5 Ways to Market to Baby Boomers.

With the crush of all things social these days. I want you to look at this Facebook stat.

– 3 million age 25-34
– 380,000 age 35-44
– 310,000 age 45-63
– 100,000 users age 64+

I know, it’s tough to ignore the 24-34 demo. but more importantly are the “other” almost 800,000 Facebook users. Even more so are the Boomers who use Fcaebook. these are technologically “hip” users who have adopted quite nicely to social networking.  But that’s not the point here. The point is that because of the fracturing of all things related to advertising, marketing and how it now translates to the internet, grabbing eyeballs has become more about marketing to niche’s.

Which leads us to a very wealthy niche. The Boomers. Anyone born from 1946 to 1964. This is a very materialistic group that spends a lot of money and thus  a group that you need to market to.  So below are 5 ways to market or sell your product to them:

1)  First off they have the cash and they are going online to find out how best to spend that money. More importantly, they are looking for ways to invest that money. Using the internet as a vehicle to educate, inform and advise the growing boomer nation is a great way to market to them Niche #1: The internet. Niche suggestion: Retirement and Real Estate web sites.

2) The Second way is to don’t assume that #1 is true. Boomers are cocky, they still think they can do the things that they did in their 20’s and 30’s. Because they have the money, they will do or try things like new hobbies, new toys, new families. new gadgets. Niche #2 is to advertise products that speak to the fountain of youth. using the internet, print and television and cell phones. Don’t forget the power of mobile marketing.

3) With nothing better to do, Boomers will want to start-up a new business, invest in a new business, start a new career or go back to school to learn a new trade or craft. Niche #3 Education. Investing in New Businesses, and Starting a new company.  Higher Ed schools have not tapped this to its fullest potential.

4) Social Networks. You have 800,000 people on social networks that are boomers, what are they doing? What are they talking about? Is it where the next party is? No that would be the 18-25 demo. The folks are talking about the first 3 niches. They are talking about new ideas, new ventures, and wondering where to turn. They are at their most viral. If they find a site or source or resource that gives them a warm and fuzzy, you’ve got them all.

5) Health Care and Insurance and Travel. These are some of the most talked about topics with boomers. Pick a niche and they will finid you. But make sure you tailor and cater to the fact that your audience is not the 25-33 demo. You cannot speak to them the same way. Do some homework.

If you can wrap your arms around this group, then the sales will start flying. the key is to understand that you have to drill down to the niche. Think long tail key word…It’s a term we use in internet marketing and SEO but it really applies here in that you don’t want to market just to baby boomers. You wan to pick a niche, and then a niche of the niche.

What do you think it will take to get them to part with about a trillion in spending power?

If Google was built with Google in mind…

Here is a great link to show you what Google would look like, if the pages were optimized so that the Google index page could rank high in, well Google!  Let’s  optimize Google

MySpace.com meets Match.com

Match.com meets Myspace.com times ten is what Badonlinedates is all about. Recently launched This  ground-breaking new website was created to turn negative dating experiences into positive ones. Designed to serve as an alternative for those who are tired of filling out generic forms with the cookie cutter answers of who they are (good-looking man as comfortable in a tux as he is in shorts and flip-flops) and who they are looking for (attractive woman as comfortable in a formal dress as she is in jeans and a t-shirt), BadOnlineDates.com goes right to heart of the matter by encouraging people to communicate by sharing personal experiences. Make new friends, establish instant
commonality and maybe even fall in love. BadOnlineDates.com is built upon the foundation that our experiences are powerful reflections of not only who we are but how we interface with others. Don’t they mean “bad” experiences?

Web 2.0 Discussion

So I’m talking to my friend Randy who works at an inventory optimization software company called Smartops (simple name for a mouthfull of an explanation) about a site of  called Howzitsound that really needs in no particular order ….angel investors, a face lift, some marketing, and some people to do the heavy lifting. I mentioned that the site needs to be pushed into the Web 2.0 stratosphere, and in saying that, I asked,”you do know what web 2.0 is don’t you?” Below is our email conversation.

