Younger Boomers Helping Drive Twitter Growth

twitter-chart1Have we finally broken the cylce of early technology adoption always begins with the younger generation? The latest Comscore numbers show strong use of Twitter by younger boomers.



It is the 25-54 year old crowd that is actually driving the growth trend. More specifically, 45-54 year olds are 36 percent more likely than average to visit Twitter, making them the highest indexing age group,.  They are followed by 25-34 year olds, who are 30 percent more likely. 

And even the leading edge boomers seem to be more attracted to twitter than the younger crowd. 

Worldwide visitors to Twitter approached 10 million in February, up an impressive 700+% vs. year ago. The past two months alone have seen worldwide visitors climb more than 5 million visitors. U.S. traffic growth has been just as dramatic, with Twitter reaching 4 million visitors in February, up more than 1,000% from a year ago, according to ComScore.

It’s another reason for companies targeting boomers to take a look at adding Twitter to their marketing mix.

posted by Laura Rossman


Will new Depend ads appeal to boomers?

At a time when we keep hearing about marketing cutbacks, the announcement of a big  new ad campaign from Kimberly-Clark for their Depend brand is remarkable.   The campaign launches today and runs through December across a variety of media – TV, Internet, direct response, print and point-of-purchase.


The new ads are basic and focus on differences between men and women.  They feature a man and a woman standing in front of a white backdrop and talking about something that has nothing to do with incontinence. One features a discussion of whether men or women are better drivers.  The campaign is the launch of gender-specific Depend.


“One of the key elements of the new campaign is a certain level of authenticity — showcasing real people, since this is such a real issue for so many people. It’s not an aspirational category; nobody wants to have to use [Depend], but the fact is that 27 million people will be dealing with this, so part of the role of Depend is to provide normalization of the category, and part of the goal of the campaign is to humanize it — not only demonstrate that Depend understands the difference between men and women,” Blake Boulden, Depend brand manager told MediaPost.


Kimberly-Clark introduced the gender specific underwear in December noting that caregivers are an important target market. “Our consumer research has found that users and caregivers can be uncomfortable shopping for adult incontinence products,” said Mark Cammarota, Depend Brand Director. “Quickly finding the right product remains a vital step in living with incontinence, and with a variety of options on store shelves, our new packaging designs will offer a simpler selection experience at stores.”


The website provides consumers with information, coupons and ask the expert information.


It’s a sharp contrast to much of the advertising in this category that is more product specific.  Will it make boomers and caregivers feel more comfortable and confident with their purchase?

Social Media Best For Brand Building and Awareness

chartofweek-02-17-09There’s lots of talk about social media, but what do marketers expect it to deliver?  Brand building and reputation top the list.  If you are looking to immediately generate direct leads and sales, look elsewhere. 
More than 90% of companies believe that social media is most effective in building brand reputation and awareness. That result is followed closely by goals for attracting website visitors, according to exclusive research in MarketingSherpa’s new Social Media Marketing and PR Benchmark Guide.

Direct marketing, such as lead generation and sales conversion, are second-tier expectations.  The conversational and relationship-building nature of social media is more like PR,and more likely to help accomplish branding goals.  So building buzz might lead to eventual sales. 

some companies are using it to improve internal communications as they test theis new media.  It is  a desirable social-media training and proving ground because the risk of exposing confidential information to the public is far less likely to occur in a self-contained environment.

So as with all campaigns, picking the right tool to fit your goals is key to success.  No matter how much buzz about new media, you need to use it in the right way with the right expectations.  For businesses targeting boomers, now is the time to be testing new media strategies as boomers are adopting it into their lives.

Baby Boomer Women Find a New Neighborhood Gathering Place


Those of us in in the business of knowing what boomers are doing and where they are going to seek information and products weren’t surprised by the news from Facebook:  women 55+ are online, connecting with each other, family, friends through photos, stories and just life’s everyday events.  Think back to 1950’s when women gathered for coffee after the kids went to school.  Now, it’s electronic and Facebook is one of their new neighborhoods.

Here’s what Facebook had to say about its growth:  Facebook’s US audience has continued to grow in recent months, fueled by expansion primarily in users 26 and older. Facebook has been growing particularly rapidly amongst people over 45 in the US, as the charts show below: over 165% amongst both men and women 45-54 over the last 4 months.

While the fastest growing age group by total users is still 26-34, the number of women over 55 on Facebook grew by an astounding 175.3% since the end of September.  Their male counterparts, however, weren’t able to keep up – growing by only 137.8%.  The number of women over 55 on Facebook almost double the number of men over 55 on Facebook today.

There are some new websites too establishing themselves as the go-to place for 50+ women. ( offers conversation, recommendations and experts.  Carol Osborn, senior strategist for will be joining us at the What’s Next Boomer Summit ( to share how women are using social networking sites.

