Are you being age-appropriate?


Age-appropriate Marketing?

“All 50-year-old women want to look like they’re a hot 20-year-old,” stated a marketing friend once when I questioned the plethora of young, model-looking women in ads. “Really, say’s who?” I challenged him and referenced research I’d read—and led—contradicting his assumption.

Recently,, a 40-million strong online community for 45+ women, shared an article with research on what really drives these women to buy. Key takeaway? “If you are trying to reach, activate and persuade GenXers over 45, you need to do so through the voices of other women like them.” Rocket science? No. Effective? Yes. Use these ideas to apply this at your brand or dealership.


Peers over Ads

We know all consumers are skeptical of advertising. But the results of their recent research showed a greater divergence of influence than I expected.

When asked about the most important sources in influencing their final decision to buy a product or service, 90 percent of the 45+ GenX women surveyed said previous experience and recommendations from “women like them” were extremely important/important. Advertising on the other end, received 34 percent in that ranking. Even more telling is that 21 percent of women said advertising was unimportant/doesn’t matter.

How much of your marketing budget is tied up in ads? Take some of that and move it over to outreach events and social media. Think about unique stories and opportunities to get your current customers to share their experiences with friends and family in new places. Schools? Businesses? Cross-fit gyms?

Ask your current female customers where they spend their time and if they’d work with you on reaching out to new people in those other businesses to spread the love of motorcycling, ATV-ing or whichever sport you support.


“Feel like you’re 20 again!”

I like being 45. I tell people I’m “halfway to the end.” Yes, 90 seems like a good age to go. I’m not the only one happy in her 40’s. Some women don’t want to relive their 20’s. Vibrant Nation also published findings on GenX is 50 and Are Happy to be There, and 78 percent of those surveyed “defined their feelings about aging in exclusively positive terms.”

Instead of telling me your product will make me feel 20 again, take me back to my first ride on a bicycle, as a 4-year-old, flying down the street. Change the messaging to, “Feel like a kid,” or “Freedom like your first bicycle ride.” Remind me of how I felt when I had my first kiss or how proud I was when I landed my first job. Illicit emotions related to a milestone or life stage, not an age.


Age-appropriate sales?

Brands can spend millions of bucks on marketing, drive thousands of women into dealerships and then have dealership staff lose the sale on the dealership showroom. Does every one of your salespeople understand the differences between communicating with a 50-year-old vs. a 20-year-old? In my professional and personal experience, I’d say only about half do. That’s a lot of money down the drain.

When I present on marketing and selling to women, I tell folks that young sales guys aren’t being malicious when they say something inappropriate. They’re 20. They don’t have much experience talking to women at ALL, much less in a sales situation with a 50-year-old woman.

Do you set up scenarios and role play at your dealership? If you’ve engaged secret shoppers, have you broken out your research to find out whether women (young or old) rate you differently than men?

Yes, I ask a lot of questions. It’s my nature. My hope is that you’ll take at least one of them seriously and make changes to improve your marketing and selling to women.



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