Category — Eons
In the short time since we acquired Eons we have been busy with two main priorities: the planned ‘refresh’ elements to the site, which are based on the members’ feedback, as well as another priority which was a concern for both me and many Eons members, and that was getting a better quality of advertisers on the site.
I mentioned after the acquisition that we would be forging a new partnership that would be a great step in meeting that goal. Now I am pleased to be able to share the news that our new advertising sales partner is AARP Media Sales. They have just announced an addition to their digital lineup – an online audience extension platform. It means that the AARP Media Sales network exclusively will sell advertising for placement in the Eons Boom Media network (which serves the Eons site) and that we will be collaboratively selecting advertisers for the network that will appear on the sites.
We at Crew Media are excited and proud of this forged partnership relationship, as AARP Media Sales is a highly-regarded, large and national team – that works with major advertisers.
This partnership means a number of good things for Eons especially. It means a wider reach and a consistent, better quality of advertisers on the site, and ads that are better targeted to be more relevant to our community members – that means products and services that they’ll be interested in and eager to hear about!
You can read about it here: AARP BOOSTS DIGITAL BUYING POWER – Press release
October 28, 2011 No Comments
So much has changed since our last issue of C2! The one constant is that the economic outlook continues to provoke anxiety. Older adults appear to be faring better in some respects than younger generations, though our studies show they continue to live under a cloud of worry. Many are expressing this as the loss of the American dream for younger generations, particularly their children and grandchildren.
Continuum Crew has experienced positive growth as the mature consumer market continues to be able to spend on a number of products and services for themselves and their extended families. In fact, a new MetLife Report on American Grandparents (July 2011) notes that households led by those aged 55 to 64 increased their non-health related spending by an average of $11,700 over the past ten years, when their household income rose just $1,200. Further, in the same ten-year period 55- to 64-year-olds spent $7.6 billion on baby food, infant equipment and clothing, toys, games, and tricycles – a 71% increase. Household spending for the 25- to 44-year-old households with children present saw a far smaller rate of increase indicating that baby boomer grandparents are helping in all new ways. (Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Expenditure Surveys).
It has never been more important to listen carefully to consumers to understand what they want from products and services, and how they want to be engaged. Continuum Crew launched Crew Media earlier this year to purchase Eons.com – the only baby boomer social network. Founded in 2006 by Jeff Taylor, also founder of Monster.com, Eons has more than 800,000 members who have started more than 1,700 groups focused on their passions and interests. Learn more about it from community manager Ri Regina on page 13.
Also under the Crew Media banner is our partnership with GRAND – the digital magazine for the grandparenting lifestage. As a first-time grandmother to baby Gabriel McClain, I am proud to be GRAND’s new publisher.
Another initiative we launched this past spring is Move Beyond Age, a coalition of individuals and companies who are committed to making smart design a quality of life issue. We are encouraging companies to design better products and services for older consumers, which in turn create better experiences for every generation. Take a look at Jeffrey DeMure’s article on the Bookend Markets, Bill Yates on GreatCall, and Stephen Winner on the Silverado Story, for examples of companies and thought leaders who understand the importance of designing smart products and services.
Also new to Continuum Crew is The Business of Aging radio show on WeEarth Global Radio Network – WGRN. The show is also available here on our blog and on iTunes. In this issue we share our first show of the season, an interview with Patricia Lippe Davis from AARP Media Sales on her view of the mature consumer marketplace. We are currently in our second season and hope you will join our listenership as we talk about successful strategies for engaging consumers over 40.
With that, I am pleased to present to you our latest issue of
C2 magazine, Issue 27, Autumn 2011
Thank you for your continued enthusiasm for our market and our work here at Continuum Crew!
Editor-in-Chief, C2 magazine
October 27, 2011 No Comments
We have just completed our first block of episodes for The Business of Aging on WGRN (WeEarth Global Radio Network) and I wanted to say “Thank you” to all my guests, the team: Allan, Kat, Nick and Judy, and my Continuum Crew team. These last couple of months have enabled me to get back to my radio roots (so much fun!) and have some of the most insightful and inspiring conversations around the implications to businesses of an aging population.
July 29, 2011 No Comments
If you are in the aging and technology space, you may already know GrandCare System’s webinars are very good. On a recent call, during the Q&A, many questions came up regarding paid search & search engine optimization. The GrandCare System team approached us to talk about these topics, offering a primer on what they were, how to determine using them make sense for you, what they can do for your business and what you need to do to be found and noticed by your customers online. Join us tomorrow and bring more of those questions!
