Marti Barletta, guru of marketing to women, has turned her attention to women of a certain age in her new book, PrimeTime Women: How to Win the Hearts, Minds, and Business of Boomer Big Spenders (Kaplan, 2007, $25 US).
Although Barletta's book is aimed at business, nonprofit marketers should pay attention as well. Older women feel socially responsibile, a trait that can benefit both nonprofits and businesses.
How Are Women Different?
Barletta lays out the differences between men and women, especially PrimeTime women. Key points for nonprofits are:
- Men pay less attention to people while women are people powered. Stories of real people in difficult situations will trump the latest gadget for women.
- Men are soloists while women are ensemble players. For men individuality, freedom, autonomy, and independence are valued. Women see themselves as part of an ensemble group. They think "we," not "me."
- Men do unto themselves; women do unto others. Women see themselves first as members of a community, then as individuals. They feel responsible to people who need help, and they open their wallets as well as their hearts.
- Men are driven by envy while women are driven by empathy. Women are not as interested in winning as they are in belonging and being understood. Men want to be admired, but women wish to be appreciated.
What Happens to Women as They Age?
- PrimeTime women yearn to leave a legacy.
- PrimeTime women are very interested in civic activism.
- PrimeTime women are at their peak earnings with plenty of discretionary dollars to lavish on their favorite causes.
Cause Marketing--the Ideal Partnership Between Business and Nonprofit
Cause marketing is ideal for women, and particularly older women, since they have a propensity to feel that they are the "guardians of civilization."
Companies and nonprofits should think of meaningful events since PrimeTime Women have not only money but time on their hands. They want to become involved, to be actively altruistic. Barletta cites a tree planting picnic staged by one of the new hybrid car makers; and the wildly successful Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Walks.
Promotions that have worked well with Boomer women include the partnership of BMW and the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation with The Ultimate Drive campaign.
Since women are very peer oriented, businesses and nonprofits should provide group opportunities. The recent surge in Giving Circles, for instance, is dominated by groups of women. Events and promotions should include "girlfriend" possibilities as well as intergenerational opportunities that include grandchildren and other family members.
PrimeTime Women Are the Future
Barletta coins the term "corporate halo" to refer to corporations that go beyond just the occasional cause campaign. The halo includes the sum of a company's social responsibility and community citizenship. Boomer women are looking for a way to make the world a better place and to leave a legacy. They will favor companies that partner with good causes and do it for the long-term.
Barletta points out that older women will, for the next two decades, occupy the "center of gravity" in the US and in the developed world. This is partly because of their sheer numbers but also because of the fortune that they control. PrimeTime Women are an ideal target for corporations and nonprofits to target together.
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