Category Archives: Marketing to Boomer Women

Marketing to Boomer Women: Recognize the Joy of Being Grandma

There are more than 70 million grandparents in the United States, and 1.7 million new grandparents are “born” each year. With the growth of inter-generational households, grandparents lead 37% of all US households. And, with the average age of a first-time grandparent at 48, more than half of these grandparents are Boomers.

Beyond the demographics of grandparents is the joy of being Grandma and Grandpa (or Abuela and Abuelo)! Of all grandparents, 72% think being a grandparent is the single most important and satisfying thing in their lives. And that’s where the real marketing to Boomer women opportunity presents itself.

Marketing to Boomer Grandparents

These Boomer women who love life as a grandma are active, lively and astute. They may knit, but it’s not because they are stuck at home. Here’s how some brands are marketing to Boomer women grandmas.

Marketing to Boomer Women: Recognize the Joy of Being GrandmaMormor is an online Norwegian store that sells baby and children’s wear from the time when Grandma herself was a wee lass (Mormor is Danish for Grandma). Even the employees stem from an era when everything was made by hand. All products are handmade, from pure wool, alpaca wool or cotton. Old knitting and crocheting techniques and patterns have been revived, and colors and materials updated. The products meet modern demands for fashionable children’s clothing as well as for old-fashioned quality and honest materials. Cool little touch: clothes come with a small nametag signed by the Mormor that made the item.

One charming product I came across is My Granny’s Purse by P.H. Hanson, a cross between a pop-up book and a grab-bag, with lots of compartments, each with an intriguing item inside. Filled with colors, textures, shiny objects and sounds, My Granny’s Purse helps the grandmother share times of discovery and delight with her infant or toddler grandchild.

AIG SunAmerica Mutual Funds offers grandparents a program to help educate their grandchildren about such critical matters as saving, planning, and investing for their financial future. The company developed the much-acclaimed K.I.D.S. program (Kids Investing for Dollars and Sense) to help educators, parents and grandparents teach young children the fundamentals of saving and investing.

Do grandmas buy your brand? If you don’t know, find out! This worthwhile market segment is full of joy– and full of desire to spend money as part of their role as grandparent.

Marketing to Boomer Women: Set the Scene

Show Social Situations that Resonate with Boomers

Marketing to Boomer Women: Set the SceneThe usual practice in executing advertising targeted to Boomer women is to depict them as part of an older couple. There’s nothing wrong with this approach except that it’s virtually the only context in which Boomer women are shown. The Ad Age Insights cover to the right uses a perfectly lovely picture (that’s perfectly forgettable).

In actual fact, in pursuit of “my time,” Boomer women are going to be spending a fair amount of time pursuing their own interests, perhaps in a classroom. Or hanging out with their girlfriends. Another context in which they’ll want to spend more time is the extended family, with kids and grandkids.

Avoid the “couple” cliché and consider some of these photos of Boomer women for marketing inspiration:

Marketing to Boomer Women: Set the Scene Marketing to Boomer Women: Set the Scene Marketing to Boomer Women: Set the Scene

Also, Will You Please Make this New Year’s Resolution about Marketing to Boomer Women?

Marketing to Boomer Women: Set the Scene

Let’s all pledge to this New Year’s resolution. Could we please retire the overdone “classic” images of retirement when marketing to boomer women? Enough already with those sunset beaches and Adirondack chairs and people playing golf! Remember that Boomer women are often still working– and most don’t plan to retire completely. Their “sunset” years are going to be filled with jobs, travel, sports, grandkids, volunteering, classes and lots of activities. If you’re showing “retirement,” you’re shutting yourself out of most of the Boomer market.

Understand what interests your Boomer women customers to create memorable, motivating settings for your marketing messages.

OXO Broadens its Appeal through Marketing to Boomer Women

Boomer women are more demanding. Please them, and you appeal to many market segments.


Women in general—and Boomer women in particular—are more discerning and demanding customers than men. Boomer women bring their wealth of experience (as well as the wealth of their purse!) to every buying experience. And they expect to find the “perfect answer,” not just a brand that will “do.”

I always tell my audiences that by marketing to women and designing products that make women happy, brands will go above and beyond their male customers’ expectations. Here’s a great example of a brand doing just that—designing for Boomer women and appealing to younger women and men of all ages alike.

One of today’s most successful housewares companies came about due to one man’s desire to address his wife’s difficulties with holding ordinary kitchen utensils because of arthritis. Sam Farber put together a group of researchers that included a noted gerontologist and developed a line of 15 products using “universal design,” defined as:

“The design of products usable by as many people as possible. It is important to note that Universal Design does not mean designing products fully usable by everybody, since there is no product that can truly fulfill the needs of all users. But when all users’ needs are taken into consideration in the initial design process, the result is a product that can be used by the broadest spectrum of users. In the case of OXO, it means designing products for young and old, male and female, left- and right-handed and many with special needs.”

