Why Bother Marketing to Women?

Women already buy the majority of products in almost every category. They are responsible for 80% of consumer spending.

So what’s the point of marketing to women? It may seem redundant. Surely marketers couldn’t be doing such a terrible job, or women wouldn’t be buying anything at all.

2 Reasons Marketing to Women Will Boost Your Brand

Why Bother Marketing to Women?Marketing to women is about two main factors:

  1. To gain share with women. Motivate women to choose your brand instead of your competitors’ brand. Marketing to women will help you build share.
  2. To enhance your profits. Women are more loyal customers, which means they make repeat purchases and actively spread word of mouth. Because women have a long decision-making process, once she makes a decision, she wants to stick with it and build a relationship with your brand.  Also, because she believes so strongly in her decisions, women’s word of mouth is phenomenal. In fact, I say that Women are Referral Megaphones!

Currently, women purchase many brands through necessity or chance, because these brands don’t support her decision-making process or appeal to what she cares about during the sales cycle. Even if you have a high market share among women now, marketing to women is important for your brand. You never know when a clever competitor could come along and offer your women customers the Perfect Answer they’ve been seeking.

Marketing to Women with Surveys and Quizzes

Marketing to Women with Surveys and QuizzesWomen love surveys and quizzes, which is why women’s magazines and websites run them so often, even using them as part of their audience draw. Take a look at Cosmopolitan‘s front cover – “Quiz: Does He Think You’re Soul Mates?” Or Stitch Fix’s “Take the Style Quiz to Get Your Perfect Wardrobe.

They’re fun to fill out, you learn something about yourself and it’s interesting to see how you compare to others in the results.

In your marketing to women strategy, use this appeal to gather information on your product, your positioning or a promotion you’re considering running. Use quizzes to gather consumer lifestyle information and surveys for product/category feedback.

Keep it fairly short. Remember that people are busy! You’re better off separating your topics into six surveys of five minutes each instead of three surveys of ten minutes each.

As for incentives to participate, whereas focus groups usually require a cash payment of $25-100 per respondent, online research is as cheap and simple as sharing the results, which can be tabulated and shown instantly. Remember, whereas a man is relatively more interested in telling companies what he thinks, women are relatively more interested in learning how other people see the situation.

Marketing to Women Survey Example

Organic Balance masterfully deployed a marketing to women survey in their Real Morning Report.

Fact: 100% of women could use an organic breakfast in a bottle. We surveyed 1,000 professional women to see what their mornings were really like. Scroll down to take the survey for yourself and see how your morning routine compares.

As women answer each question in the survey, a fact about women’s morning routines is revealed:
Marketing to Women with Surveys and Quizzes

 

 

 

 

Marketing to Women with Surveys and Quizzes

This survey is perfectly designed to attract and interest women. It’s fun, quick and gives instant, shareable results. Also, there’s plenty of opportunity for women to identify with the majority in “that’s me!” moments, which help them relate to Organic Balance’s brand. Read more about this campaign in my article, “Organic Balance Keeps it Real in Fabulous New Marketing to Women Campaign.”

I encourage you to incorporate a quiz or survey into your next marketing to women effort– you’ll earn high engagement from women and gain valuable information about your audience!

[VIDEO] Best Buy’s Switch to a Woman-Focused Store Format

Marti shares a marketing to women case study of Best Buy’s experiment with women-friendly store formats– and how the results were stunning. This video excerpt is from her marketing to women keynote speech to Kodak.

Watch the video: Best Buy’s Switch to a Woman-Focused Store Format

One Easy Chart to Help You Communicate with Women

Finding the Key to Marketing to Women

One Easy Chart to Help You Communicate with Women

Women and men respond to marketing communication in different ways because they communicate in different ways. They have different patterns and rituals of expression. Successfully marketing to women requires you to understand women’s communication keys. Luckily, I have a chart for that:

Women’s Communication Keys

Men’s Communication Keys

Full Context

“Complete article” – Women stress the importance of context and richness of detail. Her stories start with background and build to the main point.

Key Points

“Headlines” – Men believe in starting with the main point and only supplying detail if asked. They strip away extraneous detail.

Rapport Talk

Build connections – To win over women, you need to have conversations with them that creates a connection with her and her circle.

Report Talk

Establish status – Men, on the other hand, use conversation as a way to establish or defend individual status. They don’t focus on the personal.

