Why are millennial-obsessed marketers ignoring women over 50 – when they spend the money?

It is only in the stale, fossilised, '30-years-out-of-date universe of marketing' that women over 50 – who control 95% of consumer spending decisions – are being completely ignored by marketers, argues Bob Hoffman

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, for example, 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 three 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 The answer is obvious — the stale, fossilised, 30-years-out-of-date universe of marketing.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.

Bob Hoffman has been the CEO of two independent agencies and is the author of the Ad Contrarian blog, where this post first appeared


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella Asia newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing