IPC Magazines is planning a major sales offensive using new
research which draws attention to the increased spending power of women
aged 35 and over.
The initiative, which IPC claims is the first major piece of
quantitative research on women in this age group, takes its lead from
NRS data showing that 40 per cent of women aged over 35 in the UK today
are the chief income earners in their households. This compares with 1
per cent a decade ago.
In addition, this age group is the fastest growing sector of the
population and has a collective disposable income of around pounds 99
billion. However, reaching such women is still low on many advertisers’
list of priorities.
The research, which involved more than 1,000 face-to-face interviews,
paints a picture of middle-aged women as more open-minded and with a
more youthful outlook than has been traditionally assumed.
For example, 60 per cent of those interviewed said they identified with
women who were younger than them, while 62 per cent said they felt that
advertisers did not talk to women over 40 years old but 72 per cent said
they felt they should. And 79 per cent of the women interviewed said
they were open to changing their choice of brand - undermining the
conventional view that women become less likely to switch brands as they
The research will be used by IPC to entice more advertisers to use its
portfolio of titles, which includes Woman & Home, Woman’s Journal, Homes
& Gardens, Woman’s Weekly and Woman’s Realm, and which reaches around 62
per cent of women over the age of 35.
Chantal Burns, advertisement manager for Woman & Home, who led the
research, explained: ’This research is intended to show that you don’t
get deep enough if you just target women by age group; you need to get
beneath the surface. This looks at women today, how they feel and
behave, regardless of when they grew up. How can you segment them in any
one way? We feel that companies are short-sighted in not talking to
them. Age is not a discriminating factor - it’s all about attitude.’