- Hardcover: 384 pages
- Publisher: Kaplan Business; Original ed. edition (November 1, 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0793177553
- ISBN-13: 978-0793177554
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 21 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #696,833 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Ageless Marketing: Strategies for Reaching the Hearts and Minds of the New Customer Majority Original ed. Edition
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I've been in marketing and advertising for 20 years --- I've worked with some of the most sophisticated brands --- I know what makes a sound business proposition, and I've seen companies desperate to find a way to build their sales and profitability. And yet I've never heard a business exec say, "You know - we really should be taking a look at the mature market."
Instead, what I HAVE witnessed is an obstinate blindness about what is clearly THE market opportunity of the next two decades. With baffling consistency, the marketing press is full of companies trumpeting their initiatives to capture the youth market. Brands well-established in the high-quality, high-income, mature market segment fervently re-invent themselves to appeal to more youthful consumers.
Mercedes, for example - a brand which virtually owned the "I've been working for 20 years and I've earned it" upper end of the auto market - has been diluting their valuable brand equity by introducing little mini-Mercedes cheap enough for young people to afford. Toyota - with executives wringing their hands over the fact that the average age of their buyer base is 46 - gallops off to build the Scion, intended to be sort of a college dorm room on wheels. (Ironically, they've found the Scion average buyers are well into their mid-30s.)
Every single week Ad Age and Brandweek have some article bemoaning TV's declining ability to reach the "highly coveted demographic of men 18-34." Who covets this audience? Beer and pizza makers, perhaps - other than that, and maybe motorcycles - in what categories are they the primary buyers? And advertising agencies stubbornly continue to limit the upper end of their media segmentation to 54 years old ("Women, 25-54"). What are they thinking --- everyone suddenly drops dead at 55?
On the contrary, as demonstrated so clearly and convincingly by this book, Ageless Marketing. The numbers are unassailable - Over the next two decades, the ranks of 50+ consumers will swell like a tsunami while the number of under 50 consumers will dribble to a trickle and then actually decline.
Not only that, but it shouldn't be news to anyone that older people have more money than younger people - a lot more. And in case you're thinking they hoard it under a mattress, know that their per capita spending averages 2.5 times the levels of younger people. In the automotive business, an article published recently in the Wall Street Journal said: On average, over the "lifetime" of a household, the individuals in that household buy 13 cars; seven of them - the majority - are bought after the head of household reaches 50 years of age.
So let me get this straight, Mercedes: you're going to enrich your brand by leaving your traditional older, wealthy buyer base behind in order to chase after a market segment that is shrinking and has no money?! Toyota - you're actually concerned that your brand is strongest among consumers that buy more cars and have more money?
The Baby Boomers once didn't trust anyone over thirty. Now there isn't a one of them that isn't over forty. Times have changed! In a way, times have gone back to normal. During what other period in history have teens and 20-somethings been the driving forces in commerce or culture? Revolutions, sure; they're always the driving forces in revolutions. But in commerce, they're not. They're kids for crying out loud - they don't have any money!!
It's remarkably difficult to break our culture's absolute conviction that young consumers are every marketer's best prospect. They're not. And until we all get that through our heads, we're going to continue to miss some major market opportunities.
Ageless Marketing not only helps you get it through your head, but it helps you understand that when you do market to older consumers, you need to change your ways. Older consumers screen communications differently, process information differently, respond based on different life priorities and selection preferences.
David Wolfe and Robert Snyder understand those differences, and help readers get in touch with what they need to do to act on them. Their wealth of experience and insight are apparent, and there are tons of examples and ideas that make it easy to understand how to apply what they're saying.
Obviously this is a topic I think is important. Thank heavens there's finally a book that collects all the facts and crystallizes the thinking! I give copies to my clients, and recommend it to my co-workers all the time. My own copy is dog-eared and marked up and so full of notes it's almost hard to read any more. I guess I'll just have to buy another copy!
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