I know that radio needs to be planning for the future and the future is not going to be like the past. However, to ignore the present makes no sense to me whatsoever. Here’s what I mean, take a look at this quote:
“Japan is selling more adult diapers than diapers for children. Think about that for a moment.” –Joseph Coughlin, founder of the AgeLab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Coughlin’s point is, that while Millennials may be getting all the buzz in today’s media and advertising world, that retailers must be on alert to the aging Baby Boomer population that have all the money. Coughlin recently addressed the International Council of Shopping Centers Conference telling the 4,000 attendees important facts they need to know in order to grow and prosper.
Coughlin advises that retailers would be better to focus on the aging generations than the younger ones.
Willie Sutton has been famously quoted as responding to a reporter’s question about why he robbed banks all his life as saying “because that’s where the money is.”
Well, if you’re in the retailing business or the media business, the money today is with the Boomers and it’s time to focus on them more than anyone has in the past.
The research I’m going to share was reported in the Tampa Bay Times and you can go to their website for more details about all of this.
Coughlin pointed out that fewer people today are having kids and the result of that reality is the over-60 folks will outnumber the little people aged 1 to 15 by 2047. What’s interesting, is that Coughlin points out this has never happened before.
But if you’re smart like Willie Sutton, you need to consider the fact that right now nearly 70 percent of all disposable income in the economy is controlled by Americans in the age 50 and over group. (50 is the age that AARP sends you your first invitation to become a member. I know that, because that’s when I became a member of AARP.)
College Towns #1 for Retirees
Coughlin also said that retirees are attracted to college towns. Many colleges offer low or no-cost tuition to seniors plus they have lots of educational and entertainment programs that are often free or at very low cost.
My university put on a production of Beauty & the Beast with all of the original Broadway show sets and costumes, but the actors were from the university theater department and the full orchestra was made up of teachers and students from the music program. I have been to many Broadway shows in New York City and I’m going to tell you it was as good as any of them I’ve seen and the cost to park for the show was free, the seat I had was front row center and the cost of my ticket was $5.00; try and beat that!
Bowling Green, Kentucky is the home of the Chevrolet Corvette. The average age of a Corvette owner is 59 years old. So you shouldn’t be surprised to learn that Coughlin says that luxury products that are high-tech and high price are bought by senior citizens.
But it’s not just cars. It’s everything. Grocery stores, drugstores, health, beauty and fitness and more.
With this crowd what’s in high-demand is internet proof. It’s experiences they can’t get online.
This week a station group in Michigan announced a new format for WBZX in Big Rapids. The new format is beautiful music with the station’s new branding: “Beautiful 104, as beautiful as Northern Michigan.”
One of my favorite stations and the one that gets voted #1 every year in the local newspaper as one of the “Best of Naples” is WAVV in Naples, Florida. Both the music and the ads are perfectly targeted to their audience. Even better, the station maintains a commercial load of only eight commercials per hour. Four times an hour they stop the music and play two sixty-second commercials and then return to their unique musical offering.
Senior Power Radio
None of this should come as a surprise to anyone. Ken Dychtwald wrote about this back when I first became a general manager of an Al Ham “Music of YOUR Life” radio station to be followed by managing a Bonneville Beautiful Music radio station in Atlantic City. The Age Wave clearly laid out the opportunities that would be coming.
Well, that day is here. Senior Power Radio is a true opportunity to leverage people who grew up on broadcast radio and will embrace any radio station that is focused on their needs.
It’s time for some smart broadcasters to make some money by focusing on the “interests, convenience and necessities” of the Baby Boomers; because we’re going to be around for a while.