Laurie Banks, President

5 Secrets to Reaching ‘Prime Time Women’

front page, marketing to women, Perry & Banks on March 22nd, 2010 Comments Off on 5 Secrets to Reaching ‘Prime Time Women’

Now here’s a trend I really love: when you look beyond the hard-to-reach 18- to 34-year-old demographic, you’ll find a surprising customer segment that is proving to be even more lucrative — and will continue to grow even more powerful over the next 20 years.

It’s called “PrimeTime Women,” a term coined by Marti Barletta, creator of the influential TrendSight marketing-to-women blog, This segment is 50 to 70 years old, educated and affluent, active and healthy… at her peak in every sense of the word.

She’s the decision-maker for more than 80 percent of all household spending — and once the college bills are out of the way and the nest is empty, her discretionary spending power can be up to 2.5 times that of the average person.

She is a key component of the workforce, and for the first time in history, earns 53 percent of all household income. Personally and professionally at the top of her game, she is more involved in community, family, work and politics than younger women.

But how do you engage with a Prime Time Woman customer? Truth is, women make buying decisions differently than men, and their expectations for customer service and information are very high. Here are the five essential secrets to her buying behavior:

1. Trusted sources.
According to Ketchum Research, before women go shopping, they go CROPing; they seek out Credible Opinions from people in their social and business network for advice. Friends and family form the top tier of trustworthy sources, but today, blogs and social media are playing an increasingly important role.

2. Buying with others in mind.
Women think people are the most important and interesting element in life, and their buying decisions take into account how those people will use and benefit from her purchase.

3. Details count.
Every point of contact must satisfy this customer: super-clean restrooms and dressing rooms; easy-to-follow instructions for all products and services; friendly and helpful customer service; perhaps an occasional follow-up to let her know you appreciate her business.

4. Credibility is key.
Your marketing message needs to be realistic and believable. You are marketing to some of the world’s greatest detectives.

5. Be ready to listen. When a woman inquires about your product, she probably has spent a lot of time researching what she wants. If you really listen and respond to her criteria, you will establish a long-term bond.

PrimeTime Women have been called the “silver bullets” of marketing. They might take a little more work, but you will be rewarded with “evangelistic” customers who will bring in not only repeat business, but many more customers like them.

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