Saturday, May 25, 2013

MMI (MetLife Mature Market Institute) will soon be no more

You might want to download this report from MetLife, about the oldest Boomers, since it looks like it will be the organisation's last. I heard about the decision from Joel Shapira - thanks.

So what was the reason for decision for calling it a day as a researcher about the older market? Well this is what the organisation is saying: MetLife has made a decision to change its approach to thought leadership in order to align with its new global footprint and broad range of products and services. As a result the MetLife Mature Market Institute will cease to produce new  research and materials, or have the MMI team available. 

I guess you could decipher this management speak gobbledygook as:

We are focusing our business outside the US
The older consumer is of diminishing importance to MetLife
The returns from our attempt at capturing thought leadership wasn't worth the cost

OR of course the reason could be that they are looking for cost savings and MMI seems like a good candidate.

Personally, I am sad to see MMI disappear. The organisation produced good research that was well presented. However, I suspect that it could have done a lot more to have leveraged its wise words to have produced more tangible marketing results for the organisation.

In Europe we have seen a couple of financial services companies spend a lot of dosh doing good research that probably didn't get leveraged by their tactical marketers. (HSBC and AXA).

So what is the lesson to be learnt? Let me put it bluntly. Anybody can see the importance of older consumers. An easy response for companies is to try and become 'thought leaders' in some aspect of the older person's life.  Any corporate can pay a consultancy to research and produce nice reports. So far, so good.

The difficult, but not impossible task is turning this knowledge into something that can be measured on the P&L - not necessarily this year but over a reasonable time horizon.

MetLife's decision to can the MMI I think reflects their inability to do this rather than any diminishing in the importance of the message (i.e. the business importance of boomers) that it has been researching and reporting for the last decade. Dick Stroud 

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