Tag: California Seniors

It Takes a Skilled “Geek” to help California Seniors Age in Place

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Best Buy jumps headfirst into The Longevity Economy by adding the aging population to its strategic tech targets.

Advertisers and brands are starting to wake up as the impact of aging on the world’s wealthiest countries point to significant new revenue targets. Joseph Coughlin, founder of the MIT Age Lab and author of The Longevity Economyputs it this way:

“The emerging population isn’t just big, it’s so enormous it’s as though a new continent were rising out of the sea, filled with more than a billion air-breathing consumers just begging for products that fulfill their demands.”

Best Buy has put their money where their phone chargers are and in doing so, made it clear they intend to play a big role targeting this huge opportunity.  By offering new monitoring services and in-home tech,together with strategic hospital partnerships and acquisitions like Great Call last August, Best Buy is doubling down on Boomers, their aging parents and caregivers. This isn’t about a media buy, it’s the leading tech retailer pivoting to execute a defined senior marketing strategy.

We are trying to position the company for the future” says Best Buy CEO, Hubert Joly,There is going to be greater and greater differentiation between winners and losers. And so, this is clearly the time to invest.” 

90% of those 65 and older have said they don’t want to move from their home into an assisted living community. This refrain has inspired Best Buy to create Assured Living and Best Buy Home.

Assured Living is aimed at Boomers who want to honor their parents request to remain independent as they age in place. The ability to ‘monitor and check-in’ via any internet connected devise is the gift of peace of mind to both generations.

Best Buy launched Assured Living is validated by their expertise and core competency in the consumer retail technology sector. Services focus on monitoring, real-time alerts, insight into daily activity levels, sleep patterns, and diet, all presented via a personalized dash board. All starting at $29.99 a month. Tech support from the Geek Squad has been enhanced as part of the new Best Buy Home offering house calls to install and train.

Next came a partnership bringing medical expertise from the Mayo Clinic. Together they offer aging consumers wellness assessment tools covering everything from various symptoms and basic diagnosis to proper meal planning and physical activity regiments. Driving sales for Best Buy is a consistent introduction of new products.

Apple’s newest Watch 4 is an activity monitor, tracker,and First Alert device on your wrist. Like Best Buy, Apple recognized the magnitude of this aging population wave and made dramatic design changes with their latest model which propelled first full year of sales upward to 32% YOY.

Amazon recently revealed several elements of their senior facing healthcare strategy built around their smart speaker leadership. And Alexa is finding its way into hospital surgery wards as doctors collect critical knowledge about post-op patient recovery and follow up.

While healthcare marketers and their agencies have had patients and industry providers as targets mostly to themselves for years, virtually every retailer who serves a consumer 55+ or their Boomer offspring, can establish a viable senior-centric marketing strategy. The facts are clear, the longer one ages independently, the longer they continue to shop, consume and visit the retailers who ‘welcome’ their business.

Ask yourself these assessment areas as you consider your own senior marketing strategic journey:

  1. What portion of your core product mix is purchased by 55+?
  2. Does your marketing aimed at Seniors speak directly to them as a distinct customer segment?
  3. What products aimed at aging in place consumers could your business leverage?

It all begins by thinking past the trap of limiting your marketing to 18 to 49 year olds!

What marketing to Vets teaches CMOs about marketing to California seniors

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A senior strategy is very much the same idea.

When my partner and I started blogging about the power and opportunity of marketing to seniors (55+), the sheer size of this audience spoke volumes. Seniors are the largest and fastest growing consumer segment, and are the wealthiest asset holders. They’re also the most experienced shoppers on earth.

Every marketing executive we’ve encountered says essentially the same thing –” this makes so much sense, why aren’t more brands focusing on seniors?”

It’s hard to believe that just 40 years ago, marketers finally realized they needed to have a separate budget dedicated to California’s growing Hispanic population and one that was led by those of Hispanic origin. The need to target seniors as a distinct consumer segment has had years of the same reluctance by CMOs. But not when it comes to targeting Veterans.

