super consumers

The super consumers most Marketers are overlooking

Last week we covered a consumer group so young that most of its members are not even born yet, Gen Alpha. Today, we will talk about another consumer group that many brands make the mistake of forgetting, women over 50 (also known as super consumers).
There is a reason why Forbes calls this group “super consumers”; at 40 million large (US stats), they have the biggest spending power over any other living generation. And with a longer life expectancy, they will wield their spending power for a much longer time.
Here are some quick facts about this super consumer group:

  • They represent over $15 trillion dollars in purchasing power
  • They are the largest demographic group with incomes over $100,000
  • They control 95% of household purchasing decisions and 80% of luxury travel purchases
  • 82% are willing to try new brands
  • 44% have stated that they want to improve their looks
  • 75% are willing to pay a little extra for both quality and convenience

A group of consumers ripe for targeting? Here is the kicker: just 5% of marketing activity is aimed at this group.
To even begin to understand this huge targeting gap, we must look at some stereotypical myths which may in some way explain it. Firstly, women over 50 are considered extremely brand loyal and not easily swayed by marketing messages. Secondly, these women are also considered as not being very tech savvy or engaged in social media.
Of course, these are huge misconceptions.
Marketers need to understand these women. What do they want? What resonates with them?
As supported by the statistics above, these women are committed to constantly improving their standard of living and, with high disposable income, they are likely to try new brands. They are also tech-savvy and can match any young millennial and her love of social media. It’s long been publicized that Facebook’s most growing demographic is the 50+ market.
If marketers want to target this largely untapped market they must avoid these assumptions. They must present them with content that is relevant to their stage in life, reflects premium values and is mobile and social.
L’Oreal Paris did a great job with their recent ‘golden squad’ campaign (reminiscent of the Taylor Swift squad, circa 2016). They included a bevy of Hollywood superstars with a message challenging the perceptions of aging. Traditional media and pop culture are also taking notice, for example with the critical success of shows like Grace and Frankie (but we’re still waiting for a Golden Girls reboot).
“Marketers have an opportunity to realize the huge upside by creating smartly targeted, highly personalized messages that tap into the unique passions of an extremely influential group with the ability to move products, markets and society.”
– Patricia Lippe Davis
This demographic is smart, experienced and confident. They want to feel like they are respected and well represented. Brands’ marketing messages need to reflect that. Women over 50 tend to like to give and seek advice, which means that working on building advocacy could also have a halo effect. Any marketer with a product or service that might appeal to this market needs to rethink the focus of their spend and messaging on ensure they don’t miss the opportunity to engage this powerful demographic.  

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