TheNextCMO’s latest podcast is with Martha Boudreau, The Chief Communications and Marketing Officer for AARP. Martha is responsible for setting enterprise brand and communications strategy and unifying AARP’s voice throughout the organization’s extensive channels. Martha is a recognized leader in the global communications industry. In this podcast we discuss how AARP has evolved their brand to connect with a wider audience and future members, the importance of communicating accurate information, and AARP’s most successful marketing campaigns.
Martha Boudreau - https://www.linkedin.com/in/martha-boudreau-51599529/
AARP - https://www.aarp.org
Interested in being on The Next CMO podcast? - https://info.plannuh.com/the-next-cmo-podcast
Kelsey Krapf 0:00
Welcome to the official podcast of the next cmo hosted by Plannuh, makers of the first AI driven marketing leadership platform for quickly and easily creating winning marketing plans, maximizing budget impact and improving ROI. The next cmo is a thought leadership podcast for those that are CMOS or want to become one. My name is Kelsey Krapf and I'm the senior marketing manager.
Peter Mahoney 0:26
And I'm Peter Mahoney. I'm the founder and CEO of Plannuh and welcome to the next cmo podcast
Kelsey Krapf 0:45
are honored to have Martha Boudreau, the chief Communications and Marketing Officer for AARP. Martha is responsible for setting enterprise brand and communications strategy and unifying a RPS voice throughout the organization's extensive channels, such as AARP, the magazine and AR people attend. She is a recognized leader in the global communications industry. Thanks for coming on the show Martha.
Peter Mahoney 1:08
Yeah. Welcome, Martha.
Unknown Speaker 1:10
Hey, Peter. Hi, Kelsey. So great to be here. Thanks for having me.
Peter Mahoney 1:14
Oh, absolutely. It's it's really a pleasure. And we were chatting a minute before we got on the call and about the interesting perspective of not only someone who markets to a very broad consumer base, but also someone who markets as a social nonprofit. So it's super exciting to get that perspective from you. And, of course, lots of our use, I assume every one of our listeners or listeners has heard of the AARP, but I'm not sure if they really truly understand the organization. So to get us set up, maybe you can give us just a little bit of a background about what the AARP, AARP is all about and what the organization looks like today.
Unknown Speaker 1:55
Sure, thanks. Well, the thing about AARP is we are a truly iconic American brand. And we have immense name recognition. But unless you're a member, a lot of people don't know exactly what it is we do. So I'm happy to start with that. We are a 60 year old social mission organization, which is focused on helping the 50 plus live their best lives. And our founding story is kind of interesting. We just celebrated our 60th anniversary last year. We were founded by a California retired school teacher, Dr. fo Percy Andrus, and when she retired from teaching back then, you know, 60 years ago, what did you do? You went you volunteered. So FL as we call her, Ethel went and checked in on another retired teacher who did not have she had no resources and was living in what we believe to be a chicken coop. A very small outbuilding behind a farm. A chicken coop, you
Peter Mahoney 2:53
got that? Right, right.
Unknown Speaker 2:55
Yeah, a chicken coop Exactly. So it was not a good situation. And Ethel thought to herself here is someone who's worked her entire life in the service of other people, and she has nothing, this cannot stand. And with that, she started a journey that we continue, which is to give people the resources they need to age with dignity, and with security. And so here we are, 60 years later, we have 38 million members. And we are a nationwide organization. And I think that that's an important point, because a lot of people think of us as a national organization based in Washington, because we do so much advocacy. But the fact is our mission comes to life, day in and day out in every state across the country, and certainly in state capitals, where we're doing advocacy work as well, in the areas of financial resilience and health care, caregiving. We do a lot of work in fraud. So in order to serve our 38 million members, and really this is a key point, Peter, although we have members we are, what we do we do for all is what we say we provide resources to everyone on all of these different issues. So with 38 million members to serve and the broader 50. Plus, we have a tremendous number of communications channels. And that's my job is to bring all of those together, not only from a marketing standpoint in terms of marketing, our products, our services, our programs, our events, but also in terms of just making sure that the brand is recognized.
