Mature Market Experts Gem Of The Day: Boomers and the Wii Fit

Mature Market Experts: more mature market news and stats more often – Boomers and the Wii Fit – My wife and I just got a “Nintendo Wii for the kids.” According to the Wii’s virtual fitness trainers on the Wii Fit game, the first time I stepped on the Wii pad, I was 15 years older than my actual age. Pretty disheartening for a guy who’s active and regularly runs marathons. I blame it on my poor balance which the game tends to penalize. Anyway, this morning I tried it again, and knocked it down to just 4 years over my actual age so I’m making progress.

No one should confuse the Wii Fit program for real science or a real cardiovascular workout but there is definitely something to be had with the concept. For example, for someone who has never had anything to do with Yoga or stretching, the Fit introduces some worthwhile drills. Most importantly, it introduces some areas to work on to improve key deficiencies (i.e. falls are the number one cause of hospitalizations among seniors, so balance is definitely worth working on). The Wii is not there yet, but it doesn’t take a genius to see where this technology is headed.

In the meantime, Nintendo … by incorporating the mature market … continues to trounce their competition.



As I’ve mentioned before, When I was at Erickson, heading up the advertising team, the brilliantly creative interactive team produced a series of incredibly cool/funny videos centered around Wii bowling at their retirement communities. Definitely worth watching!

Note: The Washington Post did an excellent review on Wii Fit.


Mature Market Experts Stat of The Day: Electronic Tracking and Care Coordination Tools Save Lives

Electronic tracking combined with patient centered-care management can reduce hospitalizations and deaths.

Electronic tracking combined with patient centered-care management can reduce hospitalizations and deaths.

Mature Market Experts: more mature market news and stats more often – Electronic Tracking and Care Coordination Tools Save Lives – As I have often posted before, I think technology is key to bridging the shortage of healthcare workers needed to care for the world’s booming senior population. Recent research is beginning to show the difference it can make. According to an article by Saher Selod of Mather Lifeways’ Aging In Action, “Researchers at the Oregon Health & Science University conducted an evaluation of the Care Management Plus (CMP) program. The results of the study indicate that the CMP program, an intervention tool that combines electronic tracking with patient centered-care management, reduced the number of deaths and hospitalizations for older adults suffering from several chronic illnesses.

The study was conducted in Seven Intermountain clinics where 1,144 patients received the CMP and 2,288 patients, in the control group, did not. According to the results, 6.5% of the CMP patients died in the first year compared to 9.2% from the control group. In the second year, 13.1% of CMP patients died in the second year compared to 16.6% in the control group. The difference in hospitalization rates was not as high as the death rates, except for those patients who suffered from diabetes.The researchers argued that this computerized care management system worked in conjunction with extra training for nurses to improve the health care outcomes for older adults.

CMP uses data regarding the patients’ condition that is logged into a care management tracking database. This tool is then used by the care plan teams of chronically ill older adults to access patient information quickly and address patient medical needs efficiently.

This new system would require the restructuring of primary care for those who are chronically ill. Researchers from the study recommend this restructuring in order to improve the quality of care for chronically ill patients in the long term.”

Additional source: Door, David, Wilcox, A., Brunker, C., Burdon, R. Donnelly, S. 2008. The effect of technology-supported multi-disease care management on the mortality of hospitalization of seniors. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 56(12): 2203-2210.

I also recommend reading The John A Hartford Foundation’s annual report.

Mature Market Experts Stat of The Day: Cell Phone Usage

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Mature Market Experts: more mature market news and stats more often – Cell Phone Usage – Kids, young adults, boomers, seniors, the mature market, poor, middle-class, rich, grandma, grandpa, baby Jane . . . it seems everyone has a cell phone glued to their ear. “Eighty percent of 60-somethings had used a cell phone in the past week, nearly equal the usage rate among 18- to 34-year-olds.”

Now if we could only figure out why kids use the phone to text-message, instead of using it as a phone . . .

Source: Advertising Age

Mature Market Experts Gem of The Day: An Innovative Fitness Program For The Mature Market – You Have To Watch This Video!

davidbw3Mature Market Experts: more mature market news and stats more often – Conductorcise – What does a well known conductor do for an encore? If you’re Maestro David Dworkin, you train health coordinators and fitness trainers in an extraordinary low impact exercise program for the mature market called Conductorcise. Watch this video segment The Today Show on NBC did on the Maestro, it’s guaranteed to delight. Mr. Dworkin’s unique exercise program is a symphony performance, a music lesson, and an aerobics workout all rolled into one!

The Maestro, who has led orchestras across America and abroad, and served as Conductor and Artistic Consultant of three PBS Television recalls, “About seven years ago, after a conducting engagement, I jumped off the podium (as I always do) sweating, excited, feeling so high. Amazingly, I am never tired after even the most strenuous program. I started to ponder why I was never exhausted. After all, I am a physical conductor, allowing the music to flow through my body like an electric current. So where did this exuberant source of energy come from? I found that conducting is a very physical experience just like any exercise program … This combined with the stimulus of the music allows your brain to function at maximum capacity, producing a joyful experience. So I thought, ‘Why shouldn’t everyone enjoy this natural high?’”maestro-david1

The Maestro continues, “I proceeded by asking to do the program in any venue I could find. Friends of mine set up performances . . . HUD housing in L.A, YMCA’s and JCC’s in New Orleans, and Tennessee . . . schools, senior centers, active 50+ retirement communities, continuing care retirement communities and libraries . . . anyplace I could find people to engage. I did the program for children, active adults, boomers and seniors. However, I also did the program for Alzheimer and stroke patients, challenged and dementia individuals and the chair bound. And guess what? It worked for all! Now we’re certifying fitness trainers at in schools and retirement communities around teh country and I’m having a blast!”

