Can we age out as marketers?

Oldman1 One of my favorite blog readers/commenters sent me an e-mail recently.  He was seeking a little bit of advice and perhaps trying to find out if he was all alone in how he was feeling.

Well, I don't think he's all alone at all.  He expressed a concern that has probably crossed most of our minds somewhere along the way.

Here's how he started the e-mail.

AM I GETTING TOO OLD? As a 43-year-old marketing director, how do I stay in touch with a target market of 18-30 year olds? As we get older, how we practice marketing and stay current?

I posted the rest of his e-mail over at Marketing Profs Daily Fix and we are in the middle of a very lively discussion about his/our universal question — how do I stay relevant?

Come over and jump into the conversation.

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8 comments on “Can we age out as marketers?

  1. The picture of the old man is cracking me up.

  2. I’d assume, as marketers, we’ll grow with our clients and our target market will grow with us.

    I was once told to “write what you know…” and at 17 I thought to myself, “what the heck do I know?” Well, 20 years (and counting) later, I find that my relevancy has changed, my career has evolved and my clients have benefited from that change.

    What do I do when confronted with a subject that I’m not “comfortable” with? Pick up a book. Network with experts on the subject… keep evolving.

    Great question, Drew. That’s why I keep your blog high on my feeds list. You keep me thinking.

  3. Jennifer Suminski says:

    I agree the old man is quite comical!

    “Write what you know”

    As an out of college teacher and student teacher, I had the privilege of quieting my students about “more experienced” teachers. They complained of what I articulate as mundane over used static lesson plans taught for years. Even though in conversations with the teachers, I know they meant well and thought they changed things to make it more generation relevant. Nonetheless, I also know the teachers that liked to sit in and watch the “new” methods compared to the teachers who did not need to learn anymore. I think if you understand there might be an age disconnect and are willing to search for it in order to project your message then you won half the battle.

  4. Scott,

    You’d be amazing at how hard it is to find a picture of an old man with a cane! Who knew?

    Drew

  5. Andrew,

    Good to see you — hadn’t heard from you in a bit.

    I think you’re right…we grow as we go. And so if we are communicating with our own demographic, it’s probably easier. We have the experience now and we know the audience.

    But what if we’re writing for a product aimed at 15 year old girls? If we don’t keep current on FaceBook, MySpace etc — we are missing a vitally important communication vehicle.

    I think your comment about evolution is right on the money. We cannot afford to be stagnant. The marketplace sure isn’t!

    Drew

  6. Jennifer,

    Very true — it is not only marketing professionals that need to stay current.

    Is there a profession, do you think, that can reach a certain level of knowledge and then just coast?

    I’m hard pressed to think of one.

    Drew

  7. Is it a bad thing to pay your daughter as a marketing consultant?!?

    Great new photo.

    Keep Cooking!

  8. Andrew,

    LOL! With technology today, the teenagers might be the only ones equipped to deal with all the new mediums out there!

    Drew

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