Marketing to Moms: Meryl Streep Wins with Boomer Moms

January 1, 2010 § 1 Comment

The January 2010 Vanity Fair magazine cover story ponders how Meryl Streep, at age 60, is the new “box office queen.”   In the past two years, she has starred in these blockbusters:  Mamma Mia!, The Devil Wears Prada, Julie & Julia and the new holiday winner It’s Complicated. Her success has violated all the rules — there is no life after 40 for women in Hollywood, and  there’s no money in making movies for women, particularly older ones.  Did I mention that Mamma Mia! has grossed $601 million worldwide?

It seems that there are a lot of old notions among Hollywood and Madison Ave. about who the consumer really is.  The reason that Meryl Streep, Diane Keaton, and Helen Mirren continue to dominate the big screen is their tremendous appeal to the Boomer Market, more specifically boomer moms.

Regarding Mamma Mia! and its aforementioned box-office haul of more than a half-billion dollars, Streep says, “It’s so gratifying because it’s the audience that nobody really gives a shit about.

Fast Company talked about it a couple of years ago – marketers are missing the biggest, richest market of all when they neglect Boomer Moms.  Not only do that have money to spend, but they make most purchasing decisions for the family. And they will live 15 years longer than their husbands.

One out of every three adults in the country is a boomer.  And the boomer generation, born between 1946 and 1964, have always considered themselves to be the most important.  It’s very likely boomers will transform middle-age.  Who else coined the phrase “50 is the new 30!”?

According to Mature Marketing & Research, a Boston-based firm, boomers control more than half of the nation’s discretionary income and three-quarters of the country’s financial wealth.

According to Martha Barletta, author of Marketing to Women: How to Understand, Reach and Increase Your Share of the World’s Largest Market Segment (Dearborn Trade Publishing, 2003), women control or influence 80% of all purchases of both consumer and business goods and services. They have sole or joint ownership of 87% of homes and buy 61% of major home-improvement products. They account for 66% of all home-computer purchases and 80% of all health-care services. They carry 76 million credit cards, 8 million more than men. And they start 70% of all new businesses. “In a nutshell,” says Barletta , “women are the ones spending the money, and boomer women have more money to spend.”

By the way, movie moguls, as a Boomer Mom, not only did I go to the movies three times during the holidays (purchasing tickets for myself and my family),but I also bought movie cards and movie DVDs.  Oh, and I watched Mamma Mia! and Julie and Julia at home.

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