Let’s be painfully honest. It is kind of hard to say, “It’s good to be back,” when you return to the office from Key West!
A group of us from DMW just got back from the 20th annual Direct Marketing Conference for Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans, held this year in the lovely Florida Keys. We have had the privilege of being associated with this event since its inception in 1992.
We learned a lot, shared some, and enjoyed a number of interesting presentations. There are Photo Albums from the conference to share.
While the “Blues” serve people of all ages, those 50+ loom large in their membership—both working boomers and folks age 65-plus. At this year’s conference, Renee Mezzanote, our EVP Account Services, shared some insights into boomer marketing, including her dismay and disappointment with an email she received. The subject line was:
“Do you enjoy the Music of the Boomer Generation”?
This copy line just struck Renee – and all of us – as wrong on so many levels.
First, what an incredibly flat-footed, ham-handed way to speak to a generational cohort! Speaking about music that was often so counter-culture in language that smacks of coming from “The Man” is so counter productive. And then, given the scope of “Boomer”…what is “Music of the Boomer Generation?” …The Everly Brothers, or the Allman Brothers? Elvis “The King,” Aretha “Queen of Soul,” or “The Artist Formerly Known As Prince?” It was a great example of how wrong a marketer can go.
After that day’s sessions concluded, I went for a stroll around town. Walking down Duval St, past Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville, then down a side street, I found myself parched, thirsty and blocks from our hotel. Fortunately, I had (somehow) stumbled onto the reknowned Green Parrot Bar. Happily, I found more than refreshment…I discovered a lesson in proper Boomer Marketing!
Affixed to the outside wall was the poster at right, announcing an upcoming music event: “Bong Hits for Geezers!” Somebody got it right!! Talk about knowing your 50+ (Key West) audience! Unfortunately for this boomer music fan, I had a flight to catch Sunday morning. While I can’t give you an eyewitness account, I don’t think the geezers who showed up to hear “Mellow Yellow,” “Eight Miles High,” or “Purple Haze,” (enjoy these video links with good vibes) felt The Man was behind the entertainment. So, a low-tech grassroots lesson for all of us working to keep our marketing messages authentic and in tune with the audience: let’s all “Keep Trucking!”