Tag Archives: Boomer Women

Experiential Marketing is for Boomer Women, Too

Experiential Marketing is for Boomer Women, TooExperiential marketing is usually thought of in context with Millennials, and their desire for authentic, interesting experiences. But Boomer women represent an even bigger opportunity for turning experience into business. Since Boomer women have more time and money on their hands than Millennial women, they are seeking more ways to get involved. But Boomers might not want the same sort of experiences that Millennials do.

How to Create Experiences for Boomer Women

Combine an experience with a cause for a really powerful marketing to Boomer women initiative. Partnering with a nonprofit will burnish your “corporate halo” with all women– women have a propensity to be the “guardians of civilization” and therefore are much more active in supporting causes. Companies especially should try to make their corporate halos shine a little brighter with Boomer women, who are actively looking for ways to make the world a better place and leave a legacy.

An example of a good experiential marketing/cause marketing combo might be a tree planting picnic sponsored by a hybrid car brand. Interested Boomer women could bring a friend or two, plant a tree, enjoy some live music over lunch and leave with a seedling memento of the occasion in her goody bag.

Experiential Marketing is for Boomer Women, Too

One of the most emotionally powerful and successful experiences is the Susan G. Komen 3-Day Race for the Cure. It is the kind of program Boomer women are looking for– an event that requires not just money but also their time and energy AND that involves being with and helping other “girlfriends.” I have heard from many participants that this is one of the most grueling yet fulfilling things they have ever done in their lives. One woman in particular summarizes it like so, “I kept waiting for someone to make a difference… then I realized that I am that someone.” She’s talking like a true Boomer woman.

 

55 Alive! Marketing to Boomer Women in the Prime of Her Life

55 Alive! Marketing to Boomer Women in the Prime of Her LifeWith healthier diets, different lifestyles and advances in health care, we’re all living longer. At first glance, this would seem to add an extra decade to the end of life, but on the contrary! It’s more like adding an extra decade to the middle, somewhere around age 50. These days, 55 is very alive. The stereotype of ages 50-70 may be “the sunset years,” but the reality is that it’s more like high noon!

Boomer women encounter the added decade of life very differently from the way midlife men do. While both men and women approach their 50th birthdays with a good deal of apprehension, as it turns out, the midlife transition is a good deal easier on women.

Most men reach 50 alarmed about sliding downhill for the rest of their lives. They want to stay where they are, to keep what they’ve got. Some try to recapture the feelings of their youth—they act on their rebellious impulses. Some don’t know what to do with themselves after retirement and no longer have a power role in society. They stay at home and putter around the house, declining to exercise or socialize.

55 Alive! Marketing to Boomer Women in the Prime of Her LifeTo women, 50 comes as a gift. For most, it’s a major life shift, from the “mom” mode to the “me” mode (In case you think I’m overgeneralizing about the mom mode, consider that by the age of 40, 84% of women have had children). At the same time as the kids are leaving home, leaving mothers with more time, those moms get a little extra boost of post-menopausal zest. They use the added decade of life to go back to college or start a new business. It’s finally “my time,” and they make the most of it. They feel lucky to have the luxury of focusing on themselves, finding their inner individuality, and fulfilling long-suppressed dreams.

The potential for marketing to these Boomer women should be quite apparent—but how does one go about developing marketing strategies? The most powerful ways for marketers to create relevance and appeal for women is to elicit “That’s me!” moments—when a woman sees herself in the situation and your product or service as the solution. As women approach their 50s, they are even more in tune with “That’s me!” moments than before. And we already know this is a sizeable marketing target—the National Association of Baby Boomer Women share that there are over 39 million Boomer women in the US.

Win Big with these Marketing to Boomer Women Contest Tips

Promotional contests can really win big in marketing to Boomer women. Here are three insights on incentive programs that resonate with this promising market. Boomer women have “been there, done that” and are jaded on the promise of t-shirts and ball caps. It’s time to break through the promotional clutter and offer incentives uniquely motivating to Boomers.

Change the Prize Structure to Encourage More Boomer Women Word of Mouth

Rather than have one big prize (a new car!) and then a bazillion small prizes (free product samples, keychains, pens), consider spreading the wealth out across the top tier of prizes and offering fewer trivial, lower-level prizes. The goal is to give as many people as you can something “talk-worthy” rather than throwing your money into low-value prizes that aren’t worth mentioning. The costs can be exactly the same, but the prize structure is flatter and more interesting to consumers.

