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Posts from April, 2013

Mature Marketing, Baby Boomers Transforming Healthcare

Apr 30

Largely thanks to advancements in medicine and drop in smoking rates, according to data compiled by the Social Security Administration, a man reaching age 65 today can expect to live, on average, until age 83. Women, can expect to live on average to 85. And those are just averages. About one out of every four 65-year-olds today will live past age 90, and one out of 10 will live past age 95.

The sheer gains in longevity among the Boomer generation have given them an overall perception of being vital and youthful. Images of mature consumers in the media depict them as leading active, healthy lifestyles. This is in keeping with how Boomers generally perceive themselves.

Yet upon closer study an interesting paradox emerges. The increased longevity does not mean Boomers are the picture of health. Recent studies show that many Baby Boomers actually have higher levels of hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol and higher rates of disability than their parents. Among those with lower incomes and lower levels of education, incidence of disease is even higher. However, through the use of prescription drugs many of these chronic conditions can be successfully treated and managed for years.

The sheer number of Boomers, especially those with chronic conditions, will present healthcare system with serious challenges. AARP estimates that from now to 2030, Boomers will be turning 65 at a rate of about 8,000 a day. How will healthcare professionals and hospitals prepare for the demands aging baby boomers will place on the system? What are the implications for healthcare and pharmaceutical marketers? How will marketers of insurance, financial services and senior care services be impacted? These issues will be discussed in a future posts on this blog.

Mature Marketing, a Look at Caregiver Spending

Apr 29

In our last post, we shared findings from a telephone survey showing that, on average, caregivers estimate that they spend over $5,000 a year out of their own pockets in order to care for their loved ones. Of course, no two situations are exactly alike and therefore this amount can vary widely depending on circumstances, the health of the loved one being cared for and living arrangements. Long-distance caregivers reported the highest expenses ($8,728) and those who were caring for someone nearby had the lowest ($4,570). Caregivers who lived in the same home with the care recipient estimated an average annual expense of $5,885.

Actually, getting a firm handle on just how much is being spent by family members and friends in a caregiving role is difficult to estimate. Caregiving is usually considered a labor of love and caregivers may be reluctant to think in terms of dollars and cents. How does one put a price on what is often seen as a moral obligation?

Even so, real money is being spent every day by the 66 million caregivers across this nation. As is true with other types of expenses, when we actually track our spending, the results can surprise us. The same was true in this survey. When a small portion of people agreed to detailed expense tracking, the actual dollars spent were much higher than what others had merely estimated –an average $1,029 in just one month. This put them on track to spend over $12,000 a year, almost two and a half times what the other group had estimated.

Are most caregivers underestimating their spending? What are the implications and financial repercussions of these unplanned expenses? Where is the money going? What are caregivers buying? Where do they go to learn about products and services to help them care for their loved ones? As marketers, how can we make sure we are offering caregivers the products and value they need to make the most of their money? These and other issues will be discussed in upcoming posts in the Mature Marketing series. We invite you to stay tuned and join the discussion with your own experiences and observations.

Mature Marketing, a Look at Caregivers

Apr 24

In our first installment of the new blog series, Mature Marketing, we’re taking a closer look at who are the primary caregivers in this country. The term caregiver refers to anyone who provides assistance to someone else who is incapacitated and needs help. The National Center on Caregiving describes “informal caregiving” (that is, the care provided to a person in need by a family member or friend rather than a paid care worker) as the bedrock of the U.S. healthcare system. One third of caregivers are providing care to two or more people.

Although one profile does not fit all caregivers, in most cases caregivers are female. Although men also provide assistance, female caregivers may spend as much as 50% more time providing care than male caregivers. Future installments of this blog will discuss male caregivers in greater detail.

Caregivers are in market for a host of goods, services and information to help them in their caregiving role. On average, caregivers spend $5,000 out of pocket on household goods, food, transportation costs and medical care co-pays and pharmaceuticals. Marketers of healthcare and personal products can gain significant market share by deepening their understanding of the needs, concerns, interest and behaviors of caregivers.

