Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama represent the bookends of the Baby Boomer generation. Clinton (now 69) was born in 1947 and Obama (who will turn 53 before her husband leaves office) was born in 1964.
That’s not all they have in common. Like other Boomer women, they are both about to become more influential than ever.
Unlikely to run for elective office again, Hillary Clinton can now assume a role that is not dependent on whether she lives in the White House.
For much of her adult life, Clinton has had to hold back her own opinions because of the men she was serving, whether the ambitious politician she married or the boss she served as Secretary of State. As a presidential candidate, she sometimes showed a restraint that made us wonder what she really felt; was it a generational reserve, or the fear that sharing her personal views might turn off certain voters? It doesn’t matter now.
In the case of Michelle Obama, critics have called her an outspoken First Lady, but we have little reason to think she’s told us everything that’s on her mind. Like others in her position, she has chosen a relatively narrow set of issues to focus on (issues like food and veterans) that are unlikely to hurt her husband’s career. After January, the topics she can focus on are limited only by her own ambition.
What if Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama both became their own version of Eleanor Roosevelt, another former First Lady who became more outspoken — and more influential — as she aged?
Of all the roles women play over the course of their lives, one of the most important is the role of chief influencer, using experience and intelligence to support, inform and benefit others.
It’s also a role that grows in importance over time; experience gives women more to share, and their own growing networks translate into even more people to influence.
Age brings its own kind of freedom to influence, too: feeling independent (from the need to please or the need to get elected) gives women the chance to have an even greater impact on others.
These are the factors that make Boomer women some of the most influential marketing partners you can find. And it’s why we’re seeing such growth in influencer marketing, with almost two-thirds of brands spending more on influencer marketing in 2016 than they ever have before.
While Hillary Clinton or Michelle Obama may not be available for hire as paid bloggers or vloggers, the increasingly influential role they will play (along with other Boomer women, like Oprah) will increase the importance and value of this marketing tool. If female consumers pay more attention to each other than to your ads, it’s time to enlist these mighty influencers to accomplish your goals.
And after you’ve had enough practice using influencer marketing to attract Boomer consumers, you’ll be just in time to hire Gen Xer Melania Trump when she frees up for new work in four (or eight) years.