Fitness trainers love the program. How much? The International Conference on Active Aging has just chosen Dworkin’s fitness fusion concept, CONDUCTORCISE®, as one of North America’s six most innovative active aging programs.

Full Disclosure: Conductorcise is a client of TR Mann Consulting. That being said, I still think this is a really cool video that you have to see for yourself.

Mature Market Experts Stat of The Day: Softball’s Rapid Rise In Popularity Among Boomers And Seniors

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Mature Market Experts: more mature market news and stats more often: Softball’s Rapid Rise In Popularity Among Boomers And Seniors –It is estimated there are more than 1.3 million men and women over the age of 50 now playing softball, and the numbers continue to increase. Softball has always been the most popular amateur team sport in the United States, with more than 40 million participants nationwide.

Not surprisingly, senior softball players come from all walks of life. Doctors, lawyers, CEO’s, professionals, business owners, government workers, tradesmen, and retired civilian and military leaders all gravitate to senior softball. You are apt to see, at the local level, business and political leaders — a veritable community who’s who. As the upward trend continues, community park and recreation departments will likely face the challenge of accommodating this exploding demographic. Local park leagues are forming in all parts of the country and will continue to grow as baby boomers come of age. A small community, like Fountain Hills AZ, supports two leagues: a 50+ and 65+ leagues and holds two regional tournaments annually. In Clifton Park, NY there is a senior league that offers seniors a choice between slow-pitch and modified pitch softball. Called the the Capitol District Senior Softball League, players can log on to its website to find their team’s W-L standing, bylaws and rules. This particular league is very social, too, with picnics, a golf outing and, at season’s end, a banquet.”

Source: Baby Boomer Knowledge Center

Note from Tom Mann: Is your retirement community adjusting to today’s more active mature market? If you still have a shuffle board court you could be in trouble,  “image” alone could be killing your marketing efforts.

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

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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 Tip: Start Saving Now – Assisted Living Crunch Predicted

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The mature market . . .  boomers . . . seniors, we write about them every day. Why? Because Americans are getting older – in fact, way older. We are on our way to a profound shift in our population; one which will have costly impacts on our nation. The U.S. Census Bureau projects  that by 2030, when all of the nation’s 76 million surviving baby boomers will be 65 and older, nearly one in five U.S. residents will be 65 and older. This age group is projected to double by 2050, increasing to 88.5 million from the 38.7 million we currently have in 2008. The Census Bureau projects that the 85 and older population growth will be even bigger, tripling from 5.4 million in 2008 to 19 million in 2050.

On the one hand it is pretty clear that there will soon be a lot of older Americans. So the next question is, how many of them will require assistance, and what type? Lest you think the impact will be small, consider this comment from the Dartmouth geriatrician, Dr. Dennis McCullough: “…nine out of ten people who live into their 80’s will wind up unable to take care of themselves, either because of frailty or dementia.” According to Dr. McCullough, “Everyone thinks they will be the lucky one, but we can’t go along with that myth.”

The International Longevity Center’s Caregiving Project for Older Americans is very concerned that older Americans are not doing enough planning now. The Center estimates that about 1.4 million older Americans currently live in nursing homes, nearly 6 million receive care at home, and significant numbers go completely without needed help. They report that “…the growing disparity between the demand and supply of care giving services will only worsen with the aging of baby boomers in this country.”

The National Clearinghouse for Long-Term Care Information says that “…at least 70 percent of people over age 65 will require some long-term care services at some point in their lives, and over 40 percent will need care in a nursing home for some period of time.”The Clearinghouse cautions that contrary to most people’s opinions, “Medicare and private health insurance programs do not pay for the majority of long-term care services that most people need – help with personal care such as dressing or using the bathroom independently.”

It doesn’t take much imagination to figure out that the coming demographic tsunami will overwhelm our assisted living, independent living, home care, and nursing homes infrastructures. Currently most assisted living facilities in this country report occupancy rates at 90% or higher. The New York Times reported recently that after several years of overbuilding followed by soft markets, “The National Investment Center found fewer than 23,000 units under construction in the 100 biggest metropolitan areas.” If you take an arbitrary average about 1.5 persons per unit, our future residential shortfall looks to be severe.

In another New York Times article Kathryn A. Sweeney, a managing director for United States Senior Housing for GPT Group, an Australian real estate company, was quoted in a similar vein about the eventual housing shortage: “If you plan to be a resident, you need to be saving your pennies now,” she said.”

About the Author: John Brady is publisher of  Visitors to that site will find a directory of eldercare facilities, a Forum, and helpful articles on dealing with eldercare.