CFO and apparently knows zip about IT, so he’s lapping up the Koolaid.  I’ll be glad to be leaving soon.

    Let me guess…, a couple of old guys?  (says the (soon to be) 58 yr. old)

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    Posted: 17 November 2010 04:39 PM #14

    Mercel - 17 November 2010 03:32 AM

    We are fighting age every step (and nip and tuck) of the way.  We have more money, better health, and generally don’t want to be called Grandpa (this one is not going to be a problem for me).

    In short, we’re different.  My generation needs a new card:  The Boomers.  AARP is for our parents.

    That rings very true,

    I just returned from the hairdresser, and without any prodding, she broke into a rant that when her daughter had a kid, she had to think fast, because the last thing she wanted was anybody calling her grandma or any of the grandma-associated names.

    Actually, nobody would ever guess she is a grandparent - she’s a petite blonde who blends quite well with the coeds down here ‘Bama way.

         
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    Posted: 17 November 2010 04:46 PM #15

    dduck - 17 November 2010 07:53 PM
    Mace - 17 November 2010 07:50 PM
    dduck - 17 November 2010 06:34 PM

    ... Every once in a while they rag on us about how the indian programmers only cost a tenth pr. hour, to which we can only reply “how very interesting”.

    One way to operate is:  Americans do the conceptual and system design, indians do the programming.

    Fact is they know the indians spend ten times the hours that we would on simple system maintenance, so they know the total price will be the same and the quality lower and the risk higher.

    This happens with any programmers.  You got to have good project managers who know the stuff.

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    Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.  - Steve Jobs