Reaching Prime Purchasers

Over half of consumer products and services are said to be purchased by people over 50 yet marketers often overlook older adults as potential customers, spending less than 15% of their advertising dollars to reach this demographic.

Ontario’s Centre for Elder Research says advertisers may be missing out on a huge opportunity if they are not paying attention to this demographic. They quote an article written for CEOWORLD Magazine by Beth Hershfeld, that says baby boomers and seniors are craving products and services to meet their changing needs and they have the desire and money to pay for them.

A 2014 Bank of Montreal report says by 2024 older adults will become the largest spending group.

INSPIRED Senior Living magazine provides a targeted way to reach this incredible consumer group with a marketing option for virtually every budget. Marketing options range from print to digital to live encounters at our 55+ Lifestyle Shows. We can help you cover all your bases with a marketing campaign that includes all three components.

Articles referenced above:

“The Purchasing Power of Older Adults” by the Centre for Elder Research (Ontario)

“The Biggest Market You are Not Focused On” by Beth Hershfeld (CEOWORLD)

The Powerful Purchasing Influence of 55+ Women

If you haven’t taken time lately to study who is buying your product or service, you may be surprised to discover that one of the most prominent drivers in today’s economy is women over the age of 55.

If you are serious about boosting your brand, marketing to women is a must.  First, you want these powerful consumers choosing your product over that of your competitor. Second, they are a dream customer once you have earned their trust and loyalty. Not only do they provide repeat business, but they are masters at spreading the word about products, services and companies they like (or dislike).

Let’s consider some of the scenarios we have seen emerging that demonstrate the powerful purchasing influence of 55+ women and why you should be jumping out of your seat to make them your customer:

  1. Women make or influence 80-85% of all consumer purchasing decisions, whether they are the end-user or not.* This includes investments, automotive, travel, consumer electronics and home improvements.
  2. Women 55-65 are typically in their prime earning years. Most indicate they plan to keep working past typical retirement age of 65, some because they need more time to grow their retirement nest egg, others simply because they want to stay productive and engaged. Those that choose retirement will often do so as a part-time option. They will work fewer hours, take more time for themselves, but stay engaged in the workforce as an employee or employer.
  3. Women 55+ are influential in the purchases made by other generations. Women typically are the ones aging parents call upon to weigh in on decisions around healthcare, housing, travel, and numerous other day to day purchases. These women are also sought out by their children and grandchildren for their insight and expertise. Win the loyalty of women 55+ and you will gain access to this client’s broad sphere of influence.
  4. Women 55+ are also very likely to be purchasers of items intended for other family members – aging parents, children and grandchildren, as well as spouses. You want this purchasing ‘agent’ to know about your products and services. Women 55+ don’t just buy for themselves – they are generous spenders on items for those they care about.
  5. More women 55+ are starting businesses and succeeding in the entrepreneurial world. In the USA, businesses fully owned or majority-owned by women have shown growth at almost twice the rate of all US firms combined. Boardrooms across North America are benefiting from the solid wisdom and stable hands of women.
  6. Women are investing more – and making solid investment decisions. They tend to create balanced portfolios – they look for growth without high risk. They don’t tend to swing for the fences, risking all on a hot tip. They are ‘owning’ their investment choices too. 70% of widows fire their husband’s broker and hire their own within 3 years of their spouses death.
  7. Women 55+ consider their 50s and 60s as the time to really shine – many say they are enjoying this time of their life more than any other because it’s finally “me” time. With a steady income and kids raised, freeing up more discretionary income, they have the time and money to indulge in the fulfillment of lifelong desires.  (On a per capital basis, consumers over 50 spend 2.5 times what the average person spends.*)
  8. There is a pent-up urge to buy right across the baby boomer spectrum. Many have denied themselves luxury items, travel and one-of-a-kind experiences as they’ve built careers and raised families. This is ‘catch-up’ time. Time to buy that sports car, that beachfront vacation home, or immerse themselves in an exotic vacation experience. They are willing to spend more for quality and uniqueness.
  9. Women are inheriting trillions of dollars from spouses and parents. With a life span 5 years longer than men, 80% of the world’s wealth (owned by their aging parents) will be migrating into their hands and will continue to do so for the next 20-30 years.
  10. Half of today’s millionaires are women. As you would expect, some are self-made, others inherited – no different from men.
  11. Loyalty is a trait particularly practiced by women. Companies that serve them well will continue to enjoy their patronage.
  12. Word of mouth is a marketing tool used most effectively by women. Women are extremely likely to tell others about their experience with a company – good or bad. Men will purchase and never think to sing the praises of a salesperson or a good product. Women, on the other hand, are your best referral agents. Referrals from family members or friends rates as the most trustworthy of all marketing methods and thus, the most influential when it comes to purchases. 2/3 of women tell other people when they’ve had a particularly great or bad experience with a new product, service or company.

If 55+ women are not on your marketing radar, now is the time to revise your strategy.   This is an opportunity too big to miss. Companies that fail to acknowledge the purchasing power of this demographic will find their market share eroded by those companies that make an effort to understand and meet the needs of this influential customer. They are not just one of the most powerful consumer groups today, they are one of the most prosperous.


* According to Marti Barletta, who has authored or co-authored the books “Marketing to Women”, “Marketing to PrimeTime Women”, and “Trends: Recognize, Analyze, Capitalize.”

Related:  50+Women Are Good For Business

50+ Women Are Good For Business

The over-50 consumer group represents a portion of the buying public no marketer can afford to ignore, says MassMutual Financial Group. But what makes their advice more intriguing is that they identify women as the major cohort in this consumer group.  They state, “The women of this group own more than 75% of the nation’s financial wealth.”

