I wasn’t looking for advice about online advertising when I scheduled time to talk to Jerry Shereshewsky, CEO, Grandparents.com, for a MarketingSherpa article I’m writing about marketing to grandparents.
But I should have expected getting some wisdom from someone with 39 years of experience in the industry who last year took the helm of an ad-supported resource site for grandparents.
Jerry’s previous title, ambassador plenipotentiary to Madison Avenue at Yahoo!, was another reason I took note of everything he had to say about online advertising. As an ambassador, Jerry’s job was to develop and oversee Yahoo!’s strategic relationships with the advertising agency community in general.
Here are some bits of wisdom he shared:
- Too often, marketers/advertisers want to market to a demographic instead of marketing to people in a certain life stage. This is a mistake. “To focus on any particular demographic means you’re cutting out a huge section,” he said.
- The solution to the said dilemma: Always try to discover what consumers in a particular life stage have in common.
For grandparents, for example, it’s their grandchildren. Grandparents might be different ages, with different interests, incomes, and activity levels, but the one thing they all have in common is grandchildren.
Tactic: Instead of focusing on grandparents in online ads, try showing pictures of grandchildren and centering messaging on how grandparents can interact with their grandkids or on what their grandchildren might want or need.
- Too often, marketers stereotype grandparents as old, gray, and inactive. The modern grandparent is quite the opposite. The average age at which a person becomes a grandparent in the U.S. is 48.
These grandparents spend a lot of cash on their grandchildren annually – $50 billion. Heed Jerry’s message.
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