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ON THE BUSINESS OF MEDIA COMMUNICATIONS NOV/DEC 2008 | NO.60 | $4.95 THE NEW OLD The Reality Requires Re-Thinking IN THIS ISSUE OF BLITZ The New Old Buzz Louise Aird Reach Beyond Psssst, Click Here — DAVID CRAVIT Imagine that’s it 1980 and you’re 65 years old. What have your life experiences been? How much longer do you think you’re going to live? How much longer are people around you living? And how do the answers to those questions shape your behavior in the marketplace—and, thus, the attitude of the sales and marketing community toward you? You were born in 1915 and you grew up in the Depression and fought in World War II. Your experiences made you cautious, a saver rather than a spender. You’ve been saving, in fact, precisely for this last phase of your life—10 years, maybe 15, tops, in which to enjoy (hopefully) a relatively dignified and pain-free glide to the finish line. Not surprisingly, members of the sales and marketing community have almost no interest in you. They figure your brand preferences are already set in stone. They note you’re frugal, and probably living on a fixed income. And besides, you’re going to be six feet under in a decade or less. So why should they bother? This set of assumptions may have been fine for 1980. But it’s wildly inaccurate for 2008. Yet, not only does this still govern most sales and marketing attitudes and strategies but, believe it or not, sales and marketing professionals are actually resisting the biggest and wealthiest segment of the consumer marketplace. The Zoomers—Canadians 45-plus—add up to 14.5 million people, control almost 60% of all consumer spending, and are the only demographic segment whose net worth actually increased over the past 20 years. Yet the advertising and marketing world remains obsessed with the so-called ‘youth market’—a segment whose share of the population, and share of consumer spending, has been in decline. Not surprisingly, the Zoomers have noticed. A study by US cable network TVLand indicated that almost half of Baby Boomers (the oldest now being 63) feel overlooked by marketers who advertise on television. Only 3% of them said they were extremely satisfied with the TV programming options available to them. And this is the generation that grew up on TV. In the UK, a 2004 survey published by specialist marketing agency Millennium revealed that 86% of Boomers felt ignored by the marketing industry, and 70% felt patronized by advertising. It’s no better in Canada. In an online poll that we conducted of our own audience at ZoomerMedia, 80% of respondents said marketers were not interested in them and not communicating effectively with them. ...continued on page 4 1~ 4 1~6 3~9 7 10 BUZZ Toronto’s Communications Meca has been chosen as Canadian AOR by both Faces Cosmetics and Vitasoy. Koen Reynaert, formerly Media Director with Winnipeg’s McKim Cringan George, has founded his own independent media services shop Reynaert Media. The new company is based out of Nanaimo BC, and will serve Vancouver Island and Vancouver. At Cossette West (Vancouver), Linda Denis is now VP and GM of Blitz Direct. ...continued on page 6


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