|Why would I go to the time & expense of changing my marketing strategy to target Boomers?|
Here's the most compelling reasons:
- 45% of the consumer market is ages 40-70 (Boomers were born between 1946 & 1964) - that is larger than all the other individual market cohorts combined
- Boomers spend a whopping $2.3 trillion annually on goods & services...that's $400 billion more than any other age cohort, and by 2010, Boomers will control about 65% of the available disposable income
- Boomers are making several multi-generational purchase decisions at once because they often have many older and younger dependents to shop for
|What exactly is a company's culture?|
Your company's culture for is predicated on the same charactistics as an individual or group's culture: it is the values by which it operates; the shared beliefs & behavioral expectations; the overt and covert attitudes & approaches considered acceptable.
Throughout most of the last century, company cultures were comfortably "top-down", had Caucasian men in all top leadership positions, and expected anyone wanting to get ahead to make huge personal sacrifices as the primary means of showing company/
That began to change when Baby Boomers moved into leadership roles. Boomers, who spent their youth fighting for equality regardless of race or gender, and against the ways of "the man" who represented domination through fear and force rather than leading through mutual respect and everyone's right to feel valued and live a life that's in balance, were determined to transfer those values to the halls of commerce.
In the 1990's, top business schools began to endorse & teach the imperative of "leadership" vs. "management" - the former being task rather than person oriented, treating employees more like "widgets" than people with value; the latter being founded in Stephen Covey's 7 Habits of Highly Successful People that demonstrates improvements to a company's bottom-line are found only through deep changes in operational values, such as understanding what is important vs. urgent, and appreciating/tapping the unique knowledge and skill-sets at all levels of the organizational chart.
Healthy cultures embrace operative approaches such as:
- team decision-making/problem-solving vs. "orders from above"
- leaders who do themselves what they ask their subordinates to do vs. "do as I say, not as I do" (walk the talk)
- formal programs for inspiring & recognizing innovation and excellence vs. taking such things for granted or outright discouraging them because managers feel threatened by a subordinates talents
- hiring the right people then getting out of their way vs. micro-managing
- coaching with accountability vs. the extremes of no accountability or no professional development support coupled with harsh responses to minor "offenses"
- open lines of communication vs. management withholding information as a means of control