Trade Show Industry Poised to Grow Though 2015

Apr 17

The Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) forecasts significant growth for the trade show and expo industry through 2015. Each metric in the study began to show improvement in 2012 and this growth is expected to gain momentum through the foreseeable future.

We would like to help your company take full advantage of the increased number of shows and attendees. Let ExpoPlus, a Bodden Partners company, help you design, plan, produce, and install everything you need to make your next trade show, conference or Corporate meeting event a success. We are experts at creating marketing strategies that make your face-to-face efforts stand out among the sea of competitors. Barbara Stroup, VP of Business Development will be happy to assist you. BStroup@ceipexpo.com

Respect your elders, and those who care for them

Apr 16

For the past few months, the Bodden Partners blog has been examining the mindset, concerns and behaviors of mature consumer. With this article, we are expanding the series to gain a deeper understanding into the role and impact caregiving has on the needs of both the caregiver and the recipient.

According to caregiving.org, 65% of older people with long term care needs rely exclusively on family and friends to provide assistance. There are an estimated 65.7 million family caregivers in the U.S. Who are these caregivers? What challenges do they face? What motivates them? What needs do they have for products, services and information? How should these insights affect marketers targeting mature consumers? These and related topics will be discussed in future editions of the BP blog. We hope you enjoy the series and find it useful. We invite your reactions, opinions and personal experiences.

Respect your elders, they are savvy shoppers

Apr 08

Many marketers use the term “mature consumers” as a euphemism for older shoppers. For example, Georgia State University’s Center for Mature Consumer Studies, defines the mature market as those aged 55 and above.  Others start the clock at over 50. However when we develop marketing strategies at Bodden Partners, we look beyond age and its related stereotypes.

For us, “mature consumers” represent a mindset rather than an age. They are experienced shoppers. They are wiser, more savvy and discerning buyers. A global study entitled What Do Mature Consumers Want? examined how shopping and spending habits change with age. Among the findings, many older people enjoy shopping and shop more frequently, not so much out of necessity but also as a leisure activity. They tend to buy fewer items but spend more time per item.

Mature consumers are careful, discerning shoppers with both the time and the desire to be well informed. They shop for quality and value over price. Price sensitivity actually diminishes further with age. Promotions may catch their eye, but these are thoroughly scrutinized. In addition to a lifetime of experiences to guide their decisions, many are also technically savvy and adept at using the Internet to gather purchase information. This raises the bar for transparency and accuracy in marketing communications.

Marketers also need to be mindful that mature consumers often have a skeptical or negative view of advertising, finding it too focused on the young. Advertising is a profession dominated by the young, whose understanding of and empathy for older consumers may be lacking.

In today’s marketing environment it is essential that agencies and clients alike bridge the generation gap and deepen their understanding of the nuances of speaking to the mindset, concerns and behaviors of mature consumers.

Respect your elders, get beyond Baby Boomer stereotypes

Apr 03

When I say “Baby Boomers,” what comes to mind? Most people define Baby Boomers by their age.   The Census Bureau considers a Baby Boomer to be someone born during the demographic birth boom between 1946 and 1964. Born around the same time, Boomers came of age during a time of well-known cultural revolutions that helped shape their political, social and cultural identities.  However an oversimplified view, heavily dependent on stereotypes, does not do justice to the 77 million individuals born during the Boomer years.

There is great diversity within the Baby Boomer audience. Much has been made of Baby Boomer spending and wealth, yet segments within the Boomer population are struggling financially. Boomers have a reputation of feeling and acting younger than their age. Stereotypes paint them as vibrant and robust. Yet more than three-quarters of adults over 65 suffer from at least one chronic medical condition that requires ongoing care and management.

Some are quite active in all forms of online activities including social media. Yet the heaviest users tend to be those who were already dependent on digital technology before they aged into the Boomer demographic.  Pre-existing digital behavior is a more reliable predictor than age.

Marketers of products and services for mature consumers do well to move beyond Baby Boomer stereotypes and develop segmentation strategies that are the most relevant for their potential buyers. Among the many factors to weigh and consider in marketing segmentation include relevant pre-purchase behavior triggers, media consumption preferences, health status, marital status, employment status, household income, household composition, presence of children, age of children, recent life events, and yes, age.