Entice Boomer Women with Experiences, not Clutter

Instead of products or price discounts, offer experiences interesting to Boomer women. They are in the prime of their lives and have time to be adventurous. She doesn’t want another knickknack to sit on the shelf. She wants to live life to the fullest. And if she can share that experience with friends, the reward will be valued even more. Spa services, dance lessons, NASCAR rides, day trips and wine tastings are all shareable experiences that might appeal to your particular Boomer women target. Get creative!

Random Acts of Kindness vs. Organized Incentives

Sometimes, a “surprise and delight” campaign can be more effective at helping you reach your marketing goals than an organized contest or event that’s heavily promoted. For example, the Peapod delivery person once surprised me with a lovely bouquet of red roses. “Wow,” I said, “They’re beautiful. Unfortunately, I didn’t order any roses, so they must be for someone else.” Turns out, because it was Valentine’s Day, Peapod had decided that all customers receiving orders that day would be surprised with flowers. It wasn’t an incentive or a reward that I claimed for ordering more or ordering sooner. It was a sweet surprise, totally unexpected and forever remembered.

Marketing to Boomer Women: Are These Consumers Smarter than Millennials?

Marketing to Boomer Women: Are These Consumers Smarter than Millennials?Sigmund Freud once claimed that “about the age of 50, the elasticity of the mental processes on which treatment depends is, as a rule, lacking. Old people are no longer educable.” Ironically, Freud was 51 when he wrote those words, and he went on to produce some of his best work after 65.

The idea that younger people are smarter and savvier than their older counterparts is inaccurate. When marketing to Boomer women, realize they are often just reaching the peak of their cognitive powers.

Boomers Enjoy the Combination of Wisdom and Brain Power

Scientists have discovered that despite a few short-term memory glitches and a slower processing speed, our mental capacity doesn’t even reach its full potential until midlife. They are learning that, contrary to Freud’s assumption, the brain continues to change and grow throughout life. One key area of growth is the accumulation of white matter in the sophisticated thinking centers of the brain (which peaks around 50). Because of these two factors, Boomer women and men can manage information better, analyze facts better and generate meanings that were entirely beyond them when they were younger.

Of course, the most important difference between older and younger brains is also the easiest to overlook: older brains have learned more than young ones. They’ve been around the block a lot more times, seen the world, made mistakes, made discoveries, managed recoveries and made amends. Says George Bartzokis, UCLA neurologist:

“In midlife, you’re beginning to maximize the ability to use the entirety of information in your brain on an everyday, ongoing, second-to-second basis. Biologically, that’s what wisdom is.”

Marketing to Boomer Women: Are These Consumers Smarter than Millennials?Studies have shown that years of experience and practice enable older adults to build up a rich library of alternative ways to solve problems or make decisions that allows them o bypass steps needed by younger adults. We get better at sizing up a situation and problem-solving. We have more confidence in our opinions, feelings and decisions and don’t need validation from others. We are more pragmatic. We develop a richer vocabulary and a better understanding of how to use these words effectively. The abilities we learned earlier in life and gained proficiency with over the years are now smoothly polished and almost second nature.

Does all this make Boomers smarter than Millennials? At this stage of life, it just might! Sales and marketing to Boomer women efforts would be wise to assume these women are smart, sophisticated and discerning.

Experience the JOY of Marketing to Boomer Women

Experience the JOY of Marketing to Boomer WomenWhat 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. You could even say that she lives by that old Johnny Mercer classic, “Accentuate the positive. Eliminate the negative.”

She’s happier and more content and possesses a brighter, more optimistic disposition than Generation X and Millennial women who are many years her junior.

Experience the JOY of Marketing to Boomer WomenShe’s come to accept her age (and some of the physical and emotional challenges that come with it) with a dignity, grace and enthusiasm that belies that Rolling Stones refrain, “What a drag it is getting old.” (Perhaps it’s still true for the bandmembers. Just look at that picture.)

As DDB Chicago and I heard in our Girlfriend Groups market research, Boomer women have learned to find happiness wherever and whenever they can, whether that’s helping a daughter by taking in her children, buying a new pair of shoes, or, yes, starting to date online!

Sure, some Boomer women still struggle accepting their crow’s feet, wrinkles and sagging muscles. Yet, most have gotten past the point of needing to look young. In fact, Boomer women are just as likely as their younger counterparts to boast, “When I look in the mirror, I like what I see.” – 58% vs. 57%, respectively.

Lynn, from our Girlfriends Group told researchers,

“I love being 50; I love this time in my life. I feel stronger. I do more than I used to. I am more active, mentally stronger. I don’t think, oh God, I’m getting old. I look in the mirror and see wrinkles, and I’m okay with it.”

