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Turning Silver into Gold: How to Profit in the New Boomer Marketplace Hardcover – February 10, 2007

ISBN-13: 978-0131856981 ISBN-10: 0131856987

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: FT Press (February 10, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0131856987
  • ISBN-13: 978-0131856981
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.3 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #290,647 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

This new book is as useful for baby boomers as it is for marketers: it will guide boomers on their journeys and give marketers the tools to help them get there. -- P. G. Kishel, Cypress College (Reprinted with permission from CHOICE, copyright by the American Library Association)

 

Seasoned digital-marketing strategist Furlong explores the breadth and depth of the baby-boomer market.

Boomers make up 25% of the population, own 77% of the country's financial assets and are looking at greater discretionary income as they go about retiring the word "retire." They are now marching well into middle age and their marketplace desires are morphing, explains Furlong in this broad and thoughtful book. The author sees them as representing hundreds of market segments: Boomers have concerns and interests including health, investing, entertainment and travel, sexuality, entrepreneurship and technology, religion and spirituality and a vast array of philanthropic and social commitments. The title's silver may mean hair color, but the gold represents wisdom as well as wealth, "and how they will transform their financial worth into good works." Still, Furlong has profit-oriented business advice to tender, giving dozens of examples of how the boomers' interests can be met, particularly by Internet-savvy businesspeople, from software that helps sharpen memory to dealing with loneliness to safe sex to civic engagement.

Furlong displays a genuine grasp of boomer sensibilities, especially those of decency and happiness and the common good; when she speaks of value added, it is not just the markup but how the product or service adds to the pleasure of living right and well. -- Kirkus Business & Personal Finance Report  

 

"Mary is an evangelist who has been selling the dream of the boomer/senior market for over twenty-five years. She understands the customer segment better than anyone, and this book reflects her insight."  --Guy Kawasaki, Managing Director, Garage Technology Ventures and author of The Art of the Start

 

“Dr. Mary Furlong is a true visionary.  Her insights and market intelligence are consistently spot on and her notions about what to do and how to do it demand serious attention from start up entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 executives.  In "Turning Silver into Gold” she has done a masterful job of revealing a broad range of timely and actionable paths to success.  I heartily recommend this book to anyone interested in gaining a better understanding, and meeting the myriad needs, of a maturing population.”  --Ken Dychtwald, Ph.D., President of Age Wave, Author of Age Wave, Age Power and The Power Years: A User's Guide to the Rest of Your Life

 

“Mary Furlong’s book has a social heart as well as a business sense.  She is trying to assist people who are in business, but not simply for the sake of exploiting a market. Adding value to life is as important to her as it is to us at AARP.” --From the Foreword by Bill Novelli, Chief Executive Officer, AARP

 

"Mary Furlong is an expert on the Baby Boomer demographic as an academic, entrepreneur and marketer.  She has lots to teach about how to successfully reach and impact this enormous market."  --Myrna Blyth, Founding Editor, More Magazine

 

 

 

 

From the Back Cover

“Mary is an evangelist who has been selling the dream of the boomer/senior market for over twenty-five years. She understands the customer segment better than anyone, and this book reflects her insight.”

—Guy Kawasaki, Managing Director, Garage Technology Ventures and author of The Art of the Start

 

“Dr. Mary Furlong is a true visionary. Her insights and market intelligence are consistently spot on and her notions about what to do and how to do it demand serious attention from start up entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 executives. In Turning Silver into Gold she has done a masterful job of revealing a broad range of timely and actionable paths to success. I heartily recommend this book to anyone interested in gaining a better understanding, and meeting the myriad needs, of a maturing population.”

—Ken Dychtwald, Ph.D., President of Age Wave, Author of The Age Wave, Age Power, and The Power Years

 

“Mary Furlong’s book has a social heart as well as a business sense. She is trying to assist people who are in business, but not simply for the sake of exploiting a market. Adding value to life is as important to her as it is to us at AARP.”

—From the Foreword by Bill Novelli, Chief Executive Officer, AARP

 

“Mary Furlong is an expert on the Baby Boomer demographic as an academic, entrepreneur, and marketer. She has lots to teach about how to successfully reach and impact this enormous market.”

—Myrna Blyth, Founding Editor, More Magazine

 

“Furlong displays a genuine grasp of boomer sensibilities, especially those of decency and happiness and the common good; when she speaks of value added, it is not just the markup but how the product or service adds to the pleasure of living right and well.”