Topic: Paid Search (PPC) & SEO 101
Date: Thursday, June 2nd, 2011
Time: 2pm EDT (1pm CDT / 12p MDT / 11am PDT)
June 1, 2011 No Comments
In 2008, I read a paper titled “The Connected Agency” by Mary Beth Kemp and Peter Kim, for Forrester. The sub-head is “Marketers: Partner with an agency that listens instead of shouts.” It is a smart, insightful and important paper. It changed the way I think about what I do as an ad agency leader and the direction that the agency world needed to take. I believed then, as I do now, that the idea of “listening” is even more important if your goal is to engage consumers over the age of 40.
Make a better “agency”
Simply put, as agency leaders we must create better agencies. The idea that we can still shout at consumers with a :30 television spot — especially older consumers — is absurd. Yet we still have creative and new business teams that believe this is the central tactic in a campaign strategy.
In the mature consumer space, we are both agency and strategic advisor because many companies are unsure about how to navigate the demo. That requires the infrastructure and expertise to do both, and the investment in the right people to deliver on consulting projects — like defining the needs of an aging population and designing product strategies that align with a company’s goals. At Continuum Crew, we have broadened the idea of engagement from only communication to a true marketing approach.
Learn to nurture consumer connections
It isn’t enough to simply listen in on conversations about products, categories and brands. This new breed of agency knows how to nurture connections with consumers and is central to facilitating conversations. Traditional research and ethnographic studies are cost of entry. To be a true connected agency you must be completely integrated into a community. Johnson & Johnson has done this on the brand side with www.babycenter.com; it owns the motherhood life stage because it has conversations with moms, it listens to moms and it aligns product and communication strategy accordingly.
We are doing this with our recent launch of Crew Media and the acquisition of www.eons.com and the Eons Boom Media Ad Network. In just a short month of owning the site, we have a clear idea of what people over 40 care about, where their passions and interests lie, and what they do and don’t want in a community.
In the Eons community, consumers are the publishers. They are setting group protocol and behavior and, most importantly, filtering out brands that don’t share the groups’ values. We have always advised clients that peer endorsement in mature consumer demos is far more important than pushed out messaging. Until Eons, we haven’t seen the social proof so clearly and profoundly.
Insights, Networks and Incubation
Consumer listening isn’t very meaningful without the knowledge to turn it into an insight that creates a consumer moment. We encounter brands every day that have spent mega-dollars on studies with no actionable outcome. And there is the corollary — companies with great insights and no idea what to do with them, or no innovation infrastructure to support moving the insights forward.
Whether this is a problem of silos, funding or lack of leadership, it is becoming harder to move insight-driven ideas through large companies. Connected agencies can and should act as both a catalyst and a shepherd. The catalyst will create strategic partnerships for client companies that result in networks of organizations engaged in their success and who have consumer data to share. The shepherd will drive the work through the process of integrating consumer-driven data early in the product/service design and development process.
We believe that this model should result in virtual incubators inside of connected agencies, supported by the network. Now that our online community exists, this is our next adventure. There are pilots in market now!
This post originally appeared as a guest blog post on MediaPost’s Engage:Boomers, May 23, 2011
May 23, 2011 No Comments
The fourth show The Business of … Boomer Social Networking looks at the opportunities in reaching boomers and seniors as they engage online through social networking.
My guests this week are Ashley Mercier, Group Publisher for Eons.com, an online social network for baby boomers, and Ri Regina, Director of the Eons Community. We also speak to Mary Furlong, founder of Mary Furlong & Associates, author of Turning Silver into Gold: How to Profit in the New Boomer Marketplace, and producer of The What’s Next Boomer Business Summit. She is a leading authority on the baby boom generation. Mary is the Dean’s Executive Professor of Entrepreneurship at Santa Clara University’s Leavey School of Business. Mary gives us an update on the outcomes and findings from the first of the two annual conferences she produces – The What’s Next Boomer Business Summit which was held in San Francisco last week, as well as a lead on next month’s Silicon Valley Boomer Venture Summit and business plan competition in June at Santa Clara University.
Mary Furlong & Associates
May 10, 2011 – Episode 4: The Business of…Boomer Social Networking
Guests: Ashley Mercier, Group Publisher, Crew Media
Ri Regina, Director, Eons Community
Mary Furlong, President, Mary Furlong & Associates
May 11, 2011 1 Comment