Ageless Marketing

Ageless Marketing

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Wolfe, David B. | Snyder, Robert E. Dearborn Trade Publishing, 2003
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IN THIS SUMMARY

In the 1960s, an age-based "get-them-young-before-some-other-brand-gets-them" marketing mantra emerged in answer to the suddenly large and growing young adult consumer market. According to Wolfe and Snyder, however, with the emergence of the New Customer Majority, consisting of people 40 and older, this aged-based idea has become outmoded. As far back as 1990, Wolfe warned (in Serving the Ageless Market) that, "The Seniors are coming!" in hopes that corporate America would pay attention to the demographic-driven phenomenon just beginning to transform the marketplace. However, the business world was, at the time, preoccupied with the information technology explosion (among other things), employing it to lower costs significantly and make historic productivity gains in the process. Nonetheless, marketing, which thrives on information almost like no other discipline, became increasingly less productive, while consuming ever-increasing portions of the corporate budget. As Ageless Marketing drives home, "Consumer research and marketing have failed to realize the relationship between changes in the leading values, views, and behaviors of the marketplace and the New Customer Majority." This comprehensive exploration of why research and marketing have lost their way frequently veers off the beaten track of mainstream marketing ideas to offer a view from the perspective of a "new consciousness" that has several novel elements: First, the new consciousness arises from seeing customers through the lens of developmental psychology, thus, offering insights into customer behavior that cannot be gained through traditional consumer research and marketing. These insights emerge from the integration of key empirically derived findings from brain science to formulate a new paradigm of developmental relationship marketing so as to facilitate an "authentic" 360-degree view of customers. Secondly, the authors' attempt to reduce the role that opinion plays in marketing decisions by offering a foundation firmly rooted in empirically grounded behavioral science that allows marketing to move beyond anecdotal knowledge and statistical "caricatures" of customers. The objective is to stop the parsing of human beings into dehumanized and dehumanizing numbers that obscure why marketing has been underperforming so grossly. The other objective is to provide the necessary tools for identifying and implementing marketing solutions that are eminently more effective in this era of the New Customer Majority.