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News & Blogs: The Female Consumer

Marketing to Boomer women: A radical opportunity

Tuesday, January 20, 2015  
Posted by: Barbara Francella
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By Marti Barletta

Baby Boomers, as a generation, have entered what I call "PrimeTime" — most are 50 to 70 years old. This peak of life presents new opportunities as they reach the heights of their careers and, typically, the end of their child-rearing.

Boomers are the pioneers of PrimeTime women, and they will set the stage for all the PrimeTime women to come.

Related: Sure-fire strategies for marketing to Millennials

So why are Boomer women the first? They represent a true inflection point in history, and from now on women will never be the same. Striding smartly through the doors of opportunity opened by their mothers, Boomer women came of age during the radical 1960s and '70s, during the height of the Women’s Movement. They have had choices and made decisions that their mothers only dreamed of.

It cannot be overstated how dramatically life has changed for, and has been changed by, Baby Boomer women. They are the first generation of women to have:

  • College educations. Women are graduating from college at rates that substantially exceed their brethren.
  • Serious earning power. Women are bringing home half or more of the household income in more than half of U.S. households.
  • Reproductive rights. This generation was the first to have the ability to control if and when to have children, which in turn determines if and when to take a career hiatus.
  • Property rights. As of 1973, a woman could not get a bank loan without the signature of her husband or father. Until 1981, some state laws designated a husband "head and master” of the household, with unilateral control of property owned jointly with his wife. Think about that: in 1981, I was an adult, 27 years old, with a Wharton MBA and a great brand management job. My husband and I had just purchased our first house together, and he was recognized as the only "owner” of everything we had. Whoa.

This also means marketers are pioneers in marketing to Boomer women. We’ve never had this amazing opportunity before. Do you have a plan for marketing to Boomer women?

Marti Barletta has been called "the High Priestess of Marketing to Women” and "the Chief Rabbi of the Sheconomy.” She is the author of Marketing to Women and PrimeTime Women, which focuses on the market’s high-spending sweet spot, Boomer women in their mid-life prime. Her Fortune 500 consulting clients have included Diageo, Ford, GE Appliances, Logitech, Pfizer, Volvo and others.

Views expressed in blogs, posts and user comments are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Network of Executive Women or its Officers, Board members and corporate partners.

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