Mature Market Experts Stat of The Day: Mature Market Experts LinkedIn Membership Climbs Past 300!

mature-market-expertsMature Market Experts: more mature market news and stats more often – Mature Market Experts LinkedIn Membership Climbs Past 300! I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the growth of our LinkedIn networking group. We are now the largest networking LinkedIn group for people serving the mature market. Our group connects investors, bankers, real estate developers, consumer goods companies, health care professionals, journalists and marketing experts who are interested in serving the boomer and senior marketplace.

Joining Mature Market Experts is simple and free:

To join the Mature Market Experts LinkedIn Networking group just click on the following link: http://www.linkedin.com/groupsDirectory?results=&sik=1228175683442 and type in to the search box “Mature Market Experts.”

As a member of the group, you’ll get to enjoy LinkedIn’s useful discussion tool that allows you to post questions for the group, as well has have text conversations.

To subscribe to the Mature Market Experts blog just click on the following link: https://maturemarketexperts.wordpress.com/feed/

To follow us on Twitter click on: http://twitter.com/trmann

Thanks again for following us, and feel free to contact me with any ideas or suggestions.

Warmest regards,

Tom

Tom Mann
Managing Partner, TR Mann Consulting
www.TRMann.com
410-292-4333
Tom (AT) TRMann.com


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Hot Trends In Marketing To The Boomer and Mature Consumer

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I’ll (Tom Mann of TR Mann Consulting) be there will you? I’m scheduled to speak at this upcoming event “Hot Trends In Marketing To The Boomer and Mature Consumer” being sponsored by The International Mature Marketing Network and The MRGA Market Research Global Alliance. The event is being held May 15th in DC. Best of all, I’ve arranged for Mature Market Expert (MME) members to get a special rate of just $425 if you register before March 30th (if you’re not already a member, just join up through LinkedIn . . . it’s FREE to join MME). Also, you should know that there are only 125 seats available for this exclusive event. Here’s the list of confirmed speakers:
Kevin Lavery
Executive Creative Director of MillenniumDirect, the leading resource of marketing and research services in the United Kingdom for the 50+ population and President of the International Mature Marketing Network. Kevin will be the events’ lead-off speaker.
Andrew Nibley
Chairman and CEO of Marsteller, the advertising interactive, event management and production unit of Burson Marsteller, the world’s leading public relations agency, Andy has been a President, CEO or Chairman in four different industries – news, internet, music and advertising.
Sandra Timmermann
Assistant Vice President, MetLife, and Executive Director, MetLife Mature Market Institute. In her role, Sandy is responsible for research, education and consultation on aging and the 50+ market for MetLife and its business partners.
Dr. Carol Orsborn
Senior Strategist with Vibrant Nation.com, an information sharing website for leading edge Boomer women. Carol has provided counsel to over 100 leading companies in a broad array of industries including AT&T, Pfizer Pharmaceuticals, Prudential, The Walt Disney Company, Hallmark and Visa.
Laurel Kennedy
Founder of the “thinking firm” (part think tank and part consulting) called Age Lessons. She has appeared on national television including CNBC and Comcast TV, and as a keynote speaker before numerous industry and corporate forums. She has consulted for such clients as Johnson Wax, Keebler, Kraft, Kellogg, Quaker Oats, Pepsi and Sara Lee.
Todd Harff
President of Creating Results, a strategic marketing, public relations and advertising agency that drives demand for lifestyle-oriented products and services. Mr. Harff is a nationally renowned expert in understanding and motivating mature consumers. Over the has 15 years, Creating Results has helped government agencies, not-for-profits, Fortune 500 companies and entrepreneurs in a variety of industries build relationships with boomers and beyond.
Jacob Brown
President of In-Depth Research, a strategic market research company specializing in Boomer/Senior Research, Healthcare Research and Technology Research. In-Depth conducts research for many leading companies, including Microsoft, Tivo, United Healthcare, Intel, Varian Medical Systems, Adobe and Disney.
Gerald Linda
President of Gerald Linda & Associates, a 15-year-old marketing consulting firm. The firm provides marketing strategy, planning and research services to a wide mix of large, sophisticated marketers as well as smaller entrepreneurial companies. A second service is adding advertising and public relation agencies with their new business and account planning efforts. His responsibilities have included providing marketing counsel and research needs for such clients as Miller Brewing Company, S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc. and BP Amoco.
Tom Mann
Managing partner of TR Mann Consulting, Tom is a recognized leader in the senior industry.  Previous to starting his own firm, Mr. Mann was the Senior Vice President of Advertising for Erickson Retirement Communities. In addition, he was the publisher of the Erickson Tribune, the nation’s largest monthly newspaper addressing health, active lifestyles for people 62 plus. His firm TR Mann Consulting specializes in advertising, marketing, communications and PR for Baby Boomers and beyond. Their clients include real estate developers, magazine publishers, the travel industry, and companies that sell consumer goods or services to the senior marketplace. Mr. Mann is also the founder of the Mature Market Experts Group.
Let me know if you plan on attending, I’d love to meet you.
Warmest regards,
Tom
Tom Mann, Managing Partner
TR Mann Consulting
Co-founder, Mature Market Experts

