Marketing GPS:
Navigating Your Marketing Options

Focus on Prime Time Women to Increase Sales
By Liz Harsch
of Tailor-Made Advertising
(Torrance, CA)

November 2009

Romance the Boomers and Win Big In Sales - Part 2

If I could point to one factor that has caused LA retail to suffer the most, it would be the Prime Time Woman's reluctance to spend money today.  She is the one that stopped shopping and turned off the cash.  She is also the person who can turn that spending hesitation around faster than any other demographic.

"Prime Time Women" is a name given to female baby boomers by Marit Barletta, which specifically refers to their purchasing power.  They represent 83% of household purchases.  Prime Time Women will represent the center of the marketing universe for the next two decades.  In 2000, 37% of the adult US population was 50 or older, by 2010 that figure will rise to 50%.  There is no retailer who would not benefit from having her on board.

Today's Prime Time Women have the money, but they are not going to let it go without a reason.  So if you can satisfy the question "why buy today?" with a good answer, they will spend and you will benefit.  Another long-term benefit - they are an extremely loyal group.

Fifty? Not What It Used To Be

As confident breadwinners and "chief purchasing officers" both in the home and in the workplace, boomer women enter their prime years with a degree of market clout that previously belonged almost exclusively to older men.  They are the first female cohorts in history to have these characteristics, and they've proven that they won't be the last.

Some things to keep in mind regarding Prime Time Women
  • She's looking forward.  When she thinks of her life, she thinks in terms of experience gained and experiences yet to be enjoyed.  Show her the benefits your product will bring to her life.
  • She's economically vital.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of women age 55 and older in the workforce will increase a whopping 52% between 2000 and 2010.  Many of the jobs lost in the recession were jobs traditionally held by men.  So she is in a stronger financial position to buy your product.
  • She's physically fit.  According to Diane Holman of Woman-Trends, if a woman reaches her 50th birthday without cancer or heart disease, she can expect to reach the age of 92.  That means she can look forward to a long period of purchasing and decision-making.  If you impress her, she will support you throughout the years.
How to Woo and Win Her
  • Get real.  Realize that beauty comes before, during and after age.  Older women don't want to deny their age, they want to value their "real selves" and seek authenticity.  For example, Dove's "Campaign for Real Beauty" has rejuvenated the brand image practically overnight.
  • Recognize she's on the go.  Portray her as independent.  Since women tend to outlive their husbands and remarry less frequently than men, friendships are key.  Show her with a vibrant set of peers.  Girlfriends will become increasingly important if she's widowed, divorced or single.  Women discuss their conquests, including the deals they've negotiated.  So their referrals are gold.
  • Incorporate stores into your messages.  These women use their life experiences.  Mass Mutual's online financial planning seminars are great examples of effective storytelling.  Narrated by women in different life stages, each conveys solid financial advice pertaining to the particular needs of women.
How Do You Reach Her?  What Are Her Media Preferences?
  • Prime Time Women still overwhelmingly rely on "Traditional" media: when combined, 70% of respondents cite multiple print and broadcast media as their primary news source - TV News programs (23%), newspapers (21%), radio (15%) and magazines (11%).
  • Local, local, local: Of those who turn to the print edition of newspapers, 61% of women 50+ rely on their local paper as their primary news source, while only 22% turn to a national paper such as the New York Times the Wall Street Journal or USA Today.
  • Regarding television and radio: 29% of those who get their news via the TV turn to local news coverage.  23% tune in to network news programming.  Nearly 14% of respondents tune to local radio for their news.
  • 28% of women 50+ depend on the Internet as their primary news source.  Of those respondents, 29% use their web service homepage (Google, Yahoo, MSN, etc.).  25% log-on to newspaper websites (,, local newspaper sites, etc.)
  • 25% read news blogs and specialty news sources (,,, etc.).
  • 16% rely on online news sites of broadcast media outlets (,,, etc.)

Simply stated, if you are not reaching out to the baby boomer generation and specifically Prime Time Women,  you should.

For more information on Prime Time Women and reaching baby boomers in Greater LA, contact Tailor-Made Advertising in Torrance at (310) 791-6300 or email us at

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Liz Harsch
Liz Harsch has been a Market Consultant for retail and service companies in Greater LA since 1982.  To learn about her Torrance company visit
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