The marketing agency Vibrant Nation has recently published the book “Vibrant Nation: What Boomer Women 50+ know, think, do & buy”, which you can download here. We published an article in French at that time, but now we can provide you with an exclusive interview of Stephan Reilly, founder of Vibrant Nation and co-author of the book. Here are his answers. You can found the translation of this interview at the bottom of the article.
What those women want
1) Which are the fields in which women 50+ are clearly not targeted enough by marketers?
Almost all consumer categories, but the ones with the largest missed opportunities are probably financial services, fashion, consumer electronics, and automobiles.
2) Cite one or two telling examples of successful advertising campaigns aiming at women 50+.
Last year, Kimberly-Clark launched a campaign that repositioned its “Depend” brand (adult diapers) as a resource that allows active, successful women over 50 a way to keep doing what they want to be doing in spite of a health condition that might otherwise slow them down. You can see one of these ads in that video.
Procter & Gamble’s Olay brand has also done an excellent job of providing information for Baby Boomer women to make their own decisions about skincare products. This approach acknowledges women’s intelligence and trusts her to make the right decision, rather than telling her what the right decision should be.
Why do men and women prefer different types of ads? Marketers often rely on cultural or sociological stereotypes to explain this phenomenon, but there may be deeper forces at play. In Gloria Moss’s book “Gender, Design and Marketing“, the author posits purely scientific explanations to justify why men and women’s tastes are so different, and there may be more truth to them than we might expect.
THE THEORY: “WOMEN AND MEN DO NOT HAVE THE SAME DESIGN AESTHETIC.”
The crucial first step in understanding gender differences as related to marketing is to be cognizant of womens’ design aesthetics: what themes, colors, and objects attract them? The author of Gender, Design, and Marketing, Gloria Moss, has surveyed a corpus of literature about drawings that spans over 100 years. Her meta-analysis shows that men and women have intuitive design preferences which do not depend on age or cultural differences, but are consistent throughout time.
A 3000-person 5-country study published by Euro RSCG Worldwide shows that gender roles are shifting with the current generation.
A few key trends emerge.
First, there is a global perception about women breaking the so-called “glass ceiling” and gaining an increasing amount of leadership positions. The traditional image of women sitting at home and cooking all day is gone, and has been replaced with a stronger feminine picture who chooses what she wants and takes control.
Second, the male/female distinction is also on the downswing. More women and men are breaking down gender role stereotypes like women playing football and men going to spas. D&G’s Anthology perfume line seems to be taking advantage of this trend by making all its perfumes unisex.
Third, 90% of women believe that their everyday workload is more difficult than men’s. Generally considered the primary caretaker of kids and organizer of the household, many women feel busy and feel the need to de-stress often.
To read more about the rest of the trends, visit the full article.
With marketing to women becoming a growing and significant phenomenon, there are now several agencies in the U.S. specializing in it: Frank About Women, Female Factor, Vibrant Nation, and even the Red Bean Society which specializes in marketing to Latina Women.
While every agency has its specific specialties, there are some more common offers in this market.
Notably, helping brands adapt to a female clientele in all areas is important: from the product design to the packaging to the communication strategy, agencies can help tailor a brand’s image to fit a holistic message they are trying to convey. Other than consulting, agencies also offer training and educational materials, sponsor and organize conferences, and do market research and analyses to gain further insight on the ways clientele’s opinions are shifting.
Content targeted to women is growing at an enormous rate, especially on the internet, so it seems that these companies will be growing a lot in size and in importance in the years to come.