Mature Market Experts Stat of The Day: Video Games

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Mature Market Experts: more mature market news and stats more often: Video Games –“Twenty-four percent of Americans over age 50 played video games in 2007, up from 9% in 1999, according to the Entertainment Software Association. People age 55 and older account for less than 10% of Nintendo hardware sales. That’s a slight increase from about four years ago, when the previous generation of game consoles peaked, Harrison says. Seniors have “opened up the aperture of people who previously would’ve not considered themselves to be gamers,” he says. Nintendo has been bolstering its senior-friendly image, partnering with retirement communities, including Erickson, which has received 15 free Wiis.”

Source: Aging In Place Technology Watch

Note: When I was at Erickson, heading up the advertising team, the brilliantly creative interactive team produced a series of incredibly cool/funny videos that lead to the Nintendo/Erickson relationship.

Gardening and Exercise: Healthy Aging for Older Adults

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Mature Market Experts: more mature market news and stats more often: Gardening and Exercise, Healthy Aging for Older Adults – More often than not, the outdoor environment of a senior ‘retirement’ community is ignored and people focus on the attributes of a building’s interior. However, the activities that can be offered on the outside of a building are almost limitless, constrained only by the imagination, and not by a person’s age. We should encourage people to explore how the exterior environment can provide avenues for older adults to participate in physical activities that benefit them in many different ways. The stereotype, unfortunately, that older persons over the age of 65 are for the most part ill, dependent, mentally incompetent, unproductive and unattractive is alive and well. Nothing could be further from the truth, and fortunately this is changing thanks, in part, to the “Baby Boomers.” In actuality, those persons aged 65 and older represent one of the most diverse population segments, with everyone aging differently. While some of the oldest cohort (85 years and older) are frail and experiencing multiple chronic conditions, others are active and rate their health status as “good”.

In order to encourage older adults to exercise, active lifestyles need to be created in and around senior residences. Ultimately this will result in greater independence in the daily lives of a majority of the older adult population. There are a great number of programs—such as bike riding, hiking, birding, canoeing, etc.—that can be implemented to encourage older adults to become more involved in the outdoor environment.

Among these activities, one of the more personally rewarding programs is gardening. Gardening is the number one leisure activity in America, today. Studies have shown that many people 65 years and older are interested in gardening as a hobby. Everyone has had some interaction with gardening, whether it was tending to a house plant on a fire escape, blueberry picking along the side of the road or sharing fresh grown vegetables from the garden with family and/or friends. The percent of seniors interested in gardening and related activities has increased significantly over the past years and the number is expected to continue to increase as the “Boomers” age. That generation is more inclined to expect organic vegetables, health foods, and other natural products as part of their daily living.

There are reasons why gardening should be a natural part of a senior living community. It is a highly visible hobby in which everyone can participate, either passively or actively. And there is always one person that is a ‘resident expert’ who has had previous gardening experience and can lend advice. If a person has never experienced the joy of raising a plant, they can be encouraged to start small and build up gradually. The senior can begin with one tomato plant in either a container or in a small garden space. What person has not delighted in raising and ultimately sharing a fresh grown vegetable from their garden with family and/or friends?

Development of activity programs can be designed to meet the various needs of the seniors. Higher-functioning individuals who are physically active will be able to participate in a wide range of activities. Gardens can be located on-grade or at ground level, in order to take advantage of the larger growing areas. There can be minimal costs associated with the construction of smaller raised planting beds. Seniors residing in Assisted Living Residences may require a higher level of support. There can be garden spaces for Community Gardens located throughout the complex. However, there should be provisions for raised planters located closer to the residence. This will enable seniors who utilize wheelchairs and walkers to experience the joys of gardening nearer to the building. And seniors who are not able to actively participate can watch from windows or on a porch.

