Multi Generation Family In Sand Dunes On Winter Beach Smiling

Gray is the Green Part 18 – The Sandwich Generation

Generally ascribed to working parents in their late 30s through to their 50s (or older), a Sandwich Generation describes those among us who are caring for both those younger as well as those older in the family line. It can be quite an ordeal to raise children in addition to providing for enfeebled elders. But such burdens don’t stop travel, or more specifically multi-generational travel, and this is where your marketing team should spend some time considering your options. As a brief aside, although all four of my wife’s and my immediate ancestors have passed away, there was a stretch of time nearly two decades ago when both of my kids were young and the first step of every family trip was to consider the grandparents’ schedules. Paying for four airfares to Europe (plus that of whichever other blood relative was tagging along) was a tad out of my price …

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Man in deep thought.

Gray is the New Green Part 17 – The Starving Boomer

I’m borrowing a term from the art world where the ‘starving artist’ is a burgeoning creative mind living hand-to-mouth, toiling away at his or her work while also probably taking on a part-time gig and waiting for that golden ticket of making a sale. Adapting the term to describe a new trend within the baby boomer generation is a bit of a stretch as they are hardly starving per se. But it does illustrate the point in that many boomers who have entered a second career or a state of semi-retirement, after departing from the breadwinning days in their former full-time jobs, are struggling to find consistent work. In the old days – and by ‘old’, I mean 20th century – the line between employment and retirement had not a single shade of gray. You opt to retire (or are forced out at age 65) and you are done working …

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Gray is the New Green Part 16 – Technological Ageism

Ageism has always been a part of our social fabric, but whereas in the past it was standard to venerate the old for their experience and sagacity, nowadays the situation has been flipped somewhat due to the rapid proliferation of technology. With all the new devices, new media and new apps, it has become increasingly difficult for those who are proverbially ‘set in their ways’ and without young, sponge-like brains to keep up. Much like how we abridge complex social stratifications into ‘the have and the have-nots’, we are likewise experiencing a generational movement with regard to ‘the techies and the tech-nots’. For those who were born into a world where the internet and social media has already been ubiquitous aspects of our environment (circa 1985 and beyond), most digital interactions are readily intuitive. For instance, a tail-end millennial or post-millennial may not know how to code HTML, but give …

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Happy senior man and woman couple together embracing by sea on a deserted tropical beach with bright clear blue sky

Gray is the New Green Part 15: Appealing to the Go Go Generation

A recent newspaper articled dedicated to the financial requirements of retirees proposed a treatise on the matter with three key phases: The first was defined as ‘Go Go’ where the individual, as if making up for lost time, was perpetually traveling to compensate for all those years raising a family and building a career. The middle phase was called ‘Go Slow’ with said individual still traveling, but typically at a more reserved pace and on a localized basis. With a profound sense of melancholy, the last stage, the ‘No Go’ travel era, characterized those who were restricted or unable to explore the globe, mainly for medical reasons. For the hotelier, the ‘Go Go’ generation represents a significant business opportunity, and the best of these three late-life phases. These are potential guests who are literally itching to get out and discover new things. Free of kids and other serious obligations, you …

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Gray is the New Green Part 14: Old School Advertising

When was the last time you took a serious look at a traditional advertising campaign, by which I mean print (newspapers and magazines), broadcast (radio and television) and outdoor (billboards, bus shelters, posters and so on)? Given that we are well into the digital age, you may be under the belief that advertising has moved exclusively into the online domain where automated programs such as Google Adwords, retargeting and SEO programs dominate. With traditional dissemination continuing to subside in perceived value year-over-year, many have come to rely solely on digital channels which allow for smaller, ad hoc budgets and more direct monitoring. While electronic promotions’ efficacy is not in dispute, the mass departure from traditional media has opened an opportunity for those who are game to re-enter the fold. In other words, go where others are not in order to stand apart from the herd. This Sunday, if you don’t …

lmaadminGray is the New Green Part 14: Old School Advertising
Group Of Mature Friends Enjoying Meal At Home Together

