Every brand is falling head over heels to market their product to hip, young Millennials or Gen Zs. Getting your product into the hands of an Instagram influencer or someone fresh-faced and cool is the ultimate goal.
Or is it?
At Fancy, we think a lot of brands are missing one key point: Millennials (and even more so Gen Zs) are still building their wealth. Young people today are much more likely to spend their money on experiences and dining out than new products. And, they have limited cash flow.
On the other hand, women over 40 are established in their careers, have built up a reserve of savings, and are interested in authentic, human connection. So, should your brand be targeting women over 40??
We think so. And so do the 500 women over 40 we surveyed about the way they feel advertising and marketing perceive and portray them. Here's what you need to know.
When advertisers are selling a product, they’re not only looking to convince the person who will use their product, but also the person who will actually buy their product.
A woman over 40 will not only be buying products for herself, she’ll be looking for healthy food to feed her family, stimulating toys for her children, interesting date-night spots for fun with her partner, or products and services for her aging parents or in-laws.
It’s time for advertisers to get to know women over 40, connect with them on an authentic level, and realize that they’re not just interested in counting wrinkles and losing 5 pounds. These women are strong, intelligent, and have money to spend on a great number of products that appeal to them.
She’s got money to spend.
It’s important for brands to recognize that not only do women over 40 make 85% of the spending decisions for their household, they have money to spend.
These women aren’t solely focused on beauty products or maintaining their physique, so it’s important to dive a little bit deeper into what and how you should market to these women.
Many women over 40 are well-established in their careers and are bringing home the paycheck that supports their family. Many are supporting aging parents or family members. Many are also choosing not to marry or start families and have only themselves to spend money on.
With a stable job and a good investment account, women over 40 aren’t interested in sitting idly waiting for someone to come along and take care of them. These women are ready for adventure, are interested in learning new things, and aren’t afraid to go it alone or bring along a friend.
Don’t forget, women over 40 aren’t receiving an allowance from their husbands like wives of the 50s, but are bringing home their own checks and managing their own finances.
She needs solutions.
As women take on more and more roles, they have less and less time. Women are working outside the home, inside the home, and finding time to maintain long-term friendships. These independent, busy women don’t need products, they need solutions.
Instead of selling your product to these women, take the time to find out what problems they are facing on a day-to-day basis. Once you know what she’s struggling with, figure out how your product of service solves her problem.
And we don’t mean a quick fix for their mascara. Women over 40 are less focused on their appearance than advertisers give them credit for. These women are focused on real, hard-to-deal-with issues and each day they face them down fiercely.
Offer women over 40 solutions to their problems and find ways to make their lives easier and you’ll find an entire new market of loyal customers.
She’s a caregiver.
Women over 40 don’t want to be seen only as mothers; they’re so much more than that. These women spend time volunteering in their community, go to regular meetings with groups they care about, have an active social life, and work a full-time job.
On top of all that, many of these women are also caregivers. Whether she’s caring for aging parents or a child, many women over 40 find themselves fulfilling the caregiver role alongside everything else they’re doing.
If your product can be marketed as a way to make their role as a caregiver easier, you’ll find yourself with a group of loyal customers. Be careful to build your brand strategy on insights about who they actually are — many women over 40 think that brands don’t correctly portray their experience.
When advertising to women over 40, it’s important not to rely on stereotypes but to accurately portray her experience as a caregiver. It’s not all she is, but it is one of the many roles she fills.
She wants authenticity.
If there’s only one thing that you take away from this post and why your brand should target women over 40, it’s her desire for authenticity.
Not her desire for another wrinkle cream.
We surveyed 500 women over 40 and found that 84% of them felt like brands overestimated their preoccupation with their physical appearance. And, 80% felt brands underestimated their intelligence.
Women over 40 are diverse and dynamic, if brands continue to ignore their desires and needs and assume their only care in the world is their appearance, they will miss out on the opportunity to build an authentic relationship with a large cohort that has money to spend and problems that need solving.
Advertisers don’t think of a woman over 40 as the hip, sexy woman who wants to buy their products. And yet, that’s exactly how she sees herself. Women over 40 have never felt sexier, more confident, or more powerful. She has a job, independence, and is fighting for equality.
Want help reaching women over 40?
Fancy is a strategically-minded creative agency. We work with visionary brand leaders who understand the power of marketing to women but struggle to do so in an authentic, empowering, and effective way.
If you think your brand could be doing more to create personal, motivating, and profitable connections with women over 40, or of any age, we'd love to share our insights.