Accommodations for handicapped seniors should be incorporated into the overall design of garden activities in order to allow everyone to participate and feel a part of the program. Various levels of gardening can be introduced to encourage individuals to take part. Containers or raised planting beds are more easily accessed for people in wheel-chairs. Vegetable plants with brightly colored fruit and with a fragrance are good for the visually impaired. Ergonomically designed tools that are lightweight and have long handles make the job easier, especially for arthritic and wheelchair-bound seniors. Each person needs to experience his or her own unique sense of accomplishment. After all, the purpose of participating in an activity program is to promote better health, increase agility, maintain a sense of independence and feel better about oneself.

Gardens for special needs residents, Alzheimer’s and other memory-impaired patients, are another very specific level of programming. Gardens should be designed to meet the needs of the people at each stage of the disease. For example, plant material should be nontoxic for stage-three Alzheimer patients. Plants can be a wonderful tool for remembrance therapy. The tomato plant is widely recognized, has a very distinctive odor and the red fruit is attractive. Vegetables offer stimulation to almost all of the senses, therefore, they should be readily utilized in the garden.

The key to success in developing any activity program is achieving a level of motivation that stimulates a personal interest. There should be opportunities to interact with other people. We all like to meet friends in various settings. Education regarding the benefits of gardening can also be an important part of the program. Guest lecturers, how to/educational videos, magazine subscriptions, walking tours and classes can be part of the gardening program.

Individual goals should start small and be realistic. A person should not try to do more than they are able to the first few days. Moral support is also very important. Remind the senior of the benefits of physical activity and how participating will personally reward them. The same logic that motivates a person to participate in a group also motivates a person to pursue individual interests. Help the person set goals that can be achieved on a daily basis. Keep track of their progress so they can see the results of their efforts. Socialization, the enjoyment of nature and education all contribute to the success of any activity program.

Gardening involves many small tasks that encourage physical exercise. Bending, reaching, pulling, stretching are just a few of the movements that are required. A study conducted at Tufts University in Boston discovered a “threefold increase in muscle strength among frail, elderly nursing home residents aged 86 to 96 who exercised their legs on a weight machine over an eight week period.” (DiGilio1994) Seniors who have never been exposed to an exercise program continued even after the program has been concluded. They realized the importance of being physically active. As a result of their consistent efforts, they now have increased mobility, agility and energy and are experiencing increased independence.

The following list offers insight into just how beneficial exercise and physical activity can be:

• The risks of cardiovascular disease decrease dramatically
• Mental acuity increases, as more oxygen is available to the brain
• Proper weight is maintained
• Neurotransmitters are regulated, resulting in less depression and anxiety
• Digestion and gastrointestinal mobility is increased
• Flexibility and balance is improved
• Self-esteem is enhanced
• Individuals experience an increased emotional resiliency in response to life’s changes and losses
• A perception of positive health status contributes to an overall satisfaction with life

The ability to be outdoors and interact with nature also has been proven to have its own unique benefits. The natural production of Vitamin D occurs with exposure to sunlight. There are psychological benefits to interacting with the environment. Watching a beautiful sunset or experiencing the sunrise has a profound effect on mood and emotion. All of the senses are activated when you are outside. The smell of Lavender angostifolia (lavender), the sound of a bird’s song, looking at a chipmunk scurrying about for food, as well as touching the soft leaf of a plant such as Stachys byzantina (lambs ear) are all activities that excite the senses. Research supports the preceding findings and the results are significant.

It is also important to be needed. The act of gardening not only maintains a connection with nature, it creates a sense of dependency. When a senior raises a plant and is responsible for its care, that person develops a bond. Both need food, air, light and water as a basic minimum. A person also gains positive reinforcement from growing plants. We feel better about ourselves when we have accomplished a talk, such as growing a plant or harvesting vegetables.

Another indirect benefit of gardening is the promotion of quality sleep through natural means. Older adults suffer from a decreasing production of melatonin, the hormone that regulates sleep. Many older adults tend to get sleepier in the early evening, around 8 pm, and then wake up at 4 am. This can be very frustrating because it offsets normal routines and disrupts schedules. Daily activities and regular exercise regulates hormones and bright natural light resets our biological clock. Exercise promotes peaceful, uninterrupted sleep and diminishes episodes of insomnia.

