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« What Marketers Need to Know About Aging Boomers , Part 7 | Main | What Marketers Need to Know About Aging Boomers , Part 9 »

June 28, 2007



This is a good series you have here. Generally, I find what you say to be quite enlightening.

I do have to highly question the use of the Harvard Implicit Test (IAT) as a very viable tool to measure what they purport they are measuring. The very first comment at "Time Goes By" pretty sums up many of the weaknesses in that test. I think it would be a mistake for anyone to conclude a bias toward any young or old grouping on the basis of this test.

Marketing Recruiter


Your blog is one of the best out there. Like, top 5 or something.

You say that "the criteria of life meaning are determined by social consensus, which isn't too hard to figure out." Then you are "astonished by the dearth of attention to Jung's sixth task of aging in marketing aimed at people in the second half of life."

Two things may drive this:

1.) Marketing organizations are driven by selling things, not ideas. "Belonging" and "Purpose" and "Meaning" are ideas. So, there is an existing human capital infrastructure in place that doesn't know how to do what you suggest they do.

The fact that our legal infrastructure prevents religious discrimination doesn't help. In a marketing manager's utopia, a Jewish marketing team would sell to Jewish customers, a Christian team to Christian customers, etc. This increased "value confluence" would enable a tighter "message to market match" between buyers and sellers.

2.) The second reason is that consumers "begin to look inward ... in their search for life meaning." As Rick Warren so profitably discovered, the search inward often involves an encounter with Christ.

And therein lies the rub for marketers: Essential to the Christian message is forsaking worldly possessions. Therefore, there is very little money to be made from driving consumers "inward."

Make sense?

David Wolfe


You make a lot of sense. Probably like you, I find a paucity of sensible observations today. We're so consumed with and insecure about who we are, that we want no one to detract from our specialness by expressing their specialness. At age 74, I miss the days when stand-up comedians (often Jewish) made fun of Jews, and ethnic jokes were relished by nearly everyone, from the Irish to the Italians to the Poles and so on.
We've become so politically correct that we've made our lives barren. A friend says she no longer has dinner problems for fear of offending people by what she serves and the boring conversations that take place because everything but sex seems to be off limits as a topic of conversation.

Thanks for your thought provoking comments.


Harry Joiner


I beg your pardon for missing your follow up to my comment.

I much appreciate your thoughts and am really surprised that you are 74. Not because I'd expect less from someone who is 74 -- but because most people your age aren't as web-savvy. Most certainly push the envelop in terms of thought leadership.

You are one of my new role models. I hope I am as vital (and relevant) as you in 30 years.

Hard to imagine that I will be.

God bless,

David Wolfe


I genuinely appreciate your kind words.

If you separate elders who are intellectually curious from those who simply let life happens to them as the days roll by, you'll find a surprising number of the former are regular users of computers.

With each passing year the fear-of-technology factor declines.

Staying relevant is easy: just keep asking questions and looking for answers.


The comments to this entry are closed.

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