Win Big with these Marketing to Boomer Women Contest Tips

Promotional contests can really win big in marketing to Boomer women. Here are three insights on incentive programs that resonate with this promising market. Boomer women have “been there, done that” and are jaded on the promise of t-shirts and ball caps. It’s time to break through the promotional clutter and offer incentives uniquely motivating to Boomers.

Change the Prize Structure to Encourage More Boomer Women Word of Mouth

Rather than have one big prize (a new car!) and then a bazillion small prizes (free product samples, keychains, pens), consider spreading the wealth out across the top tier of prizes and offering fewer trivial, lower-level prizes. The goal is to give as many people as you can something “talk-worthy” rather than throwing your money into low-value prizes that aren’t worth mentioning. The costs can be exactly the same, but the prize structure is flatter and more interesting to consumers.

Entice Boomer Women with Experiences, not Clutter

Instead of products or price discounts, offer experiences interesting to Boomer women. They are in the prime of their lives and have time to be adventurous. She doesn’t want another knickknack to sit on the shelf. She wants to live life to the fullest. And if she can share that experience with friends, the reward will be valued even more. Spa services, dance lessons, NASCAR rides, day trips and wine tastings are all shareable experiences that might appeal to your particular Boomer women target. Get creative!

Random Acts of Kindness vs. Organized Incentives

Sometimes, a “surprise and delight” campaign can be more effective at helping you reach your marketing goals than an organized contest or event that’s heavily promoted. For example, the Peapod delivery person once surprised me with a lovely bouquet of red roses. “Wow,” I said, “They’re beautiful. Unfortunately, I didn’t order any roses, so they must be for someone else.” Turns out, because it was Valentine’s Day, Peapod had decided that all customers receiving orders that day would be surprised with flowers. It wasn’t an incentive or a reward that I claimed for ordering more or ordering sooner. It was a sweet surprise, totally unexpected and forever remembered.

Some Sensitive Advice on Selling to Women

Some Sensitive Advice on Selling to WomenCompared to men, women have extrasensory sensitivity. They are able to register more subtle levels of sight, sound and touch. Also, they have “emotional X-ray vision:” they can read non-verbal signals more precisely, including tone of voice, facial expressions and body language.

There’s another important attitudinal component that magnifies these sensitivities: women are a “sensitized population.” When selling to women, salespeople must understand this about women.

Most women have had enough experience with being slighted or treated inappropriately in certain sales situations that they’ve come to expect it. Not that they are tolerant of it, but forewarned is forearmed, and they’ve learned to at least be on guard against sexism. So, when women have a negative experience with a person or business, instead of chalking it up to overall lousy service, they often assume it’s because they are female.

Some Sensitive Advice on Selling to Women

For example, car salesmen have a reputation of being condescending when selling to women. I’m sure most of them are not, but almost every woman I’ve met has a story about an unpleasant car sales experience. And the stories get around, so car salesmen’s reputation precedes them. Both male and female car buyers are going to encounter rude treatment or poor service from time to time. But when men are treated rudely, they don’t walk out of the dealership feeling they were treated that way “because they’re men.” Instead they think, “That guy’s a jerk,” But women often attribute bad behavior to disrespect for women. And the really bad part is when they tell their friends, neighbors and coworkers about the dealership.

When you consider the dramatic differences in men’s and women’s gender culture– credibility displays, rapport-building games based on “one-up” instead of “same-same” and exchange of personal details, different listening behaviors and so-on– and combine that with many men’s underlying view that small courtesies are expressions of subservience instead of consideration for others, you can see that the situation is rife with opportunities for misunderstanding. And even innocuous, unintended oversights can easily be perceived by “sensitized populations” to be just one more example of deliberate discourtesy.

