You know the drill, Click & read:
My kids are on their own, which means no child support, no financial obligations at all for my kids except for a couple more weddings, grandkids, and a college graduation coming my way in 2011.
Yes, those are pretty big things to cover, but as I look back to my child rearing years, I wonder how we managed to get by.
Now days, we get to choose what to spend our income on. And those of us over 40 are still spending.
Here’s some lessons from Mediapost:
David B. Wolfe, noted expert on developmental relationship marketing and communicating with aging customers offers this insight. “Aging customers rely more on emotional reactions than younger adults to determine if they should think about a matter. Memories are activated by emotional triggers in the brain. The stronger the original emotional response to a situation, the stronger the memory will be.” If an ad headline generates a negative first impression (or none at all) the older person is less likely than a younger consumer to plunge further into the ad copy. Moreover, stories generally arouse emotions more readily than emotionally neutral expository. Research shows that the more emotionally neutral information is, the less likely the older mind will give it attention.
Admittedly, Wolfe’s comments are generalities, but generalities can have value when they express verifiable central themes. As you develop marketing, advertising and sales approaches and presentations for an aging marketplace consider the following a guide to design, position, market or sell your product.
- Learn as much as you can about physical and behavioral changes caused by the aging process. Apply your knowledge to product design, marketing, advertising and sales communications and approaches.
- Design your promotion or advertising to allow the consumer to define the service attributes using his/her imagination in terms of his/her needs and desires. Don’t try to shove ten pounds of copy into a five-pound page. Less is more.
- Design your product to meet functional, social reinforcement, and related experiences’ expectations.
- Promote and advertise your product as a gateway to desired experiences beyond the intrinsic value of your product. What additional value does you product provide?
- Be authentic and give them the facts (reduce hyperbole).
- Portray these populations as doing for others, as individuals, as smart, as active, as wise.
- Use marketing and advertising firms with a demonstrated knowledge of your target markets (Check if people matching your targets age are on the creative team).
- Use aging customers to assist in product, service and communications development.
- Touch their hearts and they will allow you to enter their minds.
- Underestimate the significance of these markets. They are the New Customer Majority. More than 110 million people in America are over the age of forty.
- Consider age a determinant of consumer behavior (there is no evidence that a person’s age is a major factor in determining buying habits). Age should be considered as a correlating factor only.
- Design your service or advertisements to appeal to self-gratifying interests of the consumer.
- Design or promote your services to appeal to the vulnerabilities associated with the aging process. At times they feel bad enough; you don’t have to remind them.
- Attempt to instill a “sense of urgency” during a purchase consideration (time is usually not of the essence in their decision making process).
- Over-embellish product or service performance claims — may be automatically perceived as misleading as would small print on product labels and advertising.
- Stress self-indulgent of your product/service — more effective in younger markets.
- Stress images that are contrary to traditional basic values. Generally accepted universal or traditional values may include American flag, church or temple, home, traditional small town, etc.
Remember that aging customers, on average, have a superior sense of reality. Don’t succumb to the myths and stereotyping about aging that pervades our society — you may do so at the expense of the long-term potential of your business.
|Jim Gilmartin is president of Chicago-based Coming of Age, Inc. (www.comingofage.com), a marketing/ad agency, PR and training firm specializing in helping clients increase market share and profit in baby boomer and senior customer markets. He has co-authored “Market Smart: The Best in Age & Lifestyle Specific Design.” Reach him here.|
from my email:
Daily Sales Tip: The Shorter the Better
You have to ask questions that truly engage the customer. However, this doesn’t mean you need to develop complex questions.
Instead, the best tactic is to ask shorter ones. Long questions tend to result in short answers, while short questions will generally result in long answers.
An example of a great short question is, “Why?” In my opinion, there isn’t a better follow-up question you can ask after the customer has shared with you some information.
Consider how your customers would respond to other short examples like, “Can you elaborate on that?” and “Could you explain more?” These shorter questions elicit detailed responses and that’s just what you want.
On the other hand, asking complex questions often tends to perplex customers. Because they are not sure what you are looking for, they respond with the universal answer representing total confusion, “What did you say?”
Questions should not be your means of showing your customers that you are an expert. Save that for your statements.
Source: Sales consultant/trainer Mark Hunter
Click & Read:
Are they someone we would call a friend in real life?
Are the “Likes” on Facebook really things we are passionate about, or do we just want to see what they will give us for being on of their fans?
From Mediapost recently:
Take a step back. For the past 20-plus years we have heard about the need to establish one-to-one relationships with our consumers. Go back 11 years to Seth Godin’s Permission Marketing and you’ll find one of the ways he thought we could build these relationships was through email.
But guess what? Most companies messed that up because they started sending out email that was self-serving instead of serving their customers. Somewhere along the line the idea of delivering personalized messages to loyal and engaged customers turned into a need to get permission from the most people possible, which eventually turned into simply getting the biggest list possible.
