Mature Market Experts Stat of The Day: The Collapse Of The RV industry

j0182280 mature market campers and RVs

Mature Market Experts: more mature market news and stats more often – The collapse of the RV industry– According to the Warranty Week, no segment seems to have been harder hit by the recent recession than recreational vehicles with the virtual collapse of the RV (recreational vehicles) industry. The report states the accruals made by manufacturers in the RV industry over the past six years increased in the second quarter of 2005 to $79 million, whereas in the final quarter of 2008 they were barely over $41 million.

The industry’s current problems stem from consumer loss of income, fluctuating interest rates, increase in fuel prices and diminished home equity financings over the last two years.

Despite being among one of the cheapest ways for Americans to vacation, Mark Schone, attributes the industry’s sudden breakdown to recession. In addition the industry has also experienced a unique and painful credit crunch, which makes it difficult to arrange loans for those who still have hopes. The two major RV manufacturers, Country Coach and Monaco Coach are on the verge of bankruptcy (by the way, if your company faces bankruptcy -regardless of industry- my brother’s firm, Equity Partners, may be able to help you).

A study conducted by the University of Michigan’s Survey Research Center outlines the main reason for the growth in the numbers of RVs owned by Americans. RVs had reached record levels in the past couple of years. By the end of the decade, the number of consumers aged 50 to 64 will total 57 million or 38 percent which is higher than in 2000, as noted by Dr. Richard Curtin, director of surveys at the University of Michigan. Today there are around 8.5 million functioning RVs, which has led to a drastic growth of 58% since 1980 and one-in-12 vehicle-owning households in the above age group own at least one RV.

Even though there was a sudden decrease in the value of manufacturers’ sales of RVs in 2001, the RV market has shown immense growth in the following years. In 2004, the sales had increased by 6.7% to reach $11.4 billion, which was higher than the $7.4 billion in 2001.

Since 70% of RV production is located in Indiana and 15% in Oregon and California, these states are currently experiencing wild unemployment. Indiana currently has the highest unemployment rate in the United States.

My parters and I, at TR Mann Consulting, believe is that the industry association needs to make an aggressive advertising move. This recession is actually an opportunity for them to gain market position by positioning themselves as a vacation value. But they need to do so, by making a move to mainstream media . . . something they have been historically reluctant to do.



Mature Market Experts Stat of The Day: What Does The Mature Market Cut In A Bad Economy?

Mature Market Experts: more mature market news and stats more often – What Does The Mature Market Cut In A Bad Economy?- AARP’s research  “A year-end look at the Economic Slowdown’s Impact on Middle-Aged and Older Americans,” which was a review of 2008 provides some interesting insight on what changes the mature market makes during a recession. The three sectors that were effected the most (not counting essentials) were entertainment, dining, and travel.

Source: AARP’s research  “A year-end look at the Economic Slowdown’s Impact on Middle-Aged and Older Americans”

Mature Market Experts Stat of the Day: U.S. Retirement Savings Loses

j0435885 mature market retirement plans

Mature Market Experts: more mature market news and stats more often – U.S. Retirement Savings Loses – “$2 TRILLION . . . the amount of U.S. retirement savings lost to market declines since mind-2007.

20% – the average drop in the value of a 401K account over the same period

Source: Corridor Inc.

Note: Understanding how the 65+ mature market thinks of their finances and their “three pockets” is very important. Here’s where their income is coming from: Social security accounts for  40% of their income; followed by earnings (25%), pensions (19%), asset income (14%), and “other” at 2%.

In my 20+ years of dealing with the 65+ market, the only “pocket” they will ever pull money from for “daily expenses” is social security. This is one of the reasons less than 3% of the age and income qualified mature market ever makes the move to a retirement community. The value of the home and income-earning assets is viewed as “untouchable.”

Mature Market Experts Stat of the Day: Baby Boomers and Retirement Saving

42-16935308 mature market savings

Mature Market Experts: more mature market news and stats more often – Baby Boomers and Retirement Saving – 20% of baby boomers have stopped contributing to retirement plans due to economic hardships.

$88,000 is the average retirement savings of baby boomers, who contribute to tax-qualified plans. $5,000 is the average annual income those savings will produce.