With this much buying power you would think businesses would knock themselves out to bring the 50+ customer through their doors, particularly the women. The truth is, only about 15% of marketing is directed at the 50+ consumer group and, in many important industries, women aren’t the targeted gender even though they are the prime buyer or influencer. (more…)

How Senior Buyers Affect the Travel Industry


We’ve long known that travel doesn’t become any less important as you get older.  In fact, it often becomes a priority.  Older consumers often have more disposable income and time, which lends itself to the pursuit of adventure. With increased good health and inspired by a plethora of options, this consumer group is going further afield and participating in adventures their parents didn’t even dream of.

Often, travel becomes a family affair as grandparents take the opportunity to host family gatherings in exotic or fun locations, like a cruise or at Disneyland. The travel industry is just starting to feel the magnitude of this interest. More and more travel packages are being created, tailored to the needs and interests of these world wanderers.

It doesn’t take a lot of Internet research to recognize that one of the key consumer groups of the future is the 50+ traveler.  Here’s just some of the statistics that have come to our attention.  (more…)

Why Print Should Always Be Part of Your Marketing Mix

Businesses often use a combination of media formats to distribute their marketing message. Especially in today’s world, with the expanding internet and social media marketing opportunities, it’s easy to overlook what has worked well in favor of the ‘new” media. Internet advertising is certainly growing, but marketing experts are finding that it works best when combined with a print component, rather than by itself.

Bottom line, print advertising should be a staple ingredient of every business’s marketing mix. Add to it, but don’t eliminate it.

Here’s ten important reasons why print continues to be the strongest marketing option for businesses.


Levi’s and Harleys

Part of the fun of blogging is being able to blog about other bloggers blogs… In the one I am about to share, the author looks at two iconic American brands that need no introduction.  They are Levi jeans and Harley-Davidson motorcycles.

Being a motorbiker and also someone who wants to understand how to market more effectively to both the senior and the boomer generations, I was more than just a little curious when I came upon Brent Green’s blog site.


Trendsetting Seniors

Seniors as trendsetters in society? Did you know that over half the spending on women’s apparel is by women over the age of 45?  Statistically, seniors, as a demographic, control 50% of all discretionary income and own about 80% of the wealth in financial institutions. They are at a point where they are comfortable, ready for adventure and eager to spend money on goods and services to enhance their quality of life. Having saved money their whole lives, they now want luxurious vacations, hi-tech kitchen appliances, a sporty car and a home in a new development. In essence, they earned it and now they are done waiting for it!

This group of consumers  are the ones who buy the luxury cruise packages, pay for spa treatments and indulge in room service. They purchase that RV with the slide-out sidewalls and head south to spend the winter in the sun. Or they finally take home that fully outfitted motorbike perfect for weekend excursions and that long awaited road trip to Sturgis.  (more…)

“Please Don’t Hate Me, I’m A Senior”

(I dislike the title, but I have to admit, it got my attention.)

Globe and Mail writer Margaret Wente was shocked when she turned 65.  But as time passed she started to attune to her new status and began to see the benefits.  Her recent article takes a humorous look at being a senior, the drawbacks and the benefits.  Oh, the benefits!

“I choked the first few times we asked for seniors’ tickets, but now I’d be outraged if we couldn’t get them.”

She destroys some of the false notions we have about seniors, pointing out that they are jamming the local gyms, traveling to the ends of the earth in search of adventure, and are the most powerful group of voters in the country. Politicians, beware!

Most are vibrant professionals with little or no debt. Canadian senior citizens are among the most affluent people in the world, claims Margaret.  

“Fewer than 5 per cent of seniors live below the poverty line – one-third the rate of children who do. Since 1999, the median net worth of seniors has jumped 70 per cent. We are better off financially than our parents, and we’re way, way better off than the struggling 30-year-olds who will never enjoy the job security, the pension plans, and the high house prices and stock returns with which we’ve been blessed.”

We have the tendency to lump seniors into one pot… often, a miserable one. Margaret paints a picture that challenges many common beliefs. It may challenge yours.

Bottom line: There’s an huge upside to being a senior.

To read the whole article, CLICK HERE.

Magazine Advertising Has Stronger Impact Than Other Media

By studying the importance of ads in consumer purchase decisions, it was found that magazines by and large generate the strongest impact per dollars spent.

For example, Mark Baltazar, VP of BrandSpark International, says even with fewer dollars being spent on magazine advertising than television, magazines still had a bigger impact, particularly in consumer beauty product decisions, food purchases and auto purchases.

Television garners 61% of marketing dollars spent by the auto industry , while only 16% gets spent on magazine advertising. Yet magazines proved to be the most efficient channel, meaning that the per dollar magazine spend had significantly higher impact than the per dollar television spend.

Across all categories, advertising in magazines is an extremely efficient way for marketers to impact purchase intent.

To view more details,  CLICK HERE.

This research was gathered by BrandSpark International from a Cross-Media Connections Audit with Magazines Canada.


Expand Your Marketing to 50+ Consumers

Every day the senior consumer market grows while other age-specific markets stay static or decrease. In 2014/2015, the growth rate of the population aged 65 years and older was 3.5%, approximately four times the growth rate of the total population.

Half the adult population is over the age of 50. Yet only 15% of marketing dollars are allocated to reach this huge consumer group.

While businesses may find it difficult to shift their target, these consumers are rewriting the buyer’s manual.   (more…)