Senior residences should be designed to meet the needs of older adults who want to use the exterior environment. Some residences may offer a walking path and/or a few benches. The plant material, exterior furniture and other amenities must be suited to a specific use by the older resident. Whether creating a new project or upgrading an existing residence, it is important to incorporate the professional expertise of a Landscape Architect and a Gerontologist. These two professionals need to be involved from the onset, along with the Architect and Engineer, in the development of a new residence. The Landscape Architect is experienced in the selection of a site, including the placement of the building in a location that enhances the views to and from the building, minimizing impact on the existing environment and presenting a realistic construction budget. The Landscape Architect understands how to create environments suited to a person’s specific needs and is experienced in the art of problem solving. Functional and aesthetic perspectives are equally important to the success of any building. The Gerontologist understands the aging process and how to meet the needs of a particular age group when designing a senior residence. The physical, emotional and social aspects of the aging person must be considered. The Gerontologist works with the staff to tie together the multiple needs of a person successfully “aging in place”. The psychosocial dynamics of stimulating a person’s interest and engaging them in an activity is very important. The Gerontologist and Landscape Architect are vital links to the success of a project and are therefore integral parts of a design team.

An exciting aspect of the creation of outside areas that stimulate physical activity is envisioning how these spaces will evolve over the coming years. In the future, residents who participate in various activities will not resemble the residents today. The Baby Boomers, many of whom are currently caregivers for their parents, will demand a different set of standards for themselves in years to come. They are an active, mobile, environmentally conscious generation that will face today’s challenges in new and exciting ways. Comfortable exercise outfits and sneakers will replace walkers and orthopedic shoes. Health food and environmental programs will become industry standards. These predictions help to challenge our imagination and keep us focused on how we will create the living environments we ourselves will expect tomorrow.

About the Authors: Nancy Norton Carman, M.A. Gerontology, CMC and Jack Carman, FASLA, RLA

Jack Carman, owner, founder and president of Design for Generations, LLC, has over 20 years experience as a landscape architect. He is a nationally recognized expert in the design of therapeutic gardens, particularly Alzheimer’s gardens and outdoor environments for senior living communities. http://www.designforgenerations.com/

Note from Tom Mann: Gardening is America’s #1 hobby. Guess who makes up the biggest percentage of gardeners?

Mature Market Experts Stat of The Day: Aging U.S. Population Is Driving Growth In Senior Care Franchising

CB021039Is the mature market about to drive the franchise industry into a period of explosive growth? “Senior home care for baby-boomers is a rapidly growing concern and quickly escalating need in this country. In the next two decades, there will be more than 70 million people over the age of 65.

Furthermore, the average life expectancy has increased 15 years since the 1930’s. Nearly one out of every four U.S. households provides  senior healthcare to a relative or friend aged 50 or older and about 15 percent of adults care for a seriously ill or disabled family member. In hard numbers, about 13 million people are spouses or adult children of disabled older people and have the potential responsibility for their senior care.”

Source: U.S. Franchise News

 Today’s stat compliments of Sandi Cunningham of Modern Babies & Children.

What To Do In A Bad Economy: Stop Marketing!

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My fellow Mature Market Experts, I thought I’d share a great take on the economy and marketing’s relationship by Charles Osgood (just click here). If you love Dr. Seuss, you’ll love this!

By all means, it you want to guarantee that you have no chance at success, stop or cut back your marketing and advertising efforts.

If, however, you are interested in gaining sales and market share in the boomer or senior market space, I recommend you contact some mature marketing experts (preferably my team at TR Mann Consulting).

PS  I’ll be speaking at and attending the International Council on Active Aging’s upcoming Conference (December 4th thru 6th) at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, Texas. Let me know if you’re attending, so that we can try to catch up.

 

Mature Market Experts Stat of The Day: Colon Cancer

Colon cancer is the country’s second leading cancer killer. Nearly 50,000 Americans are expected to die of colorectal cancer this year.  Yet, new government guidelines from the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force recommend that most seniors, 75 and older, should stop getting routine colon cancer tests. Mature market experts, what do you think? This is a departure from the advice of many other medical experts. Is it good advice?