Category Archives: Books

Why Marketing to PrimeTime Women?

Marketing to PrimeTime WomenAs the new edition of my book Marketing to PrimeTime Women comes out, some have asked me why I refer to Boomer women as “PrimeTime.” And the reason is that our vocabulary was stunted.

People have been at a loss to describe “consumers over age 50” in ways that don’t conjure up negative associations. Terms like middle-aged, mature market and senior market come freighted with unappealing overtones. Middle-aged calls up images of dowdy, lumpy frumpiness. Mature suggests someone who is serious, sober, sedate and stately- in other words, no fun. And while being a senior in high school or college is a status that underclassmen aspire to, perversely, senior citizen in the context of older consumers connotes a nominal acknowledgement to the tottering old dears, a condescending head nod, a senior discount- gee, thanks.

Boomer women

People say Boomers are resisting growing older. That’s not it at all- in fact it completely misses the point. Boomers, particularly women, are fine with growing older.

What they’re resisting is being labeled with language loaded with the patronizing images and attitudes above- frumpy, sedate, tottering. It’s not how they feel; it’s truly not who they are, and they’re not inclined to put up with anyone implying otherwise. What they’re resisting is being talked down to.

Unfortunately, so far, these words are all we’ve had to work with. We needed some new lingo, words that tell it like it really is; words that capture a personality that is positive, dynamic and savvy– in short, words that make a woman feel good about saying, “Yup, that’s me!”

PrimeTime Women

So I coined the phrase PrimeTime Women. These are women 50-70 years old. I like how it connotes vitality and primacy, which aptly describe this group on not one, but two levels:

  • They are in the prime of their lives. It comes as a surprise to most pre-Primers that people in their 50s and 60s report these two decades are the happiest of their lives, and women experience this phase even more positively than men do.
  • They are the prime target opportunity for marketers in almost every category, because they handle 80-85% of the spending decisions for households in the peak years of their income, wealth and spending power.

Marti’s First Book: Marketing to Women

How to Understand, Reach, and Increase Your Share of the World’s Largest Market Segment, 2nd Edition

The complete field guide to the highly profitable women’s market. In this lively 2nd edition of Marketing to Women, Marti Barletta tells you exactly how and why corporations are spending more to capture the multitrillion dollar women’s market.

Available at

Marti’s Latest Book: PrimeTime Women

Let me introduce you to PrimeTime Women “women from 50 to 70 years old. Boomer women are currently in PrimeTime, and they are the healthiest, wealthiest, most active, educated and engaged generation of women in history. They are also the ultimate bulls-eye for marketers.

Available at

More on PrimeTimeWomen…

PrimeTime Women are the ultimate bull’s-eye for marketers.
They stand at the intersection of the two most powerful and prosperous consumer segments in the world today:

1. The so-called “Mature Market”whose numbers are growing exponentially, and who enjoy above average income, wealth, and spending power.  Here are a few facts that demonstrate the enormity of this opportunity:

  • The population over 50 has increased an astronomical 45 percent from 2000 to 2020, while the population under 50 is actually declining, down 2 percent 2000-2020
  • The 50+ crowd already control 79 percent of the financial assets in the U.S. and will keep accumulating more, as they continue to bring in two paychecks, and add to that some inheritance money from their parents. They have the greatest discretionary spending power of all consumer segments, because their expenses decline when their kids launch their own households. On a per capita basis, consumers over 50 spend 2.5 times what the average person spends.

2.  Women, whose earning power has accelerated like a rocket over the past 30 years, and more important, who act as Chief Purchasing Officers in almost every household, as well as in many small businesses and corporate buying functions.

  • In the consumer sector, women bring in half or more of the income in 55 percent of U.S. households.
  • In 27 percent of U.S. households, single women are the sole earner, and 30 percent of working wives out-earn their husbands.
  • Women are estimated to make 80 percent of all household buying decisions. This includes handling the majority of purchasing in such traditionally male categories as investments, automotive, consumer electronics, and home improvement.
  • They are in the prime of their lives. It comes as a surprise to most pre-Primers that people in their 50s and 60s report these two decades are the happiest of their lives and, as you will see later, women experience this phase even more positively than men do.
  • They are the prime target opportunity for marketers in almost every category, because they handle 80-85 percent of the spending decisions for households in the peak years of their income, wealth and spending power.

Moreover, although most of this book focuses on consumer spending, I should also note PrimeTime Women’s pre-eminent purchasing role on the business-to-business side of the economy. Women overall hold 50 percent of managerial and professional positions these days, and, among them, PrimeTime Women are in the most senior positions with the most spending authority.

And among women business owners who, just so you know, have been starting 70 percent of all small businesses for the last couple of decades a significant number are PrimeTime Women who have exited those big corporate jobs to bring their considerable business experience to their own table. Moral of the story: for those marketers among you who sell B-to-B, chances are a large and growing number of your corporate and small business buyers are PrimeTime Women too.

About the Book
As with Marketing to Women, the premise of this book can be outlined in 3 statements:

  1. PrimeTime Women spend at the high-dollar end of the consumer, corporate and small business markets.
  2. Most marketers are sadly unaware of the power of the PrimeTime market, who the PrimeTime Woman really is, and how to effectively capture her business.
  3. Marketers who get smart about applying the principles of this book will be getting more bang from every dollar in their marketing and sales budget as they focus their efforts on the highest spending segment within the women’s market – PrimeTime Women.


In Chapter 1, I hope to get you motivated to seize this market opportunity by quantifying the scope of PrimeTime Women’s demographic and financial power. Chapters 2 through 5 take you on a tour of the behavioral, attitudinal, physical and mental, and lifestage changes that occur in women in PrimeTime, and the marketing implications that arise from these changes. Chapter 6 gives you a look ahead at what PrimeTimers are planning for their retirement years, a glimpse into the future and its dramatic effect on the housing, real estate and home furnishing markets.

Brand New Research – In particular, I want to highlight Chapter 2, contributed by agency powerhouse DDB Worldwide, which summarizes findings from new, never-before-published research. We partnered with them to develop three sets of qualitative Girlfriend Groups with women in their 40s, 50s and 60s, respectively, so we could observe whether and how women’s attitudes toward growing older evolve as they go through each stage. Further, they have tapped their proprietary Life Style Study, which is longitudinal quantitative research that spans the past 30 years, to shed further light on PrimeTime Women’s attitudes and behaviors. David Polston and Martin Horn, both Senior Vice Presidents, DDB Chicago, synthesized their findings into five illuminating insights that shed additional light on PrimeTime Women’s state of mind and how it differs from that of younger women. In addition, throughout Chapters 3 to 6 we provide real world comments from our own PrimeTime Women 50/50/50 panel – “50 fabulous women, ages 50-70 and proud, answer 50 thought-provoking questions.”


Chapter 7 will start with a quick overview of the GenderTrends’ Marketing Model from Marketing to Women, which highlights how women are different from men, and then customizes the model to refine the GenderTrends principles specifically for PrimeTime Women. Chapter 8 is where I deliver the goods – the nuts and bolts of how to tailor your marketing tools, including advertising, promotion, sponsorships, etc. – to boost your sales and marketing results among PrimeTime Women. If you don’t have time to read the whole book, this is the one chapter you don’t want to skip! Chapter 9 illustrates “best practices” applications of these principles with two in depth and integrated case studies that, between them, cover most of the tools in the marketing toolbox. And Chapter 10 closes the book with Notes to the CEO, a feature that readers of my first book told me was particularly helpful in introducing the business case and key learnings to others in their organizations.
PrimeTime is the Promised Land, and PrimeTime Women hold the key. It is a moment of marketing opportunity unparalleled in history. Never before. Never again. Don’t miss your chance to win the hearts, minds, and business of Boomer big spenders – PrimeTime Women.