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Posts from May, 2013

Bodden Partners Launches Latest Travel and Tourism Campaign

May 29

Bodden Partners has launched its latest advertising campaign and social media promotion for the Israel Ministry of Tourism. The theme “Israel — Beyond Belief” will highlight a selection of the country’s most unique attractions.  In addition, a free Israel vacation giveaway is being promoted on social media. Facebook fans will create an original, short-form video explaining why they should win. All videos must incorporate the contest theme “Israel is beyond belief.” The contest is being promoted through various social media channels and will run through July 28, 2013. The winner will be announced in August.

Mature Marketing, The Caregiver Marketplace

May 23

Family caregivers are a vital and growing, but often overlooked marketplace. There are approximately 66 million caregivers performing a variety of tasks and making any number of purchasing decisions, ranging from buying food for special diets to shopping for medical equipment and supplies to arranging for outside care.

A recent survey revealed that caregivers spend on average anywhere from $5,000-$12,000 annually out of their own pockets caring for loved ones. Some participants in the survey were asked to keep detailed spending diaries, others simply estimated their expenses. Those who kept written diaries reported much higher levels of spending which may suggest that caregivers are underestimating the amount and the frequency of the purchases they make on behalf of their loved ones.

The largest categories of caregiver spending varied between paid home care assistance and medical expenses. The medical expense category included prescription and OTC drugs, co-pays and insurance premiums. Other categories tracked in the study were medical equipment and supplies, personal care products and home modifications. Caregivers also report purchasing cleaning and yard maintenance services and pet care products and services.  Given the levels and frequency of caregiver spending, marketers offering these products should strongly consider adding caregivers to their target audience.

Not only are caregivers major buyers but they are also key influencers in healthcare purchase decisions. A study by The Caregiver’s Advisory Panel (TCAP) discovered that 96% of caregivers influence decisions regarding the purchase of caregiving health products, and 79% of caregivers purchase all or nearly all of those products. In our experience, caregivers are also very influential in the purchase of a host of financial products and services including long term care insurance, life insurance, Medicare supplement insurance and related products.

Caregiver marketing is rewarding yet challenging, in large part because caregivers are not easily identified. In a future edition of this blog we will discuss caregiver targeting in greater detail. Please join the discussion.

Bodden Partners, We Stand with Oklahoma

May 22

On May 20, two Oklahoma schools took a direct hit from the devastating tornado that leveled parts of Moore, Oklahoma. In the days that followed stories started pouring in about the heroic and selfless teachers, support professionals, administrators and school staff who saved the lives of students. Some teachers literally acted as human shields, putting their own lives at risk to protect their students.

Now in the aftermath of the storm, many of these educators find themselves with no school and no home to return to. In an instant, they lost homes and possessions that it took many a lifetime to attain. The nearly 40,000 members of the Oklahoma Education Association is stepping in to help. OEA has set up a special fund for NEA members affected by yesterday’s tornado.

Dennis Van Roekel expressed the sentiments of NEA members across the nation when he said “There are no words to convey our sorrow over the tragic loss that has been suffered by Oklahoma’s families. Our hearts are broken over the students and educators killed in the storm and we commend the educators who put their lives on the line to protect the children in these schools—every single one is a hero who will not be forgotten. We will stand with the families of those lost and injured and the communities suffering as they work to rebuild their homes and their lives.”

Bodden Partners is honored to stand with Oklahoma and support the heroic NEA members affected by this devastating tragedy. Click here to learn more and make a donation:

Mature Marketing, Reaching Male Caregivers

May 15

As discussed in our last post, a growing number of men are assuming caregiver responsibilities. However, many marketers of products and services geared to the mature market still exclusively focus their messaging on a female target audience.  However, as we conducted proprietary research for our client, Always Best Care, we uncovered a pent-up demand for messaging that would resonate specifically to with male caregivers.

Always Best Care Senior Services provides both non-medical in-home care and assisted living placement services.  In preparation for a new TV campaign, we conducted a series of in-depth one-on-one interviews with Always Best Care customers. We noticed in the interviews that male caregivers described their needs, experiences, concerns, reactions and approach to caregiving differently from women.

