Baby boomers are the largest group online

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A total of 56.7 million baby boomers are online — the largest population group on the Internet, according to eMarketer.  And their numbers will continue to grow as more seek information and solutions online.  A new report from eMarketer recommends that businesses reach boomers online with special offers, uncluttered websites and ad messages with lots of information.

Unlike younger generations, this group born between 1946 and 1964 looks to the web for information more than entertainment.  Whether it’s buying products or searching for information on retirement or caregiving, they are increasingly reaching out to the Internet.

At the What’s Next Boomer Summit on March 19 in Las Vegas, there will be lots of information about baby boomers, what they are doing online, how to reach them through social media, and search engine optimization.  www.boomersummit.com.

Are some businesses poised to grow in 2009?

There’s no doubt that the recession is shifting consumer behavior– the headlines every day shout at us about what is and is not happening with shoppers at the local mall.  But for some businesses is there a silver lining in the recessions?  Can your business be a bright spot as consumers spend more time at home, work longer, or feel more financially vulnerable?

A recent study by McKinsey looked back at two previous recessions indicates there might be some bright spots int he economy.  If your business benefits from consumers spending time at home (reading, cooking, watching videos) or is a  necessity or seen as one as consumers feel more vulnerable (insurance).   Okay, we know this recession isn’t like those we have seen before, but it makes sense that there will be some bright spots. 

Not on this list are some of the services that support those who are aging and need assistance or their caregivers.  This is an area where the need continues to grow with the aging population.  and baby boomers who may have left work earlier to provide care, now find that isn’t an option and they need to find services that can provide care for a loved one. 

At the What’s Next Boomer Summit (www.boomersummit.com) there will be lots of research and insight into the growth areas for business serving boomers and seniors.  We’ll also have some brand new research (conducted in January 2009)  from Natural Marketing Institute (NMI) about shifts in boomer attitudes and spending.

McKinsey research shows that during the 1990–91 and 2001–02 downturns, for example, US consumers reprioritized their spending rather than cutting it across the board. Consumer spending dropped in discretionary categories like dining out, personal care products, and charitable donations. But expenditures for groceries, reading materials, and other options that substitute for more expensive ones actually rose. So did outlays on insurance, health care, and, above all, education.  www.mckinseyquarterly.com

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Reach baby boomers through email

If you doubt the power of email, listen to what the leader of the Obama e-mail marketing campaign had to say about the power of email.

Stephen Geer, said last week that the single most lucrative day in fundraising in American politics was the day after Gov. Sarah Palin’s vice presidential acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention. “She made a huge tactical mistake by going on the attack against community organizers,” Geer said.

With the campaign largely built around the concept that volunteers should sign up and become community organizers themselves, the Obama  morning-after fundraising-appeal  sought to frame Palin’s disdain for community organizers as an attack on each and every Obama volunteer.

“It played directly into a narrative that we’d spent more than a year building with our email list,” Geer said of Palin’s attack, which was “that regular people were community organizers and they had a stake in the campaign.” The email seeking donations met with a mass response.  For the campaign overall, Obama raised $500 million online.

So, can email work for your business?  While younger generations may shun email, we know baby boomers and seniors continue to use it as a daily source of communication.  Over 90% of Internet users 50+ use e-mail, according to the Pew Internet Project. 

The challenge is to figure out how to cut through the email box clutter and get your message opened, read and reacted to.  In the current economy, email can prove to be a cost effective way to reach your target market.

That’s why we’ve asked Ron Cates from Constant Contact to join us at the boot camps to talk about email. 

Email is the most cost-effective, targeted, trackable, and efficient way to build and maintain relationships in all types of business and organizations. Ron’s session will help you learn how to master the basics of professional email communications with this comprehensive look at best practices and winning  strategies for finding and keeping permission-based subscribers, increasing deliverability and open rates, writing good subject lines and content, getting readers to take action, and becoming a trusted sender in the eyes of consumers.

Join us. and if there is something specific you’d like Ron to cover, let us know by posting a comment or question here.by

Cost of Caregiving Hits Baby Boomers

More baby boomers are facing caregiving responsibilities and it’s hitting their finances as well.  A recent report from AARP estimate that 34 million caregivers provide an estimated $375 billion worth of care.  Unapid contributions to take on responsibilities of caring for famil and friends who need help.  It is a daunting number – and one we can expect to grow as baby boomers age and do not have the financial resources or insurance to pay for their own care.

The out-of-pocket cost to caregivers helping those age 50 and over is about $5531 per year.  Long-distance caregivers racked up about $8,728 in costs.    The costs may also be as dramatic as loss of job, health insurance and retirement savings if one is faced with quiting work to care for someone.

The caregiving trend and all of its tenacles will be highlighted at the What’s Next conference.  We’re pleased to have Andy Cohen from Caring.com talk about how businesses can reach caregivers ; Laurie Orlov from Age in Place Techonology Watch talk about some of the latest research and trends in Aging in Place, and Dr. Dan Tobin from Your Support Nurse, a care manager company.  they’ll talk about the trends in caregiving and aging in place technology.  And also how the current economic crisis is likely to impact future caregiver needs.

The number of caregivers will grow as people live longer and have to find ways to get the help they need when they can no longer care for themselves.