Peter Mahoney 4:36
But that's that's a first of all great background. Thanks very much for that, Martha. And it's interesting when you talk about the fact that you do serve more than just your membership community because you can certainly feel it and certainly there are issues like health care of course, which is pretty important for for all of us as well as people of course who are In my age bracket, which is which is north of 50. And but also you mentioned fraud, which, with the with the amount of predatory kind of behavior out there. I imagine that, that anyone, anyone can fall victim to that. But of course, I think the more senior population tends to be a target for some reason of that kind of nefarious activity. So, so it's, it's interesting to hear I never thought of it that way that that the benefit of the organization went far beyond just the individual members. So that's great.
Unknown Speaker 5:37
Oh, yeah, it's crucial. And I, you know, the issues of fraud are significant. And you're right, that 50 plus are targeted relentlessly, with every imaginable kind of fraud. And there's, you know, for people who have fallen victim to fraud, regardless of age, there's a lot of shame associated with that. And they have a hard time asking for help. We established the fraud watch network years ago, in order to have a place for people to go and ask questions about, you know, unscrupulous dealings, that they're having concerns they have about solicitations. And we get thousands of calls, thousands of calls on an annualized basis. And we also have a podcast actually called the perfect scam. Do you know there's a there's a gentleman, Frank abig. Mail? Oh, sure. is, you know, Frank, guy and catch me if you can. Yeah. And Frank has been a fraud spokesperson of ours free years. And he tells the insides of, you know, what, what scammers and fraudsters are looking at and how to be aware of them, so that our fraud work is a very important part of what we do.
Peter Mahoney 6:42
Well, that's great. Well, certainly they've gotten incredibly sophisticated these days. And so it's an it's an issue that hits everybody of all generations.
Kelsey Krapf 6:52
I'm obviously I'm not in the, you know, 15 bracket.
Peter Mahoney 6:56
It's obvious, Kelsey, but
Unknown Speaker 6:59
how do you continuously evolve
Kelsey Krapf 7:00
your brand to connect with, you know, new generation, such as
Unknown Speaker 7:04
my generation? Right? Well, first of all, Kelsey, let me start by saying that all the research for many, many pieces of research over the years I've had, the last one I saw was an economist piece of research about the happiness index, and when you are happiest in your life. And consistently, the research shows that your 50s 60s and 70s are your happiest decades. So I just want you to know, you might not be age eligible for AARP yet, but all those happy decades are ahead of you. So we look forward to welcome you at the right moment. Okay. So to your point about how we evolve our brand. In 2009, we retired our entire name the American Association of retired people, for a sense, because the fact was our members were were increasingly not retiring. And that whole concept of what is retirement has changed dramatically. A third of people 65 plus are still working. So we looked at our membership. And we thought this is this, this misconstrues the work that we're doing on behalf of the 50 plus to imply that you have to be retired to be a member. So we retired that. But because of the name recognition of AARP, of course, we kept the acronym. And over the years, we we both lead and we follow our members, we follow their lifestyles, they're working, they're they're engaged in caregiving, you know, they are living longer and healthier lives. So healthcare is a very important part. The other thing is because people are living longer, they need to save for retirement earlier and more consistently. So we have developed financial tools, financial education tools. We have, of course, you know, social security information and Medicare for the people 65 Plus, there really are members between 50 and 64, which when you apply for Medicare, right at 65, they're working and they would they want to help planning a job changing their resume, they want, you know, they want to know how to accommodate their older parents, so they may be in a caregiving situation. You know, it might interest you to know that one in five Americans are caregivers. So they are providing unpaid care to a non child, right. So this would be a family friend, a parent, a grandparent, and 29% of millennials and Gen Z, which I assume you're one of those z are caregivers. And so are we have evolved our offering so that we can help people with that role that they play in life. So we we we look at our members and we don't think of them purely as age anymore because like I said, like lifestyles have changed so dramatically. We look at them in the life stage that they're in, they're working, they have young children at home, or perhaps they're partially retired, perhaps are fully retired, and they have the financial resources to travel and to do and do different things. So when each of those life stages, we have what we call products, which would be,
Unknown Speaker 10:24
for example, brain health is a very important issue for all people 40 Plus, you have the health, your cognitive health is the number one health issue. And we have a product, as we call it, called staying sharp, which is a series of online education and games and quizzes that help you gauge and work on your cognitive health. And it's based on you know, fitness and sleep and nutrition. So that product, if you will, is relevant to people starting very early in their membership. Other products are we have calculators, the how to calculate when to take out Social Security, you know how to make decisions about Medicare. So again, we've evolved our brand, content, our brand offerings, based on understanding more deeply, the dramatically changed lifestyle of people 50 Plus, because when my father who is 96, when he joined AARP, you know, 40 years ago, he was in a very, very different place. And I just want to add, one of the really great things about being in communications and marketing at AARP is that we have to be relevant to a 50 year old who's working full time with teenage kids at home, who is trying to save more aggressively and maxed out on their 401k. At the same time, we're trying to provide information on caregiving to my 65 year old brother who's caregiving for my 96 year old father. So when you look at the range of issues associated with those lifestyles, we have to be there for those people in those moments. And it's it's a great challenge. And it's also a privilege to be able to, to serve those people at every part of their life.
