Business of Aging, Marketing:Part 1

As fortune has it, there are two symposiums under the banner “business of aging” that I’m attending over the next two weeks. The first is at Sheridan College, Trafalgar Campus., presented by the Sheridan Elder Research Centre (SERC) on April 18. The focus of this event is a panel discussing effective marketing strategies for older consumers. A Change Rangers alliance professional, market researcher Gerald Bramm, will be a panellist.

We’ll see where this SERC panel takes us, but one thing I shared with Gerald is this tendency to discuss older consumers in broad terms. The front end question I have is, where do you draw a distinction around who are older consumers? Is there a magic moment when you’ve crossed an age zone? I suppose we can make that 45 plus, if you follow the targeting of Moses Znaimer’s Zoomer marketing strategy. Really?

But there is no homogeneous nature to any age zone and after a while the nauseous approach to broad stroked, age related stereotyping and patronizing gets in the way of the marketing message. There must be a top ten don’t do list of “off the mark” messaging for any business with a product or service selling to whatever age profile they think they have in sight.

The second symposium is April 30 at the Toronto based MaRS Discovery District. This event focus is on aging, care giving and wellness in the workplace, with an eclectic mix of case studies in innovation related to this business of aging.

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