Women 50+ Wired and Well Connected

vibrant women

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.

Booming Boomers

Some new research in Australia by Charlie Nelson of Foreseechange further highlights the powerful market that Boomers and in particular mature women make up. It also shows that current approaches to reaching them need to change.

While the increase in the under 50s between 2001 and 2011 will be a mere 2%… in the over 50s it will be 32%. And the 55 – 64 year olds now account for 17.6% of discretionary – spending up from 13% in the 1990s. This group are also big users of the Internet.

They are no longer tech averse as they are now embracing technology being generally open an adaptable to new ideas. Many now online frequently… confidently booking travel, researching and buying products and services.

Another study by Evergreen and Perspective Research highlights the importance of marketing to women in an appropriate way. With women proving to be the financial powerhouse of the boomer brigade marketers need to get the message and the medium right .. as most women 50 plus are actively discouraged by the way they are portrayed now in advertising (no wonder advertising doesn’t work!!).

So we need to use the Net and make sure the Content is right and appropriate if we want to reach a very powerful market …rather than stick to the conventional thinking .. that says the 50 pluses dont use technology .. and women of a certain age should be portrayed as past it.

But sadly many fail to realise —- The Times They Are a’ Changing.

And if that’s not enough … I read in today’s Australian.

People in Aust with Broadband now spend more time on the Net than watching TV – 22 hrs vs. 14 hrs!! With half of those surveyed being 30 – 49 years old.. Many watching video online … but only if its free… very few prepared to pay a $5 a month subscription fee to watch.

So what have I learned today …. I am on the right track… hope you are too.