I’m not trying to create an atmosphere of walking on eggshells. Rather, I’m attempting to lay out in very concrete terms how and why an extra dose of sincere consideration and thoughtfulness goes such a long way with women. I think many salesmen are genuinely puzzled by women who get upset over a “little” thing like handing the keys for her test drive to her husband. A little extra reading on the topic and a little focused sellig-to-women training for your sales force can go a long way toward making sure you get your share of the women’s market.

 

[VIDEO] Know The Couple OR How to Meet the Wives

For financial advisors, developing a relationship with the husband is not enough. 70% of widows leave the financial advisor chosen by their husband! Here’s how to get to know the couple.

Watch the video: Know The Couple OR How to Meet the Wives

6 Reasons for Marketing Financial Services to Women

6 Reasons for Marketing Financial Services to Women

Here are six points to share with your financial advisory team about why you should be marketing financial services to women:

  1. Women are enjoying growing earnings- and will continue to do so
  2. Women have a growing participation in investment management
  3. Women already command the majority of financial assets
  4. Women will inherit twice – from family and spouses
  5. The most wealthy age group, those who are 65+, becomes increasingly female as the population ages. Women have longer average lifespans
  6. Half of all millionaires are women

So put these points up on your bulletin board, add them to your internal communications and make sure everyone understands the opportunity you’re missing if you’re not marketing to women!

Marketing to Women Requires Focus

There are a million great marketing tactics you could use to target women. But not all of them will work for your brand. And you can’t afford them all, anyway.

To help women identify your brand as The Perfect Answer, your marketing team must identify the one or two stages in the purchasing process that have the most opportunity for increasing your business. I call women’s purchasing process the Spiral Path (Unlike men, women spiral through each phase of the decision-making process, and may revisit previous steps when she learns new information).

Women’s Spiral Buying Path

How Women Buy: The Spiral Path

Concentrate most of your marketing tactics on the most important stage, rather than spreading your marketing budget across the entire decision process. Nobody has enough money to do a good job across the entire process.

There are a million great marketing tactics you could use to target women. But not all of them will work for your brand. And you can’t afford them all, anyway. To help women identify your brand as The Perfect Answer, your marketing team must identify the one or two stages in the purchasing process that have the most opportunity for increasing your business. I call women’s purchasing process the Spiral Path (Unlike men, women spiral through each phase of the decision-making process, and may revisit previous steps when she learns new information): Concentrate most of your marketing tactics on the most important stage, rather than spreading your marketing budget across the entire decision process. Nobody has enough money to do a good job across the entire process. Use your chosen strategy as your screener—unless a tactic has a laser-like focus on the purchase path you decided would do your brand the most good, don’t bother with it. It will only defuse your message and defuse your marketing efforts. And it can be quite freeing to have the power to say “no” to a tactic. For instance, if your brand would benefit most from a focus on Activation, use tactics that will awaken the need for your product in women, such as consumer education workshops, sponsorships or article placement. Tactics such as special offers and loyalty programs probably won’t be effective at this stage of the decision-making process. Or, say your most important marketing goal is Retention and Recommendation—helping the customer stay committed to your brand and improving your customer relationship. You might engage in a referral benefits program or improvements to your customer support call center. In this case, you might ignore mass-market advertisement altogether. The bottom line: do your research; pick your marketing strategy and stick with it. If your brand has a consistently appealing message to women in the most important decision-making stage, women will take notice and reward you with their purchases.Use your chosen strategy as your screener—unless a tactic has a laser-like focus on the purchase path you decided would do your brand the most good, don’t bother with it. It will only defuse your message and defuse your marketing efforts. And it can be quite freeing to have the power to say “no” to a tactic.

For instance, if your brand would benefit most from a focus on Activation, use tactics that will awaken the need for your product in women, such as consumer education workshops, sponsorships or article placement. Tactics such as special offers and loyalty programs probably won’t be effective at this stage of the decision-making process.

Or, say your most important marketing goal is Retention and Recommendation—helping the customer stay committed to your brand and improving your customer relationship. You might engage in a referral program or improvements to your customer support call center. In this case, you might ignore mass-market advertisement altogether.