Kirkus Business & Personal Finance Report

 

As they age, America’s 78 million baby boomers will live more active, creative, inventive lives than any generation before them. This represents a truly enormous business opportunity. In this book, the world’s number one authority on marketing to “post-50” baby boomers offers a complete blueprint for profiting from that opportunity.

 

Dr. Mary Furlong reveals breakthrough product and service opportunities, and gives you the tools, resources, techniques, and data you need to capitalize on them. She offers powerful insight into baby boomers’ new lifestage transitions in housing, health, fitness, finances, family, fashion, romance, travel, and work–and the new brand choices they’re about to make.

 

Throughout, Furlong combines extensive, authoritative market research with inspirational stories about passionate, tenacious entrepreneurs and brand leaders who are blazing new trails in these fast-growing markets. You’ll learn how to segment boomer markets, and identify opportunities to innovate entirely new categories of products and services. You’ll discover which sales and marketing strategies really work, and even uncover opportunities in the surprising worldwide boomer market.

 

Five trends shaping the next baby boomer revolution

Global markets, longevity, lifestage transitions, technology, and spirituality

 

From concept to product to financing, and beyond

All you need to execute on your baby boomer product/service opportunity

 

The new healthcare revolution, the new healthcare business

How boomers are using the newest innovations to take control over their health futures

 

Sex and romance: I’ll have what she’s having

The new sexual revolution: making it feel like the first time–or better

 

Choosing families, making connections

Powerful new opportunities in helping boomers reach out and connect

 

About the Author

Dr. Mary S. Furlong is the leading authority on the baby boomer generation as it moves beyond 50. She founded Mary Furlong & Associates to help socially and consumer-conscious companies reach this growing market. She is also Executive Professor of Entrepreneurship and Women in Leadership at Santa Clara University’s Leavey School of Business.

 

Before launching Mary Furlong & Associates, Dr. Furlong founded the nonprofit organization SeniorNet in 1986. She founded Third Age Media in 1996, ultimately reaching more than two million members. Throughout the course of her work for both organizations, she raised $120 million in venture capital funds. She has advised President Clinton, Congress, the AARP, and corporate clients including IBM, Johnson & Johnson, Merrill Lynch, Procter & Gamble, and Microsoft.

 

With the American Society on Aging, Dr. Furlong co-produced the successful 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007 What’s Next Boomer Business Summits. She was Executive Producer of the 2005, 2006, and 2007 Silicon Valley Boomer Venture Summits and $10,000 Boomer Business Plan Competitions. She is a member of the Leadership Circles of the American Society on Aging’s Business Forum on Aging, the National Council on Aging (NCOA), and the AARP. She is also an advisor to several start-up companies all focused on the boomer market.

 

Dr. Furlong has appeared on CBS, NBC’s Today Show, PBS, and NPR to discuss trends in aging andtechnology. She was named one of the top 50 businessleaders by Time Digital, and has also been honored by Fortune Small Business Magazine. Her books include Grown-Up’s Guide to Computing.


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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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For any business person, this is a "must read" book.
Dave Carpenter
The stats are startling, the anecdotes instructive and entertaining.
Talloires Fan
Dr. Furlong is an expert on the demographics of the boomers.
John Matlock

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Gary R. Sweeten on October 28, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This fat book by Dr. Mary Furlong, a true expert on Boomers, can fatten you wallet if you want to know how to market, sell or communicate with folks over fifty. When Dr. Furlong discussed an area of no interest to me I just skipped it to read and re-read one that did. The very generous use of data and examples together makes the book understandable and interesting. My vision of how to work with the 50 plus crowd, and it IS a crowd, was expanded and lifted to include several areas that had not even crossed my mind.

I am astonished that so many people want to go after the shrinking youth market and forget the mature people who have all the money. With great assets, a desire to give back to social and spiritual causes, better health and longer life as well as more finely honed tastes, there are dozens of opportunities for creative realtionships with the Boomer plus segment.

If you don't ever deal with the fifty plus group, forget about the book. However, if your commercial or not for profit has a large market with this richest ever cohort, buy and read it immediately.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Chuck Nyren on February 8, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Mary Furlong has put together a book that no one else could have. For over twenty years she's been deeply immersed in academia, the internet, and the real world of business. Few can claim to be a specialist in all three. Add to this her two-decade+ focus on aging - and now on Baby Boomers. This isn't a book anyone could just throw together with a bunch of haphazard research and a cavalier keyboard. Furlong lives it.

