Category Archives: Featured

Selling to Women: Top 4 Markets of Affluent Women

Women control a majority of the financial assets in the United States. But who are these women? And how do salespeople meet them?

Selling to Women: Top 4 Markets of Affluent Women

Identifying Prime Women Prospects

Most people who are just starting out selling to women in the high-net-worth market assume “wealthy women” is synonymous with “wealthy widows.” There are plenty of wealthy widows you can prospect, but they’re not the only females with funds. Here are four sub-markets of affluent women.

Wealthy Women’s Market #1: Wealthy Widows

OK, so there are a lot of wealthy widows out there. It’s true. As Boomers age, the amount of money concentrated in women’s wallets will grow exponentially, largely because most women survive their husbands by 15-18 years.

What’s more, I heard a startling statistic at a conference: someone from a financial planning powerhouse revealed close to 70% of widows change financial advisors within three years of their husband’s death. Financial advisors built strong relationships with the “man of the house,” but rarely involved his wife. With no existing relationships to hold them back, the widows walked.

Wealthy Women’s Market #2: The Executive Suite

The second place salespeople look when they’re seeking affluent women is the executive suite, probably because of all the press coverage top corporate women get. This is a good place to look– but it’s not the end of the road. There are plenty of women earning big corporate paychecks, but there are two other markets I also want to look at as prospects for selling to women.

Wealthy Women’s Market #3: Professional Practice

If you work in the high-net-worth market, chances are you already know which are the high-paying professions. But it may surprise you to learn how many of these professions have women-specific associations. In the medical field, for instance, there are American associations of women dentists, emergency physicians, psychiatrists, radiologists and surgeons. These organizations generally exist to address non-medical issues and may welcome an offer to provide their members with worthwhile insights in your area of expertise. Make sure to check with local chapters and the national organization.

Wealthy Women’s Market #4: Women Business Owners

There are lots of women-owned businesses in the United States. The statistics are myriad. From the National Association of Women Business Owners:

  • More than 9.1 million firms are owned by women, employing nearly 7.9 million people, and generating $1.4 trillion in sales as of 2014.
  • Women-owned firms (50% or more) account for 30% of all privately held firms and contribute 14% of employment and 11% of revenues.
  • One in five firms with revenue of $1 million or more is woman-owned.
  • 4.2% of all women-owned firms have revenues of 1 million or more.

Another advantage of seeking out women business owners is the opportunity to cross-sell and up-sell to them. The vast majority (86%) of women business owners say that they use some of the same brands of products and services– such as telecommunications services and insurance– in both their business and their household, and that this is a conscious decision based on quality, convenience, discounts and experience with the company.

If you have had challenges with selling to women in the high-net-worth market in the past, I encourage you to rethink your strategies based on these four markets of affluent women.

Marketing to Women: She Doesn’t Realize She’s Different from Men

As I encourage men to understand female gender culture when they engage in marketing to women activities, I also encourage women to understand male gender culture. To achieve success in our male culture-dominated world, women need to understand what makes men and women different.

Here’s my video from the Women in the Workplace Conference: Women Don’t Realize They Are Different from Men

To Connect with Women Customers, Celebrate What Women Are Proud Of

Showing how your product or service can emphasize what women take pride in can be a big boost to your sales. Before you can see success from this marketing to women strategy, you first have to know what those motivations are (and some are not what you’d expect).

To Connect with Women Customers, Celebrate What Women Are Proud Of

What Women Take Pride In

  • Their own efforts to be caring, considerate, thoughtful, generous and loyal. Consider: how do your corporate halo efforts encourage women to share a sense of pride with you?
  • Being needed. The important revelation here is that women feel powerful when others come to them for help (as opposed to men, who feel powerful when they attain autonomy). Be careful not to make “love of power” an overt message, though.
  • Making the world a better place. This motivation is linked to being needed, but on a macro scale. As I’ve written before, a survey showed that 85% of women view making the world a better place as a key aspiration in their lives. Will your products or services help women make the world a better place? How do you let them know?
  • Multitasking. Women are proud of being able to juggle a lot of balls at once- especially when they can manage to make it look easy. Help women truly multitask, and you will help your bottom line.
  • Recognition. Just because women don’t boast and push themselves forward doesn’t mean they don’t like being recognized and admired – in the right way. Marketing messages that acknowledge women’s accomplishments are appreciated not only by the honoree but also by the female audience, which feels that very often deserving women get passed over for this kind of recognition.