Me:

“on a locallized level… i.e www.howzitsound/pittsburgh.htm  Myspace was developed for bands and music fans but morphed into a major big ass social networking site predominantly because of the cool tools associated with creating…”your space” 200 million users and going strong

Randy:

Is this a quiz?  From what I know, Web 2.0 is a next step in online networking, where the users create much of the content ie- MySpace, wikipedia, etc.  It’s a wave I have not ridden.  I know it’s enormously pervasive and popular since everyone seems to have a myspace, but frankly I still feel like it’s a teenager phenomenon and I don’t care to follow.  Not to say that I wouldn’t like to have some of the myspace $$

Me:

well you’re somewhat right, but where you are wrong is thinking its a teenager phenomenon, what you will eventually see is that content and content creation will become more interactive and robust than it already has. web 2.0 is more about the tools and apps used as well as the sites that have evolved from it such as a myspace. web 2.0 is more about getting your information and sharing your information and creating it as well, through social networking sites but also individually as well i.e. blogs.

What you will eventually see is that social networking will evolve onto enterprise levels, it already has in some aspects. What it does is, it creates better communication between entities working on a project, or collaboration on a contract, or temporary virtual communities,  etc etc. So the easier the tools are, the more apt are the client to embrace the notion. Think Ajax, and xtml..

Him:

Interesting take on it and a valid point.  I think your point on it developing to an enterprise level is where more focus needs to be placed.  I tend to ignore a lot of the “real” applications because I’m sick to death of everyone talking about their myspace or their blog as if they’re someone who I should be paying attention to just because they have a webpage.  Everyone wants to be a celebrity now, and it frustrates the hell out of me.

Sorry for the rant, I think there is tremendous application for the content development tools, I just wish it was limited to people that actually have something to say

Me:

Yea I guess everyone is a pundit and a builder of web pages now even if it is with wizards and what not. so having said all of that, howzitsound/pittsburgh for example would not be totally user generated but could be user driven. i think on a local level a branded sight that i knew i could go to that had THE places to go for live music and possible just cool clubs would far outweigh fucking doing a local search and ending up on myspace or about.com….

Him:

Exactly, if I wanted people’s opinions I’d give it to them.  Ha.

I’m still a big fan of the howzitsound concept.  keep me in the loop for it

So that’s where we left it. What do you think? Did we get it right? Someone out there needs to give me the definitive explnantion of what web 2.0 will be, or what it is and what form it will eventually take as we go forward.

Social Networks meet Mobile Networks

As mobile networks and devices continue to evolve and converge into all things digitally possible, doesn’t it make sense that the next big thing should be a social network that is solely dedicated to a mobile network? 

It was a matter of time before social networks were destined to leave the confines of the pc.  But with the advent of powerful new mobile devices, the ability to to send round-the-clock updates about what you’re eating, who you’re talking to, and what you just bought seemed inevitable. And of course, why not? These things are important in the fabric of our every day lives. We need to know these things.

Jaiku is one of the many sites that is now geared towards mobile social networks. What might make Jaiku formidable is that it is owned by Google. So it probably has a better than average chance at success.

Jaiku’s main goal is to bring people closer together by enabling them to share their activity streams. An activity stream is a log of everyday things as they happen: your status messages, recommendations, events you’re attending, photos you’ve taken – anything you post directly to Jaiku or add using Web feeds. Perhaps one of the most popular right now is Twitter, which allows users to let people broadcast short text messages from their phones and computers to those of friends and strangers. The gist of these networks is to offer a way to connect with the people you care about by sharing your activities with them via the Web, IM, and SMS – as well as through a slew of cool third-party applications built by other developers using propriatary API’s.

Another one that seems more geared towards a younger demo is Kyte. the difference is Kyte allows anybody to create their own interactive TV channel on their website, blog, social network or mobile phone

With kyte, you create your own live TV shows and broadcast them on your own interactive channel, on your website, blog, social network or mobile phone. You can share your kyte channel with your friends and collaborate with them so that they can also be a part of your shows, by adding their own content, by voting and by chatting live with other viewers. With kyte, you can share your experiences live with the world and be the star, director and producer of your own live TV channel, wherever you are and however you want.

At this point we need to coin a new phrase, “digital  voyeuristic exhibitionism”. Where do you think we are headed as social networks converge with all things electronic and media related? Is any aspect of our personal lives off limits now with the broad acceptance of reality based programming? Where do we go from here?

We can learn from Porn, Or If you build it, will they come?


