Connecting to Boomers Thesis

Pages: 7 (2030 words)  ·  Style: APA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 6  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Business - Advertising

¶ … Boomers

Context of the Problem

Baby Boomers, an Untapped Advertising Market

Currently, the majority of businesses, as in the past, do not appear to recognize the value of advertising to the Baby boomer generation. "It's absolutely unbelievable," Dave Carpenter (2004), an Associated Press writer, cites Ken Dychtwald, gerontologist, president of the Age Wave think tank in San Francisco, to state. Even though Baby Boomers, age 50 and over, "control $7 trillion, or 70%, of all U.S. wealth, bring in $2 trillion in annual income and account for 50% of all discretionary spending" (¶ 4), businesses only aim for approximately 5% of advertising dollars. "Companies are not paying any attention whatsoever to people over 50" (¶ 4-6), Dychtwald purports.

As Baby Boomers, also referred to Boomers during this study, enter their retirement phase in life, some individuals, younger and older, in society learn and treasure a number of "truths" relating to being in this age group. Some younger and older individuals, albeit, marginalize "the old," "...as the unimaginable other, taking up resources through their increasing dependence," Trish Carroll (2007, p. i) reports in:Buy full Download Microsoft Word File paper
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Thesis on Connecting to Boomers Assignment

Curious conceptions: learning to be old." Baby Boomers, contrary to the erroneous concept some individuals hold that this group does not comprise a valuable resource, does in fact, constitute the fastest growing, as well as the wealthiest consumer group not only in the U.S., but in the world. Leslie M. Harris, and Michelle Edelman (2006) point out in their book: After Sixty: Marketing to Baby Boomers Reaching Their Big Transition Years, that within the next two years, Boomers: "will outspend their younger counterparts by 2 to 1 on goods and services" (p. 2). In another contemporary book, Dick Stroud (2007), author of the 50-Plus Market: Why the Future Is Age Neutral When it Comes to Marketing and Branding Strategies, stresses the fact that Boomers compose a vital consumer group that merits major consideration. The advertising industry, however, has not historically taped into this particular, profitable market. The 2001 Consumer Expenditure Survey revealed that older consumers, which include Boomers in the U.S., constitute: "the primary purchasers of transportation, health care, housing, goods, pensions, and personal insurance" (Harris and Edelman, 2006, p. 169). Stroud (2007) notes that despite the facts that would suggest the opposite would prove more profitable, advertisers allocate 80% of their advertising budgets toward younger groups, particularly 18- to 34-year-olds, while they only allot 5% (worldwide) of their ad budgets for targeting older consumers. The myriad of misconnections with Boomers via advertising, in turn, constitutes a contemporary challenge for U.S. businesses to change.

Today's Trend Indicates Need for Change/s

Historical data, along with predictions for the 2000-10 period, according to Mitra Toossi, an economist in the Office of Occupational statistics and Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics (2002), depict the longstanding, trend in the United States (U.S.) economy of the shift from: "goods-producing employment to service-producing employment" (¶ 1). As this forecast for the trend's continued expansion includes growth in advertising, this indicates a need for businesses to change, in order to better ensure their advertising efforts best target their intended consumer market/s. Currently, as the U.S. reportedly struggles through one of its worst ever economic challenges, "a new buzzword" has reportedly surfaced in Washington, DC: "competitiveness"

Along with a number of public and private leaders purporting the contemporary U.S.'s formidable competitiveness challenge, Congress introduced a number of significant major legislative packages to address competitiveness. Robert D. Atkinson (2007), president of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation in Washington, DC, notes, however, in: "Deep competitiveness: current proposals to stimulate U.S. competitiveness are necessary but not sufficient to meet the challenges posed by a rapidly evolving global economy and the aggressive policies of other nations," that despite the obvious global competiveness currently challenging the U.S., many in the position to make positive changes do not comprehend the situation's urgency.

