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January 2009
ADM logoHappy New Year! 
This time, there's an exclamation point in the sub-title, not a question mark. This is not to infer that I have some inside information about the market, politics, or world affairs. It's just my normal optimism and the hope that 2009 will be better than 2008--that won't be difficult.
As a matter of fact, things are getting off to a rousing start, here at ADM Marketing, with a very nice assignment and several proposals in the pipeline. It's just as well. The weather here in New York is not, at the moment, luring me outside. Still, Spring is just a few weeks away--here I go again! 
Generational Marketing
Are You Ready For More Changes? 
Readers of this newsletter are no doubt familiar with our perspective on marketing to the Boomer generation (who can, with a straight face, still call them "Babies?"). Just look around and you will realize that people in their mid-to-late forties, fifties, and early sixties are significantly different from earlier cohorts who passed through those ages. Marketers, who have been adjusting to this new reality for several years, often needed to wrap their heads around a completely different age paradigm.
Since the age paradigm is a moving target, marketers should be looking at younger cohorts as well as older ones to see how they are changing, too. Those who wish to attract young buyers need to examine their values, lifestyles, and purchase patterns to find out whether their marketing strategies and plans are still valid--and given the speed at which things are changing, re-evaluation may need to be done every two to three years! Here are some things to keep in mind about young buyers:
  • This is the most diverse cohort we've ever seen--and in the United States, that's saying a lot.
  • Technology is more than just some fun toys; it's a way of life and a way of communicating.
  • Tweens, teens, and young adults have grown up in an expanding economy which has now shrunk by more than 25% (an estimated $7 Trillion of Market value)--the shock could be traumatic.
  • Basic  educational requirements keep moving up as competition for jobs becomes more intense; this is not going to get better any time soon.
  • The dispersion of families around the globe has revamped the very meaning of "family" to include friends, neighbors, and those with similar interests; many young people grow up barely knowing blood relatives while establishing close relationships with "adopted" relatives.

These things, and many others are important when designing strategies and communications of all kinds. They impact messaging, imagery, and media.  Ignoring paradigm changes risks the loss of relevance, something no marketer can afford to do.

Trends and Fads
Figuring Out Which Is Which 
A perennial challenge for marketers is determining whether something is a "trend" or a "fad," the latter being a "flash in the pan" (Sarah Palin???), and the former requiring more than just a one-off ad or direct mailing. A trend may, in fact, require re-tooling, redesigning packaging and even logos, or a complete revamping of the way one conducts business. 

The most obvious example of a trend is the personal computer. Starting as an office equipment innovation that made it easier to edit documents (IBM Display Write, or Wang Word Processor, for example), the PC is a perfect example of adopting a new technology and then adding functionality to it, thereby increasing its incursion into our lives.

What will the trends be in the second decade of this century--things that may very well be emerging this year? What will businesspeople and marketers need to do to adjust? Will it be a new "toy" (e.g., the I-Pod), new financial instruments (to replace the failed instruments of 2007-2008), or will it be bigger--a whole new way of thinking about relationships between work and home?
Our new survey seeks to find out what YOU think the next trends will be. Please take a moment to answer these few questions--it won't take more than two or three minutes. Tune in next month for results.
Upcoming Events
January 14, 11:30-2:00pm 
International Association of Business Communicators-Long Island is starting out the new year with "Silver Anvil Savvy: Two Case Histories in Public Relations Excellence," a program detailing two award-winning public relations campaigns: one having to do with getting phone cards to soldiers, and the other a celebration of architecture in America. Please visit for more details
January 21, 8:00-10:00am 
What a great time for people to be thinking about directing or re-directing their careers! Society of Marketing Professional Services-Long Island is hosting "Direct Your Career to Maximize Your Value," featuring Sharyn Yorio, President of Sustainable Marketing, Inc., and designer of training programs. Visit for more details.
January 28, 6:00-8:00pm 
The New York chapter of the American Marketing Association presents "Choosing The Right Agency," an endeavor that becomes more and more important as companies trim their marketing staffs and budgets become smaller. For more info, please go to
This practice is dedicated to helping companies become knowledge-driven, rather than assumption driven about strategic and tactical decisions concerning lines of business, branding, communications, and various marketing activities. For more information about how we do this, case studies, frequently asked questions about marketing research, and testimonials, please visit our web site:

Ann Middleman