“You talking to me? “

“You talkin to me? Then who the hell else are you talkin …you talkin to me?”

 

So said Travis Bickle, anticipating a lack of respect from someone targeting him, in the iconic 1976 movie Taxi Driver.

 

It turns out many mums feel the same way.  Certainly the mums surveyed in Mumsnet and Saatchi’s research last month.  At Mumstock, the marketing to mums conference, new research on what makes mums tick was unveiled.  Mums were resolute in asserting that being a mum does not define them as a person.  Indeed Saatchi’s Director of Strategy, the fabulous and erudite, Richard Huntingdon said that we should consider redefining them as “women with children” as if we do so we are forced to put the woman first.

 

Similar irritation with marketing stereotypes this time amongst the over 50s was revealed at MediaCom’s conference with High50 last week.  The glorious Mariella Frostrup opened by giving us her birthday (November 1962), and then her opinion on how she’s targeted by some brands.

 

She said “I can honestly say that post 50 I’m more ‘me’, and doing more of what I want to than ever before.  But these are some of the things I have not started doing since I’ve turned 50.  I have not joined Saga – the travel and financial services organisation for the over 50s.  Nor have I started going on cruise holidays.  I have not started buying packets of seeds out of those classified ads. Or Cozyfeet slippers…Nor have I bought a Stannah stair lift…

 

What I have noticed about being over 50 is that the media……people who want to sell me things just don’t seem to have a handle on who I am, how to talk to me, or what I’m like.”

 

Given that between them mums and the 50+ probably between them have most of the cultural and economic power in the UK it does seem like there’s lots of room for improvement.  Or as I like to think if we get it right when the marketplace doesn’t : competitive advantage.

 

We too unveiled a major piece of research;  the 50somethings we spoke to were amazing, dynamic, outspoken and had masses of disposable income and very few brands that they felt a strong affinity with, so there are opportunities if you get it right.

 

There’s big scope with these two influential groups to pay them a bit more respect, to listen to their views, to walk a mile in their shoes in fact, and reap commercial advantage.

 

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