Sounds harsh, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, it’s true.

We are seeing more and more baby boomer business owners who are like deer in the headlights.

Why? Because they are overwhelmed with the digital and technical aspects of their business, which has stifled their growth. This is not just in marketing and sales, which is where we focus our energy—but in other areas of their business as well.

The real problem is that today’s customers—no matter their age, no matter if they are on the “consumer” side or the “business buyer” side—expect to have a smooth digital relationship with the companies they’re trying to buy from. They expect digital sophistication at the Amazon level, where they can compare products, see “more like this,” read numerous reviews, and even get their very specific questions answered by other customers.

And the truth is, there are surely companies in your market that have gone digital and have gained advantages over you because they are meeting customer expectations.

Which brings me to another harsh reality: Customers are bypassing marketing blah blah and conversing directly with each other. They have been so disappointed for so long by insufficient, biased, and even misleading information by sellers that they expect it won’t be helpful. And, of course, technology has made it easy for customers to find each other, often by asking specific questions on Google and getting answers from others with a similar problem, interest, or experience.

Living in the tech industry as long as I have, I have seen markets rise and flourish and fall, or rise and fall without ever flourishing. And the difference between flourishing and failing always comes down to one thing: did the product or service meet a real customer need, the way the customer wanted it to be met, or was it just a well-constructed fantasy in the mind of the creator?

The real customer need, during the buying process, has always been to get answers to specific questions, so that the customer can make a regret-free decision. No matter how much technology has changed, this one truth has remained.

Baby boomer business owners are just like any other business owner when attempting to answer those specific questions. If they never interview their customers the right way (my book tells you exactly how to do this), they won’t know what the actual questions are and the best way to answer them.

But boomers have another problem: Their customers expect to be able to find and interact with their company’s digital properties—including sites, chat, apps, social, search results, etc.—in a smooth and efficient way. Certain standards must be met.

So many boomer business owners got a little lost once the cloud took over. What is a DNS? Who hosts my site? Where is my email hosted? What’s the difference between Shopify and WooCommerce?


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