Just about every woman we spoke to said that she gets aches and pain and that getting up in the morning takes more time than it used to. But they adjust by getting up a little earlier or planning their days to start a little later. They get up, get dressed, and put on their makeup, a routine that makes them feel better and more alive than does sitting around in a house dress of muumuu!

Rachel, 60, remarked,

“I can feel arthritis and the aches and pains, but I still don’t think of the age.”

Even if they don’t look it on the outside, most Boomer women feel like 30 on the inside. Their psychological age is much younger than their chronological age, and in many respects, their psychological age is more youthful and vibrant than that of women 20 and 30 years their junior.

Experience the JOY of Marketing to Boomer WomenExperiencing the joy of being means that each day is special:

“I really didn’t give it a thought [what being 64 would be like]. I love it. I mean, it’s a blessing to live to 64. Age is just a number.” – Ruby, 64

“The first thing I do in the morning is say, ‘Thank you, God’ for another day.” – Rachel, 60

For marketing departments, understanding the personalities behind the numbers will help when marketing to Boomer women. Experiencing the joy of being rarely comes across in marketing efforts aimed at Boomers, but if it did, it would be incredibly effective.

[VIDEO] Why Boomer Women are Game-Changers

Boomer women are the reason there are so many women earning their way into the high-net worth bracket. Boomer women are the most radically different generation of women in history. Really! Watch to see what this means for marketing to women– and especially selling to affluent women.

Watch the video: Why Boomer Women are Game-Changers

Single Boomer Women, a Marketing Trend

Single Boomer Women, a Marketing TrendMany Boomer women find themselves single in midlife, either by choice or by chance. As of the 2010 U.S. Census, 39% of women aged 50-74 were single.

Before you go feeling sorry for these single Boomer women, you should know that most of them are not leading the stereotypical sad, lonely life you might imagine. These women are PrimeTime Women and are smashing the myths of “old maids” and “little old ladies.” They are enjoying their autonomy while growing their social networks through clubs, communities and interest groups. They finally have time to cultivate the interests they may not have during their youth – and are discovering new activities.

Single Boomer women in the United States are becoming an economic force in their own right. Savvy marketers need to keep in mind that they are the sole decision-makers in a substantial percentage of 50+ households.

Three industries in particular need to step up their game- housing, real estate and financial services. Already, single women own almost twice as many homes as single men. I’m sure you can think of ways to enhance your offerings and marketing to single Boomer women (if you haven’t already?).

Marketing to Women: Enable Boomer Women to Pursue Passions and Explore Possibilities

Boomer women live life in drive. Their outlook on life and the future is optimistic, eager and very engaged. When marketing to these women, brands should emphasize the pursuit of passion and exploration of possibilities. Here’s a little context to start your thinking.

Boomer Women Pursue Forgotten Passions

Marketing to Women: Enable Boomer Women to Pursue Passions and Explore PossibilitiesOne of the first thing Boomer women do as they grow older and have more “me time” is to return to some of the activities and passions they set aside when they got overcommitted with work and family responsibilities.

They remember how much they used to like to write or sing of teach or belly dance or climb mountains. Among participants in my 50/50/50 panel, one woman told us she was starting piano lessons over again and made a point of practicing an hour every day. Another decided she wanted to prepare for retirement by taking business seminars. Others took classes in computers, photography, handicapping (when a new horse track opened in her area) and adventure (parachuting, rock climbing, rappelling. Wow. And our Girlfriend Group participants were returning to passions like art, glass beads and history.

… And They Seek Our New Possibilities

Marketing to Women: Enable Boomer Women to Pursue Passions and Explore PossibilitiesMany Boomer women are seeking out new directions. They recognize the world of possibilities before them and are unconcerned about starting fresh, being novices at something they’ve never tried before. They feel open to any opportunity and are willing to take risks the way they did when they were younger.

The irony is that when they were younger, they were unafraid because they thought they were immortal and couldn’t conceive of failure. Now they are unafraid to take risks because they know they won’t live forever, and they know failure is OK.

How These Outlooks Affect Marketing to Boomer Women Strategies

In 1970, the enormously popular book What Color is Your Parachute? was published. It offered thought-provoking new perspectives and, most interestingly, tons of exercises designed to get you to think creatively and without constraints about what workplace occupation could fire up your sense of passion and enable you to live the life you wanted.

So where is Part 2? What Color is Your Clock or something like that– terrible title, I know. Just work with me on the concept here. The idea would be to apply the same or similar exercises to help Boomers visualize the second half of their lives, and it would be tailored to their different priorities and attitudes.

I suggest to craft marketing to women campaigns based on stories of people who are exploring new possibilities and achieving their dreams. Help Boomer women understand how your brand will help them fulfill their visions and aspirations by showing them how you have helped others.

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.