Peter Mahoney 12:17
So that the marketer in me is really fascinated by this Martha in that the I'd imagine that the amount of, of consumer research you need to do to stay abreast of what's going on and changing within your community is is pretty interesting. There's probably a lot of work that goes on there. And it's one of the ways I think, an iconic brand, like AR AARP stays relevant over time. But any brand I think needs to really deeply understand the trends and changes in what's going on within your, your target consumer base. So how do you do that? What does the research organization look like in AARP to keep abreast of all these things,
Unknown Speaker 13:06
so we do have a research group, long standing research group, and of course, which is completely separate internally than our data and analytics group, right. So our research group, partners with outside research organizations and does original research, and all of the 50 plus broadly of different segments of the 50 plus of lifestyle issues, and also of our members, too, because we can, we can find out from them, what's relevant to them, based on the information that we're providing them. And so we have our research group. And then something else that we have is some what we call the voice of the consumer, the voc, which is part of our consumer experience group, which is in my in my business unit. And the voice of the consumer basically pulls together information. From every single one of our listening posts, we have about 12 or 13 listening posts, which includes, of course, all of the social channels, we have a what we call our contact center, where people call thousands of people a month call in either looking to change their address or make their opinion known on a particular issue. And so the voice of the consumer pulls in calls and social posts comments against our website, we have online communities, they pull the comments and from there, so every week, really if we wanted it every day, but every week we get a report out on different, different takes on member opinion. Now I say member but also because we are viewed widely, and rightly so as the voice and a steward of the 50 Plus, people call us constantly and communicate with us all the time even through just plain old fashioned letters on what they think and what they want and what their desires are what their concerns are. And we are always listening. And that capability, the voice of the consumer, partnered with longer term trend research from our research group, that gives us a very deep sense, long term, medium term and short term on what people are thinking and feeling.
Peter Mahoney 15:16
Yeah, it's really fascinating, especially with 38 million members, and then the reach beyond that, that you just described, Martha, I imagine you have probably some of the most valuable deep consumer research for that segment of the population overall, which is pretty important for a lot of people. Have you ever thought of packaging up that data? And or do you use it just for yourselves? or, or, you know, I'm getting gradients saying, how do we use this in other areas?
Unknown Speaker 15:48
Well, no, we don't just keep it for ourselves. You know, with every new research report, we share that externally. And we're working with other advocacy organizations, you know, with a government and sharing research across everything, from lifestyle trends to views on Social Security, and Medicare, and really what matters most, you know, we, as you would expect, we want to get our research into the hands of other people to inform their thinking of this vast population. You know, there are 100 and 15 million people over the age of 50. that's bigger than most countries, it's huge. And our members are a third of that population. So and our members, one of the things about our, our brand and our posture, is that our members are very engaged, so that when we ask for their opinions, when we ask for them to get involved in advocacy issues, you know, on Capitol Hill or in state capitals, they respond, they call, right, they turn out for the US to turn out, you know, for events. And so we have a very engaged membership. And so when we go out, and we say this is how our members are feeling, people sit up straight, and they say, Okay, this is significant, we need to pay attention.
