When it comes to vacation spending decisions in America, it seems, women rule. Especially baby boomer women.
Women definitely have the wealth. Those age 50 and older have a net worth of $19 trillion, and control more than three-quarters of the financial wealth in the U.S., according to a Mass Mutual Financial Group report. In turn, these same women spend 2 1/2 times that of the average American.
According to statistics from the she-conomy blog, written by Stephanie Holland of Holland and Holland Advertising, women in general account for 85 percent of all consumer purchases in the U.S. — and 92 percent of vacation spending.
To repeat: women spend more than nine out of ten vacation dollars.
That means that marketers should pay serious attention to women travelers. But many women say they don’t. In one survey, nine out of ten women said advertisers don’t understand them — possibly because so few creative directors at agencies are women.
Here are a few things women would respond to, according to Cindy May of Cindy May Marketing:
* “Positive, uplifting messages” in advertising, replacing “emotionally aggressive advertising.” Women want reasons to bond with your brand, whatever it may be, May says — adding that language used doesn’t have to be “fluffy or boring,” and that action words are fine as long as they aren’t overly aggressive.
* Advertising and product packaging should be “visually appealing” to catch a woman’s eye; while men might focus strictly on information presented, women also respond to the “look and feel” of a website, brochure, advertisement or business card.
* “Values matter.” As I’ve written previously in this blog, if your tour agency or travel company donates to a worthy cause, let women boomers, particularly, know about it.
* “Relate to your prospect.” May suggests using phrases like “We know how you feel” or “You’re not alone,” demonstrating you understand what challenges female consumers may be facing.
Women also tend to respond positively to environmentally friendly, green choices, May notes.
One thing I would add to this: Boomers in general — and perhaps boomer women in particular — do not like to be talked down to. Most of us traveling boomers have known success forging independent lives and careers, and boomer women were in the forefront of the women’s liberation movement and the sexual revolution back in the ’60s and ’70s. Aging or no, they won’t stand for condescension.
And I’ll repeat one more time: women spend more than nine out of ten vacation dollars in America.
Travel marketers, take heed.
Be sure to download my free report, “How to Ride the Coming Wave of Boomers,” available here. It’s all about the best ways to market travel to baby boomers — the biggest-spending group of travelers the world has ever seen.
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