AgeTek Insiders Insights Webinar: Secrets to a Compelling Market Launch

Given by Lauren Essex, Principal, ToMarket Consulting

Lauren Essex, ToMarket Consulting

— On July 25th, Lauren Essex gave the fourth in a series of AgeTek Insiders Insights Business Education Webinars. These are her followup comments —

What are the “secrets” to developing and launching compelling brands? There’s really no secret at all. Pick a disciplined approach and follow it. The approach we follow at ToMarket Consulting is: TARGET. BRAND. STRATEGY. IMPACT.

TARGET the market and know your customer(s).
BRAND products and services so customers choose yours in preference to others.
– Launch a STRATEGY that drives Awareness, Credibility, Demand and Closes sales.
– Only then can you measure the IMPACT in the market.

For a limited time, non-members of AgeTek can watch recordings of the entire Insiders Insights webinar series. Here is the link to Lauren essex’s seminar on 7/25: [ click to download ] 

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Ride the Age Wave This Summer – Prospective AgeTek Members Invited to the Insiders Insights Webinars This June and July

A great thing about summer is that technology keeps us connected no matter where we are. Whether at the beach or in the mountains, if you have an internet connection you can ride the “age wave” by sharing the AgeTek Insiders Insights webinar series with friends and colleagues! For the months of June and July, the AgeTek Insiders Insights webinars are open to prospective members as well as members! Act now to invite industry friends, colleagues and anyone else interested in learning about successes, strategies, uncovered insights and innovative approaches to building your company and our “aging technology” industry. (No one will know you’re wearing your shorts and no shoes!)

Already the Insiders Insights webinars are making waves. In April, Dr. Brian Alman kicked off the Insiders Insights educational webinar series by teaching us how to motivate customers to “want” and “use” products by applying behavioral psychology methods to the technology adoption conundrum faced by our industry.

Then May brought award-winning Karten Design as they shared a seriously-packed hour of information. Stuart Karten and Ron Pierce walked AgeTek members through a case study of how they lead Starkey Laboratories through designing a product that ultimately took market share from competitors.

June 2012 Insiders Insights Webinar – Open to Everyone

Whether you work for a big company or a small one, sales matter. Learn from an industry leader about Successfully Selling to Consumers. AgaMatrix, a company founded by Sunny Vu, developed and launched the first FDA approved diabetes medical device and app for the iPhone. Stuart Blitz is a delight to listen to. Join Stuart as he shares how AgaMatrix navigated uncharted waters to become a dominate leader in selling through retail, pharma, and mail order. Sign Up Now!

Coming July 2012

Frost & Sullivan’s Senior Industry Analyst Zachary Bujnoch will present Identifying & Establishing Your Markets and Ask the Analyst! This Insiders Insights webinar is open to members and prospective members. Don’t miss out!

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Silvers Summit Exhibit and Conference at CES 2013 Focuses on Creative Technologies to Serve Older Adults

Announcing new co-producers, new workshops and new ways to serve this growing marketplace

 

New York, NY (PRWEB) May 18, 2012

Hold on to your fedoras. The Baby Boom is running as scheduled and causing ripples as it does. Mobility, communications, safety and medical needs for an aging population are all invigorating the consumer electronics community. They will play an important part in developing the innovative technologies: body monitoring, robotics, telemedicine, augmented reality, hearing and vision assistance and even high tech buildings and facilities to accommodate the changing demographic.

Now in its 5th year, the Silvers Summit, a technology conference and exhibit held during International CES in Las Vegas, has been at the intersection of technology and the aging population. For the January 2013 conference, Living in Digital Times, the parent company, is proud to announce this year’s co-producers of the show.

Shana Duthie and Michaela Sweatt have decades of experience with this market. Duthie is focused on growing and defining the aging marketplace, mhealth, and the lifestyle product category for emerging technology products. She is also the Vice-Chairperson for The Aging Technology Alliance. Sweatt has years of experience creating customer-focused cultures within cutting-edge technology companies. “There are 100 million older adults who will need some sort of technology to help them better enjoy their quality of life. This is a huge opportunity for the technology industry. The Silvers Summit, located in the midst of the world’s largest electronics show, is the perfect place to get up to speed,” said Robin Raskin, Founder of Living in Digital Times, whose company puts on the Silvers Summit.

“We’re all about fostering awareness, benefits and value of products and services for our aging society,” said Duthie, whose comilverpany, Nurture Connect offers a shopping solution for the aging tech marketplace.

The Silvers Summit is scheduled for January 9, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada. To find out about exhibiting, speaking and sponsorship opportunities contact: Sduthie@nurtureconnect.com or robin@robinraskin.com

About Living in Digital Times
An umbrella group focusing on lifestyles, Living in Digital Times looks at digital solutions throughout life’s stages, providing opportunities to show and grow businesses through a deep understanding of the needs of life’s different segments.

