PrimeTime Women: A book review by Bob Morris

PrimeTime Women: How to Win the Hearts, Minds, and Business of Boomer Big Spenders
Marti Barletta
Kaplan Publishing (2006)

The nature and extent of a “prime marketing opportunity”

Those who have already read Marti Barletta’s Marketing to Women will welcome this sequel in which she develops in much greater depth her core concepts with regard to the purchasing power of what continues to be “the world’s largest market segment.” Of special interest to many readers is The GenderTrends™ Marketing Model that reveals in her first book why and how women reach different brand purchase decisions. She shares in PrimeTime Women some revealing and valuable new insights from all-new research and DDB Worldwide which will be of substantial value to senior-level executives – including but not limited to those primarily responsible for marketing – in all companies, regardless of their size or nature. Barletta carefully organizes and then presents her material within ten chapters which are divided between two Parts: Understanding PrimeTime Women™ and The Field Guide for Marketing to PrimeTime Women™, followed by an especially informative appendix which identifies “The Best Resources in the Business.”

As is her custom, Barletta makes brilliant use of a number of reader-friendly devices throughout her narrative that facilitate and expedite reviews later of key passages. They include clusters of bold face items, bullet points, and checklists. For example, in Chapter Seven, “The GenderTrends™ Marketing Model Applied to Women, a systematic and simple tool which is designed to achieve three objectives:

1. Structure the complexities of gender differences into an organized view of female gender culture;

2. show how to use the principles of female gender culture to enhance each element in your marketing mix; and

3. apply the resulting insights to the five stages of the consumer’s purchase path.

In the same chapter, when examining the purchase decision process, Barletta focuses on the differences between men and women, and, the differences between PrimeTime Women™ and younger women. Then in the final chapter, “Notes to the CEO,” she briefly discusses the aforementioned “building blocks” and this material offers a value-added benefit to non-CEO readers who are senior-level executives: She provides them with a convincing, research-driven argument to support whatever changes must be made in terms of (a) how their respective organizations view women 50-70 years old, (b) how they position what they offer to them, and most important of all (c) how they nourish and thereby sustain a relationship with them.

How important are relationships to women? As Barletta observes, “Women think that people are the most important and interesting element in life, and they are oriented this way from birth…Women see themselves – and everybody, really–as part of an ensemble company. Their core unit is `we’ (sometimes `we two,’ sometimes a larger group). They take pride in their caring, consideration, and loyalty to and from others…Women’s first instincts are to trust and share, and their mentality is rooted in revealing, not concealing.”

While explaining “how to win the hearts, minds, and business of boomer big spenders,” Barletta also obliterates a number of misconceptions about female consumers in general and those who are 50-70 years old in particular. Did you already know that women control an estimated 80% of all household spending and the percentage is even high for PrimeTime Women™? Also, that women make 55% of all investment decisions, 55% of all decisions concerning consumer electronics, comprise 60% of all home improvement buyers and make 80% of all home improvement decisions, control more than 60% of new car purchase decisions, and 66% of decisions to purchase computers? With regard to income, between 1990 and 2003, women’s inflation-adjusted median income grew 26%, while men’s grew only 8%.

That is why Barletta asserts, “PrimeTime Women™ are the healthiest, wealthiest, most educated, active, and influential generation of women in history. This is their PrimeTime. And it’s your prime marketing opportunity.”

What are you waiting for?


Posted in

Leave a Comment