The line, now known as OXO, has grown to include more than 850 items, including utensils with broad, cushy handles and angled measuring cups that can be read from the top. OXO has won international design awards and has devotees across every age group. Although originally designed for older consumers, the design and functionality makes their products appealing to many market segments.

Five Amazing Facts About Boomer Women

Five Amazing Facts About Boomer WomenCall them what you will, Boomer women, older women or—my preference—PrimeTime Women. Women aged 50-70 are in the prime of their lives and represent an amazing marketing opportunity. But what do these Boomer women care about? And what strategies are best for marketing to Boomer women?

For my book, PrimeTime Women, I worked with agency powerhouse DDB Chicago to learn what makes Boomer women tick. We conducted Girlfriend Groups with women in their 40s, 50s and 60s, respectively. DDB also has a remarkable research knowledge base in their proprietary Life Style Study that has captured a treasure trove of consumer and category data for over 30 years.

What You Need to Know About Marketing to Boomer Women

Five Amazing Facts About Boomer Women

Here are five amazing facts about marketing to Boomer women. These are key aspects about Boomer women marketers need to know.

  1. Experiencing the Joy of Being – What is particularly striking about the Boomer woman is the contentment, joy and enthusiasm with which she lives her life. Although she describes herself as serious, being serious does not equate to being negative. She’s happier and more content and possesses a brighter, more optimistic disposition than Generation X and Millennial women who are many years who junior.
  2. Relishing Liberation – Boomer women relish their liberation. Identifying with their new-found sense of freedom and independence will ensure your marketing efforts resonate with Boomer women. But this isn’t the same old “women’s liberation” you’ve heard about your entire life. Boomer women are redefining the term. They are enjoying a “liberation from expectation.” Even in the face of challenges and demands on their time like children moving back home and caring for aging parents, most Boomer women still say that they feel freer than they did when they were younger.
  3. Rocking Her World – You need to rock her world when it comes to marketing to Boomer women. The social and political activism that was the imprimatur of the 1960s is still alive among Boomer women, and beating with a much stronger heart than is the one beating in younger women. Many of the more activist attitudes and behaviors that were formed when Boomer women were in their youth have stayed with them as they’ve gotten older. They still want their voices to be heard—be they liberal or conservative.
  4. Brimming with Confidence – In the Girlfriend Groups conducted with DDB Chicago,Boomer women told us that getting older better equips them to make decisions more confidently than when they were younger. They know how to handle unexpected turbulence and how to get around obstacles in ways that younger women have yet to figure out. With age comes experience. And with experience comes wisdom. This wisdom has given Boomer women confidence and control over their lives, indeed a swagger.
  5. Living Life in “Drive” – 59% of Boomer women agree with the statement, “My greatest achievements are still ahead of me.” Further, Boomer women have a very clear idea of what it is they want to achieve and how they are going to get there. Over two-thirds (68%) of Boomer women agree, “I am the kind of person who knows what I want to accomplish in life and how to achieve it.”

Nobody Prospects Women!

Nobody prospects women!We know that 55% of affluent women think wealth managers could do a better job serving women. And 73% are overall “most dissatisfied” with the financial services industry.

And no wonder. Almost nobody even bothers to prospect women (let alone building great client relationships with them)! According to LIMRA:

Of female producers, only 50% prospect women. Of male producers, only 20-25% do!

Some financial advisors have told me that men don’t prospect women because, “Women investors prefer women advisors.” Nope, I’m not buying it!  Economist Dr. Sasha Galbraith revealed that merely 11% of women prefer a woman advisor, with 85% having no preference concerning their advisor’s gender.

Selling Financial Services to Women — What a Golden Opportunity

In a market where women will soon control 70% of private wealth and 50% of millionaires are women, I’m almost in shock that financial advisors would basically ignore this lucrative segment. Besides her affluence, women make better clients.

Three Long-Term Rewards for Prospecting Women

  1. Women have the money. Women will inherit 70% of the $41 trillion in inter-generational wealth transfer expected over the next 40 years.
  2. Once she chooses you as her advisor, she’s loyal. Advisors report women are much less likely to defect during downturns.
  3. Make her happy, and she’ll send you way more referrals than men do. I mean WAY more. An average woman client will refer you 26 times compared to a man referring you twice.

If you aren’t prospecting women already, what’s holding you back? Please leave a comment and let me know– I’m incredibly curious.


The Game-Changing Generation that Rocketed Women to the Top

The Game-Changing Generation that Rocketed Women to the TopSo, Start Marketing Financial Services to Women!

Financial management firm Barclays Wealth raised some eyebrows when they found, “More than 80% of affluent women now derive their riches from personal earnings, particularly from their own businesses.” Instead of “marrying into money,” as the stereotype goes, women are generating their own affluence through independent income, business ownership and investments.

Wow, how did that happen?

Selling to Affluent Women? Look for the Boomers!