And last but not least, the stereotypical considerations…

  • A warm, comfortable and orderly home. Yes, women do take pride in this. The key is to keep in mind that it’s not the only thing they take pride in, romanticized home care advertising notwithstanding.
  • Appearance: figure, clothes, jewelry, hairstyles, grooming and the like. Remember, just 53% of women see being more attractive as an aspiration in their lives- so this is not the all-consuming passion that some might think. But recognize that taking pride in appearance, in most cases, is not simply about luring men. Many women have discovered, to their chagrin, that most men simply don’t notice elements like hair, clothes and shoes. Not to worry- at least other women can appreciate good taste. And besides, these accessories make such good compliment props!

Boomer Women Customers Buy Faster Than Younger Women

Often, the purchase process can take longer for women than for men. As described in my Spiral Path consumer behavior model, women cycle back through the stages of purchasing until they find The Perfect Answer.

How Women Buy: The Spiral Path

Boomer Women Customers Buy Faster Than Younger WomenFor Boomer women, though, the process is shorter and simpler, for two main reasons:

  1. Like all women, Boomer women ask around and use word of mouth. But now they’ll be asking peers with a greater inventory of experience to draw on. So that will immediately get them farther and faster into the process than then they were younger and asking less experienced peers.
  2. Boomer women themselves have greater experience with their own decision process. They’ve been there, done that once or many times before, so they know what they like and have an existing framework into which they can quickly integrate new options and considerations. They have more experience with products and services, so they don’t need to loop back and revisit previous stages of the decision path as many times in order to make their decisions.

So, when marketing to women, remember that Boomer women may buy faster and result in quicker profits!

Hello, Network of Executive Women!

Network of Executive Women

Network of Executive WomenNetwork of Executive Women invited me to join The Female Consumer series, and I’m very excited to share marketing to women insights with this community.

Here’s my first article: Marketing to Boomer Women: A Radical Opportunity 

About Network of Executive Women

The Network of Executive Women was founded in 2001 by a small group of industry executives who believed there were not enough female leaders in the retail and consumer goods and services industry — and that everyone would benefit if there were. Today the Network is the industry’s largest learning and leadership community, representing more than 9,000 members, 750 companies, 100 national sponsors and 20 regions in the U.S. and Canada. Our learning, events, best practices, research and leadership development programs advance women, build business and help create a better workplace for all.

Go Extra Strength When Marketing to Women

In an effort to capture more of the “headache” market, Novartis has introduced a new product, which seems targeted to the women who buy 65-70% of the analgesics sold. So far, so good. But the product and positioning seem curiously out of touch with the women they are trying to engage. In the new ad for Excedrin Mild Headache, we learn that the product has 35% less medicine, along with a “boost” to make it work faster:

Two Problems with This Marketing to Women Effort

  1. The product itself seems to be ill-conceived to meet women’s needs. To me, consumers who want less medicine will probably just take one pill instead of two. And for the label-reading market, they may have concerns about the “boost” being caffeine.
  2. The execution of this marketing to women campaign isn’t ideal. The basic message seems to be, “Since your kids are whiny and useless, you probably have a headache every day.” That’s not a message to inspire women’s brand loyalty.

