With 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.
To 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.