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The Strange Case of the Invisible Woman (by Bob Hoffman – Type A Group)

For years I’ve been writing about the stupidity of marketers and advertisers who are obsessed with young people and ignore the most valuable market in the history of markets — people over 50.

Today we’re going to get a little more “granular” and talk specifically about the mystery of why advertisers ignore women over 50. First the facts: Forbes has called women over 50 “super consumers …they are the healthiest, wealthiest and most active generation in history.”

  • Women over 50 are the single largest demographic group with incomes over $100,000
    They control 95% of household purchasing decisions
  • Contrary to the inane bullshit that they are “stuck in their ways,” 82% will try new brands.

On average, baby boomer women make more money than millennial men.  Median weekly earnings:

  • Highly coveted Men 25-34: $791
  • Completely ignored Women 55-64: $795

If Americans over 50 were their own country, they’d be the third largest economy in the world — larger than the entire economies of Germany, Japan, or India. Between now and 2030 they will grow at almost 3 times the rate of adults under 50. And among adults over 50, women do the majority of consumer spending.

And what percent of marketing activity is aimed at people over 50? According to a 2016 report by Nielsen — 5%. You read that right, 5%.

In what universe does this make any sense? The answer is obvious — the stale, fossilized, 30-years-out-of-date universe of marketing.

If there is one thing you need to know about advertisers today it is this — we are totally obsessed with collecting data, and totally incompetent at understanding it.