The site targets 45- to 70-year-olds, but wants to avoid lumping the age group into the senior citizen category. Instead, iGrandparents.com focuses on helping the group celebrate and strengthen child/grandparent relationships.
"One of the greatest stages in your life after age 45 is becoming a grandparent for the first time," said Steve Barsh, CEO of iGrandparents. "The average age of grandparents today is 47. They don't want to be marketed to as old . . . we're about the emotion, the joy and passion of grandparenting."
Margeotes will create a brand and traffic building campaign that will include TV, radio, print, online and guerrilla marketing. The first work from the agency is expected in about six weeks.
Mr. Barsh said iGrandparents will spend the bulk of its budget on offline marketing and advertising. Part of the reason he chose Margeotes was because of the agency's experience with Internet companies both online and offline.
"The Internet is a serious business and we need someone who understands brand building and someone who understands direct response," he said.
Some of the content areas on the site include things to do, travel, child development, finance and technology. IGrandparents also has an e-commerce section and has begun to build relationships with retailers such as BarnesandNoble.com, ZanyBrainy.com and Americangreetings.com.
However, the company is concerned first with content, followed by community and then commerce, which it will build over the next few months, according to Mr. Barsh.
IGrandparents.com is working on four "strategic deals" right now with companies including a computer manufacturer and a credit card issuer. Those deals, he said, will go beyond simply commerce and may even include equity investments by those companies.
70 MILLION STRONG
Also vying for attention from the 70 million grandparents in the U.S. are other online marketers such as GrandparentWorld.com and For My Grandchild (mygrandchild.com).
"A lot of other sites are run by grandparents as kind of not-for-profit help sites," Mr. Barsh said. "There are some mixed messages on those sites with links from AARP or information about Alzheimer's disease. Some of them are about being old, not about being a grandparent."
The allure of the grandparent market is its growth -- about 3% per year vs. an overall U.S. population growth of less than 1%. In addition, grandparents' average spending on grandchildren is growing about 10% per year, Mr. Barsh said.