The Planned Giving Blogger

The art and science of planned giving.

Marketing knows no age limit.

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Ken Dychtwald has been writing about age-related marketing since his company, Age Wave, make its debut in the mid 80s.  He has developed a unique understanding of the body, mind, hopes and demands of new generations of maturing consumers and workers.   His most recent thinking has relevance for gift planners.  Speaking at the Annual Conference of the Direct Marketing Association, and reported online at, Dychtwald spoke of the majority of elders (he defines as 65 and older) as belonging to one of the following four groups:  Ageless Explorers, Comfortably Content, Live for Todays and the Sick and Tireds.  Here’s his advice on marketing to this audience:

1.  Be aspirational, not desperational. Making your prospect feel old isn’t motivating if you’re trying to urge action.

2.  Have fun and laugh with, not at. The happiest people in the world are over 50.

3.  Understand generational anchoring. Some call it nostalgia but the key is to touch on messages and moments in the past that connect with meaningful moments in the consumer’s life.

4.  Don’t target from behind.  Get out in front and dig a big hole. Seventy percent of all of the money in banks is held by people over 50.  Moreover, elders are not “resolved to a linear life of education, work, leisure and death.”  Instead, they try new things, seek new dreams, pursue new occupations.”  This group will be our focus for a long time to come.

5.  Seek transgenerational appeal. There’s value in tapping into familial relationships and connecting the generations.

More detailed information is contained in a good summary article you can find here.



Written by Phyllis Freedman

November 10, 2009 at 11:44 pm

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