Warning: This Post Will Benefit Baby Boomers Only


This post is for the benefit of the boomer generation only.  If you are not a member, the following test will have no significance or meaning. You may still participate.  Please note: if you are younger than 18 years old, please go text somebody or download something from myspace.com.

If you are married to a boomer, this test will be more significant. If you are single boomer, it can be done to yourself but won’t be nearly as rewarding.

I’m assuming you have somebody living in your house that is a boomer. Sorry, but to make it easy on me, that’s the way it is.

If you are at a desktop, call the other person into the room. If you are at a laptop and they are nearby ask them to move closer.

Have the other person stand slightly behind you, but within touching distance. There must be some bare skin. (Them not you!)

Don’t look.

Now reach out and touch their skin, slowly rub up and down, caressing… THAT’S ENOUGH!

How would you describe the feeling?

  1. Hairy
  2. Soft
  3. Lovely
  4. Sticky
  5. Scabby

If you chose #4, you agree with the vaunted New York Times.

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 11 — Older people are sticky.

OK, they said older – I just made it boomers to work. At least they didn’t call us “elders.”  But they really didn’t make too clear as to older than what?

“The older demographic has a bunch of interesting characteristics,” …“not the least of which is that they hang around.”

This prospective and relative stickiness is helping drive a wave of new investment into boomer and older-oriented social networking sites that offer like-minded (and like-aged) individuals discussion and dating forums, photo-sharing, news and commentary, and chatter about diet, fitness and health care.

As much as I hate the thought, boomers are the older demographic. What I love is that punk marketers have to try to figure out how to reach us.  For the last twenty years, it has been hammered and hammered into kids who graduated from college with marketing degrees that appealing to boomers was a big waste of money. Supposedly our brand preferences were etched in stone, and no amount of marketing or advertising could change us.

But there are 78 million boomers — roughly three times the number of teenagers — and most of them are Internet users who learned computer skills in the workplace. Indeed, the number of Internet users who are older than 55 is roughly the same as those who are aged 18 to 34, according to Nielsen/NetRatings, a market research firm.

So they are launching websites to appeal to us.  Irony anyone? One of the sites they pointed to is Eons.com, which today layed off 1/3 of their staff.  The site was started by the guy that started Monster.com. He is burning through $32 million in venture capital. They have anywhere from 24 to 36 people on the staff (they wouldn’t confirm the real number.)

Let’s give them the benefit of the doubt and say they have just burned $20 million.  Eons.com has been online for about a year! They must have paid a fortune to hire Jane Seymour to blog, to interview Peter Fonda, Rita Rudner, Englebert Humperdink and others. They don’t pay code slaves that much, they haven’t thrown any lavish parties that I’ve read about, so they must have spent it on celebs.

All in the name of trying to get us to come to their website and click on their ads. We’re so shallow.

But venture capitalists and entrepreneurs have been slow to embrace the interests of older Internet users, said Susan Ayers Walker, a freelance technology journalist for AARP and founder of SmartSilvers Alliance, which offers consultant services to businesses looking to connect with older consumers.

She said that Silicon Valley investors have seen themselves as eternally youthful, and identified with ever-new gadgets. But they are starting to accept their age — and to invest in it.

“They’ve all got high blood pressure,” she said. “They’re starting to understand their age group — they’re living it.”

Yep, boomer VC guys, welcome to our world.  Bring your money and hire a few of us schlubs to crap on your site daily.

You’ll get us cheap and I guarantee we will be a lot more interesting.

Oh wait, it’s too late for Eons.com. But it’s not for others.  Full disclosure: I flesh out some of my blog posts for Boomspeak.com.  They don’t pay me anything. They just give my post a nice display and link to my blog. It helps that Jay seems to be a nice guy. He’s a graphic designer – and a writer – and apparently their P.R. person too.

The guy from Eons.com made this statement

“Our audience, while it is harder to attract, is more durable and sticky over time,”

Sticky.

That sounds an awfully like our preferences are etched in stone.

R.I.P. Eons.com

UPDATE: I wrote this before I read my RSS and found this gem:

It is interesting for us as PR folks to look into this as our clients and prospectives are targeting audiences that can range from 13 years old-80 years old.

And this:

While I agree that they will most likely stay, the question is how to get them on in the first place? I’ve talked to my parents who are in the baby boomer age bracket, and they look at me like I have 4 heads.

Whaaaaaaaaaaaat?

Looking at their people section, I’d say the average age is about 27. Hire a boomer!

Update: The Savvy Boomer has been tracking this trend since the beginning. Just yesterday another site was added to reach this “underserved” market.

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Comments

Warning: This Post Will Benefit Baby Boomers Only — 5 Comments

  1. Pingback: Boomer Entropy

  2. Well honestly, I believe you have to target boomers with what they care about right now instead of trying to force them into this Gen Y Myspace minutia of sorts. http://www.generationalprofiles has no problem attracting the boomer audience. We actually try to help them instead of feed them ads. Besides, I don’t think Boomers see online advertising the same way younger generations do anyways. Until marketers target us correctly, VC will be lost, jobs will be lost, and ideas, while good in intent, will be lost forever.

  3. Pingback: Eons.com Must Die at Going Like Sixty