Boomer Women: A Market Superpower

Women will control two-thirds of consumer wealth in the next decade.

September 20, 2011
KEYWORDS boomer , marketing , women
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Despite the size of female boomer market, many financial institutions take it for granted.

The baby boomer market is so large that subsets can be considered mass markets in themselves. This is certainly the case with boomer women, according to “Marketing to Baby Boomers,” a white paper from the CUNA Marketing and Business Development Council.

Women control the finances in many, if not most, American households. Considering baby boomers number 76 million, boomer women are a sizeable market.

Despite the size of female boomer market, many financial institutions take it for granted.

Mary Brown and Carol Orsborn, co-authors of “Boom: Marketing to the Ultimate Power Consumer—the Baby Boomer Woman,” list six elements financial institutions may not know about boomer women:

  • Women will control two-thirds of the consumer wealth in the U.S. in the next 10 years. Boomer women will influence as much as 80% of the $2.1 trillion boomers spend on consumer goods and services.
  • Many boomer women are at the peak of their earning potential. Eight of 10 say they don’t plan to retire.
  • Many boomer women will manage inheritances from parents and husbands, as most will outlive their husbands by six to nine years.
  • Women are responsible for more than half of all purchases, even in areas considered to be male. Women make 80% of home improvement decisions, spend more than $55 billion annually on consumer electronics, account for 65% for all new automobiles sold, and buy 66% of computers.
  • Women ages 35 to 54 years old made up the highest proportion of web surfers. Direct catalog marketers estimate that women constitute 70% of online purchasers, the majority of whom are boomers.
  • Boomer women aren’t set in their ways. According to the Center for Women’s Business Research, 68% of women over age 35 old say that the older they get, the more they enjoy trying new things.

Time is money

Baby boomers have little time to spare and seek out products and services that save time and effort.

Boomers place a great deal of value on time, according to a Yankelovich Monitor study, which asked respondents to place a value on one minute of their time. Boomers valued their time the most at $2 per minute, double every other generational cohort and more than the $1.25 per minute average.

Credit unions should make sure their websites are easy to use and quick to navigate. If it takes more than three clicks or eight seconds to find a product, consumers will go elsewhere.

Next: How boomer women buy

Women Are Connectors

Mark Arnold
September 20, 2011 7:18 pm
This is a great aricle! Women are first and foremost connectors. They don't so much buy a brand as join one. If you reach one woman successfully with your credit union brand, you will actually reach many.

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Great article! Unfortunately, most employees don’t feel valued or appreciated by their supervisors or employers. In fact, research has shown that the predominant reason team members quit their jobs is because they don’t feel valued. This is in spite of the fact that employee recognition programs have proliferated in the workplace – over 90% of all organizations in the U.S. has some form of employee recognition activities in place. But most employee recognition programs are viewed with skepticism and cynicism – because they aren’t viewed as being genuine in their communication of appreciation. Getting the “employee of the month” award, receiving a certificate of recognition, or a “Way to go, team!” email just don’t get the job done. How do you communicate authentic appreciation? We have found people have different ways that they want to be shown appreciation, and if you don’t communicate in the language of appreciation important to them, you essentially “miss the mark”. Additionally, employees need to receive recognition more than once a year at their performance review. Otherwise, they view the praise as “going through the motions”. A third component of authentic appreciation is that the communication has to be about them personally – not the department, not their group, but something they did. Finally, they have to believe that you mean what you say. How you treat them has to match the words you use. If you are not sure how your team members want to be shown appreciation, the Motivating By Appreciation Inventory ( will identify the language of appreciation and specific actions preferred by each employee. You then can create a group profile for your team, so everyone knows how to encourage one another. Remember, employees want to know that they are valued for what they contribute to the success of the organization. And communicating authentic appreciation in the ways they desire it can make the difference between keeping your quality team members or having a negative work environment that everyone wants to leave. Paul White, Ph.D., is the co-author of The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace with Dr. Gary Chapman.

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