Age of Influence

June 2017

Most recently, and for the first time in my life, I was too old to participate in a survey. Typically, I blow these off by declaring a potential conflict. Those of us in marketing can typically declare that as we are considered “influencers” we cannot participate. More often than not, this is not the case but I admit I have used the excuse.

Today I received a call from a well-reputed firm and as she was going through her lecture of an introduction,

I was readying myself to deliver my standard line. She then asked if anyone in the household was under 50 and that’s when my mouth went dry and I ground to a halt. Fortunately, my husband had picked up the telephone at the exact same time and promptly proclaimed that there was no one that age available. That’s when it hit me. I have moved beyond the age of influence.

I am no longer in the preferred age to make most purchase decisions, because let’s face it, those my age have already made most of them by now. I don’t shop or shop enough anymore. (My husband does not believe this…I continually point to the statistic.)

I suppose I go out less often and perhaps eat out less often, but I would say that I go to the grocery store more often (even though there are only two of us in the house) and the LCBO has become my best shopping experience. From the cute little carts, bottles and bottles of pretty colours and one of the nicest looking magazines that is miraculously given away for free, I can spend hours “shopping” there. (And let’s not forget the Airmiles!)

Statistically credit cards are no longer sold to me (because I have too many already) and my bank looks at me as saver, not a spender. In fact, I bank there because they don’t have fees for, let’s say, the more seasoned. Of course I am no longer an influencer…I am in maintenance mode!
As a non-influencer, I know that I also have less impact on policy and policy-makers. Politicians are beginning to look like teens and security personnel look barely old enough to drive. It is the new norm for an older me.

Recently I was advised that there is a new Emoji Happy Face that comes with “rolling eyes.” I think I will make this my visual mantra, expressing my opinion strongly without really speaking. Perhaps in this case silence is the best influencer of all and as they say a picture tells a thousand words. All together now…let’s roll.

Sue Prodaniuk is a marketing, advertising and communications consultant. She can be reached at

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