Major brands in virtually every business sector are embracing marketing programs aimed at Vets. Lowe’s, AT&T, GM and businesses such as restaurants, travel providers, grocery chains, and insurance companies have committed dedicated marketing programs and media spending to build and reward Veteran loyalty. American Airlines was an early player by giving Vets priority boarding access. It was all about respect and appreciation for their service– as well as being good for business.

The similarities of marketing to a 55+ audience and the 18,000,000 + Vets in the US, may encourage CMOs to come to the same conclusion. Here in California, marketing aimed at  seniors is not just good business, it will be critical as the age wave grows.

  • Seniors and Vets are large, identifiable demographic populations
  • Current US census data reports 18.1 million Vets
  • 50% of Vets are 65 or older
  • By 2020, 100 million Americans will be 55+. Over 7 million will reside in California.
  • Seniors and Vet’s population are growing in every state:
    • California, Texas and Florida rank as the top three states for both segments
    • Half of the counties in California will see their senior population increase over the next 2 years; 11 counties will see their 65+ population grow by 150% and for those 85+ years old by nearly 300%
  • Education is important to Vets and Seniors – they are smart consumers!
    • More Vets than non–Vets earn a high school and advanced degrees
    • By the time they are 65, seniors will have earned their “MIL” (masters in life) They’re equipped with 45 years of job skills!
    • College graduation rates for women Vets out-pace civilian females by a 30% to 25% margin
  • Seniors and Vets believe in staying in the workforce and earning a living:
    • Seniors aged 65 -74 are projected to grow the working ranks by 4.5% by 2024 vs. younger workers aged 18-25, where a drop of 1.6% is estimated
    • Vets median HH income is $35,376 vs. non-vet HH income at $24,521
  • Working seniors and Vets seek new career paths by leveraging the training they received in the military or non-military workplace.
    • After 40+ years in the workforce, seniors often take their career experience and pursue a passion or start a second career. Others volunteer to share their knowledge and wisdom.
    • Vets leave the service with training and experience that make them desired employees –skilled, disciplined, respectful of authority and focused on completing the task
  • Value and discounts are an important driver to both seniors and Vets. And they do their homework to make informed purchase decisions.
    • More than most, they care about the mission of the organization and the integrity and level of service the company delivers.

Brand marketers looking to initiate a senior strategy have examples all around them when it comes to targeting a segment like Vets. Lowe’s offer 10% discounts for everyday purchases made by Vets which totals nearly a billion dollars in savings annually. But the impact on Lowe’s bottom-line and customer loyalty is significantly more. That’s what we call a win-win situation!

Photo by Roberto Galan

Grandparents: The Marketing Potential of Targeting these California Seniors

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Grandparents are the Gifts that Keep Giving

A demographic target audience which is solely based on age, gender, and income only tells part of the story. Smart marketers realize that behavior and the life stage of consumers can often times determine buying habits that are more revealing and actionable.

And today’s media—especially online media, can pinpoint potential life-stage consumers precisely. Such is the case for the big and fast growing consumer group consisting of grandparents—a sub-segment of seniors that is spending billions of dollars a year and is ready to spend even more in a variety of product categories. To say that there is untapped potential with grandparents as a consumer segment is quite an understatement. The numbers, extrapolated from an AARP study, are staggering:

  • It’s estimated that there are approximately 90,000,000 grandparents in the U.S. That’s about 12 million in California alone.
  • About 75,000 Americans between the ages of 45-69 become grandparents each month
  • 89% of grandparents say they enjoy buying gifts for their grandkids
    • 25% say they spend up to $250 per year
    • 24% say they spend between $250 and $750
    • 25% spend over $1,000 annually
  • As for what they spend on their grandkids, the categories vary:
    • 95% say they buy birthday and holiday gifts including toys, books and clothes
    • 53% help with educational expenses
    • 37% contribute to everyday living expenses
    • 23% help with the cost of medical/dental expenses
    • 41% spend for the child’s overall well-being
    • 43% spend on activities that are fun to do with them

Jerry Shereshewsky, CEO of Grandparents.com, put it this way:

“The grandparent life stage accounts for a multi-billion marketplace ranging from products to services to educational investments. With grandparents today being more active and aware than ever before, the avenues for spending are varied and deep.”