Gray is the New Green Part 13: Boomer Entitlement

Consider how bad a rap Millennials have gotten from employers these days. They are often described as selfish, narcissistic, needy, lazy, tardy, prone to complaining, hedonistic and a slew of other negative attributors. The fashionable umbrella term for all this is ‘entitlement’. Many of us in senior positions hold the perspective that millennial workers feel as if they are entitled to bypass the perfunctory, stripe-earning phase of their careers and that certain liberties apply to them because they ostensibly fluent with modern technology. The entitlement of the millennial workforce is a hot topic, but does it also work the other way around? That is to say, just because you are older, does that automatically bestow upon you certain privileges? Many boomers would like to think so! But alas, age does not directly correlate with wisdom. When it comes to running a hotel, managing operations and adeptly marketing your inventory to …

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Kiev, Ukraine - February 2, 2013: A seamless pattern with logotype collection of well-known social media brand's printed on paper. Include Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Google Plus, Instagram, Vimeo, Flickr, Myspace, Tumblr, Livejournal, Foursquare and more other logos.

Gray is the New Green Part 12: Social Media Differences

Young people and old people use different social media platforms and behave differently online. Everyone knows this…or at least they should. And it has powerful implications for your digital marketing strategies. It all started from the very onset of social networks which were peer-to-peer outlets for early millennials while boomers were still completely in the dark. Facebook played a big role in changing this dynamic. What started as an interface for university students soon took on high school pupils, college alumni and then everyone could sign up. As Mark Zuckerberg’s character in The Social Network repeatedly drives home, Facebook was designed to be a ‘cool’ app. But what’s cool about sharing a digital platform with your parents or grandparents for that matter? And so it came to pass that once us ‘old farts’ latched on to Facebook, the teenagers and twentysomethings migrated to newer, cooler social media like Instagram, Snapchat, …

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Portrait of grandparents (60s and 70s) with three grandchildren (11, 9 and 6 years) on beach.

Gray is the New Green Part 11: Cross-Generational Travel

Awhile back, I wrote about cross-generational word of mouth, and about how ideas related to hospitality percolate up and down through the generations – daughters talking to mothers, granddads chatting with grandsons, uncles conversing with nieces and so on. The central observation was that we, as hoteliers and marketers, tend to compartmentalize our target demographics, oftentimes failing to see them as an interconnected web of nuclear families, extended families, workplace colleagues, neighbors and social circles of like-minded peers. Thinking cross-generationally about word of mouth will help you design better promotional materials so that your message carries beyond the select few who hear it firsthand or who have had the pleasure of physically staying at your hotel. In this busy advertising world we find ourselves in, your messages need that staying power to outlast the constant distractions that plague our eyes and ears. But there’s another aspect to cross-generational appeal, and …

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businessman over stretched

Gray is the New Green Part 10: The Marketing Gap

As someone active in the marketing and advetising world for almost 40 years (a scary number!), what I’m about to describe is not something I’m particularly proud of. Now that the millennials have officially surpassed the boomers in sheer numbers, it’s become a trend to treat the latter group as a ‘dying generation’. And from this has emerged the outlook that marketing slogans and campaigns attempting to appeal to boomers should focus on the motifs of retirement, aging and health. While these three themes are on the back of most boomers’ minds, they are hardly the foremost thoughts as we go about our days. Many of us are at the peaks of our careers, working to our wits’ ends and still with a fervent passion to propel the world forward via whatever labor specialization or hobby we have perfected over the years. We boomers may be in decline numbers-wise, but …

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Gray is the New Green Part 9: The Luxury Boomer

I have written on this topic since August of last year, but as the grand horde of boomers among us continues to gradually work their way into retirement, this topic is once again worth addressing. Normally when we discuss retirement, we talk about the nuances of balancing a tighter budget with far fewer inbound monetary streams to buoy any excessive spending. In short, retirement at a macro level means less spending overall. However, the baby boom presents a fascinating counterargument to this established demographic trend. That is, the boomers (at least in a North American sense) came into the world right at the zenith of American corporate hegemony, meaning that the salaries, stipends, bonuses and pensions accrued are greater on average than that doled out to those members of the Greatest Generation or Gen X. In many cases, what we are left with is a retired boomer who – even …

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