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Scott McKain

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Trapped in traditional thought…

Where do you need to challenge YOUR thinking to see things the way they REALLY are?

We’ve often discussed how it is easy to become trapped by outdated thinking modes…let’s point out yet another.

If you wanted to purchase a thirty-second spot on the nation’s number-one television show, “NCIS,” you would have to pay $133,304. However, if you wanted the same commercial on “Grey’s Anatomy” — which has four million fewer viewers on a weekly average — the price would be $240,462!

Why would you spend over $100,000 more to reach 4,000,000 fewer people?

The outdated thinking that younger customers are better prospects.

Advertisers — or, more specifically, usually the ad agencies that represent the brands — believe that a younger consumer can be influenced to purchase more over a longer period of time, because they can potentially become loyal to your product or service.

The problem is that when I think back to the brands I was purchasing when I was starting my life out of college, there is very little correlation between my choices then and my loyalties now.

I was drinking Pepsi — now, I prefer Diet Coke.
I was wearing Old Spice — now, it’s Anteaus.
I was driving a Chevy — now, it’s BMW.
I was listening to a Sony Walkman — now, it’s an iPod.

And, by the way, even though I was influenced by all of the ads back then for platform shoes and bell-bottom pants, you wouldn’t be able to persuade me to maintain a semblance of loyalty to those fashion trends for any price!

In other words, it’s so easy to get trapped into a traditional manner of thinking — which, in this specific case I would suggest originated when Baby Boomers were such a large generation in terms of population that it DID make sense to focus upon them — we prevent ourselves from thinking in a manner that would get the greatest results.

Some things about Boomers haven’t changed. As Anne Mai Bertelsen, Founder and President of MAI Strategies, points out in an insightful post on MediaPost today, “Boomers continue to disagree with their parents: this time on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, on abortion, civil rights, gay marriage and health care reform.”

And, as Bertelsen notes, when Boomers reduced their average daily spending — from $98 in 2008 to $68 in 2009 — their reduction was not as severe as Generation X or Millennials. However, because of the sheer size of the Boomer population — 78 million — it had much greater ramifications for marketers, as well as the economy.

Boomers remain the wealthiest of generations and account for 77% of all investable assets in the United States. So why would you pay more to target less? Unless, of course, your thinking was trapped in an outmoded model…

Where do you need to challenge YOUR thinking to see things the way they REALLY are?

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More Stories By Scott McKain

Scott McKain is a business leader, bestselling author, and Hall of Fame professional speaker.
Scott's latest book, "The Collapse of Distinction: Stand Out and Move Up While Your Competition Fails" reached the #1 spot on Amazon.com list of Customer Service Bestsellers! He is the author of two #1 additional business bestsellers (Amazon.com & 800-CEO-READ): "What Customers REALLY Want" (currently available in trade paperback) and "ALL Business is Show Business."
He is the Co-founder and Principal of The Value Added Institute, a think-tank that examines the role of the customer experience in creating significant advances in the level of client loyalty, and has appeared on multiple occasions as a commentator and analyst on FOX News Channel. His platform presentations have run the gamut from the White House lawn with the President in the audience carried live on CNN and NBC's "Today" show...to a remote outpost near the Amazon...all 50 states, seven Canadian provinces...and from Singapore to Sweden...Mexico to Morocco.
An inductee into the Professional Speakers Hall of Fame, he is also a member of "Speakers Roundtable" -- an elite, invitation-only group of twenty of the world's top business speakers.