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GenSights - Making Boomer Magic

Sharing generational insights to help businesses make magic with Baby Boomers

The New Normal?

boomer_summit_webAs marketing strategists we’re always on the quest for what’s cutting edge when it comes to reaching and servicing the Boomer & Senior markets. Today more than ever knowledge and technology are like moving targets. What was leading edge yesterday is passé today. The only way for thought leaders like us to stay on top of our craft is to stay in a constant dialog with other thought leaders that share the same enthusiasm for knowledge as we do. What better way than to attend the “What’s Next Boomer Business Summit” at this year's location, our Nation's Capital, Washington DC. The annual summit is presented by Mary Furlong & Associates and this year's topic was: The New Normal: Showcasing the groundswell in social media, the surge in the services economy, and the rise of the independent sector.

With the incredible roster of keynotes and industry experts, the summit was simply outstanding. Our heads were spinning with excitement and the treasure trove of ideas and information. One hot topic centered around how social media has led the way to stay informed and share ideas with one another. Though I was posting on Twitter and Facebook throughout the conference, it was evident, there's no substitute for face-to-face contact, and I’m not talking Skype.

Here are just a few of our initial takes from the summit:


This category now boasts that 7 out of 10 Boomers are comfortable with technology according to Steve French of NMI. What makes this category endearing is how it makes lives easier and provides a connection for families, especially children and parents or grandparents. Who ever thought that we’d be exchanging pictures with our families via Facebook rather than a photo-album and texting with our college age children?


Due to the economic conditions over the past couple of years a lot of housing projects (new builds) have been on hold according to Sharon Dworkin Bell of NAHB. Though there still might be growth in the 55+ communities (more affluent demographic), some of that building has leveled off. Based on what we heard at the "Aging Means Business" conference back in November, this leveling off is primarily due to the fact that people don’t really like being segregated by age and most prefer multi-generational living. Communities comprised of multiple generations appear to keep older people younger, longer. One thing for sure, there is a major disconnect between what consumers are looking for in housing as they age and what builders are providing or not providing. Lots of room for improvement and opportunity!

Reaching the 50+ audience through social media is already huge and still growing. When social media is part of your marketing strategy it’s important that it is authentic, real and genuine according to Laurie Mitchell of Grand Care Systems If it’s not, you risk alienating your 50+ audience and your chances of recapturing them are not good. The experience has to be worth their while.

These are just three of the many take-ways from the summit. We'll be posting more on topics like healthcare and healthy living trends, the "next great act", entrepreneurship and encore careers, philanthropy, the service industry, the workforce, room for innovation and more.
Once we have a chance to dive into our notes and Tweets, we’ll continue to post our impressions and insights on the "new normal".

– written by Tom Gorski

-posted by Laura Willis

Labels: Boomer & Senior Markets, the new normal, 55+ communities, social media and 50+ audience, Boomers and Technology