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One-Minute MarketerThe ‘Longevity Economy’ Is Here

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The ‘Longevity Economy’ Is Here

By 2050, people over 65 will be approximately 25% of the population. Yet less than 1 in 5 companies have any meaningful strategies focused on this market. Other than drug companies and investment firms, I’d say most ignore people 55-plus.IMG_0129

Just walk through any sick mall and you’ll see the marketing and product bias toward young (financially strapped) markets. The book “Longevity Economy: Unlocking the World’s Fastest-Growing, Most Misunderstood Market” talks about the young bias in products, design and marketing. It’s a bias that will bankrupt too many businesses going forward.

“Age 49 still serves as the de facto cut-off age that many marketers don’t bother to cross, and less than 10% of marketing dollars are aimed specifically at 50-plus. … Advertisers spend 500% more on millennials than other age groups combined,” states author Joseph Coughlin.

What’s even more disturbing is that when marketers do try to target the longevity economy, the messaging is so bad that people in the target audience find the portrayals utterly unappealing and overly stereotypical. In other words, most (around 80%) older adults don’t like the advertising that is designed to reach and move this target audience. That is not good marketing.

Coughlin is the founder and director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) AgeLab. It is described as a multidisciplinary research program created to understand the behavior of the rapidly growing 50-plus population. He is also another person who believes that you need to fish where the fish are, and the fish are older, wealthier and mostly female. Now compare that to the people in tech, product-buying groups, designers, engineers, architects, home builders …

The next time you see a company declaring bankruptcy, look at how it marketed to the longevity economy. I’d say it probably missed the Mark (pun intended).

Good read. I give it 5 stars.

Written by:

Mark wrote his first direct-mail fundraising letter in 1981 for the University of Iowa Center for Advancement. The effort raised a few million dollars in undiscovered wills and legacy gifts. From that day forward Mark discovered a love of the big idea that moves the needle. After 12 years at KWWL, Mark became a business owner as a co-founder of ME&V — rebranded as AMPERAGE in 2015. After 25 years of leading creative teams in video production, graphic design, PR, writing and web development, Mark transitioned out of ownership in 2021. Today he serves in an employee role as special projects consultant. He is creatively ambidextrous — son of an artist and engineer — and famous for distilling complex ideas down to a few words and a few visuals. Mark is a writer. When he found that many nonprofits struggled with complex branding puzzles, he wrote the book, “NonProfit-NonMarketing .” He also wrote a novel called “Reenactment.” Mark is an active blogger OneMinuteMarketer® with nearly 1,000 readers each week on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter. One of his most popular YouTube videos is on “How to Look Good on Zoom.” One of Mark’s fondest business memories was being named to INC 500 two times and attending the INC 500 conference with other winners. Mark is considered by some a Civil War expert (and that explains his novel). Mark also served as an adjunct professor in the business and in the communications departments at Wartburg College. Mark is a graduate of the University of Iowa and is currently vice president of the University of Iowa Journalism and Mass Communications Advisory Board. Mark is married to state Sen. Liz Mathis, and the two love to travel, even when it means being trapped by a volcano in the Czech Republic for three weeks.