Living in Digital Times produced six expos and conference summits at the 2012 International CES that showcased the latest innovations in different lifestyle segments: Kids@Play Summit; Mommy Tech Summit; Silvers Summit; Digital Health Summit; FitnessTech Summit; and HigherEdTECH Summit.

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AgeTek Insiders Insights Webinar: Fall in Love With Your End User

Stuart Karten

— On May 23rd, Stuart Karten gave the second in a series of AgeTek Insiders Insights Business Education Webinars. These are his followup comments —

Six years ago, Starkey approached our product innovation consultancy to develop a design language for its hearing aids. Technologically, Starkey’s digital signal processing led the market. But the design of its bulky, beige devices did nothing to communicate the advanced technology inside. Though creating a “design DNA” that visually represented Starkey’s technology was our initial objective, we quickly realized an opportunity for design to create a better experience around Starkey’s products, improving the quality of life for millions of hearing impaired people.

Last week, Karten Design Director of Design Strategy and Research Ron Pierce and I presented a webinar sharing what we’ve learned working with Starkey to design hearing aids for 60- to 80-year-old users. AgeTek members asked some great questions and I wanted to take this opportunity to address several areas of particular interest.

OPPORTUNITIES IN THE AGING TECHNOLOGY SPACE 

Many growing companies are focused on technology. They’ve developed something with the power to change lives and, consequently, they fall in love with their technology. A mature product has to have effective technology, but then must move into the next stage—applying technology to the human context. This requires a holistic understanding of the user—their behaviors, rituals, ceremonies, preferences, delights, and their limitations. Don’t just fall in love with your technology; fall in love with your end users. Learn what emotions they experience when they interact with your product, or even when they think about purchasing it. Getting inside users’ heads was the starting point for Karten Design’s relationship with Starkey. We quickly discovered that older people associate hearing aids with age, disability and weakness, and as a result they put off purchasing a hearing aid, living in isolation for almost a decade. Many products associated with aging have the same stigma that’s important to understand. At the point where someone needs an assistive product, he or she often already feels disabled. It’s important that technology products empower users rather than making them feel weaker.

R.O.I. ON DESIGN 

There are more ways to measure return on investment than quarterly financial gain. Consider also returns like customer relationships. We believe a well-designed product can be a brand ambassador. Good design can help your product to be distributed in new channels and reach new consumers. It also has the potential to strengthen relationships with your existing channels and end users. One of the most exciting results of our design partnership for Starkey’s executives was the improved image that the company gained within its existing sales channels. Each new product introduction has created a stir at international trade shows, building Starkey’s global reputation for design leadership. Audiologists have gone from simply carrying Starkey products to being evangelists for Starkey products. Even end users, who may have initially been reluctant to adopt a hearing aid, have become enthusiastic advocates for Starkey’s products. Building relationships between your customers and your brands is a long-term investment with long-term returns.

DESIGN RESEARCH

Karten Design spent three months in the field conducting design research with hearing professionals and hearing aid users before translating our insights into design for Starkey. During this time we examined all of the factors that would affect a hearing aid’s market impact: manufacturing process, sales channels, and most importantly end users and their ceremonies. Get to know your customers’ ceremonies and habits. As you develop a research strategy, consider whether your product fits in with those ceremonies or requires users to develop a new habit. Successfully implementing a paradigm shift, as we did when introducing the industry’s first gesture control, requires a higher level of research in order to create and evaluate the product’s value and introduce the right metaphor to make it easily understood by users.

SENIORS’ RELATIONSHIP WITH TECHNOLOGY

A common myth persists that seniors are afraid of technology. In my experience, this is not the case. Seniors are ready and willing to adopt technology that provides a benefit in their lives. When we helped Starkey develop a capacitive gesture control for its hearing aids, we were adopting a ceremony from iPhones, which inspired a slew of touch screens in consumer electronics. We questioned whether a modern technological ceremony would be relevant and easily understood by older users and the answer, with a few qualifications, was a resounding yes. Gesture control was relevant to users not because it represented a cool new development, but because it satisfied a need—to control a hearing aid discretely with a simple motion. Our strategy was to focus the technology on meeting the need. When it does this in the simplest possible way, the technology becomes transparent. The iPad is another example of transparent technology that has been enthusiastically adopted by older users. The iPad fulfills an emotional need to connect and engage with family and friends. The product is so easy to use and understand that the technology fades into the background; all you see is the benefit.

There are two areas that technology companies can focus on to improve their relationship between their products and senior customers. For any user, but perhaps most importantly for seniors, a successful product relationship is based on mutual respect and two-way communication.