In this economy we all need to find new ways to reach potential customers.  With a growing number of baby boomers and seniors actively engaging online, it’s a great opportunity for business to reach them  and it’s a channel that’s easy and cost effective to test in. 

Here are the numbers from Facebook on growth in boomer  demographics in the last 120 days (no numbers for the 65+)

Women 55-65 – 456,760  growth of 175.3%;  45-54 — 858,260 — growth of 165.3%

Men 55-65 – 271,520 growth of 137.8%; 45-54 -524,980 -165.8%

If your target market is boomer women, you need to have find a strategy for being where they are — start with Facebook and


Can blogs build your boomer business?


Cohubstop-piechart-brporate blogs – can they be a good source of sales leads for your boomer business?


A new study finds blogging to the most important lead-generation source among social media options, followed by StumbleUpon, YouTube, Facebook, De.lic.ious and Digg.


A survey of small to mid-sized BtoB companies by Internet marketing firm HubSpot found three-quarters of those that have tried blogging said their company blogs were “useful,” “important,” or “critical” to their business. Nearly half the companies have a blog, and three-quarters publish content at least weekly.


Blogs provide companies benefits beyond building relationships with customers. A community is built around the content and articles and the content helps drive Search engine optimization, according to experts.


However, another recent survey by Forrester Research showed that consumers rated corporate blogs as the lowest-rated source of reliable information among the 18 categories the firm asked about, including Web portals, print newspapers, radio and personal blogs.


Building online communities, blogging and rating and reviews, will be among the topics covered at the Boomer Business Summit (


You’ll hear from:

Sarah Christian – (

Jenna Woodul – (

Elisa Camahort Page – (

Sam Decker –BazaarVoice (


And more… check out the program at www.boomersummit.comand plan on joining the conversation on the power of blogs and online communities to reach boomers.

Baby boomers more digital than ever

The Silver Summit at the Consumer Electronic Show was quite an experience.  The program put together by Susan Walker, Robin Raskin and Mike Sarfartti was great! Eric Dishman of Intel gave a compelling presentation on the need for reform on Digital Health. He shared three important trends: Demographic Disruption and showed a map of what the world would look like in 2020; Technology Disruption and Economic Disruption. These three forces together cause a need for innovation and reform. I had the privilege of hosting a panel on lifestyles. Lee Ranie, of Pew Internet Research group gave an important update on the changes of the boomers regarding 2.0 media. He gave the following data points of boomer use of 2.0 media in 2008: 74% use the Internet, 62% have broadband at home; 72% use a cell phone, and 43% connect to the Internet wirelessly.. What is new and important is the move toward fast, mobile computing among the boomers.  

The ‘other news’ according to Pew is the growth of social networking applications. Pew research cited the following: 91% of the boomers use search engines; 78% search in health care, 30% use online ratings, 38% share video feeds, 26% read blogs, 17% share creations, 16% have a social network profile, and 7% blog.

 Also on the panel, Howard Byck, shared the latest strategy regarding the lifestyle area at AARP. He discussed the uber environmental trends of increasing singledom, delayed retirement, going green and technology. He also talked about the AARP member’s (40 million strong) unmet needs for control, thriftiness, desire to stay fit and achieve peace of mind. These trends and needs were important to their new strategy for products and services related to travel and entertainment, discounts health and wellness, lifelong learning, technology products and services and pets. 

 The increase of boomers using social media is why we decided to make that an anchor theme for the What’s Next Boomer Summit ( in Las Vegas on March 19. In this down economy, every dollar spent has to matter. We want to help our conference sponsors and attendees develop sales strategies that can work in this new economy. With consumers spending less, it simply takes more of them to meet 2009 goals.  Finding more business means a fresh look at new strategies and new distribution channels.
Hope you will be joining us on March 19 in Las Vegas.
Mary Furlong

Some Marketers Moving to Lower Cost Digital Tactics


Marketing Adjustments in a Down Economy

With the downturn in the economy, every marketing dollar has to work harder.  Wondering what fellow marketers are doing to adjust to the current economy?  The chart above is the MarketingSherpa chart of the week.  It shows the percentage of marketers who are adding to or subtracting from their budgets (it’s not their total marketing investment).  It’s not specific to boomer market but we suspect many of you are thinking about similar moves.  More online marketing and more marketing to your current list.  Mail, TV and print are taking a hit.  So what’s winning are lower cost mediums where you can track results.  Losing out are some of the more costly, broad market channels, according to the MarketingSherpa survey.

check out their analysis at

What kind of changes are you making in your marketing tactics to reach boomers?  This is one of the issues we are going to be covering at the Summit in March.  If you have a case study you would like to present, let Laura know at