Telomeres, Mitochondria, and Healthy Longevity

Posted by CC Andrews

Dec 4, 2017 12:00:00 AM

Will you live to be 100? I am on the fence about wanting to live that long, unless I can be pretty sure I’ll be relatively healthy for the duration. Health span and longevity are the golden tickets in aging research, telomere.jpgaccording to a panel convened recently at the Milken Institute Global Conference.

Moderated by Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, the panel—made up of luminaries in geroscience research—gave the audience updates on recent promising studies. Among the most interesting—and slightly scary—research that is giving them reason to think that extending not only lifespan but also health span is within reach—and within a reasonable timeframe. It may not happen in the near future, but is definitely on the horizon.

From telomeres and mitochondria to senescent cells, mouse and primate studies have shown that umbilical cord blood extended the lives of mice, while Metformin, a diabetes drug that’s been around for a decades, has been shown to prevent the onset of diabetes and cardiovascular disease, among other things.

According to Elizabeth Blackburn, Nobel Laureate and president of the Salk Institute, targeting and minimizing the “big killers of humanity” (the diseases that often come with aging) is the key to extending health span. “The conditions we die of, we really care about those, because these affect our health span,” she said.

The National Academy of Medicine is so committed to finding the key to extending the health span it has created an initiative around it. According to the group’s website, the Longevity Grand Challenge is aimed at inspiring and incubating “transformative ideas through challenge prizes and awards, expert guidance, a roadmap for policymakers and public engagement.”

So how does all this relate to aging services? There are obvious correlations, such as how much longer such breakthroughs will extend human lifespan and its impact on health care systems and housing, of course. It is worth noting, however, according to one scientist, when the time comes, humans will likely get about two additional years out of it. That century-long lifespan may still be reserved for those with the right genetics but the science and research seems to be inching closer to it.

While there are some very interesting discoveries that point to “hacking the aging code,” the panelists also made note of the fact that good old-fashioned exercise, diet, and genetics still play a large role in human longevity.

If you want a focused approach to figuring how health longevity affects your business— facilitated by experts in the senior living field—contact Quantum Age today.



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Topics: Aging, older adults, longevity, research

The Disease of Aging, Airbnb, and Products for Longevity

Posted by CC Andrews

Nov 17, 2017 12:00:00 AM

When the opening line of a panel discussion on aging and the longevity economy is something like this: “Every single person in this room over 25 suffers from a disease, and that disease is the disease of aging,” https___press.atairbnb.com_app_uploads_2017_01_airbnb_vertical_lockup_web copy.pngthose of us steeped in this field take notice. To begin, suggesting that the human condition of living is considered a disease is a bit provocative, if not ignorant. In addition, the moderator of said panel followed the introduction with, “eventually the disease of aging is going to kill us,” which I assume at this point was meant to be merely bombastic, especially since the panelists were thoughtful, engaging humans, all of whom were clearly living with this aging “disease.”

Convened by the Milken Institute, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit think tank, the purpose of the panel was to discuss aging and longevity and the impact these two issues will have on the global economy. The discussion included a diverse array of people who have either studied aging and longevity or have dabbled in it due to their work.

Among the most interesting of perspectives came from Chip Conley, strategic advisor for hospitality and leadership at Airbnb, where adults 50 years and older make up only about 6 percent of its employees, compared to 25 percent in the entire U.S. workforce.

Despite the depressingly small number of elders in the company, Conley, who joined Airbnb at the age of 52, believes that older workers and younger workers have much to gain from each other. “I have had the experience of being both a mentor and an intern at the same time,” he said, also noting that while the average age of company leaders is declining, “meaning power is moving younger, and these people who are getting a lot of power don’t have a lot of training, nor do they have a lot of people with gray hair around to give them advice.”

