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Ageless Marketing

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Ageless Marketing

Strategies for Reaching the Hearts and Minds of the New Consumer Majority

Kaplan Publishing,

15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

A new majority consumer is 40 plus, buys based on values and thinks with the right side of the brain. Now, sell to that.

Editorial Rating



  • Innovative
  • Scientific
  • Well Structured


As American markets have evolved, so has the consumer. The aging American consumer (40 and over), now the New Customer Majority, makes purchasing decisions based on values, a shift that traditional marketing has failed to accommodate. The result is consumer dissatisfaction, diminished brand loyalty and expensive, ineffective advertising. Authors David B. Wolfe and Robert E. Snyder argue that marketers should acknowledge the new demographics and use techniques from brain research, developmental psychology, sociology and demographics to reach aging consumers. While the authors selectively cite data and successful marketing campaigns, they also offer a sound narrative and a refreshing, common sense point of view. On the downside, they use extensive marketing jargon, perhaps because they are ad consultants promoting their expertise. Citing attitudinal studies and new behavioral and brain chemistry research, they explain that marketers must account for their consumers’ "season of life" to develop effective campaigns. getAbstract recommends this book to corporate marketing, investor relations, human resources, customer service and product development departments. It might even bridge the generation gap.


Aging and Advertising

Aging is having a profound effect on marketing, which is the process that generates the customer demand necessary to pull services and merchandise through the American economy. While U.S. marketing is widely acknowledged as the most sophisticated in the world, it has recently come upon challenging times. Notably, a 1999 study found that TV advertising returned only one-third of the amount invested. A 1995 study said 70% to 80% of new product introductions are very expensive flops, with net losses up to $25 million per product.

Yet despite poor results, corporate marketing budgets are increasing. One analysis of 20 industries found that selling, general expenses and administrative costs now account for more than 40% of each sales dollar. Higher ad bills and lower results have helped contribute to faster client turnover at marketing agencies, where the average length of client relationships has dropped from 11 years to 2.5 years. These broken relationships contributed to a decline in ad agency revenues in 2001 and 2002, the first consecutive such declines since the 1930s.

Technology, which has fueled productivity gains in other industries, ...

About the Authors

David B. Wolfe, an international consultant, is considered one of the founders of developmental relationship and ageless marketing. His clients have included AT&T, Coca-Cola, Metropolitan Life and Marriott. Robert E. Snyder is a partner with Retirement Living Services of Hartford, Conn., and formerly headed the Mature Market Group at J. Walter Thompson. He is an expert on the values, belief systems and buying habits of older Americans.

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