Are you among the 91 percent of marketers ignoring a massive consumer demographic with trillions of dollars to spend? Unless you’re marketing to baby boomer women, the answer is yes.
Baby boomer women (currently aged between 54 and 72), account for more than half of the 78 million baby boomers. The net worth of women aged 50+ is $19 trillion. They’re also poised to inherit even more money from their parents: Boomer women are projected to control two-thirds of all consumer wealth over the next decade.
Here’s what boomer women are doing, what they want and how to reach them.
Tech adoption rates among boomers have soared in recent years. Nearly seven in 10 boomers own smartphones, 52 percent own tablets, and 57 percent use social media. A whopping 94 percent of boomer women shop online.
Some boomer women are still in the “sandwich generation,” caring for both children and aging parents. Convenience is paramount for this demographic, especially if they work outside the home, and they’ll spend more for products and services that save them precious time.
Other boomer women, with adult children finally out of the nest, have more time and financial resources to devote to themselves. Still others are single for the first time in decades: The divorce rate among adults age 50+has doubled since 1995.
Hot products and services for boomer women
- Travel: Regardless of where they go, whom they’re going with, or who’s paying, women make 80 percent of all travel decisions. They’re also more likely to travel solo than men. Consider offering women-only tours where solo female travelers can make new friends; “girlfriend” travel packages for women traveling with friends or daughters; or couples’ packages for empty-nesters revitalizing their relationships.
- Fashion: Nearly seven in 10 boomer women believe the fashion industry ignores them; 82 percent say apparel for women their age is too old-fashioned. Take a cue from the profitability of plus-sized clothing: If you can take the physical changes of age into account and sell clothing that’s good-quality, flattering and current, you’ve got a ready market.
- Health and fitness: Boomer women want to stay active and fit, but they’re not up for hard-core boot camps. Instead, try personal training and low-impact fitness regimens like Pilates, barre and yoga.
- Financial planning: Boomer women need expert guidance for managing they money they control; divorcees need help navigating a new financial reality. Financial planners that cater to women instead of assuming men control the finances will find success.
- Adult education: Whether finally indulging a passion for watercolor painting, learning Italian or prepping for a late-life career change, boomer women are eager to learn new skills and rediscover old hobbies.
Marketing do’s and don’ts
Try these tips to market to boomer women.
- Keep it real. Most ads portray boomers either as frail seniors who can’t work a cell phone, or uber-fit triathletes. Avoid these extremes and use realistic images of boomer women in your advertising.
- When choosing images, keep in mind boomers tend to see themselves as 10 years younger than they are—but not 20 or 30 years younger. Avoid teenagers and 20-somethings as models.
- Use imagery of boomer women
- Target peers. Boomer women get their beauty information from friends and family, consumer reviews, and lifestyle and beauty blogs. Use social media and online review sites to spread word-of-mouth about your business.
- Understand how women buy. According to Marti Barletta, an expert in marketing to women, women tend to have a longer sales cycle and ask more questions about products and services. Provide plenty of details and be patient. Check out more articles about marketing.
About Rieva Lesonsky
Rieva Lesonsky is CEO and Co-founder of GrowBiz Media, a custom content and media company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship, and the blog SmallBizDaily.com. A nationally known speaker and authority on entrepreneurship, Rieva has been covering America’s entrepreneurs for more than 30 years. Before co-founding GrowBiz Media, Lesonsky was the long-time Editorial Director of Entrepreneur Magazine. Lesonsky has appeared on hundreds of radio shows and numerous local and national television programs, including the Today Show, Good Morning America, CNN, The Martha Stewart Show and Oprah.
Lesonsky regularly writes about small business for numerous websites and for corporations targeting entrepreneurs. Many organizations have recognized Lesonsky for her tireless devotion to helping entrepreneurs. She served on the Small Business Administration’s National Advisory Council for six years, was honored by the SBA as a Small Business Media Advocate and a Woman in Business Advocate, and received the prestigious Lou Campanelli award from SCORE. She is a long-time member of the Business Journalists Hall of Fame.
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