In an effort to address Airbnb’s workforce problem, Conley pointed to the “wise elder” who can help with “emotional intelligence and good thinking around strategy, and will not be a competitor to his younger colleague, who uses him as a sounding board.” One of the company’s solutions is to create an affinity group of employees 50 and older who can address the issues and have their voices heard. “Elders have proven to be helpful in creating better teams, better at helping them operate, and better at creating collegial and collaborative environments where teams works better,” he said.

Presented with a question about what products and services are being developed to cater to the genuine needs of elders, Joseph Coughlin, PhD, director of the MIT AgeLab, asserted that it’s not just about the needs of older adults, “because, as the saying goes in the auto industry, everyone knows that a young man will never buy an old man’s car and an older man or an older woman will run away from it as well.”

The idea, he says, is to create products that excite and delight. “The reason why older adults aren’t buying products that are made for older adults is not because [the consumers] are old and declining, it’s because we have yet to invent a longevity product that is worth buying,” he said. Others may disagree with this last statement, but I agree with his premise that there needs to be more products focused on exciting and delighting older consumers.

Circling back to Airbnb, Conley noted that there is a growing number of “digital nomads” who recognize that they can mix their work and their pleasure because they are armed with a mobile device, a laptop, and wifi connections. They live in Airbnbs and they travel the world while working, he says. What’s more, the fastest-growing group of Aribnb hosts is adults 50 years and older. The reason behind this is because many people who are over 50 own their own home, are empty nesters, have extra rooms in their homes, and want to add to their retirement income. Airbnb hosts also have the highest guest ratings.

These slices of information make me wonder if the folks over at Silvernest and others with similar home-share-for-Boomers business models have heard about this. Airbnb’s experience certainly seems to suggest that these housing alternatives are likely onto something.

The perspectives here were diverse and not the usual advice (others on the panel included a representative from AARP and the economist-author of “The 100-Year Life”). Watch the full discussion to get some newer perspectives on the longevity economy. It may stimulate some fresh thinking of your own.

If you want a focused approach to strategic decisions around navigating the longevity economy, facilitated by experts in the senior living field and candid feedback, contact Quantum Age today.


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Topics: Aging, Senior care, senior living, longevity

Survey Points to Best Practices for Successful Innovation

Posted by CC Andrews

Nov 1, 2017 12:00:00 AM

No company can ignore the imperative to innovate and failing to do so is an invitation to lose business. This is the introduction to a new report from PwC on—you guessed it—innovation.

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Based on a survey of more than 1,200 executives in 44 countries, the report attempts to uncover a better understanding of how innovating companies are seeking to create business value and financial returns on their efforts. PwC’s survey asked questions about innovation strategy, operating models, culture, metrics, and more.

So what does this have to do with long-term/post-acute care and senior living? Well everything, of course. How’s that? Aging services providers know that they must innovate in order to succeed amid the impending wave of alternative payment models, stiff competition, and threats to Medicaid and Medicare funding.

Titled “Reinventing Innovation: Five Findings to Guide Strategy Through Execution,” the report is packed with juicy insights and stats. Here are some key findings:

1. Growing the Sandbox: The majority of the survey respondents are big believers in bringing more stakeholders into to the “innovation sandbox.” Among other things, PwC asserts that casting a wider net when it comes to getting input and generating ideas can improve innovation’s alignment with business strategy, help companies access fresh ideas and critical talent, and also enable them fail faster and get new innovations to market sooner. With this in mind, the report states, companies are opening up their innovation processes earlier to a broader set of stakeholders—from both inside and outside the company. In fact, the majority of companies surveyed said are bringing customers—as well as employees—into the innovation process at the ideation phase.

2. Reimagine and Experiment: Innovating without aligning it with strategy is not a prudent path for most companies, according to the report, which finds that for any initiative to deliver true value, it must clearly align with a company’s business strategy. The authors offered that example of GE Ventures, which, according to CEO Sue Siegel, means they must focus on reimagining and experimenting with new business models. “Emergent technologies are very powerful, but what we have to figure out is, what is the sustainable business model that we could potentially either partner up with or use within our organization to drive growth? We’ve been able to experiment to translate these major trends and technology enablers and apply them to business model innovation. That is incredibly important to how we stay ‘tip of spear’ at GE,” she said. That being said, the survey found that more than half of innovating companies struggle with bridging the gap between innovation strategy and business strategy, flagging it as their greatest strategic challenge when it comes to innovation.

3. The Right Stuff: Finding employees with the right human judgment and intuition in examining the data is “critical to obtaining useful insights for innovation,” the report suggests. “Soft skills like these are clearly valued by the executives we surveyed, who say their employees are their most important partners in innovation, ranking them above technology partners.” For example, Eddie Copeland, director of government innovation at Nesta, says that senior management’s failure to listen to frontline workers can be a major obstacle to innovation in government organizations. “Frontline employees often see problems and solutions more clearly than their cost-conscious managers,” she said. Also important to remember is that even if an employee doesn’t sit on a company’s core innovation team, they can still valuable contributors to innovation efforts early in the process. As Copeland explains in the report, they can function “as more than just personnel to whom innovations are pushed out for execution purposes.” Finally, don’t forget that employees are also consumers who can bring end-user insights into the innovation process. The survey found that 32 percent of the businesses surveyed said that finding employees with the right skills is their biggest people-related innovation challenge.

4. Technology Leads the Way: Companies continue to look to technology to help create markets for novel products and services that don’t yet exist, a la smartphones and wearables. Nearly one-third of those survey said their innovation is either all or mostly technology-led, while another one-third say they use a combination of technology and market-led innovation. Technology companies unsurprisingly are the leaders when it comes to “breakthrough innovation.” Nearly two-thirds of them make it a focus of most or all of their innovation efforts, according to the report. Maybe a little more surprising is that pharmaceutical and life sciences and health sciences companies follow technology in focusing mostly on breakthrough innovation.

PwC stresses that as companies invest more in innovation, they must strive to do a better job of aligning their innovation efforts with their business strategy. “Innovation spending ultimately has to drive business value and financial performance,” the report concludes. “But for that to happen in any consistent way, innovators should understand and help define future business models that can support the innovations they create.”

If you want a focused approach to your innovation strategies, facilitated by experts in the senior living field and candid feedback, contact Quantum Age today.

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Topics: Senior care, long-term and post-acute care, innovations, aging services

Survey Finds Urbanites Confident About Staying in Cities as they Age

Posted by CC Andrews

Oct 18, 2017 11:05:00 AM

Cities—you either love ‘em or you hate ‘em. Whichever side you are on, there is no denying that urban areas in the United States and across the world are growing. Some expert futurists predict that by 2038, most QA blog welltower .jpgurban areas will become megacities that will be “major political forces in countries due to their embrace of smart technologies to manage transportation, energy, and waste.”

Welltower Real Estate Investment Trust apparently has a similar prediction because they recently conducted a survey that examines what city dwellers think about retirement and aging issues and it’s pretty interesting. The survey, which was conducted in the spring, “among an audience of 3,000 adult participants across 10 cities” (Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, San Francisco, Seattle, Toronto, Washington, D.C.), included Millennials, Generation Xers, and Baby Boomers.

Titled “Aging in Cities 2017 Report,” the study yielded some interesting data about how different age groups feel about aging, health care, and their financial preparedness for retirement. It also identifies, for those of us plugged into the longevity economy, some new opportunities with regard to people who want to age in cities and how their attitudes may impact urban living for the years ahead.

