Category Archives: Advertising to Women

[VIDEO] The Evolution of Bank Marketing

In my marketing to women keynote for Kodak, see how one bank evolved from “facts and figures” marketing to compelling advertisements that appeal to women. Marketing financial services to women is a particular area of interest to me– since women will soon control most of the wealth!

Watch the video: The Evolution of Bank Marketing

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.

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?

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.

Top Visuals that Appeal to Women (and Some that Women Hate)

Women pay attention to visuals even more than the population at large. As such, your marketing team should pay special attention to the visuals they use for anything targeted towards women, such as advertising, product packaging and web design.

Top 5 Marketing to Women Visuals

Marketing to Women Visuals

Here are my top five recommendations for what to include in visuals that market to women:

  1. People, people, people. Women put people first, and you should too. Visuals should feature expressions and emotions. The “people” in your ads don’t need to be photographs or live action video. Animations and cartoons of both people and animals work well to attract women’s attention.
  2. Make sure people are realistic. Feature people your target audience can identify with and relate to, attractive “normal” women rather than perfect “aspirational” women.
  3. Show some emotion. Use emotional visuals to attract women’s attention. Showing that somebody cares one way or another is always going to be powerful- and memorable- to women.
  4. Immersion. Use your visuals to tell a story that immerses women into your brand or product. It can get messy, and it definitely is the opposite of the “one headline and one visual” school of thought, but when masterfully done, it’s much more effective, too.
  5. Show collaboration, friendships, warmth and working together. Women love collaboration more than competition and friendships more than rivalry.

Bottom 5 Marketing to Women Visuals

Marketing to Women Visuals

When marketing to women, avoid these visuals at all cost!

  1. Product-centric. Your product is not the hero. The best way to lose women is to show your product without a human context.
  2. Dystopian women. Don’t portray women as harried, frenzied and at the end of their rope. Women are proud that they can “handle it all.” Honor that.
  3. Utopian women. Conversely, don’t use visuals of “supermodel women.” In general, women don’t aspire to be perfect archetypes. They want to relate to other women like them.
  4. Isolation. Avoid visuals that could be interpreted as isolating or portraying customers as independent loners.
  5. Simplistic. Women are detail-oriented and are attracted to visuals that have depth and intricacy.

Use these tips in your marketing to women efforts to portray people in ways that are interesting and appealing to women.

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.

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?”

 

Think ‘Rich’ in Marketing to Women

No, not rich like this:

Think 'Rich' in Marketing to Women

I mean rich communications that are full of depth and detail. Marketing communications that engage women and draw their attention.

For Effective Impact, Design Rich Marketing to Women Campaigns

As every marketing professional knows, consumers are exposed to thousands of marketing impressions every day. For your marketing to women campaign to generate awareness, convey information and evoke action, it must have three characteristics:

  1. Continuity
  2. Consistency
  3. Multiple points of contact with the target audience

You can’t reach those goals with an isolated tactic or two– especially not when marketing to women. They tend to crave a richer communication. You need a comprehensive program to ensure that you get through to the consumer you’re trying to reach.

Notice that “repetition” didn’t make my list- no one wants to see the same ad over and over. For most effective impact, design executions that are variations on a theme. Then, choose diverse media like TV, social media, retargeting advertising.

One recent example was Sam’s Club’s Memorial Day campaign in May. Early in the month, members were sent an Instant Savings Booklet showing the various grilling-themed savings available for the month– no coupons required! Sponsored post advertising highlighted individual offerings:

Think 'Rich' in Marketing to Women

And other posts tempted members with samples available in-store:

Think 'Rich' in Marketing to Women

As the holiday weekend came to a close, Sam’s Club varied the theme a bit to summer road trips:

Think 'Rich' in Marketing to Women

Using appealing imagery and careful, pithy copy, Sam’s Club drove store traffic and sales around the story of summer barbecues (and morphed the campaign into other summer themes). To make this campaign even more appealing to women, I would only suggest featuring more people in the executions.

Enrich your marketing to women campaigns, and enjoy richer results!

What if We Saw the World Through the Eyes of Women?

My question isn’t rhetorical, or even emotional. Factually, only 5% of directors are women, including feature films, television, documentaries, music videos and commercials. A group of directors and other industry professionals are highlighting this issue with their group 5% WTF! Watch their clever animation to understand the problems this inequality worsens:

What if We Saw the World Through the Eyes of Women?

Juliana Lukasik, Principal/Director of Large Films, has a solution to achieve a higher representation of women in director roles:

What if We Saw the World Through the Eyes of Women?“As a Commercial Director I am appalled at how few women directors there are in advertising as well as all other aspects of filmmaking. But hey, I direct commercials so it is especially disturbing that while 85% of the time it is a women making the final decision on purchasing a product, about 95% of the time that advertisement is brought to her by a man in the lead creative role.

“The goal: EVERY time a woman directs, she should have an aspiring female director on set with her. It makes a huge difference.”

I met Juliana at M2W 2016 this year and was very impressed by her efforts. As women professionals, let’s take this mentorship challenge! Women make 85% of purchasing decisions and have real economic power, but when we only see the world through men’s eyes, we’re missing half the picture.

Organic Balance Keeps it Real in Fabulous New Marketing to Women Campaign

Most marketing to women execution makes me yawn– it’s predictable and not particularly appealing to women. But protein shake brand Organic Balance woke me up with this perfectly planned video:

This spot reminded me of the original U by Kotex campaign from a number of years ago, created by Ogilvy & MatherThat ​gracefully ironic self-awareness of the young women in the set-up scene – adorable! The real women segments had me nodding in self-recognition – funny!

​Organic Balance’s fabulous new marketing to women campaign really embodies my “Real, Not Ideal.” GenderTrends principle. While watching the video, it is such a relief to transition to the “real women’s mornings” part of the video! I felt so able to relate that I do believe I was having an oxytocin episode. (Oxytocin is the hormone that promotes bonding in everybody, but especially in women. It is released both when women feel, as well as when they want, more closeness.) When those real women segments were showing, I was thinking, “Yup – That would be me!”

The brand doesn’t stop with one video– the campaign directs viewers to a Real Morning Report mini-site that uniquely appeals to women. You’re invited to take a survey (fun!) that reveals what mornings are like for other women (interesting!). And invites you to share cute, pre-made “Morning Facts” with your networks  (easy! friendly!). Also, enjoy coupons  to try out the product.

Organic Balance Keeps it Real in Fabulous New Marketing to Women Campaign Organic Balance Keeps it Real in Fabulous New Marketing to Women Campaign Organic Balance Keeps it Real in Fabulous New Marketing to Women Campaign

Every element of this creative campaign shows the brand really understands women and how to relate to them. What can your brand learn from Organic Balance?

Get More Insight on Marketing to Women with “Real, Not Ideal” Positioning

Authenticity is meaningful and motivating to women. Here are a few of my other posts that will help you keep it real when marketing to women: