Marketing to the Adult Daughter: Getting It Right

When it comes to marketing to the adult daughter, most brands are still missing the mark.

They’re known as Adult Daughters. Or Baby Boomers. Or even the Elastic Generation. Today, every fifth adult in the United States is a female over 50. They have a combined net worth of $19 trillion and make 85% of all U.S. household purchase decisions. But when it comes to marketing to these adult daughters, most brands are missing the mark.

These women are the healthiest, wealthiest and most active generation of women in history who control half of the country’s discretionary income and two-thirds of the consumer wealth.  They spend $400 billion more than younger demographics each year on consumer goods, and dominate spending in 119 out of 123 CPG categories.

They’re social, mobile, and online — working well beyond the traditional retirement age, creating new businesses and products, and staying healthy beyond their years.

That percentage sounds about right when you consider that many marketers targeting the adult daughter still resist having an online presence and participating in social media. They’re convinced that these potential customers aren’t tech savvy. But nothing could be further from the truth.  Consider the following facts:

Yet the two words these women choose to describe marketing messages aimed at them? “Patronizing” and “Stereotypes.” This group of women continue to push the boundaries and upend the status quo, yet 91% say marketers don’t understand them.

  • Search is the most effective online channel to reach her, with 96.8% using it daily as their top online information-gathering resource.
  • Email is the 2nd leading online activity behind search, with 94.8% of this group using email on a daily basis. Marketers can use email to effectively provide topics of interest and value to this target audience.
  • Having a consistent social media presence is essential, as 82.3% of these women are on social media multiple times a day. Facebook is by far the most popular of all social media sites for this group, with 82.3% on Facebook daily. 
  • Over half watch more online video than TV, with YouTube reported as the preferred site.

Strategies for Marketing to the Adult Daughter

Insights and understanding are important, but their value to marketers comes from translating those insights into action – with an understanding that will boost the effectiveness of your marketing programs.

Brand Story

Your brand story is more than a narrative.  It’s an amalgamation of your employees, culture and corporate reputation – a narrative that encompasses the facts and feelings that are created by your brand.

Every element of your brand, from the colors and texture of your packaging, to the staff you hire is part of your brand story and reflects the truth about your brand. 

A powerful brand story can help you earn the loyalty and engagement of your target audience.

Do you have a brand story? A brand voice? Is it consistent? Are you differentiated from your competitors?


Your website is the cornerstone of your marketing efforts. It serves as home base where customers can go to learn more about your brand and gives your content a place to live.

Your website should lead your visitors through the conversation funnel – first building awareness, then interest and trust, and finally – action.

According to Andy Crestodina, author of Content Chemistry, a website without a steady stream of useful content is just an online brochure.

A blog with a continual stream of fresh content generates the trust and credibility that leads to sales. It should be a blend of both curated content and original content, and all should be SEO optimized. Use links to move your potential customer through your site.

Use engaging photos that show real customers and people connecting with your brand. Provide video where possible. Testimonials and peer reviews also have broad appeal to this audience.

Include social icon buttons “above the fold” to make sharing easy for visitors. Sharing social media content also means more traffic to your site, better search engine rankings, and more lead generation opportunities.

Content Marketing

Content Marketing is one of the most important ways of getting your message to the adult daughter and generating inbound leads. A documented content strategy ensures every piece of content created supports your business objectives, as well as establishing your brand as a thought-leader.

It’s important to create content designed for each step of your customer’s buying journey.

The top of the sales funnel should educate the prospect about their problem and potential solutions. The middle of the sales funnel is the discovery section, where potential customers get to know and trust your brand. Finally, the bottom of the sales funnel is where they’re ready to make a decision and are considering solutions. This is where your content should focus on why your brand is the perfect solution to their problem. Case studies and testimonials are especially helpful in supporting their decision-making process.

Use long-form content – meaty guides are fantastic lead generation tools. Think eBooks, white papers, and longer “how to” blog posts.

Stories communicate and drive action, so when creating your content, tell the adult daughter a great story. An adult daughter’s heart is in her brain – telling her a story filled with emotion has the power to engage her more than any product or service description. Show empathy and demonstrate how your product or service adds value to her life or that of her loved ones.

Email Marketing

Email marketing is vital for building relationships with these potential prospects. It provides an opportunity to speak directly to them, in their inbox, at a time that is convenient for them – at a fraction of the cost of traditional media. 

And with 88% of adult daughters using email daily, it’s a great way to stay in touch while building credibility for your brand. When crafting your emails, be friendly and personable. You are not invading their space if you have chosen your message and recipient wisely.

Social Media

Adult daughters are present on all leading social media platforms, with significant focus on Facebook. Cater to them visually through great imagery and videos.

When creating your social media strategy, be sure not to be too promotional. It’s best to provide a balance of original and curated content designed to serve the adult daughter’s needs.

Your audience is too smart for clickbait article headlines, so use more economical and relevant headlines to attract them. Provide social proof around your brand – testimonials, and reviews of your products and services.

Make sure to include a link to your website on all social media posts. Most importantly, focus on helping your target solve her problems, not hard selling.

Influencer Marketing

Adult daughters want to hear from other adult daughters. They are receptive to connecting and engaging with influencers who have had similar experiences and have powerful stories to share.

Allow your influencers to share your brand messaging in their authentic voices. Tailor materials in an adult daughter-focused influencer campaign to written content and video.

Ideally, make sure your influencers can make these adult daughters laugh. Life teaches many women to laugh at themselves, and they are more likely to follow influencers who do so themselves, even when the campaign is around more serious topics.U

Understanding Her Half-Truth

According to Mary Lou Quinlan in “What She’s Not Telling You,”not understanding the half-truths women may tell can undermine your best-laid marketing plans.

Telling half-truths is often a critical behavior among female consumers to cut the conflict and smooth their way. These half-truths are not meant to deceive. They are a habit; survival gear that allows them to end the conversation and get on with their busy lives.

While a half -truth might be something like “I try to be healthy,” the whole-truth is often closer to  “I exercise (when I feel like it), watch what I eat (sometimes), don’t smoke (too much), and wear sunscreen (when I remember).”

Marketers need to recognize the half-truths adult daughters may tell and dig deeper to find the whole-truth or risk severely impacting their marketing efforts.

Most women, including adult daughters, don’t just buy products and services – they buy relationships, stories, and magic. Where is the magic in your brand story?