Posted in on July 15, 2013

Mature Marketing Links of the Week – 7/15/13

Busy week ahead! Let’s dive right in to our round-up of links and resources useful to mature marketing pros.

1. MOST CLICKED: An interesting discussion on the average age of Facebook workers, begun by thought-leader Jeremiah Owyang. He posted:

“Am I too old to work at Facebook? Since the median age at Facebook is 28 (reports the NYT) and many start the workforce at 22, then 34 is considered one of the oldest ages at Facebook … This means I’m a few years older than some of the oldest, and would be considered elderly to the younger folks.”

The “elderly” Owyang was riffing off a New York Times article that looked at the ages of employees at successful tech companies. Only six of the 32 companies they surveyed had a median age greater than 35 years old; eight had a median employee age of 30 or younger. The technology companies with the “oldest” workers were B2B and were older companies themselves, organizations like Hewlett Packard (median age 41), IBM (median age 38) and Sony (median age 36).

The New York Times article cited an HR expert who said this age discrepancy was a function of skills, but several of Owyang’s Facebook followers took issue with that.

Snippet Facebook conversation re age of technology workers

“My brain might be getting full and bones might be a bit cracking, but my heart and passion say I’m a 20 something~ count me in!” wrote Susie Shulman Weitzman. “This might also explain why Facebook isn’t exactly scoring an A+ in execution. Lots of good ideas but not enough experience from other industries and sectors to fill the execution gap” wrote Olivier Blanchard.

My take is that Facebook and other companies are missing an opportunity when they hire so few older workers. Their business models are based on advertising; advertisers want people to buy their products; the people with discretionary income in the US are over 50. So those who sell advertising should better reflect the ultimate targets.

Why should readers of this mature marketing blog care about the age of tech workers? Because more and more the products / services they deliver are being incorporated into your marketing programs. If they don’t understand your customers and prospects, will they be able to help you succeed? Will you struggle to find 50+ user-friendly digital tools to help you meet your goals?

Read Owyang’s post & related comments:

Read the NY Times article that sparked this all:

What do you think? Share your comments below.


2. MOST COMMENTED: Customers are a marketing method if you’re smart, writes Christopher S. Penn in a post we shared on Twitter.

Photo: Liberty Healthcare and Rehabilitation Services

Photo: Liberty Healthcare and Rehabilitation Services

“Think about the oxymoron that is most companies’ customer service. It’s treated as a cost center in nearly every P&L statement at every company. How can we reduce costs? How can we get customers off the phone faster? How can we close cases faster? Then go look at a handful of companies’ Facebook pages and see what customers are saying. The ones who get that customers are not a cost, that customers are a marketing method, invest in the things that cost money and the results are strong word of mouth marketing and evangelism. The ones who don’t get it (hint: choose a telecom provider or an airline Facebook Page to look at) get lit up like a Christmas tree for their poor service.”

Several folks shared their thoughts and additional reading. @SMXchat wrote “as eksays customer service is the new PR; care about your customers & they do your marketing.” We tweeted back “How about seeing new PR as customer service? Provide relevant content that improves lives.” @cspenn himself said “Our friend jaybaer calls that Youtility.”

We’ve seen how customer service / Youtility is particularly effective in marketing to older adults, because seniors reward brands that make their lives easier. Ask any successful senior living organization how important referrals are and you’ll see the ROI.

Read Penn’s post:

Read Jay Baer’s post on Youtility:

Read an eksays post which includes customer expectations for response times in social media (HINT: now!):


Let us know what you think below. Happy Monday!

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