The quick version of what TSIG is: Hundreds of companies targeting Baby Boomers are profiled. If you have any interest in Boomers and business and all the opportunities, this is what you need to read. You'll find out what's going on. It's that simple.

Dr. Furlong also has this wonderful egalitarian approach to business. When she talks about companies, small biz entrepreneurs get as much ink as the multi-nationals. In her eyes, they're equals.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By John Matlock on March 24, 2007
Format: Hardcover
The boomers have been a buldge in the statistical charts since they were born. First there weren't enough hospitals to birth them. Then there weren't enough schools to teach them. Then there weren't enough houses for them to buy, etc. etc.

Dr. Furlong is an expert on the demographics of the boomers. She has spent most of her career in studying them as as academic, and practically as a small businesswoman. She has studied what they want, what they need, their financial situation. And more important, she has taken this information and projected it to what the boomers will want, need, and buy as they continue to age.

Her intent in this book is to tell the businessman, small or large how this demographic buldge will affect them in the future. There was a time when everything was aimed at the youth market. As the title says, the future belongs to silver, the color the boomers hair is turning.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Brad Foster on May 16, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I read Mary's book in response to a suggestion from a friend. I plan on creating a distribution chain based out of South America obtaining ophthalmic and optometric diagnostic equipment which is to be manufactured in China. As many of you know due diligence is the key to launching a tennable startup and I found Mary's book to be helpful in putting a name and face to my largest customer base, which is of course the boomer generation. Mary is able to effectively describe this all too often over looked demographic in a manner that is both informative and entertaining. Her insight on the subject matter is profound. After researching her qualifications and past business ventures this comes as no surprise. Throughout the chapters business oppurtunities are explored with exellent case studies presented as guiding lights. I recomend this book to anyone who is planing on understanding and consequently captializing on this limitless demographic.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Rolf Dobelli HALL OF FAME on August 25, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Most books that address the impact of the baby boom generation contain too many statistics and not enough insights. Mary S. Furlong tries to fight that trend with this slightly disjointed look at data and stories about companies that cater to this demographic group. She relays interesting sagas about entrepreneurs, but sometimes omits the richness of detail that would give them the practical impact they deserve. She weaves five baby boom trends ("global markets, longevity, technology, life-stage transitions and spirituality/giving back") through each chapter of her analysis, as she discusses what the boomer generation might buy, how many of them might buy it and how you might market it. getAbstract finds that she offers good information and solid coverage of her subject.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth Gelfand on April 26, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Turning Silver into Gold is a judicious investment for intra or entrepreneurs exploring opportunities in the lucrative Baby Boomer market. As a business factor expert, Dr. Furlong provides insightful, industry-specific analysis including vital market statistics and trends. This book holds the power to enrich both body and soul.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Dave Carpenter on July 12, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I like to hope that I am well read, especially with regard to business books. I must confess I had never heard of author Dr. Mary Furlong until two days ago when her new book jumped off the shelf and into my arms at a B&N store. Never have I been so pleased to be mugged by a book.

For any business person, this is a "must read" book. If you are already operating a business, that business is likely already being impacted by the baby boomer forces that Furlong understands so well. If you are contemplating starting a business, buy this book to better understand how to tap this huge and important market.

In an era where so many business books are a regurgitation of old wisdom or unsupported hype, this book is a refreshing contrast. Dr. Furlong's academic background comes through with her writing style of backing up her observations with documented facts. The fact she has also been a successful entrepreneur comes through in a fast paced writing style that is in sharp contrast to the tomes often coming out of academia.

I especially liked the way she packed each chapter with examples of both successful companies (referenced as the "elephants") and emerging companies that are validating the points she makes.

I raced through this book on a long flight. Two days later I am rereading again and underlining galore as the book is jam packed with so many nuggets.

This has to be one of the ten best business books of the year. Whether or not the author and publisher choose to hype the book to the top of the best seller lists, worry not, this book will help you as a business owner, investor, or advisor to businesses.

Skeptics of enthusiastic reviews will wonder if I know Dr. Furlong. I don't, but I will make it a point to get to know her. I want her wisdom on boomers to be a part of all my business activities.
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