Women over 40 invisible to marketers

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  • Plenty of brands actively target millennials and senior citizens, but one age group seems to be nearly invisible when it comes advertising: women over 40.
  • A survey more than 500 women over the age of 40 across a variety of U.S.revealed that 64 percent of women feel brands systematically underestimate her spending power; 80 percent feel brands systematically underestimate her intelligence; and 84 percent feel brands systematically overestimate her preoccupation with her physical appearance.
  • Women in their 40s felt sexier, stronger and more powerful than ever before and they don’t want to be 25 again.
  • 76 percent feel brands play a negative role in the perception of women over 40 and 80 percent feel brands perpetuate negative gender stereotypes.

This group strongly believes — nine out of 10 — that brands should play a positive role debunking gender stereotypes. Eight out of 10 women in the survey said brands should play a role in advancing gender equality and seven out of 10 said brands should advance women’s issues.

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This shows that these women believe in brands and the power of brands. They’re not walking away from advertisers.

It’s not just food and the weekly grocery shop that women are responsible for. They also have an effect on big purchase decisions like cars and technology . And while women do buy for themselves, they also influence decision-making for the whole family and are often the key purchase maker.”

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Indeed, 96 per cent are solely or jointly responsible for big spending decisions. Women over 40 are 38 per cent more likely than those younger to be influential in buying a new car, 39 per cent more likely to buy large appliances for the home and 21 per cent more likely to make decisions about TVs, stereos and computers

Here are some tips for marketers from Fancy on reaching women ages 40 and up:

1. Include her. Make sure to put women 40+ in castings and show them in roles where they wouldn’t usually be shown. This is a really powerful group which deserves to be represented more accurately.

2. Take a stand. Use your power and might to move the cultural needle forward for women. Take a stand on issues that benefit women — not just in your advertising, but in the way you conduct business overall.

3. Respect her. For the funny, curious, intelligent woman she is, and the life-stage she’s living. Don’t assume she wants to be 25, chances are she’s feeling pretty damn good already.

4. Recognize the diversity within the group. She could have a toddler or a college student. Or no kids. She could be running a company, or starting her second act. It goes on. There is no stereotype.

5. Be honest. Women over 40 have seen a lot and done a lot. You can’t connect with fakeness and bullshit.

Marketing contrarian with over 15 years of developing leading edge and award winning digital marketing initiatives.

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