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Sharing generational insights to help businesses make magic with Baby Boomers

Trying To Create Marketing Messages with Meaning? Learn What’s Meaningful.

30 Lessons for LivingIt’s one of the golden rules of marketing: in order to connect with your target audience, you need to tell a story that’s meaningful to them. That’s why businesses with big budgets invest a lot of those dollars in research. But what if your company doesn’t have that kind of money? Well, if you’re lucky enough to be a business that’s targeting the senior market, I recommend spending around $15 for 30 Lessons for Living: Tried and True Advice from the Wisest Americans by Cornell sociologist and gerontologist Karl Pillemer.
Pillemer is the founder of the Cornell Legacy project. In 2004, he and his researchers began to systematically collect the responses of nearly 1500 Americans age 70 and older to a single question: “What are the most important lessons you have learned over the course of your life?”
Though the individuals are from a broad spectrum of economic, educational, and occupational backgrounds, their beautifully insightful answers on a wide range of topics strike a similar vein. All together, they provide a wise, practical, and deeply moving guide to creating a life that’s both satisfying and successful.
The advice offered ranges from “how to be happy on a day-to-day basis, the secrets to a successful marriage, tips on raising children, ways to have a fulfilling career, strategies for dealing with illness and loss, and how to grow old fearlessly and well”.  You’ll learn what’s given these “wise elders” joy over the course of a lifetime, as well as what they regret. In a word, you’ll learn what’s meaningful.
The insights you’ll gain as you develop a deeper understanding of what really matters to people in this stage of life can make you a better person. They’ll also help you be a better marketer; one who is able to ascertain the meaningful benefits your product or service provides to this market—and craft more powerful stories to explain those benefits.

Best of all, this is not only relevant to elders. The research I’ve read on Boomers indicates that this cohort holds many of the same attitudes about what’s really meaningful in life. According to a recent U.S. Consumer Expenditure Survey, those age 50+ have $2.4 trillion in annual income, which accounts for 42% of all after-tax income. Now, wouldn’t that be meaningful to your business?

– written by Lynn Schweikart

-posted by Laura Willis

Labels: Connecting with your target audience, Senior Market, gerontologist, targeting the senior market, Lessons for Living