On a personal note, I’m about to become a grandparent for the first time in a couple of months. And our future grandson is being spoiled before he’s a day old. We’ve already purchased a car seat, a stroller, a baby seat for the back of a bicycle, and a number of books, toys and clothes. And all this coming before the baby shower! I must say we’ve never spent money with such pleasure. I was even tempted to buy a little baseball glove, a tiny surfboard, and a miniature set of golf clubs until I was reminded that I was a few years early on those. My grandparent friends smile at me because they get it. No shopping is as fun or as rewarding as spending money on grandchildren.

My wife and I don’t understand why we’re not being advertised to by marketers who are spending their budgets on parents, while largely overlooking grandparents. Creating a specific grandparent strategic plan consisting of creative and media with them in mind seems like the easiest and smartest way to grab the lowest hanging fruit. Grandparents are receptive and anxious to spend. And that could mean big profits for CMO’s everywhere.

Photo by Monkey Business Images

 

Lessons from Hollywood: Enhance Your California Senior Marketing Strategy

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For CMOs seriously looking to create a senior targeted strategy, the insights gleaned from older movie goers offers valuable clues.

Clearly the Film and TV industry is listening and addressing slate decisions for theatrical releases and those viewed on streaming platforms. While millennials remain the coveted target group of the studios, to win the box office ticket derby they also need to reach the 50+ audience. They account for nearly 32% of all ticket sales and 49% of all film/TV consumption.

With entertainment brands like Netflix reporting that their fastest growth rate is coming from the 50+ market, their senior adult strategy appears to be working.

Traditionally, studios are risk adverse. When a hit emerges, the studios rush to produce their own versions of the storyline.

Netflix, during its infancy, needed significant offerings licensed from other studio vaults. But seniors are credited with driving the disruption that has allowed them to produce their own content because of the improved investment returns.

  • Seniors enjoy all movie genres but lean toward ‘art house films’ accounting for 75% of the average audience
  • Seniors account for 56% of the audience for Faith &family titles and 50% of indie films
  • For All-audience films, including the blockbusters such as Star Wars, seniors account for 27% of the total

CMOs can apply many of the insights from the entertainment industry to adapt to their own senior marketing plan. Here are 6 that may win your brand an Oscar!

1) Seniors have been movie viewers (consumers) their entire life:

• They’re hooked and loyal but can smell a “bomb” a mile away. They base purchase decisions on earlier ‘good and bad’ choices.

Insight: Prior experience matters. Your brand equity should be leveraged to resonate with longstanding users.

2) Subject matter or storylines are more important to seniors than other movie attributes:

• They prefer biopics, historic themes, or classic literature because they have had meaningful and sometimes emotional experiences with the content.

Insight: Brand and product experience, and don’t forget value, are the most important purchase decision criteria for seniors.

3) The 55-plus audience seeks out peer-reviewed films

• They pursue ‘Word of Mouth’ commentary, aka ‘influencers they trust’

Insight: Seniors do their homework. They are now skeptical of a lifetime of hype and sales pitches. Instead, they focus on a product’s real benefit before they purchase.

4) Senior movie audiences act and buy with predictability: 

• The Film and TV industry applies this predictability to their product development and marketing.

Insight: A performer’s career, much like a brand’s, will have some wins and loses – but it is ‘body of work’ over time that matters and should be drawn upon to differentiate and reinforce the sale.

5) Seniors favor leisure time options:

• They prefer mid-week days and non-peak hours for their entertainment choices.

Insight: This knowledge can benefit retail brands that should consider shifting their day-part offerings to capitalize on older customers who are “watching” when others are not! 

6) Seniors are nostalgic for performers they’ve grown up with:

• Seniors respond to actors/filmmakers who have success and longevity. Think Clint Eastwood or Steven Spielberg.