The bottom line: do your research; pick your marketing strategy and stick with it. If your brand has a consistently appealing message to women in the most important decision-making stage, women will take notice and reward you with their purchases.

Selling to Women? Small Courtesies Make Big Points

Selling to Women? Small Courtesies Make Big Points

Women are more sensitive to nuance and underlying meanings, and they respond emphatically and negatively to what men might categorize as minor oversights. This tendency makes selling to women a more detail-oriented endeavor. The flip side is that positive actions and small courtesies go a long way towards earning her trust and business.

A couple small examples– that aren’t small to women– include offering to get her a chair if it seems she’s had a long day, or getting her kids a couple sodas from the vending machine if it’s hot out.

Not Every Salesman Can Sell to Women This Way

Selling to Women? Small Courtesies Make Big PointsAt a recent sales training seminar I was conducting, I realized I have to be a little more specific on this point. A very experienced and successful salesman came up to me after the seminar and told me how pleased he was with the seminar and all the new stuff he’d learned. He said it had never really occurred to him to do the small courtesies before, but if “sucking up to the client is what it takes to make the sale, I guess I can do that.” I thought he was joking at first, but he wasn’t!

It reminds me of a scenario in Dr. Deborah Tannen’s book You Just Don’t Understand! in which she recounts a psychologist asking a husband-wife pair of respondents what they thought “politeness” meant. They answered at the same time: the woman said “consideration for others,” while the man said “subservience.” Asking around among my male acquaintances reveals that quite a few men share this attitude.

Since, to many men, my recommendation to offer small courtesies when selling to women seems antithetical to their culture, I now hasten to add: If you can’t do it with genuine sincerity, don’t do it at all. Women will see through fakery, and instead of having gained her appreciation, you’ll have lost her trust.

[VIDEO] Women are Referral Megaphones!

Have you ever wondered why word of mouth spreads faster with women? Marketing to women expert Marti Barletta explains how women’s emphasis on the personal make them the perfect referral source. Once financial planner says his women clients send him, on average, 26 referrals. His male clients only send him 2! What a difference!

Watch the video: Women are Referral Megaphones! 

Marketing to Boomer Women: Are These Consumers Smarter than Millennials?

Marketing to Boomer Women: Are These Consumers Smarter than Millennials?Sigmund Freud once claimed that “about the age of 50, the elasticity of the mental processes on which treatment depends is, as a rule, lacking. Old people are no longer educable.” Ironically, Freud was 51 when he wrote those words, and he went on to produce some of his best work after 65.

The idea that younger people are smarter and savvier than their older counterparts is inaccurate. When marketing to Boomer women, realize they are often just reaching the peak of their cognitive powers.

Boomers Enjoy the Combination of Wisdom and Brain Power

Scientists have discovered that despite a few short-term memory glitches and a slower processing speed, our mental capacity doesn’t even reach its full potential until midlife. They are learning that, contrary to Freud’s assumption, the brain continues to change and grow throughout life. One key area of growth is the accumulation of white matter in the sophisticated thinking centers of the brain (which peaks around 50). Because of these two factors, Boomer women and men can manage information better, analyze facts better and generate meanings that were entirely beyond them when they were younger.

Of course, the most important difference between older and younger brains is also the easiest to overlook: older brains have learned more than young ones. They’ve been around the block a lot more times, seen the world, made mistakes, made discoveries, managed recoveries and made amends. Says George Bartzokis, UCLA neurologist:

“In midlife, you’re beginning to maximize the ability to use the entirety of information in your brain on an everyday, ongoing, second-to-second basis. Biologically, that’s what wisdom is.”

Marketing to Boomer Women: Are These Consumers Smarter than Millennials?Studies have shown that years of experience and practice enable older adults to build up a rich library of alternative ways to solve problems or make decisions that allows them o bypass steps needed by younger adults. We get better at sizing up a situation and problem-solving. We have more confidence in our opinions, feelings and decisions and don’t need validation from others. We are more pragmatic. We develop a richer vocabulary and a better understanding of how to use these words effectively. The abilities we learned earlier in life and gained proficiency with over the years are now smoothly polished and almost second nature.

