“Baby Boomer” women—women born between the years 1946 and 1964—are the richest consumer demographic in US history, and are expected to hold that purchasing power for the next twenty years; they control more than half of the nation’s discretionary income and are poised to control three quarters of the country’s financial wealth. And there are 40 million of them.
So why are marketers ignoring them?
That is precisely the question addressed in the white paper Boomer Women: The Invisible Goldmine, recently released by Girlpower Marketing, a public relations and marketing consultancy that boasts the tagline, “strategic marketing to the intelligent woman.”
“For years, marketers who recognized the value of the female consumer have jumped on the bandwagon and almost exclusively targeted one particular subset: moms. More often than not, this wildly oversimplified category has been painted as the harassed, minivan driving soccer mom with 2.5 children ages 2-6. But by doing so, marketers are missing the biggest, richest market of today and for the foreseeable future: Boomer women,” says the report.
A survey conducted by Girlpower Marketing confirms the fact that Boomer women feel ignored by marketers and disconnected from advertising. Here are some of the most telling results (italicized text is ours):
- 53% felt overlooked by product advertising and marketers due to their age.
- None of the group said they were targeted by advertisers “quite often” or “nearly always.” None.
- Asked when they began feeling ignored by marketers, two-thirds of respondents said in their “mid 40s to 49” while one-third said “late 40s to early 50s.”
- 64.2% of respondents have said goodbye to a product because they felt they were being ignored by the brand. Substantially more than half the women polled actually ditched a product because they felt ignored by the brand. That’s huge!
Maybe part of the problem is that marketers consider these women “old.” But they certainly don’t act it!
“For most Boomer women, turning 50 is a door opener — a meaningful shift from ‘mom’ mode to ‘me’ mode, and rather than resting on their many accomplishments, women of this generation are investing in their future, giving back, starting businesses, returning to college and exploring the world. Best of all, they have the drive and the financial security to do all of this and more,” the paper points out.
There are a few brands that recognize these characteristics in Boomer women, and are speaking to them successfully. According to the survey, some of those brands include: Eileen Fisher, Dove, L’Oreal, Cadillac, Olay, Amazon, Target and Avon.
So what are these brands doing right, and how can others follow in their footsteps? According to the paper, it can boil down to the recognition of three facts about this generation of women: they are tech savvy and smart, they don’t want to look like they’re twenty again (just good for their age), and they are aware of their own importance.
“The days of Boomer women being ignored by marketers are numbered,” said Linda Landers, founder and CEO of Girlpower Marketing. “More than any generation before, these women know their own power and won’t be marketed to in a disingenuous way. Trillions of dollars are at stake as marketers begin to discover the unexpected consumer gold mine that these women are.”