Insight: Customer retention and repeat visits come to brands that consistently sell products that deliver results and are relevant to the buyer. It helps to market to seniors using familiar experiences aimed directly at them – not a ‘one size fits all’ strategy.

Photo by Nestor Rizhniak

A Fun Way to Market to California Seniors

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The marketing opportunity to educate California seniors about the benefits of having fun and how your product fits into that fun lifestyle.

In a fascinating article in the Wall Street Journal written by Clare Ansberry, she quotes Ken Dychtwald, CEO of Age Way,

“Seniors have more time to have fun—7 1/2 hours of leisure a day compared with 35-to-44 year olds, who have only around 4 hours.”

He goes on to presume that “older adults are at a loss for how to fill that time” which he says may explain why the average retiree watches 48 hours of TV each week. (Nielsen)

Ms. Ansberry goes on to write

“But many adults forget how to have fun. They’ve spent the past 40 years showing up for work every day, paying off mortgages, getting kids through school and taking care of aging parents. Having fun and being spontaneous – key elements of fun and play—get lost. Fun is important at every age, but can be even more beneficial as we grow older. The very things associated with it—laughter, levity, enjoyment and diversion can act as antidotes to stress, depression, and anxiety.”

In California, year-round outdoor activities can add to a fun, healthy and happy senior lifestyle. In an article entitled 7 Reasons Why People Age Better in California, Ann Brenoff writes that

“Californians, in general, are happier. Among other things she says, “exposure to sunlight combats depression and lifts spirits.”

And there are so many opportunities here to hike, bike, ski, play tennis and golf, enjoy the beach and enjoy the latest craze, pickleball. Maybe the California active lifestyle is a big reason why the life expectancy of 80.8 is the 4th highest of any state. And more importantly, California’s “healthy life expectancy”, which factors in illness and injury, is 67.7 which ranks 3rd in the U.S.

Of course, outdoor activities aren’t the only way to have fun. People have a wide variety of choices of how to have fun and play. As a California senior, while I enjoy outdoor activities like playing golf and going to the beach, I also love to go to movies and restaurants with my wife and friends, hang out with my kids, relax with a glass of wine or two, and get ready for this, I have fun at work. Without a passion for something, without a fun and active life, you’ve got a sedentary lifestyle. And a sedentary lifestyle is associated with decreased mental alertness, higher levels of stress, poor sleep quality, low self-worth, higher rates of disability, and diminished quality of life (Worldatlas) Now does that sound fun?

In his book, The Longevity Economy: Unlocking the World’s Fastest-Growing, Most Misunderstood Market, Dr. Joseph Coughlin talks about new ways to redefine seniors as a marketing opportunity.

“We’re living longer than ever and these bonus years are opening up vast new possibilities for products, services, and experiences.” He adds “Building the future of fun in a society where 100 years old is the new normal is perhaps the longevity economy’s largest growth opportunity.”

Photo by Benjamin Morris

Marketing Opportunities with California Seniors

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Like a tsunami, the California “silver rush” is coming and it’s time to develop a senior marketing strategy before your competition beats you to it.

A new California Gold Rush is on the way! This time, however, it’s more of a Silver Rush as marketers slowly, but steadily, discover the sales potential of California’s silver-haired consumers. All 7,000,000 of them! This sub-segment has been virtually ignored to date, but accounts for nearly half of consumer spending in the state. Companies that “mine” seniors first, and in the right way, are sure to be rewarded handsomely. After all, California seniors have been trend setters for years and they intend to stay that way. And importantly, as California goes, so goes the rest of the U.S.

California has a long history of firsts that have mushroomed across the country. Consumers in the state started trends like sushi in the 60’s, yoga in the 70’s, and bottled water in the 80’s. Additionally, they were first to ban smoking in the 90’s, and were responsible for the green/organic food movement of the 2000’s. The surfing culture thrived here, as did multi-cultural fusion of cuisines, drive-through restaurants, the motion picture industry, and of course, all the technical innovations of the Silicon Valley. And many of the consumers who fueled those movements then, are California seniors now.