Kelsey Krapf 17:09
So lots of seniors right now are, you know, relying on social media information about important health topics like COVID, for instance, we're living in a pandemic right now. How does AARP have a role in communicating, you know, accurate health information for your membership?
Unknown Speaker 17:28
Well, health, you know, we've you know, the saying, right, if you don't have your health, you don't have anything. And that is absolutely true more than ever before. And so when the pandemic head, right, which is March 13, I think was the day that the World Health Organization declared covid a pandemic. And that's when pretty much everybody went to a work from home environment, we instantly evolved our our editorial team, which was focused on our online content, as well as our longer lead publications content. And we created a 24 Seven News bureau structure to be able to address the health content needs of our population, because as you know, COVID has hit the 50 Plus, in a more pronounced way than any other age segment. So we are a trusted voice, we're an authoritative voice. We work very closely with the CDC and other public health officials at the state and national level, to bring that information, those guidelines to our members, almost on an on an I don't wanna say instant, but like, on certainly on a on a multiple times a day basis, because the situation was and is changing quickly. So it's our authoritative voice that we, we we take that very seriously that people look to us for unbiased information in the health area and other areas as well. You know, we talked about fraud or earlier, that's a big area as well. But, you know, in terms of creating the content, that is one thing, but you know, Kelsey, it's all about you know, content. You know, content is king, but distribution is Queen and she wears the pants, right? It's all about history. It's all about distribution. So we have our aarp.org we started a Coronavirus Information Resource Center there, which dramatically increased the number of unique visitors on a monthly basis, people coming for that content. Part of that was because of Facebook decided to pull our COVID content into their Coronavirus Information Center. We were the the only social mission organization, nonprofit social mission organization to do that, you know, they included the World Health Organization, and UNICEF and all kinds of other organizations, including AARP. So with our content, part of that center that really drove Lot of unique visitors to our web content, the other thing we did is we create, we created a tremendous amount of COVID content. In Spanish, the visits to our Spanish website, the COVID, content on our Spanish website increased more than 200%. year over year. Again, people are hungry for information they can trust on health care, and we are one of the places that they can come and get that.
Peter Mahoney 20:28
Well, that's, that's comforting to me, Martha, and it's disturbing as to all of us, I think, is consumers to see the vast amount of misinformation about this pandemic going on about there. And, and it's a great example, as you said, to, to really take the position as an authoritative voice. And, and, and especially because you're a mission based organization, I mean, this, you, you do it with such integrity to make sure that you're actually communicating the right information to people. That that is it is incredibly important. And of course, there's amazing business value to you for doing that, as you just described. So you've you've now seen a significant uptick in engagement in your content. And it's a great example of when you build the right content that is targeted your that's meaningful for your audience. And then you have a higher potential of actually getting value, we found we, we just wrote a book, as an example called the next cmo. And in it, that's, that's been an amazing, amazing piece of content. For us, it was a lot of work, I imagine less work than updating and maintaining, you know, pandemic resources. But it's another example of how of how appropriately defined content can make a huge difference. So let's, let's talk a little bit about the the overall marketing strategy at AARP. You know, what, what is your strategy? And, you know, I know that I can personally attest to the fact that direct mail is still a piece of it, because you know, I get my invitations to join back a while ago, again, I'm well past that mark. But But talk about the overall marketing strategy for AARP.
