Avon Products CEO Andrea Jung made a very astute comment: “The biggest emerging market in the world isn’t a country. It’s women.”
Women are a power to be reckoned with. We are not a “niche market”, and if you think we are, let me give you some strong statistics that prove otherwise:
- American women spend about $5 trillion annually
- Women control over 60% of personal wealth in the U.S.
- 68% of women are the online spenders
- Women make 80% of the buying decisions
- 70% of new businesses are started by women
- Women 50+ are the wealthiest, healthiest and most active generation of women in history
I don’t think sales, marketing or advertising companies always understand us. Here are some suggestions to help them out:
As a woman in my 50s, I want quality clothes that are stylish and current. I don’t choose to look like a teenager again. Designers, wake up!
Don’t brush us off or get impatient with us. If you do, we’ll take our business elsewhere. We ask questions to make the best decisions. Don’t assume the man has the money. When I went car shopping a few years ago, the salesman focused on my husband, not me. The guy lost the sale because he ignored me, the one with the checkbook.
Stop targeting only the young consumers. They aren’t the ones with the money. We are. Focus on us older women individually— not as a couple. I am my own person and make my own decisions.
There are only a handful of magazines that reflect the interests of the woman 50 and older. The fashion magazines show young, stick-thin models wearing attire I wouldn’t consider wearing to a Halloween party. We’re non-existent to them. Remember, we’re the ones with the money. Youth sells, as long as the anti-aging myth is perpetuated. It’s a lie that we’ll be young forever but many want to believe it.
I want to watch television programs and movies that are thought-provoking and interesting. I am tired of all the violence and stupidity. These days the programming for TV and movies is geared toward the younger minds. I feel most comedies are inane and their humor infantile, directed at the 18 to 34 year-old male demographic.
Women are big sports fans across the board. When watching sports why would every ad for a truck, a beer brand or a sexual enhancement drug be of interest to us? Forty-five percent of us are buying light trucks and SUVs.
Don’t think of all of us as moms as the little lady of the house. We’re high powered purchasers and need to be listened to. We’re the decision makers on everything from autos to healthcare. As women, we are the guides for our families. We influence what food is eaten, what car to drive, where we live, how our homes are furnished, where we go on vacations and more.
Sure, we’re known as shoppers. But now we’re making big purchases that, in the past, were made by men. It’s estimated that over the next decade, women will control two thirds of the wealth in the United States.
Life has changed for women in the past 50 years. We juggle managing our families, running businesses and making the time to volunteer in our communities. We’re concerned about the environment, wellness, healthcare, values, giving back, a stable future for our children and our parents. Pay attention to those needs.
Ask us, rather than assuming you know what we want. Women make decisions differently than men. We’re open to trying new products and services, although we need information before we buy. We take our time. We look for the details that work for us. We’re looking for value, quality and good customer service. When you take good care of us, we’re loyal customers. Yes, some of us like the color pink, but that doesn’t mean you have to make it in pink.
Don’t underestimate us 50 and beyond women. We’re not like our younger counterparts. We don’t act like them and we don’t want to look like them. We’re changing and so are our interests and needs. We look and act younger than our mothers ever did, and we choose a lifestyle that reflects who we are now. We want to enjoy life, be secure, have adventures and look good.
I say Amen to that. Or should I say Awomen?
Isadora Dahlen is a writer, educator, coach and champion for women’s empowerment. She resides in Scottsdale, AZ with her husband, Alan. You can follow her on her blog, StrongWomenBlog.com, and on Twitter (@IsadoraDahlen).