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Posts from July, 2013

Mature Marketing, Baby Boomer Life Transitions

Jul 31

Mature Marketing, Baby Boomer Life Transitions

In our latest Mature Marketing series, we have been discussing how Baby Boomers have entered a particularly dynamic period of life, filled with ongoing changes and transitions.  This post will focus on the some changes they are experiencing in the family and at home and some of the implications these transitions have for marketers.

  • Children Move Out/Become Grandparent – 83% of older Boomers no longer have children living with them.  85% are grandparents with an average of 4.8 grandchildren. AARP reports the average of age of first-time grandparents is 47. Grandparents represent a $50 billion dollar market. 96% report spending money on their grandchildren with 25% spending $1,000 or more per year.
  • Becoming a Caregiver –13% of older Boomers are caring for an aged parent or relative.  Although the percentage of Boomer caregivers has held steady over the past five years, the number of hours spent in caregiving has increased significantly. Nearly a quarter of Boomer caregivers are providing care 20 or more hours per week. As the caregiver responsibilities increase, these Boomers are likely to be in the market for support services and products. It is estimated that caregivers spend between $5,000-$12,000 per year on a variety of caregiving supplies and services.

For many Baby Boomers, the life’s major events propel them into unfamiliar territory and unleash a host of information and product needs.  According to AARP, more life events occur between the ages of 50-65 than in any other time in a person’s life. The typical Boomer experiences an average of two major life events around career, family, finance or health each year.

With wave after wave of Boomers passing through many of the same experiences, marketers who respond effectively to Baby Boomer life events will reap the rewards for many years to come. Bodden Partners has over 30 years experience testing and refining marketing messages for the mature market. If you would like to learn more about how Bodden Partners is helping our clients successfully navigate and leverage life events, contact Marty Mitchell at mmitchell@boddenpartners.com

Mature Marketing, Helping Baby Boomers Navigate Change

Jul 09

Our last post touched upon the special skills required for life event marketing. Life events can cause consumers to become uniquely receptive and predisposed to information and services related to the event at hand. However, in order to be successful, marketers need to be sensitive to the stress, confusion and distraction that consumers experience during major life changes.

Bodden Partners has specialized expertise in reaching the emotional levers that drive consumer purchase behavior. Therefore when Transamerica engaged us to market their Medsupp and Medicare prescription plans to hundreds of their affinity partners, we devised a creative strategy that not only sold the product but also supported the consumer through this life transition.

Research revealed that most people are overwhelmed by the number of Medicare insurance plans, the complexities within those plans and the time and effort needed to determine prescription drug choices and out of pocket costs. To further complicate matters, the Transamerica product is an exclusive program offered only to select government agencies, credit unions, associations and employee groups. Some groups fully customized their marketing materials while others preferred to use Transamerica’s messaging.

The marketing program we developed not only sold the product but also reinforced the affinity between the various groups and its members. We designed a web experience and offline direct mail and collateral that could be customized to the needs of each of Transamerica’s hundreds of affinity partners. The images, messaging and calls to action acknowledged the challenges of this life change, while making consumers feel supported, respected, motivated and empowered.  If you would like to know more about our approach to life event marketing, contact Marty Mitchell mmitchell@boddenpartners.com

In our next post we will continue to explore some of the unique life transitions that Boomers are experiencing and the marketing implications for Mature Marketers.

Mature Marketing, Baby Boomer Life Events

Jul 03

In our last post, we discussed the power of life events to create purchasing behaviors. In this post we will be taking a closer look at some of the major life events affecting Baby Boomers and the implications of these findings for marketers of products and services targeted to the mature market.

  • Retirement – Contrary to popular myth, most Boomers are not putting off retirement.  The first wave of Boomers are now 67 years old and more than half (52%) of them are fully retired and no longer working. The average age at which they retired was 59.5. Those still working plan, on average, to work to age 71. Financial services marketers are expecting a surge of business that will last well into next 20 years. With over half the investable assets in this country, upcoming waves of retiring Boomers will be actively searching for money management advice and guidance.
  • Collecting Social Security – Even though many Boomers continue to work, 86% are collecting Social Security benefits. For many Boomers, along with Social Security comes Medicare. Pew Research Center estimates that 10,000 Americans turn 65 everyday, the minimum age required to qualify for Medicare.  More than 62.3 million people are expected by enrolled by 2020. The market for Medsupp and Medicare Advantage products is expected to increase significantly.

For many Baby Boomers, the above life events also represent a major change in their financial situation. Decisions around retirement, Social Security and Medicare can be overwhelmingly complex. Consumers going though major transitions are often confused, anxious and distracted. Therefore life event marketing requires special communication skills. Marketers not only need to time their life event offers correctly, but also ensure their messaging is empathetic and supportive.

In our next post, we will discuss how marketers can effectively achieve the dual objectives of communicating product benefits while supporting the consumer through a life transition.