Herewith are some highlights from the report:

1. Health Care Services and Facilities for Aging in Cities

  • This section of the report found that six out of 10 (61 percent) of city dwellers felt that having a good doctor is their highest health care priority as they age. Distance from health care facilities was less important, according to 21 percent of respondents.
  • Nearly half (47 percent) of the respondents felt that there was a need for different options for aging at home, and 40 percent identified a need for more senior living communities within their cities. Not surprisingly, Baby Boomers were found to be most focused on senior housing options: 54 percent expressed the need for options to help aging citizens stay in their homes and 43 percent believed their cities were in need of more senior living communities.
  • Sixty-six percent of the respondents expressed concern about dementia and one-third (34 percent) wanted more options for dementia care in their cities. Forty percent said say their city needed more mental health providers for older people and 33 percent cited the need for more memory care communities.
  • Worth noting are the data around how dwellers of specific cities felt about health care services. In Chicago, for example, respondents wanted to focus on mental health providers and dementia care, while those in New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco wanted more senior living communities and memory care facilities than the overall average.

2. Cost of Living and Financial Priorities

  • Two-thirds (66 percent) of respondents said they believe they will have the financial means to live in the city at 80-plus, with 75 percent of Millennials and 58 percent of Baby Boomers reported believing they will have enough money to live in the location and place of their choosing when they are 80-plus. Toronto, San Francisco, Houston, Boston, and Seattle residents who were asked to think about their 80-plus year-old selves said that maintaining their current quality of life in the area they live now was the top financial priority. In New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago, however, residents reported that lowering their cost of living and housing costs from what they pay now was their top priority for retirement yea
  • This may not be surprising but serves as an underscore to what many longevity economy operatives know: The top five activities that respondents expect to give them purpose at 80-plus years of age are: pursuing a hobby, volunteering, exercising/group or individual sports, caregiving for family and friends in need, and engagement with their religion and place of worship. One in five respondents said that full- or part-time work, either in their current occupation or a new field, would give them purpose at that age.

3. Home Features for Aging in the Cities

  • For 36 percent of the survey respondents, aging in place in their current home was the first choice when asked what they wanted in their 80-plus years. One-third said their preferred choice would be to move to an age-friendly home, either a smaller apartment designed with special features (18 percent) or a senior living community with full amenities and access to the city’s offerings (17 percent).

Welltower Executive Vice President Mercedes Kerr says in the afterword of the report that she hopes it will “spark new conversations to create positive change that benefits our senior population.” I couldn’t agree more. In addition, I hope the report will also illuminate the opportunities for innovation in aging services.

Contact us to learn how Quantum Age can help you leverage opportunities sparked by the longevity economy.



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Topics: senior living, longevity economy, cities

A Global Perspective on Aging & the Longevity Dividend

Posted by CC Andrews

Oct 2, 2017 10:00:00 AM

When The Economist covers your issue you know it must be a big one. It seems as though the rest of the world continues to catch onto the fact that there is a growing cohort of older adults around the globe,global aging.jpg mainstream media is beginning to ponder the collateral issues and recognize that there are legit news stories to be told.

So it is that The Economist recently published a special report, the title of which is descriptive enough: The New Old. It examines many of the same issue that those of us in the longevity field have already deconstructed and analyzed several times over. However, it also sheds light on some of them from new angles, including a much more global perspective, which is refreshing.

The paper covers the future of work, finance, technology, and dating for older adults. It also posits that the “longer, healthier lives that people in the rich world now enjoy (and which in the medium term are in prospect in the developing world as well) can be a boon, not just for the individuals concerned but for the economies and societies they are part of.”

The key to unlocking this longevity dividend, the authors assert, is to “turn the over-65s into more active economic participants.” Herewith is a sampling of topics covered in the report:

Work: It’s no surprise that older workers are delaying retirement and staying in the workforce longer. The report examines the work ethic of baby boomers, their use of the gig economy, and their entrepreneurial spirit. As the authors note, people between 55 and 65 are now 65 percent more likely to start up companies than those between 20 and 34. In Britain, 40 percent of new founders are over 50, while almost 60 percent of those 70 years and older who are still working are self-employed. 

