The Boomer Marketplace

Well, hi everyone! I hope your week is going okay. While here at Bloomer Boomer, we try to cover the areas that are part of the life of people over 55. Now granted, that is a lot to cover, but in doing so, we think it’s important too for people who don’t share the awareness about this huge demographic to learn what we’re all about, what we like, our buying habits, and I guess, for this segment, our economic force because, let’s face it, when you reach a certain age, you get portrayed a certain way that most of the time isn’t very accurate. Though that’s also part of what the Bloomer Boomer mission, to demystify the 55+ demographic, and we hope others will want to learn about the bloomer market and beyond.

So in early 2014, as part of what we do, we attended what is arguably the largest conference of its kind, the American Society on Aging Conference in beautiful San Diego. And while attending, where there are hundreds of directions to go, we focused on the boomer market. Now we want to share some of the sound and comments from some of the attendees and hopefully you’ll learn as much as me, and I’m already a boomer.

Chris Gray: The thing that’s extremely powerful in terms of purchasing and purchasing influence.

Andy: That is Chris Gray. Now he’s with a company that specializes in this marketplace for over 20 years. For those in the know, it’s a Zillner and with a tagline, “The Power of Seniors”.

Chris: I would say it really helps to know the clients and then users really understand this audience. Everybody says that when you see it, post it everywhere and then it will be on CNN or any publication white paper you’re comfortable with. The fastest growing population and audience out there.

Andy: But as Chris says, don’t think the power and dynamism of this marketplace is any secret. In fact, many others are discovering it.

Chris: It’s always energizing to attend these conferences. I really see a lot of entry capitalism and start-uips really trying to make headway into this segment group with their product offerings and their innovations and really leveraging technology to better engage and make this population life more fun, more exciting. It’s not really just about living like people think, it’s really bringing that value to this core audience.

Andy: As if the 55+ marketplace needed any more evidence of its reach and its power, quite an industry has grown around it.

Doug Oldfield: My focus is almost exclusively in the health and wellness of senior space. So I work with potential new clients to help them find day-to-day solutions to help themselves, the products for fishermen.

Andy: Heh, minus the barking dog on the background as we recorded at the conference, that is Doug Oldfield. Now he’s with a company called Epsilon, which uses what is known as “Intelligence” or understanding the customer to help others reach this dynamic demographic.

Doug: We have thousands of data sources that we get data from. From public records, from private sources, in some cases, mostly public records. One of our data assets is this transactional information and we’ve got over 2000 companies that work with us that are all partners, and those companies provide us with their transactional information, the names and addresses of their buyers and the data dollar of the amount purchased and then we categorize that purchase at a product category level – did they buy shoes, did they buy senior products, did they buy something, what would they purchase?

Andy: And as another myth buster, the over 55 population sure doesn’t show as afraid of the digital world any.

Doug: And now we’re seeing a tremendous influx of boomers who are using technology, how to work with it and not exploiting, but using it to their advantage where before they were, I would say, they weren’t comfortable with it or aren’t more familiar with it but that’s not the case today.

Andy: And one organization that has discovered firsthand how well the 55+ demographic has adopted technology is a not-for-profit. It’s out of Illinois named “Mather Lifeways”, a most unique organization that has introduced technology to seniors and found a receptive audience. Kate Paz directs their programs without walls.

Kate Paz: It’s always a pleasure here to be at the American Society on Aging conference and one of the things we’ve seen in engaging older adults online is that they really enjoy being part of it. They want the opportunity to participate. They like the accessibility of being able to participate 24 hours, 7 days a week whenever they want to. And it’s also the variety of choice – we don’t just engage them online virtually on the web, but we have programs that we offer over the telephone as well, so there’s multiple platforms to reach out to people. We give them opportunity to do so.

Andy:  But with all the prosperity for this market and demographic there is the inherent downsides, says Don Blandin, President and Chief Executive Officer of Investment Protection Trust.

Don Blandin: The baby boomers have about 70% of the personal wealth in this country and the people who do bad things know that, and so they become the targets of a lot of a financial exploitation…

Andy: And what Don says is the topic of another segment of the Bloomer marketplace, found right here on bloomerboomer.com and on iTunes. Thanks for listening! Talk to you next time!

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