I find it disrespectful when companies dumb down products either visually or technologically for older users. Today’s seniors have more sensitivity to quality and design than previous generations. Just because someone becomes physically disabled as they age does not mean they become aesthetically handicapped. When we designed hearing aids for Starkey, we leveraged inspiring design imagery from luxury automobiles and modern architecture to create a sophisticated image. Aesthetically re-framing a product this way—respecting seniors’ aesthetic sensibilities and the self-image they’ve built throughout their lives—has done much to chip away at the stigma associated with hearing aids.

Seniors’ relationship with technology benefits from frequent dialog between person and product. Pay attention to the feedback your product gives its user. The success of gesture control hinged in part on fine-tuning its feedback to let users know not just when there were problems, but to confirm that they had successfully made adjustments.

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AgeTek Insiders Insights Webinar: Followup is the Key to Tech Adoption

— On April 24th, Dr. Brian Alman gave the first in a series of AgeTek Insiders Insights Business Education Webinars. These are his followup comments —

TruSage CEO, Dr. Brian AlmanWebinar Title: “How to Use Behavioral Psychology to Achieve Technology Adoption

Post-Webinar Comments: “Follow-Up is the Key to Tech Adoption” – By Dr. Brian Alman

My front line work as a clinical psychologist and CEO of TruSage has taught me so much about people, psychology, solutions, interactivity, stickiness, money and results.

I have completed a lot of studies and they consistently come back with significant results.

The reports themselves, and I’ll be happy to share the actual studies with each of you, consistently prove the same things over and over again. To co-create positive behavior change, there are three vital ingredients:

1. Positivity is a must — in all interactions between people and our technologies;

2. Success is always “head 1st.” In other words, things happen on the inside first and then they happen on the outside.

3. Relationships are the most important thing and relationships motivate (or de-motivate) the people we work with, sell to and we care about most. In other words, everything is contagious — including moods.

In my private practice, sessions with individuals and companies are six hours at a time. I work at companies, with groups and with individuals at the beach (whenever possible). As you know from the webinar, for every day I work with a team or individual, there is a year of follow-up for free. I welcome email follow-ups from AgeTek webinar attendees.

Follow-up is the “master key” that opens up all the doors to long-lasting behavior change (and business success).

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AgeTek Insiders Insight Webinar #1: Dr. Brian Alman

Dr. Brian Alman

Dr. Brian Alman

Title: “The Psychology of Tech Adoption By Seniors, Their Families and Service Providers”

Who: AgeTek member company employees only
When: Apr. 24, 2012 • 11:00 A.M. Pacific
Where: Online Webinar

About: Join the kick-off of AgeTek’s Insiders Insights members-only webinar series. Our first speaker and topic is sure to inspire and educate you and your company about the hot topic of technology adoption by our rapidly rising older population. Dr. Brian Alman will reveal the latest research in behavioral psychology and address why psychology is a necessary topic when discussing technology adoption within “aging tech” circles. If you’ve been wondering how to get your target market to “want” your product or service, you’re sure to learn new insights from Dr. Alman.

Insiders Insights Revealed:
• Why a behavioral psychology approach is critical to tech adoption, and why it might just help you sell more of your products and services
• Behavior change — or – Yes, you can teach an old dog new tricks
• What the “aging tech” industry can learn from the gaming industry
• Simple questions your organization can ask itself to help you analyze how your customers think and feel about your products or services
• Proven communication strategies that increase tech adoption and long-term product use

SPACE IS LIMITED – REGISTER NOW!
If you are an employee of an AgeTek member company, request an invitation link by sending an email from your corporate email to: admin@agetek.org

About Dr. Brian Alman
Dr. Brian Alman is one of the world’s leading authorities in the field of mind-body healing and is a pioneer in using technology to help people achieve health, wellness and lifestyle goals. Based on his clinical studies and outcome-based methodology, Dr. Alman brings the field of positive psychology, a branch of clinical psychology, to the technology world.

Through his company TruSage International, Dr. Alman has been delivering weight loss and wellness mobile support solutions via phone calls for fifteen years to people all over the world. Dr. Alman’s interactive, personalized calls have been a key part of Kaiser Permanente San Diego’s Department of Preventive Medicine, and he has also developed phone applications for Qualcomm and GreatCall, a senior mobile phone company.

He has worked for more than thirty years bringing his powerful self-healing techniques to tens of thousands of people in the areas of weight loss, wellness, and stress management. And through his books, speaking engagements, TV and radio appearances, CDs, videos, and websites, he has reached hundreds of thousands more people and helped them achieve amazing personal growth.

Dr. Alman has taught at the University of Paris, the University of California, the Harvard Medical School, as well as in India, Germany, Holland, Japan, and many other countries. He has appeared on CNN, NBC, CBS, and The Boomer Show, and on Sirius Radios Psychiatry Talk Show. He has written for The Readers Digest and Sunday Parade Magazine. And he is a contributor in If I Were Your Daddy, This Is What You’d Learn, by Julia Espy.

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REPORT: 2012 What’s Next Boomer Business Summit

Mary Furlong and Associates' 2012 What’s Next Boomer Business Summit

I just attended Mary Furlong’s What’s Next Boomer Business Summit in Washington DC last week (May 28, 2012). For AgeTek members—or other interested businesspeople—who weren’t able to attend, I thought I’d share my thoughts on what I experienced and the business value I took away from the show.

First of all, if you don’t already know, in my book Mary Furlong is THE nexus of the boomer business world in the U.S. She has had a twenty-year career focusing on this market segment and is a well-known author, speaker, conference organizer and business consultant to companies and organizations, large and small. More importantly, Mary has a singularly unique quality of being able to connect people from disparate parts of the industry in order for them to discover mutually beneficial business interests. Mary is hardwired to be a “connector” of people, like the ones mentioned in Malcolm Gladwell’s book, The Tipping Point. Being inside of Mary’s tractor beam can sometimes be a wild ride, but most assuredly it will be enjoyable and also provide significant business value along the way.

From my perspective, it is highly valuable to become part of Mary’s circle. Here are a few different ways to accomplish that: 1) engage her consulting services on a project, 2) become one of her private clients, 3) become a sponsor of one of her conferences, 4) become a sponsor of one of the supporting events at one of her conferences, 5) attend one of her conferences and meet her, or 6) take one of her graduate marketing courses at Santa Clara University. As someone whose business has benefited from the relationships I have gained through an association with Mary, I recommend that you do not overlook the business value that can be gained here.

At this year’s Boomer Business Summit, I went there with the express goal of meeting executives from a particular company. I also was looking forward to strengthening existing relationships with friends across the industry whom I hadn’t seen in a while. I was also honored to receive an award, I was asked to introduce the conference keynote speaker, and to moderate a conference panel discussion.

In terms of results, not only did I meet the executives that I was hoping to meet, I was able to have enough social time with them to start forging personal friendships. Receiving the award at the Italian Embassy, introducing the keynote speaker, and moderating the panel also gave me an opportunity to gain awareness for AgeTek, the trade organization that I head, for Presto Services, the company which I lead, and to position myself as a thought leader in this industry. I don’t write this to brag, but to inform others as to the business value that I received from attending and participating in this conference so that they can do likewise. I think of Mary’s events as one of the “best practices in the boomer market.”

One other note of interest, I’ve been trying to gain an introduction to a key person at a large organization. I didn’t even think that they might be attending What’s Next in DC. During one of the conference sessions I wanted to listen to, I found the room full so I found myself standing outside checking email. Someone I didn’t know walked by and seeing my badge asked me if I was from Los Altos, her home town. She started to talk with me about Presto and we had a nice conversation. It almost ended there, but then I asked her, “Who do you work for?” I then came to find out that she was exactly the person I was looking to meet within that company and after an in-depth conversation, I am now scheduled to have follow-up meetings that I hope will bring great business value down the road. The point being, conferences like these can produce high quality interactions during planned events, but one shouldn’t underestimate the value that can be gained by the randomness created when businesspeople of like-minds are thrust into the same town on the same day.

Of course, my viewpoint is biased strongly towards Mary Furlong and Associates, but not only because I enjoy Mary and her team personally, but also because of the business value which I gain as a result. Being in the position of leading a trade group in this space, I felt it important to report out to others in the boomer space with this blog post so that they could better understand this key asset for marketing, business development and research.

If you are interested in participating in the ecosystem that has been created by Mary Furlong, you might want to consider her next event which is coming up in June 2012 in Santa Clara, CA: the Silicon Valley Boomer Venture Summit & Business Plan Competition ( links: Web siteFacebook page ). The website for this year’s event hasn’t been updated as of the writing of this post, but I’m sure it will be soon now that the March Boomer Business Summit has concluded.

I hope this post has been valuable to those of you who weren’t able to attend the What’s Next Boomer Business Summit. I’d appreciate any comments you would like to leave below.

Cheers,

Peter Radsliff
Co-founder & Chairman, Aging Technology Alliance
CEOPresto Services Inc.

P.S. One final remark. Although the What’s Next Boomer Business Summit conference occurs on only one day, there are a plethora of extremely valuable and, dare I say it, FUN events in the days before and after that are where the meat of the business value occurs. The only way to participate in these is to engage with Mary Furlong and Associates on a strategic level. It’s something to consider.

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