This hit home when working with a client several years ago. We walked into the annual planning meeting to discuss the goals for the coming year. After all of the plans were presented, the person heading up the marketing organization said, “Our primary goal for the year is to add 10 million names to our email list.” No financial targets. No engagement metrics. Testing and optimizing content were to be put on hold until that objective was reached. All of the energy and resources were directed toward the goal of building the biggest possible list.
Not surprisingly, the year was largely wasted. We met the goal, but other areas of the program suffered. Creativity on the content side suffered. The messages that were going out weren’t personal. Revenue did not increase in proportion to the size of the list because a lot of the names being added simply never became engaged in the program. We’d shifted away from the core concepts of permission marketing (and relationship marketing) to mass marketing through a personal channel.
The same risk exists in social media. As we read about the “Social Media Revolution,” about two-way dialogues, authenticity, transparency, and customer empowerment there is a specter looming beneath the surface. More and more we are hearing things like, “we need to get to 10 million Facebook Fans” and “we need to get 1,000,000 Followers on Twitter.” It’s like déjà vu all over again.
It’s a wrong-headed approach and here’s why:
1) The disconnect between “likes” and impressions: there is an underlying assumption that once a person “likes” your brand that your posts will show up in their news feed. That’s not necessarily true for two reasons. First, Facebook EdgeRank determines your placement in each users newsfeed (if at all). Second, many users will hide your posts from their news feed. Click the “X” once and your posts disappear. A parallel can be drawn back to email deliverability. Simply said, not all of Facebook posts get delivered.
2) Social Media Fans don’t represent new customers: another assumption of “big numbers” marketing objectives is that new fans (or followers or subscribers) represent new customers. In some cases this may be true, but as Jay Baer recently wrote in “Ra Ra Wrong. How Facebook’s Cheerleaders Are Blowing Smoke“, “the people that ‘like’ your company on Facebook already like you in the real world. Consequently, your Facebook fan page is just another way to identify, corral, and (hopefully) activate them.”
3) The “relationship” is over-valued: social media seems like the ideal channel to establish a relationship with our customers. We post something to Facebook and people respond. That’s good. But there is a good reason that Facebook allows us to “like” brands instead of becoming “friends.” When is the last time you heard someone say, “My best friend is Diet Coke?” Or “I wish I could have a better relationship with Toyota?” You don’t because consumers don’t talk about brands that way. The fact is that consumers, and especially Gen Y consumers, are not interested in having a “relationship” with your brand.
Just to make the point, we recently asked a group of consumers about the “relationship” they have with different brands. Most respond that they have no interest in a “relationship,” they just “like” stuff. A small percentage of consumers do want two-way dialogue and want to interact with brands. It’s an important minority because of their willingness to endorse your brand to their friends, but it is a minority nonetheless, which doesn’t give much credence to the idea of simply building a big list of fans.
Building a social media strategy is an imperative for any brand in today’s world, but building the biggest social media list possible is a recipe for disaster. Sure, it may all simply be semantics, but we’ve been down this road before and there is no reason to make the same mistakes. Take your eye off of building a quality audience and the audience you end up building will be less impactful (and thus less profitable) than if you had simply focused the same resources on generating better content. Interact with your customers. Thank them when they do nice things. But most of all, engage consumers by injecting fresh and engaging content into the community.
Do these things and the numbers will come. Focus on the numbers first and your efforts will end up being wasted.
|Morgan Stewart is Co-Founder and CEO of Trendline Interactive, an email-centric marketing consultancy. Follow him at twitter.com/mostew and reach him here.|
|Michele Souder is Vice President, Strategic Services at Trendline Interactive.|
from my email:
Dated: 22 November,2010
Your persistence may get you that first client meeting, but the ideas you propose about how to improve their revenue or business situation should be your strongest selling points.
Once you have a foot in the door, use the opportunity to the maximum. The focus should be on the benefits and value to be derived from buying your product. Place the spotlight on the client’s business and how his processes will be improved or how his revenue streams will be expanded by investing in your product. Your client won’t be sold by your persistence in the meeting. He will want to know the facts and figures about how he will benefit from your product. Respond directly to his needs and you will have his undivided attention.
602-100 Strachan Ave, Toronto, ON, M6K 3M6
Here’s my Sunday Seth to keep you moving forward from Seth Godin recently:
Seeking market resonance
If you’ve ever wasted time at a catered affair, you know the water glass trick. Half full glass, wet finger, hold the bottom of the glass and then slide your finger around and around the top of the glass.
As you move your finger, the glass will vibrate. Move it just right (a function of the amount of water and the thickness of the glass) and the glass starts to sing. Do it really well and it sings so loud you might be able to shatter the glass and get into all sorts of trouble.
This is what most marketers seek (not the trouble part, the singing part).
The market awaits your innovation. Things that might make it vibrate and resonate don’t work. Then some do. It’s not always obvious before you start what the right entry point is, what the right product is, what the right speed is. And knowing that you don’t know is the most important place to start.
Honing your music or your presentation or your business plan or your store’s inventory are all efforts to resonate. Smart marketers are hyper-alert for what’s working, for what’s starting to get people to prick their ears. Just like the glass, you have a touch, you adjust, you listen, you adjust again.