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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.*)
- 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.
- 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.
- Half of today’s millionaires are women. As you would expect, some are self-made, others inherited – no different from men.
- Loyalty is a trait particularly practiced by women. Companies that serve them well will continue to enjoy their patronage.
- 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