Let’s look at the numbers first.  The monthly search volume for the word, “porn” last month was over 13 million. That’s the number coming from Google, Yahoo and MSN combined.  The term sex? Almost 22 million times last month. What does this tell you? Let’s put into perspective real quick. So you know that there is a major housing/mortgage crisis going on right now. It’s been in the news a lot lately. Well,  the term mortgage had been searched on a mere 7 million times as of last month. The Iraq war you ask? 189,000 times. I know, how about Britney? She has been in the news too much and the numbers don’t lie. Try 14 million times last month, now that’s more like it.

Ok so the point is this, in the porn industry, the ultra competitive  nature drives internet marketers to be on their game.  The reason why is for the simple fact that tastes and technology change quicker than the bath water. Think about it, leaving out the fact that porn marketers are shameless and unethical, with over 30 million searches combined for the terms sex and porn, there is money to be made. Lots of it. They know this. They also are accutely aware that they either can change quickly, either with the content or the technology, or be eaten alive. Good porn marketers are better than your average internet marketer because they push the technology as far as they can, and then find new ways after that. They take chances because they have to.

Because attracting eyeballs online is the name of the game internet marketers have to use every tactic and trick to get you there and keep you there. That’s why porn marketers are willing to try any and every new technology to achieve that. They are months ahead in some respects to what some traditional marketers might employ for user attraction and retention.

Starting with the user experience, porn marketers realize that content is king but too much “free” content will make them a pauper, thus the usage of creating crumb trails to the main paid content is the objective. In fact, porn price points for entry are almost nil, but, the usage of a recurring billing model and and the ability to accept any and all forms of payment in any and all currencies make it an ideal business model. Customer service doesn’t really exist in the porn game, except to the extent that they make it difficult to cancel an order, so to dwell on that aspect is a moot point.

Another reason  good porn marketers are better, is because they study the competetiton. They recreate what works best, and when that doesn’t work, they test something else, when that quits working they move on.  I can point to some normal sites that haven’t changed their GUI in 3 years and still pull a 9% conversion rate. But it always begs the question, what would a new look and feel pull? Guess they’ll never know. Good porn marketers will have days, weeks, months and years of data for you.

Another thing that traditional marketers could learn is that porn is as niche based as it has ever been. The more niche based, the better the audience retention is.  We will avoid naming for you specific niche examples, but I’m sure you can use your imagination.  The bottom line is that the recurring revenue model  in this situation is perfect as long as content is updated regularly but still retains the integrity of the niche. If you change the niche, they are gone.

At this point, you’re probably thinking, “Wow this person certainly knows the porn business well.” Actually, I will leave that comment as is. As someone who studies any and all online business models, I would be remiss if I did not look at why the porn business model is so successful. The majority of that success of course will always stem from peoples’ utter facination with sex and the search numbers that support that. But one caveat would be assuming the, “If you build it, they will come…” (no pun intended although it seems very appropo), model. That  business model would not last long in the hyper-speed nature of porn business models. At the advent of the internet, it probably worked very well. Now though, you need top programmers and savvy business people who understand the online marketplace backwards and forwards to be successful.

So if you think porn marketers operate in a vacuum and have no clue what they are doing. Rest assured, they are doing things from a technology standpoint, that the rest of the online marketing world would love to learn. Why? What do you think the PPC model might look like in the porn universe? If porn marketers relied on ppc, they would shoot their wad in one day(again excuse the pun) and be out of the business in a week. Instead they have to use not only traditional methods of internet marketing coupled with SEO best practices but they also have to test, test and test and then act at a moments notice.

Although I don’t expect you to rush out and go “study” porn sites, from an internet marketers standpoint. If you should uh.. stumble upon one, do take the time to study the structure and the messaging and the content… and then read the articles.

Search Engines Suck


Suck.. what you ask? or How? or Why?  My first thought was, How ’bout all of your cash if your trying to attract business and you have no clue what you’re doing in PPC land? Or how about just search results in general?  Or what about search engine algorithms? Why do they all have to keep changing them? I think that sucks. When they change them, the ripple effect is felt everywhere. Or better yet, whatever happened to finding exactly what you were looking for without bumping into 10 advertisers that were ranked right in front of the result your were looking for? I’d say that would be pretty sucky and a big waste of time!  

Or how about  how easy it is to find images that are not suitable for children? Why do we need an image search? Why does that need to be a part of a search engines capabilities. I think it sucks that I have to explain that to a child.  I’m a big champion of what a child should and should not see or find online, but filters, notwithstanding, The search engines are obligated to do a better job. 

