Marketing to Women
Marketing to women in the information age can go spectacularly wrong! In the last election, pollsters predicted that women would vote for a female candidate. It seemed to make sense that they would vote for a competent woman rather than a man who was known for his misogynistic, demeaning behavior toward their gender. But that didn’t happen at all. Why not? (Why women didn’t unite against Trump)
. What’s the difference between a target market and a demographic?
Part of the answer is found in understanding the difference between a target market and a demographic. According to Wikipedia, a target market is a group of people considered likely to buy a product or service. A target market consists of customers that share similar characteristics, such as age, location, income, and lifestyle. It is a very important element of your business strategy. The more specific you get, the better you’re going to be in creating a focused message to capture them. You may be marketing to women, but you can narrow the focus to women with children, or female executives.
Who is your target market?
When I ask people about their target market, all too often I get a response like “All God’s children!” Now, maybe everyone really could benefit from your product or services, but having too general a target market decreases your marketing ability. You can’t create a specific value proposition or brand message that would effectively pull in your most receptive clients. When determining your target market, consider individuals or groups that would be especially receptive to your product or service. ( See Jill Konrath. ) When marketing to women, it’s important to intentionally craft your message. It should highlight the benefits, results, and solutions your product or service provides.
Be cautious when marketing to demographics!
A target market can be a large group of individuals or companies who have things in common. Examples include physicians, families with children, people with a certain health need, or restaurants. A demographic is more general. It refers to commonalities in age, race, ethnicity, educational background, or gender. We can get into trouble with this topic, which is what happened in the election: in a form of profiling, pollsters predicted that all women as a general demographic would vote alike.
Frank Feather, a consultant to Fortune 500 companies, advises against marketing to demographics, because they don’t tell the whole story. He uses himself as an example: as a 50-year-old white male, he’s expected to have a white wife or partner near his age, and that his children have left the nest. But he says, “I have an Asian wife, and we have two pre-school children. My Asian mother-in-law lives with us. I don’t fit the demographic.”
Focus on specific indicators within the target market. Marketing to women as a demographic can be too general if other factors aren’t considered.
The economic muscle of women
Why is it important to consider women when making your marketing plan? In the next ten years, two-thirds of the buying power in this country will be in the hands of women. Eighty-five percent of all consumer purchases are by women. In 91% of all home-buying sales, the major decision-maker is a woman. Sixty-five percent of automobiles are purchased by women, along with 80% of healthcare. (More quick facts…) However, more than half of women believe that marketers don’t care or understand where they’re coming from. They feel misunderstood due to out-dated gender assumptions.
The four R’s of marketing to women:
Women tend to be more relational or consultative in their purchasing process than men. For instance, when watching the Olympics, men will sit there all day to see who won. The competition results are all they care about. On the other hand, women are more interested in the stories of the athletes, and in learning about what challenges they have overcome. Women think more relationally. Building rapport – ensuring that people know, like, and trust you – is the critical piece of this puzzle. It’s vitally important for all business, but the necessity for rapport is stronger with women. The first road to building rapport is being relational. Women need to know you care about who they are and what they need. They also want to know more about you or your company.
They want to be respected in two areas:
- Respect their intelligence. Women are making very intelligent decisions about money – where to spend it and how to invest it. So respect the fact that they aren’t just “the little lady.” The days of Ozzie and Harriet are long gone. Don’t talk down to or at women. Instead, acknowledge their intelligence and appeal to it.
- Respect their time. Most women who are making purchasing decisions are also doing something else. They may be a stay-at-home mom, but they are making this a career. They are very involved with their kids, and maybe they work outside the home, as well. 40% of all new businesses are started by women. They’re busy, so don’t waste their time. Don’t try to push them into quick decisions.
Women tend to carefully research all options before making decisions. They do their homework, being meticulous about vetting their possible purchases, and they mostly do this online. Seventy-five percent of their decision process is made virtually – on websites, youtube, Facebook, Pinterest, and other social media.
It may be time to rethink your social media strategy for marketing to women. Although women comprise half of internet users in the USA, they make more online purchases (61 percent) than men do and account for nearly $6 out of every $10 (58 percent) spent online. FOX News
How should these four R’s change the way you market to women?
1. Relate: It may take a little longer to build rapport with women, as they tend to be more reticent and discerning.
- Transparency is the key to connecting with women, because they are interested in the “back story” of your company or product.
- Carefully consider who you are as the company owner or representative, as this is vital. Women tend to “purchase” you as the company representative along with the product.
- The product quality and value are important, but women expect great customer service as well. Remember that they talk to others and are savvy on social media sites. They will become your best commercial or your worst. “For instance, women use their phones to “tweet” and “friend” 10 percent more than men do and, on average, send and receive 30 percent more monthly text messages, according to Nielsen 2010 data. Worldwide, comScore found that women average 5.5 hours per month on social networking sites, compared to men’s four hours.” FOX Business
2. Respect: Their time is valuable.
- Make your sales presentations brief and to the point.
- More women graduate from universities each year than men. Therefore, they are well informed and often conduct their research before making contact with you.
- Give them third party references to further investigate their purchase.
3. Research: Consider how they are finding you.
- How are you representing your company on social media, in print, and on business cards?
- Are your design elements appealing?
- Is your messaging clear? Does your marketing focus on the benefits, results, and solutions that your product or service provides?
4. Rethink: How often are you reevaluating your social media strategy?
Knowledge and technology increase every day. According to IBM, human knowledge doubles every 13 months. The build-out of the “internet of things” will lead to the doubling of knowledge every 12 hours. David R Schilling Industry Tap
- YIKES! Do you and your company allocate time and dollars for technology upgrades and training? If not, you’ll fall further and further behind marketing trends.
- Are you including ‘back stories’ about your product and company on your website or other social media platforms?
- Is your customer service department readily accessible through social media? See Dawn’s LinkedIn Strategy
Understanding the women’s market is important but not difficult. It can result in great success for your business! When you learn to harness market research, relational selling, and the latest technological trends, you can stay on top of marketing to women in the information age.