Connect Through Affinity 

Women connect through affinity with others and establish links that highlight similarities. They focus on empathy- so your marketing should as well.

Connect Through Competition (Rank)

Men connect through competition- the friendlier the group of men, the more good-natured taunting and challenging you will find.

Stories and Personal Details

Women’s social currency consists of stories and personal details. They trade them, save them and value them. (Surely, this gives you marketers some ideas!)

Facts and Features

Men’s social currency relies on facts and features. I believe this is why sports scores and statistics are so popular with men, eh? They are becoming rich in social currency.

These four communication strategies should give you plenty of ideas for marketing to women. How will you plan to share stories, build rapport and build links with these valuable customers?

Closing the Sale with Women

Women’s “Perfect Answer” Requires a Longer Sales Process

Here’s a critical difference between women and men when it comes to closing a sale: while men seek to make a good decision, women are looking for the Perfect Answer. As a result:

  • Expect a lot more questions from women
  • Expect a longer decision process

Closing the Sale with Women

Cowboys and Sharpshooters

Salespeople are trained to try to close the sale in the initial meeting. That may work with men because they have a faster decision process. Making decisions from the fly and “shooting from the hip” is one way men communicate their autonomy and decisiveness– the “cowboy factor.” But women are marksmen, not cowboys– and if you rush them or push them while they’re trying to zero in on what they want, all you’re going to do it irritate them.

Women want to consider, compare and talk it over with trusted advisors. It’s not enough for the product or service to meet her needs; it must be the best way to meet her needs.

Selling to women can be frustrating in this respect, but I’d advise you to refocus your attention on what you’re going to do to follow up instead of pushing too hard right away. Otherwise, she will start to distrust your motives (you’re supposed to be her agent, not her adversary!) and destroy all that great rapport you’ve been building up during the sales process.

 

Experiential Marketing is for Boomer Women, Too

Experiential Marketing is for Boomer Women, TooExperiential marketing is usually thought of in context with Millennials, and their desire for authentic, interesting experiences. But Boomer women represent an even bigger opportunity for turning experience into business. Since Boomer women have more time and money on their hands than Millennial women, they are seeking more ways to get involved. But Boomers might not want the same sort of experiences that Millennials do.

How to Create Experiences for Boomer Women

Combine an experience with a cause for a really powerful marketing to Boomer women initiative. Partnering with a nonprofit will burnish your “corporate halo” with all women– women have a propensity to be the “guardians of civilization” and therefore are much more active in supporting causes. Companies especially should try to make their corporate halos shine a little brighter with Boomer women, who are actively looking for ways to make the world a better place and leave a legacy.

An example of a good experiential marketing/cause marketing combo might be a tree planting picnic sponsored by a hybrid car brand. Interested Boomer women could bring a friend or two, plant a tree, enjoy some live music over lunch and leave with a seedling memento of the occasion in her goody bag.

Experiential Marketing is for Boomer Women, Too

One of the most emotionally powerful and successful experiences is the Susan G. Komen 3-Day Race for the Cure. It is the kind of program Boomer women are looking for– an event that requires not just money but also their time and energy AND that involves being with and helping other “girlfriends.” I have heard from many participants that this is one of the most grueling yet fulfilling things they have ever done in their lives. One woman in particular summarizes it like so, “I kept waiting for someone to make a difference… then I realized that I am that someone.” She’s talking like a true Boomer woman.

 

[VIDEO] Why You Need to Look Women in the Eyes

Face-to-face sales conversations with women need to happen… facing each other! Women are most comfortable making eye contact and looking at the other person’s face.

Watch the video: Why You Need to Look Women in the Eyes

Getting Marketing to Women to Work

Bust through the Walls of the Corporate Silo

Getting Marketing to Women to Work

In working with companies that have decided to pursue the women’s market, I often observe that the actual marketing to women is a breeze compared to dealing with the organizational challenges, which is more like leaning into a hurricane. It doesn’t matter whether the company is structured by product (as it is with the Ford Focus or Ford Explorer) or by function (as in advertising, sales, IT, etc.). The problem remains the same: because the company is not organized by the customer, it’s almost impossible to get the whole team pulling in the same direction.