California marketers that are curious as to whether their products and services are relevant and desirable to seniors should start by auditing their current sales and marketing efforts to seniors and begin to brainstorm what they could do with their marketing budget, product, packaging, pricing, distribution, and promotions to work harder and earn a positive ROI. Perhaps new and targeted creative and media is the answer for existing products. Many times, however, the solution is in new products, line-extensions, sub-brands, or new brands altogether.

Just as a creative exercise, imagine the following:

  • What would a hearing aid look like if it were designed by Apple?
  • What would a senior clothing line or even a hospital gown look like if it were designed by Mossimo?
  • Why can’t wheel chairs look cool?
  • What if those little bottles of shampoo and conditioner in hotel showers had type that could actually be read by seniors?
  • What would a senior product section in a grocery store consist of? Better yet, why aren’t there entire grocery stores designed with seniors in mind?
  • Why aren’t there more TV shows written and produced for seniors that are as good and authentic as This is Us is for its target?
  • Where are more movies like On Golden Pond and Driving Miss Daisy? (Too many fall into the trap of stereotypes and clichéd humor!)
  • What if somebody produced an English drama on TV that seniors could actually hear and understand?
  • What if a marketer produced an expensive and entertaining TV commercial for a “senior” product and aired it on the Super Bowl? Revolutionary!
  • Why aren’t there video games for seniors?
  • Why don’t car companies position or design cars for seniors?

The sad truth is that too many marketers either don’t know about the upcoming California silver rush or don’t have marketing partners to pull it off. The good news is that it’s not too late to get on board.

Photo by wavebreakmedia

About Brian Morris

Partner Silver Advertising, specializing in marketing to Seniors. Co-Author of The Silver Rush: Marketing to the California Senior.

 

The Importance of Having the Right Resources When Targeting California’s Seniors

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When it comes to marketing to California’s seniors, it takes one to know one!

The opportunity is there. 7,000,000 California seniors who are mostly ignored or disrespected by marketers. With more buying power than any other demographic segment, marketers are just now beginning to realize the huge potential of senior consumers and the importance of getting their message to them ahead of their competitors. But knowing about the potential is only half the battle. Having the right resources, with a knowledge and sensitivity to the target audience, is critical to successful selling.

As for me, being referred to as a “senior” doesn’t bother me. After all, I share some common characteristics with this consumer segment including:

  • I’m 65 years old, but think of myself as 10 to 15 years younger (until I’m buying something online and need to scroll and scroll downward to find 1953)
  • I’m still working and don’t plan on stopping any time soon
  • I’ve become less brand loyal and less status conscious
  • I expect deals and discounts. And I’m not embarrassed using coupons.
  • Now that the kids are out of the house, my wife and I downsized and simplified
  • I exercise more and eat healthier than ever
  • I get most of my news online, but still enjoy an occasional newspaper
  • I’m nostalgic about music and events of my youth, but try to stay current and contemporary

As far as the advertising and marketing industry is concerned, too many ad agencies believe that older people don’t understand social media, they’re too expensive, and they need a younger staff to work on large, youth-oriented categories such as fast food, soft drinks, beer, video games, and telecommunications. According to Nancy Martin, Director-talent at TBWA,

“There’s a commonly held conception that to be creative, you need to know what’s hot, what music is cool, what website is all the rage, and with age, you become less aware of those things by and large”

That might explain why the average age of the staff in ad agencies is 38 and why more than 60% of employees in the ad industry are 25-44. What’s more, the average age of a creative is 27, and just 5% of agency employees are over 50.(Forbes Magazine) Meanwhile, there’s a large and skilled talent pool consisting of older advertising professionals that has been pushed out of the business. No wonder 32% of advertising professionals say they experienced ageism and 79% say they work in an ageist industry.

Assuming there’s some truth to younger employees being a better fit for products aimed at younger consumers, there are still huge brands and companies that market (or should market) to consumers aged 55+. After all, seniors represent half of the population and control over 50% of the nation’s disposable income. And importantly, they account for $46 trillion in wealth! (Forbes Magazine) It’s time for CMOs to question the experience of their resources for their older customers and time for older and experienced advertising and marketing professionals to help them understand and communicate to this large, untapped, and growing demographic.