Finance: The longevity of our society means that retirement accounts, pension funds, and savings are at much higher risk of being depleted before its beneficiaries die. And in Europe, public pensions are still the main source of income for those over 65. What’s more, in both America and Britain public provision replaces around 40 percent of previous earnings, but in some European countries it can be 80 percent or more, the report says. “Where it makes up a big share of total pension income, as in Italy, Portugal, and Greece, a shrinking workforce will increasingly struggle to finance a bulging group of pensioners.” Defined benefit plans are much more popular today as a way to offset the bleeding private pension schemes. Given this new societal conundrum, the authors assert that the financial industry needs an overhaul. First, they suggest that it should “update the rigid three-stage life-cycle model on which most of its products are based.” Second, there needs to be a solution to the chronic under saving during working life and over saving during retirement. Third, the report suggests that a more creative approach is needed to the range of assets that pensioners can draw on. Making matters more complicated is the fact that the longer people live, the more varied their life cycle will become. “Workers will take breaks to look after children or go back to school; pensioners will take up a new job or start a business.” Financial providers need to recognize these changing needs and address them, the report advises. “That includes helping to fund technology that could vastly improve the final stage of life.” 

Technology: Tablets, remote sensor technology, smart homes, and more all hold promise for elders as the numbers grow. But funding mechanisms will be needed, especially for those less able to pay for the technology outright. The authors suggest that both the government and insurance companies may consider taking this on, especially since they have much to gain from prevention.

In conclusion, the report conjures up concerns about human longevity and suggests that if technologies, research, and new treatments keep up and are not soon addressed, “it could prove highly disruptive.” According to the authors, economies could suffer, social tensions could erupt and progress on gender equality might be reversed as many more women were obliged to become caregivers for elders. 

To avoid this dilemma, the authors say, societies and economies must start in earnest to prepare for those longer lives right now. No kidding.

If you want a focused approach to your strategic decisions, facilitated by experts in the senior living field and candid feedback, contact Quantum Age today.

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Topics: Aging, longevity economy, global aging

4 Simplified Steps to Account-Based Marketing (ABM)

Posted by Michelle Dalton

Sep 27, 2017 3:10:11 PM

Marketing strategies come and go, but it looks like ABM is here to stay, since it has been proven to deliver the highest return on investment of any strategic B2B marketing approach. If you think you haven’t been using ABM, you may be surprised to find you are using some aspects of it.

Pegs ABM.jpgDeveloped in 2004 by ITSMA (the Information Technology Services Marketing Association), Account-Based Marketing (ABM) turns the traditional inbound marketing funnel upside down for B2B marketing. Traditional marketing consists of attracting as many people to your site to fill out forms, nurture them with emails, and then identify which of those leads are potential companies to target.

There are two different scenarios where ABM is appropriate:

  • When you’re targeting a small amount of large key accounts
  • When you’re targeting groups of accounts that share similar characteristics 

The high level overview of ABM includes the following steps:

1. Identify Target Accounts

Sales and marketing works together (yes, together) to identify their targeted companies, or the characteristics of their targeted companies. Examples include company size, annual revenue, financial strength, business strategies, organizational structure and more. To determine these companies and characteristics, evaluate your profitable satisfied customers in your existing base. From there, leverage your CRM, other technology and market research to identify your target accounts.

2. Identify Personas

Once the targeted accounts are identified, sales and marketing again collaborate to determine what role the decision makers, influencers and blockers typically hold in the organization. They develop those personas to find their pain points, typical demographics, what factors drive them, and methods to effectively reach them with your message.

3. Develop a Personalized Engagement Plan

Some marketers refer to this step as “Develop Engaging Content.” However, taking into account how different personas make purchasing decisions, content may not be enough. For example, an IT director may take time to read a white paper or eBook, but don’t assume the same for the C-level persona. This is where learning how to effectively reach the target personas comes in. In addition to personalized content, consider adding face-to-face opportunities, such as social and informative events.

Several decision makers place high value on developing trusting, personal relationships with their sales representative, who they want to see as a consultant. These relationships may take several months or longer when selling products or services with long sales cycles.

Develop key metrics and your expected goals for each content asset, campaign, event, social media strategy, etc.