Getting Marketing to Women to WorkEverybody in the organization may agree that marketing to women is a great idea. “Absolutely, marketing to women; let’s get right on it!” Unfortunately, everyone’s budgets are already maxed out on other priorities this year, so it will have to wait until next year. Unless someone at the top builds “Opportunity Number One” (as Tom Peters refers to the women’s market) into the company’s strategic priorities, you don’t have a prayer at putting a concerted effort into the marketplace.

To get the maximum horsepower out of any strategic initiative, every department that touches the customer needs to participate. Moreover, every customer contact needs to be consistent and integrated with all others, so that the company delivers a “one look, one voice” message to the customer. This is particularly true with marketing to women initiatives because of a woman’s greater propensity to respond to context and multiplicity, the sum total of the brand contacts she encounters from day to day.

The Spirit is Willing, but the Budgets Don’t Work

Getting Marketing to Women to WorkWhat this means is that Moses (that would be you, oh Chief Exec!) must come down from the mountain and communicate the company commitment to marketing to women in no uncertain terms. Right after you’ve put down the heavy stone tablets, you need to create a cross-functional team with the same objectives, authority and budget as a new product launch team– and the same accountability for success.

Both men and women should be equally represented on this team. Too many men and you won’t have the female perspective you need to make the right judgment calls. Too many women and– rightly or wrongly– but in any case, realistically, the team will lose credibility and its efforts will be discounted as “the women’s project.”

Let’s get marketing to women efforts to work at your organization! Reach out to me for more personalized advice for your product and brand.

Surprising Personal Touches Bring the WOW when Marketing to Women

Surprising Personal Touches Bring the WOW when Marketing to WomenMarketing to women professionals can sometimes get caught up in the statistics of campaigns– open rates, click rates, conversions, etc. Our data-driven environment does indeed help us be better marketers. But we also need to remember the personal, and the value women find in being surprised and delighted.

Years ago, out of the blue, for absolutely no reason, I got a letter from Jeff Bezos of Amazon (well, he signed it, didn’t he?). The letter included ten one-cent stamps and arrived just after the price of stamps went up a penny. “We can’t replace your refrigerator lightbulb,” the letter read, “and we can’t make your tuna salad just the way you like it– but we can save you time.” It felt as if Jeff himself had taken a peek into my lifestyle and recognized how very busy I am; when am I going to get to the post office for a book of add-on stamps? Jeff did it for me. As a marketing to women campaign, this message was spot-on. Amazon builds its brand on convenience and personal recommendations. For return on investment, you can bet that mailing beat a coupon.

Surprising Personal Touches Bring the WOW when Marketing to WomenOne of the most original “nice surprises” I’ve heard of comes from a financial advisor at Investors Group in Canada. One of their top 5% producers builds most of his business with women, and with his marketing to women approach, I have no doubt why he’s so successful. Whenever he gets a new client or significant new business from an existing client, he sends her a jar of homemade apricot jam. The jar even has a hand-lettered label, personalizing it further. The twist on this that I love is that his clients often call up and thank him for the thank-you! You can be sure they’re telling all of their friends about this– and that’s how he keeps getting more and more referrals!

Finding a balance between crunching the numbers and remembering the emotional and practical motivations of your customers will result in memorable marketing to women campaigns that are wildly successful.

Selling to Women: DON’T ‘Always Be Closing’

Selling to Women: DON'T 'Always Be Closing'We all know the ABC’s of sales: Always Be Closing! However, women find this sales approach tiresome and exhausting. If you’re always trying to close the sale, she will close her mind to your offerings.

To avoid irritating your women customers, reach out to her occasionally for a non-sales reason. Here are two examples of thoughtful, non-sales communications that women appreciate.

Selling to Women: DON'T 'Always Be Closing'

Every so often, I get an email from United Airlines, which I fly frequently, telling me about new developments I might like to know about. And they aren’t trying to get anything from me. For instance, one email told me about an impending strike from mechanics that might affect my flight choices.

Similarly, a friend who bought a Ford Explorer got a follow-up call from the dealership a few weeks after she had purchased it, just letting her know that Ford was there to answer any questions or problems, and asking if she liked the car.

Women are suspicious of salespeople who are always trying to get something from them. And they can spot an ulterior motive or sales agenda from a mile away. So be genuine. Stay in touch with your women customers now and then, even if you aren’t selling anything to her at the time.