Monday, January 18, 2016

Making ageing relevant (even exciting) to young marketers

The latest blog from Laurie Orlov is something of a shotgun blast aimed at designers and hoards of marketers who don't consider the effects of ageing when designing and commercialising products. She also talks about good design being good for all - including older people.

All of this is great and I totally concur with her thoughts.

Let me make a few suggestions about how things can be improved.

Point 1 - there is an argument for banishing the word 'age' out of our lexicon because it comes with so many ingrained attitudes and stereotypes that stops marketers clearly thinking about what they are trying to achieve. What we can all agree upon is that organisations should be aiming to provide a consistently high level of customer experience for all consumers. Marketers understand the concept of customer experience (CX). This doesn't mean they do much about it but at least it something they can get their heads around

Point 2 - we are not just talking about products or ads or web sites or apps or distribution channels or post sales support. We are talking all of these things brought together into another concept that marketers can understand - the customer journey.

Point 3 - make it measurable. Convert the concept to something that you can put a number on and something that you can measure over time and against your competitors. Marketers like numerals.

My aim is to embed the 'ageing thing' in 2016 marketing language and concepts. This is what Kim Walker and I have done with our AF Toolset that enables companies to evaluate and improve their customer journey to make it universally good and not for a subset of the customers.

Great designers do all of this stuff as a matter of course, they don't need checklists and measurements to tell them what to do. The trouble is we there aren't many of them around. We need to provide the tools for Jo / Joanna Average Designer and the owners of company's Customer Experience.

Let's try and drag the ageing business in to the world of 2016 and start thinking about the way today's marketers think and operate. Dick Stroud

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