4. Measure, Analyze, Adjust

In order to prove the value of your ABM strategy, you need to be able to measure it over time. Results should be visible and actionable. Compare KPIs such as email clicks, opens, MQLs, SQLs, opportunities created and new business won against previous campaigns, and determine the marketing ROI.

Create dashboards and reports in your CRM to analyze the activity on your target accounts, and compare results to your goals.

While ABM strategy is not new, it is becoming more expected from customers who want a personalized and engaged buyer journey. Understanding their influence level and engaging them across the entire sales cycle does not take a huge investment but can mean increased revenue and a solid partnership with customers.

Contact us to learn how Quantum Age can help create and implement an ABM strategy that pays big dividends for years to come.
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Topics: marketing mix, content, content marketing, meeting planning;, marketing

Retirement Income, Healthcare Costs, and Homeownership—Food for Thought on the Future of the Longevity Economy

Posted by CC Andrews

Sep 20, 2017 11:00:00 AM

A recent National Investment Center for Seniors Housing and Care (NIC) blog post caught my eye because it covers some important topics and research relevant to senior living providers and their prospective thought-2123970_1920 copy.jpgcustomers. Author Lana Peck outlined studies on Social Security, medical spending, and retirement and security. Specifically, the post covers how Social Security will impact the behavior and consumption patterns of seniors and health costs and their impact on retirement security.

One study that examined how Social Security benefits are affected by out-of-pocket medical spending found that the average retiree spends a substantial share of his or her Social Security income to health expenses. What’s more, premiums make up largest share of medical spending for most retirees. Not really a surprise, I know, but consider the following additional stats from the study:

  • 75% is the average amount of social security benefit left for non-medical expenses for the average retiree.
  • 30% of retirees’ household income is spent on housing, taxes, and non-housing debt.
  • 10% of retirees (give or take) have less than one half of their OASI (Old Age Survivors Income) remaining for non-medical expenses.

Peck also noted that, in addition to these findings, Medicare beneficiaries also pay more out-of-pocket for health care as a share of household expenses than non-Medicare households, “and with health costs projected to rise more rapidly than Social Security income, these trends are likely to continue and worsen over time,” she said.

In another study, researchers determined the anticipated costs for “health shocks” (one or more of eight health conditions and three intensive health events) that they found specifically cause significant declines in net worth including stroke, cancer, lung disease, and health-related events such as hospital and nursing home stays, (including the loss of a spouse), and applied factors of net worth including home equity, other real estate, and business and financial holdings. Their findings:

  • Someone at age 65 could expect a decline of between $30,000 and $90,000 in overall wealth depending on their gender and marital status due to health conditions.
  • Some health shocks are more costly than others. Specifically, lung disease ($29,000), stroke ($25,000), nursing home care ($15,000), and spousal death ($30,000).
  • The “wealth cost” of health shocks is about 9% of household net worth at age 65 for married individuals and for single men, but about 22% of net worth for single women.

Yet another study looks at issues around using homeownership as an investment that can be used in late life as income for health costs in retirement. This may be a sure safety net for current, older homeowners but for future cohorts, the ability to buy homes is fast becoming more and more elusive.

As the blog’s author puts it: “This research is especially important because of the aging population, increased life expectancy, and increasing health costs which shed light on the need for retirement planning that includes preparing for late life health shocks.”

I couldn’t have said it any better. This research is worth a deeper dive to get at the heart of the relationship between consumer health and financial trends to help inform your strategic decisions.

If you want a focused approach to your strategic decisions, facilitated by experts in the senior living field and candid feedback, contact Quantum Age today.

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Topics: longevity economy, retirement, social security, health care costs

Will Senior Housing Be Affordable and Meet the Design Needs of Older Adults?

