I recently travelled to Estonia, where I had been asked to be keynote speaker at the conference 'Marketing for Seniors' held in the capital, Tallinn, on June 12th.
Organised by Best Marketing, the event was for marketers in a country which, like all 27 EU member states, faces the challenges and opportunities of an ageing population. More than 30% of the population of Estonia consists of retirees and this is compounded by the economic emigration of young people.
I had a two hour session to manage, which presented both the delegates and myself with a number of problems. It was immediately after lunch and we speak different languages. Fortunately, Estonian people are not only extremely polite, they are also multi-lingual.
I managed to combine theory with practical examples, and used a few of my favoured shock tactics to remind us all that this is not just an external issue: age-aversion is conditioned into agencies, marketers and the marketing discipline itself.
It was a great opportunity to see the beautiful city of Tallinn and to feel the chill of the cold war. The hotel I stayed in has a KGB museum: after the end of the cold war, hotel management discovered a network of microphones, secret rooms and cells. If they were monitoring my presentation, I hope they enjoyed it. I did!