64 % of working women aged 21 to 64 do not contribute to a retirement fund.

Source: Corridor Inc.

Note: If you are a financial institution and you are not targeting women, you are missing the boat.

Mature Market Experts Gem of The Day: Marketing to Baby Boomers and the Mature Market – Avoiding the Herd Mentality

j02622761 TR Mann Consulting cow

Mature Market Experts: more mature market news and stats more often: Marketing to Baby Boomers and the Mature MarketBy Tom Mann, TR Mann Consulting: My partners at TR Mann Consulting and I regularly receive emails and phone calls from reporters, bloggers, advertising agencies, marketing firms, and consumer good manufactures asking us what the secret is understanding Baby Boomers, seniors, and the Mature Market. I would argue that there are no secrets just refined techniques. Here are some baby boomer and mature market marketing basics:

How is marketing to baby boomers different from marketing to the rest of the mature market or the public in general?

For decades now, marketers have been selling their clients on demographic breakouts. They tell you that the baby boomer generation (the 76 million Americans born between 1946 and 1964) represent unlimited herd-like opportunities.  On top of the 76 million American Boomer goldmine is another six to eight million immigrant boomers.

The magic demographic breakout? People born between 1946 and 1955 are called leading-edge boomers by these marketers. Those born between 1956 to 1964 are commonly referred to as late- or trailing-edge boomers.

These lazy marketers will tell you that these are two sociologically distinct target audiences . . . the “leading-edge boomers” grew up during the Vietnam War era. They will tell you that they were shaped by the “cultural revolution,” modern feminism (remember Billy Jean King and Bobby Riggs?), the Beatles, the assassinations of JFK and Martin Luther King, and the civil rights.

And yes, these events did influence some of their decisions but unfortunately for marketers, it’s much more complex than that. Boomers and the mature market (like all humans) are driven more by their personal needs (remember Maslow’s pyramid?) and the stage of life they are currently in.

In short, marketers need to understand that it’s about “stage” . . . not age. In other words, where is that individual in their personal journey? Just because we are from the same generation doesn’t mean were in the same stage.

David Wolfe, one of my favorite bloggers and a true expert on aging states on his blog Ageless Marketing:

“Needs drive our behavior. Our need to be physically and mentally comfortable, whole, safe and secure does not change from one generation to the next. In Maslow’s hierarchy, that bundle of needs is the most basic of all needs. Then, our need for love and to be loved never changes from one generation to the next. The same holds true of our need for self-esteem and the esteem of others.

What does change from generation to generation are the ways in which we strive to meet our needs.”

By approaching consumer’s with a “stage mentality” new targeting opportunities arise. My favorite example of this is one of my clients, GRAND Magazine. GRAND doesn’t address the readers’ age; it addresses the stage of life this group (Grandparents) has just entered. By recognizing the importance of this role, the grandparent role, GRAND and its advertisers, connect with their audience on a much deeper level. Think about it this way, there are over 72 million grandparents in America, and according to Age Wave Communications they’ll spend over 30 billion this year on their grandchildren. And I would say that $30 Billion is low, I’ve seen estimates of over $75 billion a year!

Because we believe it’s about stage, NOT age, at TR Mann Consulting we have created a different set of lens for looking at the sales process called the Maslow-Mann Brand Match. The great thing about this approach is that unlike the traditional marketing approach it’s inclusive, rather than “cutting out” market segments . . . so your market opportunities are bigger, not smaller. For example, did you know that the average age of a grandparent in the U.S. is 48? If you applied a traditional approach to reaching grandparents (a presumed age) you would miss much of the market.

Why are so many people and companies talking about boomers and the mature market now? How much buying power do boomers and matures have?

You have to remember, every eight seconds, another boomer turns 50. Over 50% of the households in the U.S. are now headed up by a baby boomer. And the mature market continues to grow at an incredible rate; by 2010 one-third of the U.S. population will be over 50. By 2020, one in five Americans will be over 65.

More importantly, they control the bulk of the nation’s wealth  . . . and they shop! According to a recent study by Nielsen and Hallmark Channels, households with baby boomer members account for nearly $230 billion in sales of consumer packaged goods and represent 55% of total consumer packaged goods sales.