Photo by Benjamin Morris

Career Longevity Steps CMOs Should Consider

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The biggest demo is waiting to be courted – California seniors!

A Harvard Business Review study notes that CMOs can expect on average 4.1 years on the job. That’s frightening, given the impact of losing a gig that according to Ad Age, pays major brand CMOs $1.5 million a year in salary and benefits.

CMOs could improve their job security:

  • Google ‘seniors economic power’ – prepare to find the largest cohort of consumers and why they’ve been underserved by marketers.
  • Embrace 55-85 as the new 18-49 demo
  • Look at senior spending categories (not just healthcare) and find a sweet spot for your brand
  • Get it out of your head that everyone 65 years-old retires
  • Act like you’re starting in marketing all over again – be smart, be bold, be original!

Today’s CMO jobs are tough, if not tougher, than it was when I was CMO for McDonald’s and Warner Bros. Somehow, that title is the first to take the hit, regardless of the department leading the initiative. That’s just the way it is.

But, a great CMO is more than a marketer. Their # 1 job, customer acquisition, comes from being a forensic accountant, private investigator,  possessing innate curiousity, and a voracious student of trends others may not discover until they’ve become norms.

The demographic phenomenon known as the “silver tsunami”, will expand a brand’s market share dominance and could extend a CMO’s job tenure. The number ofCalifornia seniors  will increase 87% over the next two decades. As they’ve hit the magic retirement age, they’re disrupting convention by staying in the workforce.

Joseph Coughlin, founder of the MIT AgeLab and author of The Longevity Economy, describes the problem marketers are having getting their heads around the enormity of this age group

“Oldness as a social construct is at odds with the reality that constrains how we live after middle age and stifles business thinking on how to best serve a group of consumers, workers and innovators that is growing larger and wealthier with every passing day.”

This definition succinctly captures the starting point CMOs can undertake to proactively move their company’s portfolio into consideration for consumers that have another 25+ years of spending ahead of them. And they control 70% of the nation’s disposable income!

California is particularly poised as the best state to develop dedicated senior plans.With a projected 112% increase in senior growth, this segment is increasing at twice the rate of any other state.

  • They’re more active and in better shape. A 65-year old can expect another 20 years of life.  And it’s even longer for women.
  • Shopping online is not just for the young. 70% of seniors are e-commerce users.
  • The number of traditional TV viewing seniors approaches 2/3’s of the population, but streaming as an option is gaining quickly with 78% being internet users.
  • Over 50% aged 55-64 use streaming services.

Finding what senior consumers want is really a simple exercise. Dig into what they’re doing today to stay in shape, earn a paycheck, make a difference in their community and enjoying the fruits of their labor. Study the brands late 30 and 40-year olds were once loyal to and see if they’re still loyal. Tailoring your message to support  seniors who are experiencing service or product innovations will get results. Done right, you may need to ween yourself off marketing to millennials. After all, they don’t have all or even most of the money.

Photo by Monkey Business Images

Marketing to Healthy-Eating California Seniors

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Healthy eating by California’s seniors can lead to healthy profits for marketers.

California has a reputation for being the home to people who eat healthy, have an active lifestyle, and have an upbeat attitude. But is this reputation deserved or more of a myth? And if it is true, how does it apply to seniors, and what does it mean for marketers trying to reach this target audience?

There is evidence that supports many of the “stereotypes’ of the state. According to The United Health Foundation, California ranks 3rd in the nation in “health behaviors” which measures such things as diet, exercise, smoking, drinking, and preventative care visits to doctors and dentists. So it’s not surprising that the state has a life expectancy of 80.9 which is 2nd in the U.S.

