What has been your greatest challenge targeting this demographic?
I would call them maverick visionaries within the organization that are often going out on a limb. If they are a boomer, they tend to understand how complex the demographic is. But some of the younger marketers, when given the assignment of helping their client go after boomers, tend to think of mom and dad. They tend to generalize. They would never paint all young people with one brush. That’s the biggest challenge.
When we get a person, whatever their age is, and they say, 'this is an important demographic to us, I want to go after it', it’s then helping them succeed so we can get past all the stereotypes and/or the single case examples and start to get into the more serious research. Like I said, you can’t predict the future, so research is a continuous and ongoing important thing for anyone in the marketing to boomer area. I think the generation can turn on a dime. They’ll swear up and down that they’re never going to retire, and five years from now, every boomer could retire. I think it’s going to affect the economy, and we don’t know what year it is.
Do you expect boomer-focused PR and marketing practices to grow in the near future?
I think the global issue is important, and as our clients are global, any issues we can find that have international implications are great to know. We have local offices so we can be very niched, know what’s happening in LA, Portland Oregon, etc., but there are so few resources that can address the issue of what’s happening, which is a generation around the world. Many of our clients don’t want to just develop a product for one market or age group; they want to do it for the whole world. In terms of trends, I think it’s a wonderful thing when we get involved in the planning stages and as we have successes under our belt with clients, and they start to come to us and say, 'What features should we include? Help us understand everything about the demographic.' We’re really expanding the definition of what traditional PR used to be.