Atkinson (2007) stresses the need for change/s in the realm of U.S. competitiveness in the global market, particularly in technology. Similarly, however, although limiting focus to the realm of the advertising industry in the U.S., with particular focus on TV commercials, this researcher recognizes a correlating, vital need for businesses to change and better understand the problem of utilizing the best ways to market their products/services to the Boomer generation through the venue or TV commercials. From this researcher's recent review of academic and professional journals, along with surveying numerous books and Web sites, it became evident that a dearth of studies exists regarding this urgent need for change. Not changing, albeit, constitutes a major problem for businesses in the U.S., as the generation of Boomers possesses the greatest buying potential in the U.S. When equipped to counter this particular need in advertising with an increased understanding of the particular prolific Boomers' market, this researcher contends, businesses expand their opportunities to more effectively target Baby Boomer's business, possibly avoiding a number pitfalls that lead to "going out of business."

During the course of the forthcoming DRP, this researcher considers the study of effective ways to connect with and market to Boomers as significant as it not only impacts businesses' fiscal futures in general across the U.S., it specifically impacts this researcher, who currently works for Verizon Wireless (Verizon is part owner of Verizon Wireless).

In a report during August 2008, entitled, "Unilever develops interactive television initiative," Renfrow (2008, para. 2) cites Aksman, creative director of BrightLine iTV, to note that during the process of online "search marketing," an individual conducting a search for a produc, views a number of advertisements which appear in response to the individual searching for a particular product or service on the Web. Advertisers have begun to utilize this same "search marketing" technique on TV, which consequently provides another opportunity for businesses to advertise to Boomers. This researcher foresees that as advertising grows in this and other innovative venues utilizing advertisements, particularly TV, better understandings of how to connect with Boomers will enhance opportunities for the employees and businesses who solicit this group's business. Ultimately, this study hopes to serve to not only enhance current understandings of connections between businesses (also, advertising creatives) and Boomers, but to also encourage the implementation of the knowledge this study presents. The proposed DRP also explores contemporary businesses' misconceptions of Boomers as they frequently "misrelates" to them and neglect to connect with Boomers in advertising, particularly in TV commercials. As the Boomer population included approximately 76 million individuals, more than one fourth of the U.S. population, this number represents a noteworthy market ("Retirement vs. secondment," 2008). During this study, this researcher plans to examine and assess components contributing to common current conceptions advertisers appear to contribute to Boomers and misalignment of numerous advertising tactics and in turn, relate credible considerations. When business suitably implement, clear, convincing strategies to effectively market to Boomer, the invested efforts help ensure that with more profitable advertisements, they will experience more certain fiscal futures.

Statement of the Problem Currently, as Carpenter (2004) confirms, the majority of creatives in advertising industry, as well as businesses doing their own print advertisements and commercials, do not appear to recognize the value of pitching their products to the Baby boomer generation in their advertising efforts. Consequently, this contributes to the problem of a traditionally neglected source for businesses and advertising creatives to tap into. As advertisers only allocate approximately 5% of their budgeting to Boomers (Carpenter, 2004; Stroud, 2007), the unfortunate misrepresentation of the value of Boomers becomes obvious. Therefore, this proposal will explore components contributing to the problem of how the advertising industry may more effectively tap into connecting with Boomers to cultivate and nurture individuals in this generation to become and remain customers for services and/or products, presented in TV commercials.

Significance of the Study

Being born at the end of the Boomer age, the heart of this researcher feels a unique drawing to this particular group of individuals known as the Baby Boomers. As this researcher desires to one day own a business, and possesses the ability to help others feel better about their selves; along with knowing how to encourage potential customers to buy a product, this study which will enhance learning about the boomer group, will simultaneously provides a bump up above the competition. In addition, particularly in an economy as challenging as the one which businesses face today, understanding how that too frequently in the past, businesses attacked rather than attracted this group with their advertisements, could help a business or creative succeed in its developing more effective TV commercials

This researcher's personal survey of advertisements on TV, trying to sell products today confirm the contention that future years will include a myriad of marketing created and "thrown" at consumers for all the wrong reasons. Ads routinely try to sell consumers a barrage of prescription drugs; diapers; denture cream. This researcher is not interested in buying prescription drugs; nor interested in purchasing diapers; does not yet need to buy denture cream, and is definitely not considering financing a time share… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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