Unknown Speaker 22:30
Well, first of all, Peter, I hope you will join,
Unknown Speaker 22:34
you need to join, just to let you know, Bruce Springsteen is on the cover of our latest magazine, and you can't get it unless you're a member. So I hope I hope you will join. Okay, so this is what's interesting as marketers. Now of course, as you know, I share both, I am responsible for both communications, in terms of, you know, PR and reputation management, you know, as well as marketing. So in our marketing channels, we you know, are we are marketers inside of a nonprofit, social mission organization. So that changes things in a really profound way. For us, we are marketing, against our social mission. So when I talk, like I said earlier, when I talk about products, I'm talking about our, our staying sharp product about brain health and engaging people in this rich platform of information resources on brain health. Also, we have a rewards program, and the rewards program, you get points, when you engage with our social mission content, it's unique in the rewards world, we've gotten tons of awards for the program. And that's one of the things that we do as well. But from a marketing standpoint, we use all of the channels that most marketers use, you know, to, to really drive brand awareness and recognition of the resources that we have. We view you know, we're not focused on impressions, I don't know who's focused on that anymore. We want an engaged membership. We want people that come and consume content that engage with our our social security calculator that engage with staying sharp that engaged with our Medicare Resource Center, and our COVID information. So we want to be we want that engagement to be a demonstration of relevance in their life. So we use all of the different all of the different platforms and the channels available to be you know, of course, we want to target we gone are the days of the mass market, right? That's not how we market we market based on life stage. To some extent age but not so much because you can be 65 with kids at home and working full time. Just like a 50 year old who's who has the same profile. You know, we we market based on roles. I'm a caregiver. That person is a retiree. So it's a complex approach to segmentation, depending on which product it is that we're looking to market. We, so it's a lot. So we we have three key buckets that we focus on. One is health security. We talked a lot about health, that's essential for our members. It's essential for everyone, but certainly our members at 50. Plus, we focus on financial resilience. Everybody says that, how do you start, you know, planning for retirement when you get to 55? Well, the answer is you start at 25, right. But we look at that life stage for people who are 5055 6065, and help them come up with financial solutions to where they are. And then of course, everything in life is not about health and finances. There's fun, what we call fun and fulfillment. We have a very robust offering for entertainment. We have a franchise called movies for grownups where we work with studios to do early screenings for newly newly released films, we, we do that online. Now. There's an organization called daybreaker, that does live dance events. And now that's all virtual. So we do we do live dance events, we do one that attracted 15,000 people live. So. So we're marketing across all those all the different channels through a variety of different segments. And the other thing I would just say is that in order to organize our communications, so that we have one voice, we can't talk about everything all the time, we have three months across the year, where we really concentrate, our voice in those channels are on different topics. For example, November and December this year are caregiving months. Because as people get to closer to the holidays, and they're making decisions about their loved ones, you know, and how to bring resources to them, we want to make sure that we're there. January's working jobs, after the holidays are over, people show up and they're like, I'm ready for a change, or I want to double down, you know, I need to get that new job. And so in January, we focus on working jobs through across the year, we mark it, based on what research tells us isn't a forefront of people's minds. And we do it across all those channels.
Peter Mahoney 27:22
Well, that's, that's great. So I learned a bunch of things here that I didn't especially know about AARP. One is the the depth of the product offerings that are there. And I think that's it's an important lesson for for marketers overall, the the the fact that if you have a diversity of product, obviously, one you need to understand these the segmentation personas really, really deeply. So you can understand, as you said, you can do a lot of things in life stage or role or etc, serve some really interesting kind of persona definitions that you can make. In I assume there's a fair amount of cross selling opportunity in the membership. And, you know, to get people to engage in one product versus the other, etc. And, and I assume that also comes from deeply engaging in some of the content offerings. The other thing that that I was excited to hear is that you, you're building your marketing in the amount of campaigns. And it's one of the things that it sounds like you read the next cmo book, because it's one of the things that we we actually advocate that people do is, you know, build plans based on their business goals and their expected outcomes, and then organize in broad thematic campaigns, because I think people get often too buried down into the individual tactics. And it's easy to get buried in a blizzard of tactics. But if you can orchestrate that into something coherent, then you can actually move the ball much further by organizing things into these broad campaigns with that are that are measured by moving the needle in meaningful ways that are going to drive the business outcome that you're looking for?
Unknown Speaker 29:16
I think that that is a really important point. And one of the things that we are doubling down on we've identified through consumer research 12 life transitions, where people members and non members have said that that that's a moment in their life when they would want a air peace help. You know, one of them certainly is a caregiving, another is working jobs and other one is a major life transition like a divorce or downsizing. And so we look at those transitional moments. And we're able to tell when someone is entering, applying for Medicare. That's a huge moment in people's lives, the decision about whether to take Social Security. So we know when people we're trying to understand when people are at Those moments so that we can offer them the resources to help their decision making. We know the decisions that are coming, but when most people just start the journey, they're not sure. So if we can make it easier for them, then we've done our job.
