The World of the Female Baby Boomer

Given the influence of baby boomer women in today’s market, it’s surprising how little is understood about their predilections and spending patterns. Learn more about this pivotal market segment.

Female baby boomers are truly the marketer’s Holy Grail. As a demographic, female boomers are responsible for an enormous proportion of consumer spending. Baby boomers in general control trillions of market dollars. And since females make up to 80% of all spending decisions in baby boomer households – in areas from finance to food to travel – their importance to the average marketer can hardly be overstated. Yet how much is known about the female baby boomer, who wields such understated market influence?

One of the first things to understand about this female boomer consumer is her aversion to terms like “aging” or “senior.” Many advertisers insist on connoting mature women with white hair and cardigans. But if your images are ones to which the mature market can relate, belaboring the point won’t be necessary. When drawing attention to the fact of age, emphasize positives like wisdom, youthful exuberance, and emotional strength. Acknowledge the idea of female aging as a positive thing. Successful product developers will adeptly walk the line between what is “old” or frumpy and what is appropriate only for adolescents and very young adults.

The business world also tends to ignore the fact that women lead the nation in purchases of consumer electronics. Don’t make the mistake of consigning gadgetry to the realm of young, single, “computer geek” males. In the U.S. each year, women spend more than $55 billion on consumer electronics – total expenditure being $96 billion. Baby boomer women are buying such items because they recognize technology can provide convenience and even enhanced quality of life. But they’re getting little help from marketers and designers, who often don’t prioritize clear instructions or intuitive operating mechanisms.

Travel is also very important to baby boomer women. There’s a strong case to be made for the contention that most world explorers would have been women, had things been different in the 1500’s. Very often boomer men experience travel only at the behest of their wives, who see travel as a means of chasing adventure, learning about the world and rejuvenating spirits. Other female baby boomers don’t bother trying to convince their husbands to come along. Marketers in the field of travel and leisure should be cognizant of the large number of women travelling solo or with girlfriends. Romantic getaways are not necessarily as appealing as the opportunity to try something new or experience an exotic culture.

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