I also think it sucks that  internet marketers are so tethered to the results of search engines. So much so, that it can make or break a deal, a company, a product and an industry. 

You know what else sucks about search engines? I need them. But they need me. They need us. We are the engine, not them. What would happen if we boycotted the search engines? We could have a national boycott the SE’s day. Would work cease? Would time stop? Would we have to revert back to fax machines and yellow legal pads? No, No, No and NO.

Think about it. What we would all do is type in the URL of whatever it was we were looking for and thus the importance of keywords in the title of the domain would skyrocket and supurfulous named sites would either be ingrained forever in our minds and thus we would continue to visit them; and others, alas would disappear. So cars.com, shoes.com, planes.com, these would all have more signifigance. In fact now that I think of it, these all could be Niche-y search engines about that specific item!!! 

Wait a minute, I just said Seach Engines suck. Ok, forget about it. I’ve changed my mind. Is niche-y a word?  Lastly,  speaking of Niche-y. I heard this the other day, “Nietzsche is Peachy but Sartre is Smarter”!

So tell me, what do you think of search engines are they the big brother of the 21st century?

How do we let children surf the web?

I came across a subject and a website recently that is near and dear to my heart.  It is called the Childrens Educational Network. I did not know about it prior to this post though. But the topic has been on mind a lot lately. The reason it is important to me is that I think it is imperative to us, as adults, that we shield children from everything that is bad and wrong with the internet. Given the amount of facetime that pedophiles and internet porn is given, less is given to what is being done about it. Which leads me to this site. I am going to quote liberally here, but I don’t think they will mind…

 The Children’s Educational Network (CEN) is a software company developing and marketing a fully integrated suite of Internet software products that empowers parents to provide children a safe platform and meaningful tools to accelerate their children’s education, entertainment, and exploration of the “Information Superhighway” free from hate, violence, pornography and online predators.

Club TUKI is the newest web site community for kids designed to teach kids how to be safe and responsible internet citizens. 

The  TUKI Browser (The Ultimate Kids’ Internet) combines the most fun and safest content on the web for kids, deemed child appropriate based on our content policy. It features interchangeable themes, Internet filter, parental safety controls, safe email, chore reminders, encouraging words and talking animated characters.

You can download the FREE TUKI Browser from the TUKI.com website. Once installed, you can easily swap themes that appeal to different ages, genders and are fun and educational.

What makes this so important is that the alternatives are using a browser that allows children to go almost anywhere. Even with filters on you can still go through doorways and websites and search engines that will provide  content to children that is just unacceptable and leads to questions that parents should not have to answer. What ultimately happens is parents are stuck explaining the “why” and the “how come people do things like this” and the “who are” etc etc..Thus,  I think it’s unfair that children have to be exposed to these things at such an early period of their lives when instead it should be about being a child, first and foremost. If you agree, help me out and forward this post or at least Digg it.

Google Valuation. Where will it be in one year?

Google stock closed over 6 bills the other day and you’re probably sitting here thinking, “Why didn’t I get in on the IPO?” Well chances are, you probably thought that $85 a share was too much for your blood back in 04. I think it’s safe to say that Google stock is not for the faint of heart. The shares trade at 28 times 2008 earnings estimates. But it would be unfair to suggest that Google is absurdly expensive given its strong track record of growth during the past few years.

In addition, analysts expect Google’s earnings to increase by 44 percent this year, 28 percent in 2008 and at an average clip of about 34 percent a year for the next five years. That’s a much higher projected growth rate than Yahoo – yet Yahoo trades at 46 times 2008 earnings forecasts.

So the question is, how high can it go? If we look historically at stock prices, the price for one Class A share of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway (BRKA) briefly topped $100,000,  SunWest Bank is trading at $2,475 and First National Bank of Alaska is trading at $2,010. So as you can see, Banks not withstanding, there is plenty of room there for Google to grow.

Should you get in now? The answer is yes. Should you borrow to get in? Why not? The stock won’t be backing up. I can’t see Google imploding anytime soon. I can’t see Microsoft or Larry Ellison positioning themselves for a hostile takeover. In fact the only thing that seems logical is to quit kicking yourself for not getting in sooner. Although as a fall back Yahoo doesn’t look to bad either. Personally I think by the end of 2008, Google will be trading at over $700. What do you think it will be at? If you think there was buzz for the iphone, watch what happens when the Gphone comes out!