Kelsey Krapf 30:17
Martha, as a marketer, I have to ask you, what is one of your favorite campaigns that you've run at AARP?
Unknown Speaker 30:26
It's ongoing right now. It's our voter education campaign. is what I'm sure we all agree. Voting is absolutely essential in all elections. And this election, there's so much how to vote, is it safe to vote physically? Is it safe to go and vote? If I decide not to go to the polls? What are the rules for, you know, for absentee voting for mail in ballots, you know, what are the deadlines, there's an enormous confusion, but a sense of urgency, because people want to exercise their right to vote. So starting in September, both through our print publications online, all of our social channels, we have a very orchestrated campaign to provide voter information on a state by state basis. And, and we you know, we have video voters guides we're doing you know, the both online as well as in our in the bullet, which goes out to to every member. And so it's very integrated, it's nationwide. And it's something of immense importance to our country. I'm very proud of of what we're doing. And I know it's going to help people exercise their right to vote. So that's one thing that I'm very proud of. I'm very proud of our ongoing, it's an ongoing piece of work. In our in the caregiving area, I spend some amount of time a fair amount of time as a remote caregiver for my father. And I have an understanding of what it is to be making decisions with siblings that live in other cities, know about how to provide care how to orchestrate groups, things that came in the year, but it's punctuated, like I said, November, December, it's in our caregiving theme on but it's so it's punctuated, but throughout the year, we put a lot of resources behind that. And then on a more higher level basis. We this year, during this moment of COVID, we have, we took down our old brand creative campaign, which was about member benefits, that was no longer appropriate. And we have used our CEO to talk about the role that AARP plays in people's lives as both a wise friend the information and the resources we provide, and a fierce defender and advocating for them. You know, like I said, on Capitol Hill, and also in state capitals across the country. So that brand campaign using our CEO and talking about the role we play in people's lives, I think made all of us proud, recognizing the impact we can have, and it represented our brand well.
Peter Mahoney 33:12
So Martha, you're over delivered on that question that was amazing, you gave us three really interesting examples. The I love all of them. But the vote of one is great, we actually just declared November 3, a holiday for our company as an example and to encourage people not only to vote, but to volunteer to facilitate democracy. And it's great that you're playing that role with your membership to communicate appropriate, state specific information. And it's one of the things that's getting more complex, by the way, as people get more remote and more diverse is is building that information that is both national or global, but also very localized, especially as people are moving all over the place. So you have to deal with that on a regular basis. So that's an interesting thing, because of course, it's evergreen with a peak right now going on. But the caregiving thing is like I, I couldn't think of the right metaphor. It's either a glacier or a tsunami, because of the aging population, obviously. And so I can imagine, I know it, it my age, literally every one of my peers is dealing with this right now. And so it's an incredibly important thing. And I just love you know,
Unknown Speaker 34:33
but you know, you know, Peter 40% of caregivers are men. And so there's just so many resources that people need, and it's so all consuming when you're in that role, and to have a place to go. We have a Facebook community for caregivers, which is very, very active and then just a tremendous amount of other resources on our website. So that is a core to, to who we are and the value that we can bring 2 million 10s of millions of Americans.
Peter Mahoney 35:03
But that's that's fantastic. In and again, I think an incredibly important mission at this point to that is going to get just more and more important over time as, as the population continues to age. So that's, that's fantastic. And I know we also have a, a shortage in care providers. And it's getting more complex right now with the pandemic, because providing care in a safe way, where you're not infecting someone is even more difficult, which is, which is a challenge. So I think we're, we you've been super generous with your time, I think we're going to have to find our way to toward the end here in a minute to to respect a little bit of your timeline anyway. But I wanted to ask you one or two more quick questions, maybe Martha to try to wrap up. You know, one is that I love your personal story, because you spent a lot of time in the communications field on the agency side. And in then, in the last period of your career, you moved over to the to the dark side as a light side, I can't quite tell which which one it is. So tell me if you learned anything? Have you learned anything in that shift to the client side? And, and what what do you miss most? About the other side? in that transition?