Does all this make Boomers smarter than Millennials? At this stage of life, it just might! Sales and marketing to Boomer women efforts would be wise to assume these women are smart, sophisticated and discerning.

3 Tips for Starting a Conversation with a Woman Prospect

It can be difficult getting to know a new prospect. Salespeople walk a fine line between learning about prospects and communicating about their offerings. Starting a conversation with a woman prospect is different than with men.

Selling to Women Tip #1: Ask about Her First

3 Tips for Starting a Conversation with a Woman ProspectStart the conversation by asking your woman prospect about herself. Don’t introduce yourself first. Women often become very interested in learning about others. If you start the conversation about yourself, she may spend the entire conversation asking questions about you. Then you’d never learn anything about her– and how can you sell to a stranger?

And don’t worry, you’ll have an opportunity to talk about yourself soon enough! Reciprocity is built into women’s natures. She will certainly ask about you and what you do.

Selling to Women Tip #2: Your First Question Sets the Tone

Asking a woman about herself can be tricky. Avoid making assumptions about your prospect’s life situation. Don’t assume she is a career women or a stay-at-home mom. You set the stage for a friendly conversation when your first question to her is neutral.

To avoid awkward situations, try these opening questions:

  1. What keeps you busy these days?
  2. What gets you up in the morning?

Selling to Women Tip #3: Listen for These 3 Key Things

3 Tips for Starting a Conversation with a Woman ProspectIt may be true that women have a lot to say, but if you listen for these three topics, you’ll be well on your way to a successful sales conversation:

  1. Information about her family and lifestyle that help you understand how your offerings could help her.
  2. Interests you share in common that can start to build a friendly acquaintanceship.
  3. Something you can follow-up on later to show her you were listening and care about the conversation you shared.

3 Marketing to Women NEWS FLASHES

Attention, CEOs, CMOs, COOs and everyone in the C-suite!

3 Marketing to Women NEWS FLASHES

BREAKING: Here are three executive summary news flashes you need to know before developing your next strategic initiative. 

Women Are Not a Niche

Women are not a “niche,” so get your marketing to women initiatives out of the specialty markets group.

Sometimes, ya gotta laugh. Time and time again, I’m invited to speak at a major corporation by the executive heading up a business group called something like Specialty Markets, Minority Markets or Emerging Markets. This group has responsibility for marketing to various niches– and women. All I can say is, “Wait a minute! You’re supposed to motivate 51% of the population and you have, what, 4% of the corporate marketing budget?”

First In, First Win

The competition is catching on to marketing to women.

I can’t explain why it has taken so long for American business to recognize and act on the tidal wave that is the women’s market. But it’s a secret no longer. Companies from Nike to Nabisco and from Wachovia to Wyndham, companies like General Motors, Volvo, Harley Davidson and Jiffy Lube as well as Charles Schwab, Citigroup, Kimpton Hotels, MinuteClinic, Lowe’s and The Home Depot are all seeking their industry’s lead in the women’s market.

Paradoxically, there’s still room to leap ahead. That’s because many pioneers entered this new territory cautiously and tentatively. For whatever reason, their hearts aren’t truly in the marketing to women game, and that means good news for you. Their reticence means that you can benefit from what they’ve learned– and leapfrog to the front.

Get Serious about Marketing to Women

If you dip your toe in the water, what makes you think you’ll get splashy results?

Unlocking a gigantic new consumer segment warrants at least– at least!– as much commitment as launching a new product line. There are companies that spend millions to market a line extension without blinking an eye; others invest billions to open undeveloped global markets without a backward glance. Why? Because it’s an “obvious” opportunity. How is it that the same companies can decide that the women’s market warrants merely a test launch in a single market to “see how it does?”