Larger research studies confirm these findings. Male caregivers are more likely to be working fulltime, more likely to live farther away and less comfortable providing hands-on, intimate and personal care such as bathing and toileting.  In her book Passages into Caregiving, Gail Sheehy summarizes two years of research and hundreds of interviews that prove these insights. She found men more commonly take on executive tasks like managing finances, legal and insurance issues.

Men are also much less likely to be caregivers for a person over the age of 50. When the person receiving care is aged 18-49, 47% of caregivers are male.  However if the person receiving care is over age 50, the caregiver gender balance shifts to 68% female, and only 32% male.

These factors contribute to why more men than women tend to employ outside, paid, professional help such as the services that Always Best Care provides. Male caregivers actually use paid assistance at a rate of 40%. And among caregivers of people over 50, it’s the men who are more likely to actually arrange for that help.

So in this case a senior services company targeting only women would actually miss the mark. At Bodden Partners we recognize the need to look beyond stereotypes and understand the needs and nuances in your audience in order to create effective marketing communications.

Mature Marketing, a Look at Male Caregivers

May 10

Baby Boomer Male CaregiverIn recent editions of this Mature Marketing blog, we have been discussing the vital role of caregivers and why marketers need to effectively communicate with them.

The face of caregiving is changing. While the typical caregiver is still female, a third of all caregivers are male. The number of men caring for an older adult has doubled in the past 15 years. There are a number of societal and demographic factors behind this growing trend. One of these is that more families are having fewer children which eventually results in more sons becoming responsible for parental care.  Divorce also increases the odds that a son will become responsible for the care of his aged parents.

Another factor leading to an increase in male caregivers is the increase in the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. As more baby boomers become seniors, incidence is expected to rapidly increase. Risk doubles for every five years in age after age 65. Twice as many people have Alzheimer’s today as in 1980 and the rate is expected to double by 2050 to an estimated 16 million adults. Because Alzheimer’s affects women more than men, more husbands are becoming spousal caregivers.

Male caregivers share the same level of devotion to their loved ones as female caregivers. However, a number of studies and experts in the field have identified several key areas in which the caregiving experience is different for men:

  • Older men came of age before the cultural shift in gender roles. Therefore they tend to be less prepared or more uncomfortable with household tasks such as cleaning and cooking and altering recipes to accommodate medical conditions.
  • Sons are also less likely to be involved in the more intimate, personal care such as bathing and toileting. If they do perform these tasks, they tend to provide such care to fathers, rather than mothers.
  • More men are long distance caregivers, as a result they have to travel further or spend more time organizing care from a distance.
  • Male caregivers are much more likely to be working full time (82% vs 70% of female caregivers). Yet men are less likely to seek support from their employers or co-workers. They are less likely to make accommodations in their work schedule or responsibilities.

How can product and service providers, healthcare professionals and marketers effectively support male caregivers? What product development opportunities exist by segment (i.e. long distance caregivers, younger male caregivers, older male caregivers, working professionals, etc)?  In future editions of this blog, we will discuss these and other caregiving topics. We invite you to join the conversation.

Mature Marketing, From the Baby Boom to the Patient Boom

May 08

In a previous post, we wrote about how Baby Boomers are transforming healthcare. The gains Boomers are experiencing in longevity coupled with their higher levels of chronic illnesses will present the health care system with serious challenges. If current trends continue, the American Hospitals Association projects that:

  • More than six of every 10 Boomers will be managing more than one chronic condition.
  • One of every four Boomers will be living with diabetes and require ongoing inpatient and outpatient medical management.
  • Nearly one out of every two Boomers will be living with arthritis.
  • Falls, hip fractures, knee replacements and other aging-related complications and procedures will skyrocket.

All these Boomers with all these conditions will stretch the healthcare system and drive it to develop creative ways to handle the volume and diversity of their needs. The health services industry from physicians to hospitals to home care services to insurance companies and telemedicine providers are gearing up to meet the challenges and the unprecedented opportunities of Boomer demand.

As has been discussed in this blog series, effectively marketing health services to Boomers requires special skills. They are a diverse group with different attitudes, perceptions, resources and behaviors. Yet marketers who crack the code of effectively communicating their offers will reap the rewards as the graying of America continues for many years to come.