By Anne-Marie Kovacs, Principal, Marketing & Strategy
As professionals running a social marketing agency that specializes in reaching Baby Boomers through social media, it matters that each of our team members be accountable for staying on top of trends relating to Boomers as well as all trends in social media (that’s a hard one to keep up with!!), advertising and marketing in general.
Unfortunately, the trends in marketing to Boomers have not changed since… forever. Either we (baby boomers) are portrayed and targeted as seniors (see my rants about that here and here) – which is not to say that seniors aren’t great; it’s just that they are our parents – or we are invisible. And by invisible, I mean that we are hardly ever represented in any advertising campaign, much less a beauty/cosmetics product campaign.
Of course, we think that the fact that the largest and most affluent consumer segment is completely misrepresented, underrepresented or even ignored is completely absurd, mostly because of the sheer number of us. But is it just our Boombox team (all of which members are highly alert and observant of all matters of media & boomers) that thinks that or…?
To find out for a fact, we decided to ask the people who knew, i.e. the female members of our own network of baby boomers bloggers and influencers. We presented our survey to the women in that group and asked them questions around the theme of ”How do women over the age of 45 REALLY feel about ‘beauty’ at their age”. More precisely, how do they feel about their own beauty and about the advertising/marketing of the beauty products that targets them.
To no surprise, we found that our survey respondents lamented about how beauty brands are doing such a poor job at targeting them. We know that the marketing & advertising world have an ongoing infatuation – actually, a fetish – with youth, but if they want to connect with us and regain our trust, it’s time to get over it. Really.
Stephen Reilly, CEO and founder of VibrantNation.com, the online community for women over 50, correlated the findings of his recent beauty survey with ours in this Engage:Boomers piece. We are in total agreement when we say that the beauty industry is failing this market segment.
Some other things we found out?
- For women over 50, hair is super important!
- They feel more beautiful in midlife than when they did in their 20’s
- They do NOT believe in beauty product claims
- They do NOT like the use of younger models or celebrities in advertising of products targeted to them
- They define beauty in completely different and unexpected terms (read on…)