I surveyed several of my good 40-something female friends during the past few weeks – trying to figure out what they really want from marketers. The results are not surprising…or maybe they are.
Not everything centers around their families anymore. If they had children in their 20s, then their kids are independent, which means they are too. A mom in her forties is finding out for the first time that she is free to make time for herself, free to rediscover her personal needs and free to spend money on herself.
And, why not? If she’s a career woman, her income is peaking. And if she’s managed her household finances wisely, she has put away enough money to indulge her self every now and then – even in today’s economy.
Yet, she often feels ignored or misunderstood by marketers.
“I’m bombarded with commercials, ads and coupons for things I don’t need – from diapers and juice boxes to skinny jeans. Or I’m talked at about aging creams, menopause management and assisted living.” says Susan, 42, an attorney and mother of three teenage girls. “All I really want is help finding a new restaurant to experience with my friends. Or a cool recipe to make with my husband at home. I want a recommendation for a good book for enjoying some alone time. And a face lotion that makes me feel good without offering empty promises of looking 10 years younger. I’m over that.”
While women in their 40s are no longer multi-tasking super moms, they’re not ready for facelifts or assisted living either. They’re somewhere in-between: engaged, confident and refocused on self. They’re techie enough to use social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter to stay connected with friends and family and stay abreast of the latest news and information. They’re savvy enough to discern which brands best meet their needs and earn their trust. And they are no longer in a constant state of being on the go. They have the time to get to know a brand’s products and benefits better.
Still, too many marketers prefer to chase the more seductive 18-to-39 year olds, believing their brand loyalty is more malleable, so they can be captured as lifetime customers. Or they go after the 50 plus boomers, presuming that’s where the greater disposable income can be found.
Women in their forties offer both. They can become your most loyal brand ambassadors — eager to share their brand experiences with others, and they are shopping for enjoyment – with money to spend on self. They are interested in electronics, travel, home, beauty and fashion. They are actually reading the catalogs found in their mailboxes – both print and online.
They may be the “in-between” decade, but they offer marketers the opportunity to create the kind of relationships that can build brands, and businesses. Know their world. Speak their language. They have time again to stop and listen.