Boomer women are radically different from all prior generations of women, and they are the main reason that 50% of US millionaires are women. Boomers are a unique breed of women! Here are the four reasons they have changed the game:

  1. Advances in health, nutrition, fitness and medical treatments mean they will live longer and happier
  2. Boomers started the college graduation groundswell among women, with 27% of college graduate Boomers being women (compared to 14% of college graduates during World War II and before)
  3. At 55%, the majority of Boomer women work outside the home
  4. Boomer women have fought for and taken advantage of gender equality measures like family planning and property rights

Boomer women have life experience and expectations that no other generation of women ever considered before. And, they have more independent wealth as a result. They expect financial service brands to honor their achievements to win their business. Are you up to the challenge?

Have you seen any particularly effective (or terrible?) approaches to marketing to affluent women? What are your thoughts on Boomer women’s affluence and power? Share your comments and join the conversation!

Find Yourself a Wealthy Widow

It’s time to break through a few myths about affluent, widowed women. With 50% of U.S. millionaires being women, marketing to affluent women needs to become a high priority for financial planners and insurance companies. And a large portion of these affluent women are widowed or divorced. Here are the tropes I am likely to hear from industry ‘experts:’

“There’s no point in targeting widows.”

“Widows are neither involved nor interested in financial management.”

And here I thought it was 2015, not 1915 (or even 1815!). Many women must sense this attitude and look for greener pastures, because…

70% of Widows Walk

Find Yourself a Wealthy Widow

According to Allianz research, 70% of widows and divorced women leave the financial advisors their spouses used. That seems pretty involved and interested to me.

The sales and marketing opportunity for the widowed market is huge. The average age of widowhood is 60, and a 60-year-old woman today can expect to live another 23.4 years. These women will control the combined assets of both sides of their family for over two decades.

Wealthy Women Will Get Wealthier

Here’s a market that will keep growing. Over the next 40 years, women will inherit 70% of the $41 trillion in inter-generational wealth transfer, according to Boston College’s Center on Wealth and Philanthropy.

Marketing to Women Only Makes Sense

Considering their lifespan and wealth accumulation, marketing to women who are widowed and divorced will hold a significant early-mover advantage for financial and insurance firms that act quickly. Because, hey, I hear that 70% of widows are looking for a new financial advisor.

The New Face of Wealth: 50% of Millionaires are Women!

Wow, I bet you didn’t know that 50% of millionaires in the U.S. are women, did you?

Millionaires make up 9% of U.S. adults:

  • 50% of those are men, with an average age of 46
  • 50% of them are women, with an average age of 50


These days, most wealthy women earn their own wealth. Of women with at least $3m in investable assets, 61% earned it themselves, according to Russ Prince and Hannah Grove in Women of WealthWomen like Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, fashion designer Tory Burch and Spanx inventor Sara Blakely are becoming the new face of wealth.

And here’s another shocking fact:

Nobody prospects high net-worth women!

LIMRA, the insurance and financial services trade organization, finds only 50% of female producers prospect women, with only 20-25% of male producers prospecting women. Marketing to these wealthy women is not only smart– but it’s also less competitive!

Consider this heads-up my favor to you. But you’d better act fast before someone else earns the loyalty of these high net-worth women.

Who are Boomer Women?

who-are-boomer-womenWhen people talk of “older women,” images of the stereotypical grandmother come to mind. But while Boomer women (or, as I call them, PrimeTime women), likely may be grandmothers, they won’t fit most stereotypes. While yesterday’s grandma may have sat in a rocker, reading a book and sipping tea during her leisure hours, today’s grandma is more likely to be sitting at her computer, checking her investments and sipping bottled green tea, just come in from her tennis match.

Today’s woman 50-70 years old is very different from women of previous generations. In fact, it may be said that this is the first generation who can legitimately be called “PrimeTime,” for two reasons:

  1. As recently as 50 years ago, 50-70 wasn’t really the “prime of life.” Boomer women are the first generation of women to have the benefit of recent significant advances in health, fitness and nutritional awareness, as well as access to miracles of modern medicine like knee replacements and heart transplants.
  2. Additionally, 50 years ago, 50-70 wasn’t really a “prime marketing target,” either. The things we buy now with our discretionary income simply didn’t exist then. There were virtually no consumer electronics—no smart phones, no personal computers, no GPS devices, no Internet. There were no spas, no cosmetic surgery, no gourmet grocery stores, no home furnishing stores (except for Sears), no Home Shopping Channel, no personal trainers, no venti decaf nonfat vanilla lattes. There were few real investments besides one’s home, little participation in life insurance, and a good deal of reluctance to get involved in the stock market. (Remember, the great stock market crash was still fresh in many minds).

Fifty years ago, the relatively recent innovation of Social Security enabled most people to retire at 65. Note that when Social Security was established in 1935, the average life expectancy was 61. So, for most people, there were at best only a few years between retirement and death. Travel, hobbies and socializing were modest.

So who are Boomer women? They are women who defy historical precedent. They represent an inflection point in history- a dramatic, radical change from those who went before them.

And the opportunity for marketing to Boomer women is just as dramatic and radical. We now have an entire generation to buy our products and services that simply never existed in the past. For most companies, this amazing realization has yet to dawn on them—and I wonder when they will finally take notice.