Posted by CC Andrews

Sep 18, 2017 9:55:00 AM

Confidence in the 55-plus housing market and continued spending growth among baby boomers in the remodeling industry are painting a rosy picture of the future of the longevity economy. But will builders, remodelers, and contractors create affordable and accessible housing that is appropriately designed?Remodeling image.jpg

Before we get to that, let’s examine the evidence. There are many factors contributing to this positive outlook, including two recent reports: One is the 55+ Housing Market Index (HMI), published by the National Association of Home Builders, and the other is the Demographic Change and the Remodeling Outlook report from the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies.

The first report proclaims that builder confidence in the single-family 55-plus housing market was high for the second quarter of 2017. Builders registered a confidence level of “good versus poor” (above 50) for the 13th consecutive quarter, according to a press release. What’s more, four indices that track production and demand of 55+ multifamily rentals posted gains in the second quarter: Present production rose three points to 53, expected future production climbed eight points to 52, current demand for existing units increased two points to 66, and expected future demand rose five points to 67.

Contributing to the strong demand, said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz, are “favorable market conditions, such as record highs in the stock market and rising home prices.”

Even more interesting than the builder/developer outlook is the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies report, which asserts that in addition to baby boomers leading home improvement spending for the past 20 years, “older homeowners will continue to dominate the remodeling market as they make investments to age in place safely and comfortably.”

Indeed—the residential remodeling market, which includes spending on improvements and repairs by both homeowners and rental property owners, reached an all-time high of $340 billion in 2015, surpassing the prior peak in 2007. And homeowners age 55 and over are expected to increase spending in remodeling by nearly 33 percent by 2025, the report predicts. Put another way, the share of market spending by this cohort is projected to reach 56 percent by 2025, up from only 31 percent in 2005.

While these projections and predictions are heartening, will fever for the longevity economy keep up with the need for affordability, access, and appropriate design? To that end, a QA blog post from last December outlines another Harvard report finding that only 1 percent of the current U.S. housing stock offers the five design elements that would allow older adults to live comfortably. Those design elements include the following: zero-step entrances, single-floor designs, wide halls and doorways, electrical controls reachable from a wheelchair, and lever-style handles on faucets and doors. The report also notes that “public investment and private sector efforts to expand access to affordable in-home supportive services will be critical going forward.”

There you have it. Let’s take some steps now to make housing accessible, affordable, and livable for older adults.

If you would like to take lead on housing access, design, and affordability for seniors and also raise your profile within the longevity economy, contact Quantum Age today.

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Topics: senior housing, older adults, 55+

What You Need To Know About Corporate Partnerships With Trade Associations

Posted by Bruce Rosenthal

Sep 6, 2017 9:00:00 AM

Companies that sell products and services to businesses in a certain industry and that industry’s trade association sometimes have a “mutual love/hate” relationship. Or they view each other as “a necessary evil.”
The companies believe the trade associations are unfairly restricting access to their Bruce_association blog.pngmembers who are the company’s customers and prospective customers. Companies contend they are entitled to a certain level of access to an association’s members, especially if the companies are exhibitors or corporate sponsors or partners.

The associations believe the companies only want to do a “hard sell” on their members. Associations contend that since they are not-for-profit organizations, communications from companies is a commercial intrusion.

The result of this company-association butting of heads does little to help the company or the association. More importantly, it does little to help the association’s members.

A survey conducted in August 2017 by the DC-Area Partnership Professionals Network (PPN), an organization of corporate sponsorship and partnership executives with associations and not-for-profit organizations, revealed some findings that might provide companies with ideas on how to bridge the gap and have more successful relationships with associations.