Excedrin Extra Strength Excels in Marketing to Women

Compare the Mild Headache positioning with the Excedrin Extra Strength “Fast Fixes” marketing campaign, which is a great example of utility marketing (adding value to your consumer by offering useful resources, info or ideas).  In this case, the brand is providing “life hacks” to help consumers reduce stress and hassles and help them reduce headaches. Consumers will see these not as “self interest” ads on the part of the brand, but ideas consistent with a brand goal of making like more comfortable for the consumer. Here’s an example video of Fast Fixes for four Family:

Another thing I like about the Fast Fixes marketing campaign is that is seems to be targeted to women, but it is not at all “pink.” It’s a wonderful example of what I call “Transparent Marketing” — addressing women’s needs and activities without explicitly saying your brand is for women. Every element in the campaign is gender-neutral, which is how it should be.

It’s interesting how one parent company can at the same time be so clueless and so masterful at marketing to women. My advice to Novartis is to be more extra strength and less mild!

Happily, Sometimes We Find Marketing to Women Excellence

Curious marketers occasionally ask me if women can’t take a joke, because they consider humor a dicey business when marketing to women.

That’s ludicrous. Of course women have a sense of humor. But it’s a different sense than men have.

To learn how to use humor that engages women’s interest and makes them feel good about your brand, consider the new empathetically humorous approach from Weight Watchers. Here is a recent execution of its “If You’re Happy” marketing campaign.

This ad works for women because it recognizes that women have a peer group mentality– “Let’s focus on what we have in common because we’re all in this together.” Instead of poking fun at other people, women find “That’s Me!” moments to be very funny. And what’s more universal in the modern human experience than eating our emotions?

Weight Watchers has done a fantastic job encouraging women to think, “Wow, Weight Watchers really gets me!” And when a woman feels that way about a brand, she’s ready to reward it with repeat purchases and rave reviews.

The Top 3 Traits More Important to Women than to Men

Women care about many things, but only a few key traits distinguish women from men. These three traits are critical for your marketing to women efforts.


Women love being around other people.

Women feel good about being in a group. Certainly men have friends and enjoy family time, but they don’t view these interactions as enriching as women do.

Whereas men are often inclined to think of other people as a drain on their energy, women see others as a source of energy and go to other people whenever their reserves are low.

The Top 3 Traits More Important to Women than to Men

Women thrive on collaborative interaction.

Here’s why – We know women love being around other people, and they think people are the most important element in life. Add to those pleasures the fun and satisfaction of collaborating on common goals for a project that is important to all of us, and you’ll show women a day in the life they’d like to live. It’s simple, but it’s crucial.

Women want it the way they want it.

The Top 3 Traits More Important to Women than to Men

Just because you don’t notice a given detail or don’t think it’s important, doesn’t mean she doesn’t. For effective marketing to women strategies and communication, you must understand which details are important to the particular group of women you are targeting.

If your marketing efforts address this trifecta of women’s traits, your brand will be well on its way to becoming one of those important things women care about.

In 2015, Find Marketing to Women Weaknesses in Your Competition

In 2015, Find Marketing to Women Weaknesses in Your Competition

Welcome to the New Year! It’s the time for resolutions and turning over a new leaf—and why not start by evaluating your marketing budget? Smart companies know that to be effective, they have to put together a strategic effort that delivers their message to women in a comprehensive way. But comprehensive is a big word; there are dozens, if not hundreds of opportunities to improve what you’re currently doing and to add some terrific new marketing to women initiatives. No one has the budget or the staff to do it all. So, where do you start, and how do you figure out where your money will do the most good?

It’s important to keep in mind that in most categories, marketing to women—like marketing to men or marketing to anybody—is essentially a ­market share game. Women are already buying most of the cars and most of the personal computers—the goal is to get them to buy your brand of car or insurance. So, the answer to the question, “Where will my marketing budget do the most good in 2015?” is to know where your brand stands in the marketplace relative to your competition and to be clear about what you’ve got to work with.

You can usually get a good idea of this fairly quickly— Just do the Situation Scan. Why not make starting it a goal this week?.

The Situation Scan

Here’s the methodology I use with TrendSight Group clients:

The Situation Scan

The concept is simple, and so are the results you’re looking for:

Get your team thinking about your marketing to women situation and scoping out your competition. The market is there, just waiting for you to earn your share!