I’m on the early end of the boomer spectrum at 48, but I’m still in the club. When we talk about Mom Bloggers, I think the perception is that we are all changing diapers, sitting in carpool lines, and organizing play dates.
Not so. My kids won’t let me near the bathroom when they are in it, they all drive now, and I’m lucky if I hear about their dates 10 minutes before they leave.
But we are moms…and we are women. And we have been there and done that. We are doing things differently and doing different things. Marketers need to realize that we aren’t in the “young mommy” stages of life. For many of us we are embarking on a new frontier…preparing for or entering the empty nest syndrome.
Yes, this has been going on and marketers are surveying demographics all the time. But we are dealing with a bad economy. At this point we are beginning to pay for college tuitions, assessing retirement needs, and embarking on real estate transitions as we prepare to downsize. As graduating children find it harder to find jobs, we continue to parent and providing assistance at times. And as our parents age, we may find ourselves in the role of caregiver for them too.
We are still making the bulk of the household purchasing decisions. We remember the first black and white TV commercials for products that are today all over twitter, facebook, and websites with fancy flash ads. We are “puppy dog” loyal to the brands we like. (I wonder if that somehow justifies the term often used “set in your ways”). Providing value to the market helps retain the attention of the boomer mom and helps the boomer mom save more money to be used later down the road….when those retirement dollars start rolling out.
This market grows more web savvy and the digital age moves into more areas of their lives. If you can grab the attention of a boomer age mom, get her to like your product, you have a fan for life. We only become more brand comfortable as time goes on. We still appreciate quality because we remember the way shoes, clothing, cars, and gadgets used to be made. Sturdy, tough, and reliable. When we do begin spending that retirement money or costs decrease as kids move on, companies can be proactive by reaching out to that segment with more than a “this soup has more fiber” ad and use social media tools in a way that will get their attention.
Because of our situations, we are more aware of value and cost than we may have been in the past. I can tell you that paying for 2 and soon 3 college tuitions has me frazzled. I start to look at retirement as “what I have left to make it” and hope it’s enough. As many of us made the mad rush to Facebook (even though we are the less frequent users), we are learning the ropes of social media as traditional media disappoints.
So how do you market to the boomer crowd? As we approach and realize the empty nest days, we are looking for change in our own lives and interested in embarking on new projects and finding new destinations. We are more mobile – may want to travel or find new hobbies. Companies can take advantage of this both online and offline. Many companies get this already. I look at Coldwater Creek and their extensive line of easy care travel knits. They continue to expand and update (keeping fresh and trendy) the look of this line and it resonates with my demographic.
Maybe it requires thinking outside the brand. So many have taken on women’s health issues – breast cancer, colon cancer, heart disease which is fabulous. But so much more can be done to grab this segment of the market. Focus on the fun side of life for boomers. It’s not just the health care and financial planning fields that are jumping on the boomer bandwagon. Look at companies like LL Bean who holds fly fishing courses for women (for all ages) at their Outdoor Discovery School location in Freeport, Maine. This is something that is on my short list to try as I dream of free time and checking this out eventually leads me to the LL Bean site retail site.
I’m ready for the next stage. Almost too ready sometimes. My hope is that more companies realize that moving on is an opportunity for us and an opportunity for them to be creative, engaging and inevitably successful!