As companies and their marketing teams strive to understand Boomer women, we must realize that mid-life for Boomer women is much different than the stereotypes indicate. As I wrote last week in "What Do New Year's and Menopause Have in Common?", there are three aspects to the revitalizing effect mid-life has on Boomer women. Today, let's discuss the first: they have more time and more control.
To understand this, we have to start when Boomer women were younger. Despite the fact that fathers these days are helping out more with shopping, chauffeuring, cooking and housekeeping than their fathers did, in an average household, women still spend almost twice as many hours a week on these tasks as their husbands do-27 hours and 16 hours, respectively.
In addition to chief cook and bottle washer, most women are the family's health guardian, school liaison, housekeeper, vehicle upkeeper, home services coordinator, inventory manager, bill payer, chief purchasing officer, travel/vacation planner and social scheduler.
Most men keep their lives a little more streamlined: in addition to their job outside the home, their responsibilities around the house typically include lawn care, home and care maintenance, everything electronic, sports coaching and... oh, right: barbequing. (Did I miss anything?)
When the kids get older and more independent, and especially when they launch households of their own, the demands on mothers' time drop significantly. But because of the nature of their chores, and because they put in fewer hours in the first place, fathers' commitments and schedules are relatively less affected.
So while both mid-lifers are thinking longingly about what they coulda-woulda-shoulda done with their lives, only the women get an "empty nest bonus" of extra time to look into new options, interests and activities.
Perhaps this is why research shows that men's "dream fulfillment" peaks in their mid-30's, while women's "dream fulfillment" increases with age, reaching the pinnacle as they reach 50-70 years of age. Just a reminder-that age group currently describes Boomer women!
Your marketing communications to Boomer women have the opportunity to build on the story of dreaming big... and fulfilling those dreams. That has the potential for some compelling marketing messages, right? Much more so than advisements about slowing down and becoming less able (The old "I've fallen, and I can't get up!" advertisements come to mind).