I had a great time in Copenhagen last week. I talked to senior European banker clients of Affinion. They are the masters of the likes of Loyalty programs. As occasionally happens, I scrapped my speech halfway through. I decided to "go long" (boy football metaphor—sorry) on risk. I decided to pummel one topic. Period.
And that topic was Women-Boomer-Geezer market potential. As I said: Period. I claimed (and I believe) that a loyalty program for women, for instance, has to start from a fundamentally different premise than one for men. One basic idea-differentiator: Men are "transaction oriented"; women are "relationship oriented."
I insisted that anything short of Fundamental Strategic Re-alignment around the women-boomer-geezer opportunity was, well, stupid. Stupid. Negligent. Whatever.
I've changed my "women's thing" lately—added a third leg to my argument's stool. In the past I've featured (1) women's purchasing power and (2) the attendant need for women's increased leadership role.
The implicit idea is that companies are not doing enough to orient themselves—big time—toward this under-appreciated market. Fine enough. And true.
But a much bigger point is that the Degree of Market-Wealth Control by women is going through the roof. As the Economist put it in a Special Survey in April: "Forget China, India and the Internet: Economic Growth Is Driven by Women." In short, (1) women have taken two of every three new jobs for decades. (2) The pay-for-same-job differential is falling. (3) Women are occupying more and more senior roles. (Over 50% of managers, in the United States.) (4) Most senior Boomers are men—and about to retire by the million. (Within a few years, 10,000 additional men per day eligible for retirement.) Women will fill most—the overwhelming majority—of those slots. (5) Boys, soon to be men, are rapidly falling behind women in the education race. (6) Etc.
Hence the "third leg" of my stool is Rapidly Growing Women's Control of the World Economy.
Consider this from Aude Zieseniss de Thuin in the Financial Times, 10.03.2006:
"One thing is certain: Women's rise in power, which is linked to the increase in wealth per capita, is happening in all domains and at all levels of society. Women are no longer content to provide efficient labor or to be consumers with rising budgets and more autonomy to spend. ... This is just the beginning. The phenomenon will only grow as girls prove to be more successful than boys in the school system ... For a number of observers, we have already entered the age of 'womenomics,' the economy as thought out and practiced by women."
I've attached two Special Presentations. The short one is my new "section opener" on the women-boomers-geezers issue. The long one is the Whole Deal, the entire women-boomer-geezer section from the Master Excellence Always presentation.
Why the title "Not. Yet. Done."? Consider this invented exchange between me and an Amazon.com reviewer of the Trends book in the Tom Peters Essentials series:
Amazon Reviewer: "Trends is old news!" (1 of 5 stars!)
TP: "Repeating it doesn't make it 'old.' It ain't old if it hasn't been implemented!"
The reviewer's part of the exchange is the real thing—my response is the contrived bit. But it is exactly the point. Yup, I've been ranting about "all this" for a decade. But the results are disappointing—and then there's that "Third Leg" argument that the enormity of this opportunity grows by the day.
To summarize, in shorthand (one slide from the Short presentation):
1. Women's CONSUMER GOODS purchases.
2. Women's COMMERCIAL GOODS purchases.
3. WOMEN ARE THE MARKET. Not an "initiative."
4. Women-owned BUSINESSES (absolute #s, acceleration of startups, relative growth).
5. Women's "brand" of LEADERSHIP SKILLS.
6. Women's DRAMATICALLY INCREASING-COMMANDING WEALTH—absolute, relative. (Jobs. Longevity. Education. Entrepreneurial. Decline of BOYS. Retirement of MEN/Senior MEN.)
7. DEMOGRAPHIC TSUNAMI. WOMEN. Women as solo HEADs-OF-HOUSEHOLD. THE WOMAN-BOOMER-GEEZER LOOOOOONG-TERM GLOBAL PHENOMENON.
8. SPEED of "change." Mother of all "megatrends."