I recently discovered a great site – VibrantNation.com – for Women 50 plus and found some great (and surprising) info there for marketers, which is all detailed in the WhitePaper that they have produced.
Their survey which was based on 1,000 well educated woman with household earnings of $75,000 plus reveals much about the fastest growing demographic on Facebook.
Firstly they are very well connected and their connections are growing as they age. In the past this was the reverse . As women aged and left the workplace their external to family relationships shrank quickly.
Secondly they depend heavily on the opinions of “women like them” … even if they don’t know them. 88% declaring that referrals from others including online testimonials from strangers as one of the top 3 factors influencing buying decisions. While 60% consider advertising to be influential and less than 50% take notice of television ads.
More than 70% said they happily rely on advice from those outside their personal network if they have knowledge of the product or service they are considering.
And finally they seek new connections from their existing network as their needs and interests change with age. Almost unanimously they said the factors influencing their motivation to purchase changed dramatically as they entered late 40s and early 50s.
So rather than the traditional assumptions re changes relating to retirement and slow down, the changing approaches have more to do with financial stability, empty nesting, losing parent/spouse, new family roles (eg. grandparent, caregiver), physical changes and social changes (travel, volunteering, environmental awareness etc).
It is obvious that marketers who fail to recognise these dramatic changes that are going on will miss the boat! They will fail to win the desired business unless they find new ways to connect with these well-connected women. Social Networks and Social Media are facilitating these connections and now its up to the marketers to move away from the traditional means of influence and embrace the new ways.
Perhaps the Grumpy Old Managers Guide will help them find their way.