Thursday, January 13, 2011

A Booming Industry

Boomers are the first generation ever to have a name and be a category. Market researchers tell us that as a category they consume big and, as a group, are the wealthiest amongst all those who do. And we've already written about how they also spend for today, not tomorrow. Here in Canada the sponsors and advertisers of Zoomer Radio, Zoomer Magazine, MORE ("Canada's Magazine Celebrating Women over 40") and others who care about us as a tribe, are dying to know us better and better. They now hire social media consultants to teach them how to be our Facebook 'friends' and to Tweet us.

Inconveniently for them we aren't actually at all brand loyal.
Here we markedly differ from our parents. We know the things we buy are all made in the same factories in China, but with different labels. We know they all use the same or similar customer service reps sitting at a phone in Bangalore. We know that sending it back, if we can, will just get us a new one with the same problem as no-one actually fixes anything any more and QC is a joke. Sadly for them we also may have a Facebook or even Twitter account but, if we do, we don't make a habit of be'friending' corporations. We may work or have worked for corporations, know they aren't 'friendly' and, anyway, we know it's a Twenty-Something managing our 'friend'ship. He or she's probably actually a friend of our kids.

We aren't as good as the younger generation at totally ignoring ads, but we're fine-tuning that skill. After all we get lots of practice as we're targeted on a Google search page or our daydreaming is intruded on by a highway billboard or subway panel. It becomes like individual leaves on a tree - has no separate identity. We learn to ignore sponsorship. We've seen it all our adult life. Yet advertisers fund virtually all media and especially new media. Subscriptions are now a rare way to make a business pay. That's really pretty odd when you think of it, given that we are the wealthiest who've ever lived!

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