The Influence of Age…

Did you know that there is a thing called “Age Cohort Influence”, which has a HUGE impact on how well your interaction, project, marketing or presentation goes?  If you haven’t studied, it’s worth doing, particularly if you sell, teach, present, market, interact!  People in their twenties sometimes have to interact with people in their fifties, wouldn’t you say?  Guess what: If you’re twenty and you want to communicate effectively, you should know what makes a fifty year old tick, and vise versa.  In other words: Know your audience’s CORE VALUES.  They change pretty closely with each decade of age, partly because of the changes in our psychological makeup as we mature, and partly because of what we’re physically able to do with each decade of age…like bear children or power lift for exercise.  Thirty something…you probably are very into your career and full of vim and vigor about it.  You probably believe that most of what you say is extremely important and should be broadcast to the world AND that everyone is supremely interested in your dissertation.  In your forties?  You’re probably rethinking your spirituality and getting into exercise again.  When you’re sixty…you know what’s important and what’s not…or THINK you do… and furthermore, you kind of pick and choose what you think you need to say out loud.   For marketing purposes, this is of extreme importance, because you may make assumptions about a particular group that can lose your ability to sell to them… before you even tell them what it is you’re selling!   If you’re selling to a seventy year old person, you might want to slow down and visit a while.  If you’re selling to a fifty year old, don’t assume they aren’t tech savvy; they are.  They probably made it possible for the younger generation to enjoy their gadgets. Reference Steve Jobs or even Corning, Incorporated. Corning invented optical fiber, enabling the internet scream into our homes.  The ones who were there when the first fiber was drawn?  Fifty something, or maybe even sixty something by now.  If you’re talking to a twenty year old or a thirty year old, don’t worry about five or ten years down the road.  They typically don’t want to plan that far ahead.  They still love the unknown and want to be flexible and nimble with their lives!  Now obviously there’s more to it than just age cohort. But you get my drift.  Communication goes both ways, or should.  Be aware of your audience.  Core values are called CORE because they are deeply embedded.  Remember that, and use that knowledge to be even better at what you do than you are right now.

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