Posted in on August 7, 2017

To Retire or Not to Retire and Writing that Works

Happy Monday! Each week we review the mature marketing content that had people talking (and thinking). This week we hear the stories of three individuals who retired and then had second thoughts.  Then, our most shared content explores storytelling and shares tips for how you can make it shine.  Have something to share? We’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas for application in the comment section below.

MOST CLICKED: My mom retired (enthusiastically) when she was 64. She couldn’t wait to spend heaps of time with her grands and just, as she put it, relax for the first time in years. While retirement is far off for me, I feel confident in the belief that this is how many soon-to-be retirees feel. But does it last?

Next Avenue recently penned an article entitled When Retirement Makes You Unhappy. A title that I have to admit, stopped me in my tracks (and many others, given the clicks). The article highlighted the retirement journeys of three individuals who retired…but not for long.

Carolyn noted that she was “bored to tears” when she retired, likening it to prison-like. She missed the opportunities to engage with others and the hustle and bustle of work. Further, she noted that she was used to being self-sufficient and having the paycheck that allowed that to happen. But the biggest reason that retirement just wasn’t for her was that she was afraid that she would withdraw and become depressed like retired family members had become.

Dave retired from sales somewhat unwillingly and said he immediately knew that he couldn’t stay retired for long. He searched for a perfect fit — from volunteering to playing golf. In the end he decided that what he needed was to resume full-time employment within sales (the industry he loved). He started consulting for a mattress manufacturer and then made the case for he could help them grow their business if they brought him on full-time.

Nancy knows retirement. In fact, she studied and wrote about the topic for a living as a professor. She wasn’t fulfilled when she retired so she went to work part-time writing books on the topic, offering tips to those considering their next chapter:

“If you’ve tried the fully retired route and it’s not working for you, Schlossberg said, don’t try “adjusting” to retirement. “Go back to work!” she urged.

She also noted the power of internships for those considering a change of career as opposed to retiring. But she cautioned that typically the “ideal internship” doesn’t exist, so you have to make it happen and put in the work.







All three stories within the article chronicled different paths that people take when they just aren’t ready to retire. Retirement and aging means something different for everyone. As marketers we need to understand this and strive to highlight the offerings of our communities and brands that cannot solve, but at least can support the retirement exploration. Further, so often I see messaging that talks to the fact that “here you can enjoy your retirement years.” Be cognizant that some people have decided retirement just isn’t for them, so highlight how they can enjoy their free time when they aren’t working or volunteering or writing books.

Learn more about Dave, Nancy and Carolyn when you read the full article.

MOST SHARED: Part of the job of an effective marketer is to use words and stories to make a compelling case for why people should consider (and get excited about) our brand. According to a recent article in The Guardian, the success isn’t in the marketing of the product but the stories you tell. In fact, the author notes that there is a science to it all.

“Research shows our brains are not hard-wired to understand logic or retain facts for very long. Our brains are wired to understand and retain stories,” Aaker says. “A story is a journey that moves the listener, and when the listener goes on that journey they feel different and the result is persuasion and sometimes action.”

The article noted 4 reasons why the emotion of storytelling is a critical component of successful marketing tactics:

  1. We use emotion (feelings and experiences) when considering brands
  2. That emotion has a greater influence on deciding if we act or not then the actual content of the ad
  3. The likability of the story will determine if sales increase
  4. Emotion drives loyalty

The author continued by offering 6 tips for how you can make your storytelling compelling and effective:

  1. Know the audience — dig deep into what drives and inspires them
  2. ID their emotional drivers
  3. Authenticity trumps all in storytelling, use details like names to make it relatable
  4. Stories can be strong even if only 140 characters in length — write to your channel
  5. Data and story in combination creates credibility
  6. Encourage comments and engagement to give the story legs

The moral of this story? What you say isn’t as important as HOW you say it — people will remember the story that taps their emotions long after the percentages have faded from memory.

Read more.

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