Ask Mom – She Knows

You may remember an early scene from “It’s a Wonderful Life,” the classic, feel-good, Frank Capra movie starring Jimmy Stewart as George Bailey.

George, a young boy, is in a quandary about how to handle a delicate situation involving Mr. Gower, the pharmacist. Gower, distraught after learning that his son was killed in the war, had inadvertently put poison into a prescription. Thankfully, George noticed Gower’s error but wasn’t sure how to head off this potentially deadly situation.

In need of inspiration, George looks up and sees a classic pressed tin, tobacco sign hanging in the pharmacy: “Ask Dad, he knows.” George proceeds to run over to the Building and Loan to ask his father the important question of the day. His father’s busy and we all know the outcome.

In health care (and other) marketing, we’re probably best going against George’s inclination by focusing our attention and asking Mom, not Dad. After all, women make an estimated 80 percent of all healthcare decisions – for her kids, her husband or partner, oftentimes parents and of course, for herself. Consider the facts:

There are approximately 82 million moms in the United States. They control up to 85 percent of all household spending. Many refer to themselves as their family’s Chief Financial Officer.

Single moms now account for the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population. Forty percent of women also are involved in providing caregiving-related services for an elderly relative.

Charleston, South Carolina-based AIO Design, a firm that specializes in mass marketing to affluent women, reports women 50 years of age and older make 80 percent of the buying decisions for households that have 80 percent of the nation’s money.

Though long considered a niche market, U.S. women constitute the no. 3 market in the world. Their collective purchasing power exceeds Japan’s economy. Women account for $7 trillion in consumer and business spending and control 60 percent of all personal wealth in this country. Some other interesting statistics:

  • While women comprise slightly more than 51 percent of the U.S. population, they make or influence 85 percent of all purchasing decisions
  • According to the U.S. Department of Labor, one in 11 American women owns a business. In fact, women are starting businesses at twice the rate of men.

So as you’re planning your next campaign, product or service launch, be sure to skew your messaging to women. Results should follow. Mom knows.

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