As far as diet is concerned, Californians are known as healthier eaters. They eat more servings of fruits and vegetables than residents of any other state. But for California’s 7,000,000 seniors, it can be a different story. Consistent with the rest of the country, approximately 1 in 4 older Californians have poor nutrition. And as they get older, their nutritional needs, appetite, and food habits change in many ways. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services notes that seniors need to be mindful of the following:

  • Seniors need to eat more foods that are rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals
  • Many seniors experience a loss of appetite with age. It’s also common for seniors to have their sense of taste and smell diminish. These factors lead to malnutrition and health problems.
  • Since seniors often do not notice when they are thirsty, it’s especially important for them to make a conscious effort to stay hydrated
  • Many seniors have less social interactions which can turn mealtimes into a chore rather than an enjoyable experience

Marketers can help educate and provide seniors with solutions to healthier eating. The National Institute on Aging suggests:

  1. Help make eating more of a social event
  2. Provide them with healthy meal planning and portion control solutions
  3. Add more flavors to their food using herbs and spices
  4. Provide foods that are softer for their teeth and gums
  5. Develop products that are specifically created to address the fiber, vitamins and minerals that seniors need

The adult nutritional section in stores is a sad place. All too often, food is being marketed too much like medicine. Packaging, product names, graphics, and nutritional information are presented in a boring, clinical manner that appears anything but delicious or appealing. Packaged-goods marketers can easily stand out as a brand that “gets” seniors. And in California, with the most Hispanics and Asians in the country, imagine the opportunity for senior-oriented products created just for them. The opportunity starts with the right products, but should continue with the same “senior sensitivity” in pricing, advertising and distribution.

In the U.S., seniors account for nearly $230B of consumer sales. And much of this is made up of food-related products. The 2010 U.S. Census shows the senior age group is, for the first time, the largest in terms of size and percentage. And it’s the fastest growing! It’s time for brands to address this target with more products with them in mind. And there’s no better way to do that than to provide nutritional and delicious food products that add healthy years to their lives.

Photo by Goran Bogicevic

CMOs Can Build a Winning California Senior Strategy by Targeting Caregivers

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Women aren’t just the caregiver, they’re the money managers too!

Every day for the next 20 years, 10,000 people in the U.S. will turn 65. Many will seek the help of a caregiver. Most will want to “age in place” and stay in their own home. Women will be the likely choice to provide the care and make their home the alternative to a senior care facility.

This fact alone should encourage CMOs to evaluate their brand offering with a senior strategy in mind and aimed at California seniors. And it starts with caregivers.

Why are women called The Chief Consumption Officers for the elderly?

  • They control 80%of the household wealth –
  • They outlive men, on average, by 7 years.
  • At 65 years old, their life expectancy is an additional 20+ more years.
  • Women will continue to consume and shop long after the passing of their husband
  • While some men act as caregivers, largely as the handyman, women are the nurturers – stemming from their maternal duties parenting.
  • The instinct to care for a child is essentially the same as caring for an adult- feeding, bathing, dressing and driving

Aging and women are at ease together because women possess the responsibility gene more so than men. Long before Siri or Alexia, there was the woman of the household… the one doing the chores, nursing, shopping, carpooling, banking and overseeing the repairs and attending to the needs and happiness of the family.

It’s not just hands-on care: 8 percent of baby boomers, 13 percent of Generation X and 19 percent of millennials are financially supporting a parent to the tune of $12,000 a year, according to a survey of 1,000 adults released this summer from TD Ameritrade.

Of the two sexes,  the women is the natural planner.  It has been said, when it comes to retirement, men are looking forward to relaxing – women are planning to grow old. 

Which is how they approach the role of caregiver. They develop a plan – what to buy, where to shop, and how to make that budget last. For CMOs, this consumer behavior is easy to track and target. By focusing on the women controlling the plan, the opportunities open up every day for new product entries.

But with the growing need for caregiving, there is both a talent pool issue and a silver lining on the horizon.

According to an AARP Public Policy Institute study, the ratio of caregivers to adults is dropping – now at 7 to 1. By 2030, this number nearly cuts in half to a ratio of 4 to 1. Caregiver tools and services are waiting to be innovated or created from an existing brand, with a senior benefit and dedicated marketing commitment. One opportunity could focus on California caregiver recruitment and retention. For those willing to follow the money, the potential is real.

Photo by Photographee.eu