Those numbers get even bigger when you include all the mature market, the 78 million American seniors who were 50 or older as of 2001 controlled $28 trillion, or 67% of the country’s wealth.

The mature market controls 70 to 79% of all the financial assets, 80% of all the savings accounts; 62% of all large Wall Street asset accounts; and 66% of all the money invested in the stock market.

Boomer women in particular will control the bulk of the mature market’s wealth. By 2010, women are expected to control 60% of all wealth in the U.S., according to a study from Allianz Life Insurance Company.

If you want to see more of these amazing numbers on mature women, click here.

What is the best way to market to boomers and the mature market?

Boomers and seniors are at completely different stages of their lives. It’s important to identify which stages most closely align with your product or service.

·        Do they have kids at home? Young or returned to the nest?

·        Do they have parents at home?

·        Are they healthy? What ailments do they have?

·        Are they retired?

·        Are they active?

The point is, that by acknowledging that marketing is a whole lot harder than just selling to a “herd” of boomers you’ll start to position your product more carefully.

Aside from physical ailments and illnesses, as we age and mature, we tend to proceed further up Maslow’s pyramid with our needs becoming less materialistic and more emotional/spiritual. Creating advertising that connects emotionally and logically is essential. This is one of the reasons TR Mann Consulting likes to use testimonials for our clients. Testimonials tell stories, they connect emotionally and logically. Plus, they maximize the principals of authority and social proof (The principles of influence: Consistency, Likability, Authority, Social Proof, Scarcity, and Reciprocity — as taught by researcher, Dr. Robert Cialdini).

Next, you have to take in consideration the visual and psychological differences between the different stages. One stage might be “elderly with declining health.” For the 65+ audience your ads should look dramatically different than if you were targeting younger boomers exclusively. Why? Because vision becomes an issue for print and TV, as do fast cuts in TV commercials. Although, in my opinion, all your ads should include these inclusive visual techniques . . . after all, why cut out potential customers? (If you’re interested in learning more about the mature market and vision, click here, then go to the bottom of the page and select “Vision and Aging.”)

Want to learn more about Baby Boomers, Seniors, and the Mature Market?

Of course, an article this short can’t possibly cover a topic this complex and do it justice. But hopefully, it does stop you from buying the traditional “herd-mentality” marketing approach being sold by most marketers for reaching the Boomers. If you’d like to learn more to improve your chances for marketing success with the mature market, give TR Mann Consulting a call at 410-292-4333.


Mature Market Experts Stat of The Day: Marketing to Boomers and Seniors – 58 Segments and 13 Life Stages


Identifying key stages, like grandparenting, will go a long way towards improving your marketing.

Identifying key stages, like grandparenting, will go a long way towards improving your marketing.

Mature Market Experts: more mature market news and stats more often: Marketing To Boomers and Seniors — When it comes to tracking and categorizing the financial habits of the growing populations of Baby Boomers and Seniors, Claritas developed an effective demographic segmentation system called PRIZM NE (for more information visit which is particularly insightful for producers of annuity and life insurance products. As I’ve said, over and over to my clients, “It’s about stage NOT age!” Claritas’ system breaks down U.S. households by financial behavior across 58 segments within 13 life stage groups going back to 1987, which is a very helpful beginning. That being said, the surest way to develop a real relationship with potential customers is to engage them in a meaningful relationship. This PowerPoint outlines some ways to do that: TR Mann Consulting – Relational Marketing

PS  GRAND Magazine, one of TR Mann Consultings’ clients, offers an exceptional opportunity for marketers to capture an audience at a highly defined stage, at an exceptional cost per thousand. Grandparents will continue to spoil and spend money on their grandchildren even in the worst economy.



Mature Market Experts Stat of The Day: Biggest Concern

The mature market’s biggest financial concern? 56% of American adults believe the greatest risk to the success of their retirement years is living too long.


Source: MetLife Mature Market Institute


Today’s Mature Market Expert’s stat compliments of my good friend:


José Roig

Roig Consulting

Six Sigma Certified