  • Associations obviously need money to fulfill their missions to provide services to members. Two-thirds of the respondents to the PPN survey reported their revenue from corporate partners had increased in the past year (though the survey didn’t ask how much it increased). What is more revealing is that one-third reported their revenue from corporate partners had decreased or stayed the same.
  • It’s important for associations’ programs to meet the current needs of their stakeholders. Member needs change, business trends change, etc. When asked if they had undertaken a review of their corporate partner program in the past three years, half of the association executives responding to the survey said “no”.
  • Boards of directors play a critical role for associations. They set policy; they are a barometer of member needs; they are a gateway to members. While survey respondents report their boards were aware of revenue from corporate partners, only one-quarter of boards meet with corporate partners and one-quarter are not involved in any way with corporate partners.
  • Companies that partner with associations have specific business goals. These goals can be repositioning their company, launching a new product, meeting the challenges of competitor companies, etc. While almost 100% of the associations responding to the survey offer transactional benefits like logo visibility, the percentage of association offering more substantive benefits like speaking opportunities and content development drops to about 50%.
  • Lastly, most of the organizations surveyed acknowledged they are competing for their corporate partners’ attention with other associations and other marketing channels.

To recap: associations need the revenue from corporate partners; many associations haven’t revamped their corporate partnership programs recently; many boards are not involved in corporate partnership programs; associations are offering predominantly low-value transactional benefits; and associations realize they are competing for corporate partners.

What can you do with this knowledge from the Partnership Professionals Network survey? Have a conversation with each association that represents businesses who are your customers and prospective customers.

Explain that your company and their association each have a mission and goals. Ironically, there is a common thread in these missions and goals: to meet the needs of the businesses who are your customers and their members.

Identify ideas, solutions, and strategies that your company can offer to help the association’s members. Discuss ways the association can make changes to its current corporate partnership program to get their board members more engaged and offer benefits that will help your company help their members.

Strive for the triple-win: value for the association, its members, and your company.

If you would like more information on how your company can achieve its business goals by partnering with trade associations, contact Quantum Age today.

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Topics: marketing, , marketing strategy, , corporate partnerships

Four Impactful B2B Marketing Strategies You May Be Missing Out On

Posted by Michelle Dalton

Aug 31, 2017 10:32:06 AM

B2B marketers continue to face pressures to prove return on their marketing investment. In the ever-changing landscape of marketing, determining how to distribute your budget to the most impactful methods can be challenging. The four strategies below have been proven to improve results for B2B marketers.

1. Social SellingDart missing board.jpg

Ninety percent of executives never return cold calls, resulting in very poor return on investment. Stop cold calling and start using social media to demonstrate your value and receive warm introductions. LinkedIn research found that 78% of salespeople using social media perform better than their peers. If your sales team isn’t using social media to sell, help them go social by providing training.

2. Account-Based Marketing

Developed in 2004 by ITSMA (the Information Technology Services Marketing Association), Account-Based Marketing (ABM) turns the traditional inbound marketing funnel upside down for B2B marketing. Traditional marketing consists of attracting as many people to your site to fill out forms, nurture them with emails, and then identify which of those leads are potential companies to target.

ABM is a strategic approach where sales and marketing identifies the characteristics of their targeted companies, then finds those companies and determines who the decision makers and influencers are. The relationships are nurtured with personalized content and campaigns to drive interest and engagement. As a result, ABM delivers the highest return on investment of any strategic B2B marketing approach.

3. In-Person Events

With the explosion in digital marketing, marketers may feel like they don’t need any face time with prospects and customers. However, for products and services that require significant investment or adoption of staff (software, for example), it is likely that you will benefit from relationship marketing.

Consider integrating opportunities for face-to-face interactions into your mix, including user groups, social and informational events at conferences targeted to your top prospects, and experiential marketing.

4. Customer Advocacy Marketing

Satisfied customers can generate a gold mine in leads and revenue. Seventy-three percent of executives prefer to work with sales professionals referred by someone they know. Referral leads convert 30% better than leads generated from other marketing channels.

If you don’t currently have a customer experience program in place to ensure happy customers who will give referrals, start one now. Make sure you have an action plan in place to address any concerns that arise. Expand your marketing efforts with testimonials, a formal referral program, and an online customer community to increase lead generation.

Are you overwhelmed with your current marketing program and don't have the bandwidth to add any of these strategies? Contact us and we can help plan and implement for you. 

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Topics: marketing mix, marketing

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