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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How boomer women buy

According to authors Lisa Johnson and Andrea Learned, women shop in a process that involves consulting friends, comparison shopping, checking reference sources, and getting validation from experts and as well as word of mouth sources.

Jonhson and Learned say:

  • Women are constituent-driven decision makers. This means their purchases are made with their “constituents” in mind—spouse, children, grandchildren, aging parents, employees and friends.

So when designing a marketing campaign for a financial product or service, plan it for the women’s constituents as well. Position your services and offers on how they’ll benefit others in her life as well as her.

  • Women seek continuing relationships and expert information. When trying a new product, women will typically ask someone who owns the product. That person can serve as an expert source of information.
  • Credit unions are the financial experts and trusted advisors. Boomer women are hungry for unbiased financial information without the ever-present sales hustle.
  • Most women (70%) need help managing their finances, according to a survey by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Also, 76% of women say they have credit card debt and 35% use their cards frequently and carry balances.
  • Women comparison shop. Women will look at products’ prices, benefits, and features. They’ll also go online to search for the best available financial product or service. Why not be proactive and list the prices of your credit union’s rates and how they compare with your competitors’?

Online surveys gauge women’s interest

Because boomer women are turning to the Internet for comparison shopping for financial products and services, online surveys can be a worthwhile exercise to gauge interest in a particular product.

Online research should:

  • Pose questions in a fun, conversational tone;
  • Package the experience as self-discovery and entertainment;
  • Be simple to sign in and start;
  • Include incentives that motivate participation;
  • Thank members for their participation;
  • Let members opt out of the surveys at any time;
  • Be brief; and
  • Use participants’ e-mail addresses for survey purposes only.

Research efforts shouldn’t ask for unnecessary personal information, include long surveys, or provide incentives that are worthless.

If you put the time and energy into a survey, make sure the incentive matches the credit union’s image.

“Marketing to Baby Boomers” is available free to CUNA Marketing and Business Development Council, $50 for nonmembers.

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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