Unknown Speaker 36:35
Yeah, so I was a placement Hillard for for a long time, and I had just a tremendous career there. And I when I, you know, I started as an account executive. And when I left, I was a regional president. So I was responsible for managing eight different offices across multiple geographies, including several offices in Latin America. So it was a complex management challenge. And when Joanne Jenkins, the CEO of AARP, you know, created this role as the chief Communications and Marketing Officer, I was interested because of the management challenge, and because of the blending of communications and marketing. AARP is such a prominent player in our country, from an advocacy standpoint and a marketing standpoint, it was intriguing to me to be able to work to create one voice for the organization, instead of talking about 15 different things, you know, every single, you know, month of the year, how can we create one voice so the challenge is interesting to me, which is why I made the switch. It is complex, it is complex to blend all of the disciplines that wrap up under communications and marketing. You know, you've got everything from digital marketing to content marketing, we have a group of a large group of journalists, right, we've got you know, digital content, we have apps, we have voice, we have graphics, we've got a complete consumer experience group of 40 people, you know, that run the voice of the consumer program. So it is this mix of disciplines, that is that needs to blend and come together with one voice, one approach to consumer centricity, and, and the ability to both drive our brand relevance at the same time we manage our reputation, and, you know, grow and grow our relevance to 100 and 15 million people, that's a big challenge. So I came to it with a background in public affairs, brand, reputation, management, all of those different things, and, and the ability to manage complex organizations. I have folks on my team who are experts in all of those other disciplines, every every angle of marketing that you can imagine. And I have immense respect for what they know, I will never know the level of detail that they know. But my job is to bring them together to create this voice and to make sure that we are marketing in a way that is consistent with our with our mission. And so the culture bringing the culture of integration and collaboration for such a widely diverse group of disciplines. That is my job. I have learned just unspeakable amounts in the last six years that I had been at AARP, not only in terms of communications and marketing, but also in terms of the role of the organization what it is to age in our country, and at this time. So I feel really lucky to be here and to be growing both personally and and taking the learnings that I have and applying them to my life at the same time that I am at the helm of this business unit that needs to so clearly and urgently represent the the 50 Plus,
Peter Mahoney 39:58
but that's fantastic. It's Great story. And it seems like you're not only doing a great job but having a little fun, which is always a good thing. So how can our listeners learn more about AARP, I assume it's probably pretty easy. But help us understand
Unknown Speaker 40:13
is it is easy, it is definitely easy. Go to aarp.org. And there's that little menu up there, take a look at it, just click on it and take a look at all the different areas of content that we have. And I if you're not 50 yet, you will be and we know what's coming. We know the issues you'll be facing. So like So join us, and help us let you navigate how we'll help you navigate you know that that time in your life. And if you are 50 Peter, and you're not a member, I hope you will join so that you can lend your voice to our voice as we work for the 50 plus
Peter Mahoney 40:49
apps absolutely insane. We hope that all 38 million people sign up in for planet two soap that would make us happy. Absolutely. Exactly. Great. I think we have one more question that Kelsey will ask her favorite one to take us out.
Kelsey Krapf 41:05
favorite one. So Martha, obviously you have tons of experience in the marketing communication space.
Unknown Speaker 41:11
What advice would you get into those that are aspiring to be CMOS, or currently CMOS. Get a diversity of experience. Even if you are in one sector of the marketing industry. Participate in industry organizations do a lot of reading, look at tangentially related disciplines that can increase your perspective and, and also look at your business through the eyes of the CEO to understand ultimately, you know where your organization is going and how you can contribute not just in your discipline, but more widely. And I would just say that I think the most important characteristic of successful people is intellectual curiosity. It's not enough just to be excellent in a discipline, you have to be intellectually curious about all the various related things that bring power to a brand and to end to marketing.
Peter Mahoney 42:09
Fantastic advice. Thanks very much for that, Martha.
Kelsey Krapf 42:12
Yes, Martha. You can also count me as a member in the near future. Thanks so much for your time today. And we really appreciate it make sure to follow the next cmo and Plannuh on Twitter and LinkedIn. And if you have any ideas for topics or guests, you can email them to email@example.com. Have a great day, everyone.
Peter Mahoney 42:34
Transcribed by https://otter.ai