August 8, 2013, Vol. 11, Issue 16
This issue features the third installment of my series about marketing to the three generations — Millennials, Generation X, and Baby Boomers. At last, we’re talking about Baby Boomers — I am one, so I can speak from experience about this group, and I’m sure some of you can relate as well. One of my Baby Boomer friends wrote to me after that last article about Generation X, and said that those GenX’ers were her kids whom she didn’t understand, and learning a little about where they’re coming from made her less afraid of them. Love that!
I hope you’ve learned something of value in your marketing to these groups. If you want the full report that I gleaned this information from, simply email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and write Report in the subject line. In a future issue, we’ll wrap up this series with the commonalities of all three groups as it relates to marketing health and wellness to women.
Vibrant Baby Boomers —
Into their Health and Well Being
All my life I thought it sounded cool to be a Baby Boomer . . . well, mostly when I was younger, before the media started reporting on how our sheer numbers threaten to deluge senior and healthcare services. So much for being the life of the party . . . but there is hope . . . baby boomers, as you’ll read here, are optimistic and determined.
Baby Boomers, born 1946-1964, are now 49 – 67 years old, with an average age of 58-59. The Anthem report on Marketing Health and Wellness to Women that I’ve been referencing in this series, notes that their primary health and wellness motivation is to Extend. Health and wellness is about staying vibrant into the next act and becoming one’s true self, while reaching for new dreams.
The Anthem report stated that, “Boomers are dealing with even more life changes than the other generations, and these impact their views of health and wellness. Not only are these women dealing with typical life stage changes, but they are also facing real physical adjustments that impact their day-to-day quality of life. With menopause a key event in this life stage, the effect on one’s body is a wake-up call for health and wellness, while at the same time the general life stage changes unleash a new lease on life.”
Hmmm . . . yes, I can relate.
For the most part, Baby Boomer women see this time of life as a beginning, rather than an ending. Life is seen as a progression forward, not slowing down. They are motivated to be productive and accomplished. Retired or not, they may continue working for added income, or for personal interest and enjoyment. Those who are now free from children at home may be soul searching — open to their next steps that may involve social endeavors or new careers.
The Anthem report relays that of all the generations profiled, Boomer women are the most engaged in health and wellness and the most motivated. They’re thirsty for knowledge that will help them live their best lives, as they endeavor to be as active as they want to be while caring for themselves (as well as, in some situations, aging parents), and not wanting to be a burden to their children.
I know from talking with many women’s health event meeting planners that these are the women whom they find easy to attract to their events, and based on the above information that makes total sense. An interesting aside – one of my clients noted recently that daughters (Generation X’ers) — concerned about their Moms’ weight, blood pressure, etc. — were bringing their Moms to the hospital’s women’s health events. I would have expected it to be the other way around.
The report said that Boomers want to achieve health and wellness not only to feel good and live long lives; their qualitative research revealed that they value, in their words, “staying alive for my kids,” “staying out of the hospital,” and being “determined to live.” There is a sense that there really is no choice but to manage one’s health and to take control now. Despite whatever health challenges these women may face, there was a sense of hope and optimism as well as powerful determination to be prepared for whatever will come.
When it comes to physical appearance, there were some women who were quite comfortable with their looks at this age, admitting they didn’t wear much makeup anymore. This may have something to do with this stage of life where they accept themselves as they are. Others were determined to cheat aging, not just in how they feel, but how they look. Botox and plastic surgery were mentioned across income groups, as well as across the country.
“Expectations around health and wellness don’t diminish as one ages,” the report concludes, “they expand.” Boomers may re-focus on themselves at this life stage, but their span of responsibility continues to expand. Most women continue caring for their spouses, as well as themselves. Their desire to be a role model for their children does not diminish, nor does their concern for their children’s well being. They may add roles as caregivers for parents and grandchildren. So as Boomer women age, their circles of influence in health and wellness matters, continue to expand.
Jane Fonda’s latest book, Prime Time, is about this later stage in life. She notes “Third Acts can, if we think about it, allow us to discover who we really are,” and describes the process of aging as like “an upward ascension until the end—age as potential—for wisdom, authenticity, and wholeness.” These women are continuing a progression forward, not slowing down.
Reading this report, I would say, don’t worry if you seem to be attracting mostly Baby Boomers to your events. They are the backbone, the cream of the crop, and they influence all those other generations. Our expert health and wellness keynote speakers are ready and waiting in the wings to bring their wisdom to your audiences. Just give me a call anytime — 503-699-5031. In a future issue, we will explore the commonalities for marketing health and wellness to all three generations.
A Boomer Confession
Okay, as I said, I am one! At 48 years old, I picked myself up and moved across the country and started this business. At 52, I decided to date, and at 55 I got married for the first time. At 58, I had to have both of my knees replaced, and now I’m out hiking again.
This is what Baby Boomers look like. Everyone in this photo except for two are Baby Boomers – one is above the line and one below (and I won’t identify them). I am right in the middle. This photo of me and some of my speaker friends was taken (at the end of the night after much celebrating) at my wedding eight years ago on a gorgeous August evening in Lake Oswego, Oregon.
And we’re still dancing!
Here’s to all of the generations. Until next time, take care of yourself for your well being and those you love.
For Your Well Being is published bi-weekly. We bring you insider speaker reports, exclusive stories about special events around the country, meeting planner tips, and fun stuff from the worlds of health and well being. Be well and be in the know!
The Speak Well Being Group is a specialized speakers bureau, focusing on speakers for hospital-sponsored community events, healthcare organizations, conferences and women’s groups. Our speakers are hand-selected. They are not only experts in their fields, they know how to connect with women and give them life-changing information served on a silver platter of joy, camaraderie, with a side of sauce (spicy, of course).
Finding the perfect keynote speaker for your special event or conference is my personal passion, not just once, but year after year. It brings me endless joy to know that your audience was delighted and moved by the speaker we selected together. I’m committed to making the process easy, pleasant and fun.