Friday, August 21, 2009

A women worth listening to

I first heard about Carol Orsborn at the launch of her book “Boom: Marketing to the Ultimate Power Consumer” when I was attending a conference in New York. It was (is) a great book about marketing to older women.

Carol has been facing a situation that is common in the US and the UK. As the recession continues to strip away at service sector jobs it is having a horrible outcome for so many older workers.

For Carol this was not a theoretical subject but intensely personal as she was “let go” by one of the few large advertising agencies that had a specialist group focusing on the older consumer. Remember, one in four for people age 50 – 65 in the UK is economically inactive. I cannot believe the US is that much different.

So what do you do, aged 50, when trying to get reemployed in a youth-centric and contracting world of advertising agencies? Buy the book and find out - The Year I Saved My (downsized) Soul. Unfortunately, the book is still only available in the US but should be released in the UK "any time now" (so says Amazon).

I really enjoyed reading the book. Truly, I am not just saying that, I really did enjoy reading it.

Obviously, the book is from a women's perspective but I suspect that many of the emotions described are shared by older men. I know I have had a few of them!

In light of the current debate (if you can call it that) going about changes to the US health care industry and the UK's NHS it was also interesting to read how many times the link between employment and health insurance was mentioned. You need some radical thinking when you are approaching the Big 50, with no job and no health insurance.

I am so glad the story has a happy ending. You now read what Carol is saying at I fear that her problem, fortunately past problem, is not going away anytime soon. Her solution, of kicking the corporate world and taking control of her own destiny will (hopefully) be the route that many older people take. Dick Stroud

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