Category Archives: Market Research

[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

Marketing to Women Beyond the Sale

Marketing to Women Beyond the SaleWomen are more interested in, and place more value on, warranties, guarantees and customer support availability. Women want to be sure that they have help if they encounter problems with your product. And 65% of the time, it’s the woman who takes the car into the repair shop. The numbers are similar for other home-related maintenance. Offering back-end or post-purchase features are an important part of marketing to women, especially if you’re selling complex or high-end products.

The fact is, there aren’t that many companies that truly satisfy customer concerns, questions or complaints. Instead, you get stuck in an endless phone menus or directed to “knowledgebase articles.” When you do reach a voice from the Land of the Living, the answer is ultimately that nothing can be done about your problem anyway/

Marketing to Women Beyond the SaleFor anyone reading this who says, “That’s not our customer policy,” let me say two things. First, of course it’s not! No one makes a commitment to delivering bad customer service. Second, try using your own customer service system anonymously– not from a company phone or device. I’m afraid that you’re likely to discover what most customers discover: the service is terrible.

That’s right. I said it. And I bet you’ve probably said it, too, about other companies. But most people believe their own marketing about their company.

I heard of one study that included the question, “Would you come back to…?” in reference to the company that sold the product. Of the people who answered no, not one mentioned the product; all of them instead identified a service-related problem.

Make sure to keep marketing to women beyond the sale. She wants to be a loyal customer, but you have to reciprocate that loyalty. When customer service resolves questions and problems and does so via a caring, intelligent person who genuinely wants to help reach a resolution, it’s surprising and delightful.

Experience the JOY of Marketing to Boomer Women

Experience the JOY of Marketing to Boomer WomenWhat is particularly striking about the Boomer woman is the contentment, joy and enthusiasm with which she lives her life.

Although she describes herself as serious, being serious does not equate to being negative. You could even say that she lives by that old Johnny Mercer classic, “Accentuate the positive. Eliminate the negative.”

She’s happier and more content and possesses a brighter, more optimistic disposition than Generation X and Millennial women who are many years her junior.

Experience the JOY of Marketing to Boomer WomenShe’s come to accept her age (and some of the physical and emotional challenges that come with it) with a dignity, grace and enthusiasm that belies that Rolling Stones refrain, “What a drag it is getting old.” (Perhaps it’s still true for the bandmembers. Just look at that picture.)

As DDB Chicago and I heard in our Girlfriend Groups market research, Boomer women have learned to find happiness wherever and whenever they can, whether that’s helping a daughter by taking in her children, buying a new pair of shoes, or, yes, starting to date online!

Sure, some Boomer women still struggle accepting their crow’s feet, wrinkles and sagging muscles. Yet, most have gotten past the point of needing to look young. In fact, Boomer women are just as likely as their younger counterparts to boast, “When I look in the mirror, I like what I see.” – 58% vs. 57%, respectively.

Lynn, from our Girlfriends Group told researchers,

“I love being 50; I love this time in my life. I feel stronger. I do more than I used to. I am more active, mentally stronger. I don’t think, oh God, I’m getting old. I look in the mirror and see wrinkles, and I’m okay with it.”

Just about every woman we spoke to said that she gets aches and pain and that getting up in the morning takes more time than it used to. But they adjust by getting up a little earlier or planning their days to start a little later. They get up, get dressed, and put on their makeup, a routine that makes them feel better and more alive than does sitting around in a house dress of muumuu!

Rachel, 60, remarked,

“I can feel arthritis and the aches and pains, but I still don’t think of the age.”

Even if they don’t look it on the outside, most Boomer women feel like 30 on the inside. Their psychological age is much younger than their chronological age, and in many respects, their psychological age is more youthful and vibrant than that of women 20 and 30 years their junior.

Experience the JOY of Marketing to Boomer WomenExperiencing the joy of being means that each day is special:

“I really didn’t give it a thought [what being 64 would be like]. I love it. I mean, it’s a blessing to live to 64. Age is just a number.” – Ruby, 64

“The first thing I do in the morning is say, ‘Thank you, God’ for another day.” – Rachel, 60

For marketing departments, understanding the personalities behind the numbers will help when marketing to Boomer women. Experiencing the joy of being rarely comes across in marketing efforts aimed at Boomers, but if it did, it would be incredibly effective.

Two Secrets that Bring Joy to Your Product Design

Marketing to Women Starts with Great Products

Twentieth Century Fox recently released a movie about one of the most successful designers in history. The role of the designer is played by Jennifer Lawrence, no less, one of today’s hottest stars. Her sidekicks are Robert De Niro, Bradley Cooper (of course!) and Isabella Rossellini. And yet I bet you don’t know this designer’s name.

It’s Joy Mangano.

She focuses on the housewares sector and sells all her products via the home shopping channels HSN and QVC. This retail format is one of few that provide consolidated, immediate feedback on customer response and business success. And, OH, what success she’s enjoyed:

  • Her first product sold over 18,000 items in 20 minutes. And to show that’s not a fluke, another of her designs sold 150,000 in six hours.She holds the record for the best-selling product in electronic retailing history—678 million sold, all told.
  • She holds the record for the best-selling product in electronic retailing history—678 million sold, all told.
  • She has been known to generate sales of $10 million in a single day—extraordinary for this format.
  • To date, over the past 23 years her designs have generated revenues of over $3 billion.

Her phenomenal success can point the way to several specific strategies that can and should blow open your design thinking and accelerate your business success.

Two Secrets that Bring Joy to Your Product Design

Joy’s most important insight is that she roots her design thinking in solving end-user problems in day-to- day life, not in seeking innovation for innovation’s sake. She looks for end users who are exasperated or annoyed by some aspect of a product with a gap between what they want and what’s available.

The second insight is that changes that seem small can have very big business impact indeed. Joy’s best-selling design, the Huggable Hanger, may seem mundane. (OK, so naming might not be her forte.) But this blockbuster product was the first to solve three closet-management problems. First, it’s velvet-flocked, so clothes don’t slip off onto the floor. Second, it’s strong but flat, unlike heavy-duty wood or plastic hangers, meaning less crowding on the closet bar. Third, the shoulder edges are rounded, so there are no poky little puckers ruining the lines of a lovely blouse or sweater. The hangers come in 19 colors, including pink. And she’s sold $678 million of them so far.

It just so happens that Joy’s category, housewares, automatically focused her on the consumers who buy most of everything—women. But women as buyers drive the brand choice in almost every category (this means you, too, auto and consumer electronics); women as end users are the research resource who best notice and articulate design problems that need solving; and women as design colleagues contribute even more than their valuable guidance as the voice of the customer.

In a nutshell, centering your research and product development around more input from women will deliver better innovation, stronger sales, greater career success and more customer love in every sector of industrial design. 

Why the World of Industrial Design is Failing in Marketing to Women

Women Buy Everything. So Why Aren’t You Designing for Them?

Why the World of Industrial Design is Failing in Marketing to WomenFirst of all, why should industrial design brands care about women? Women aren’t particularly “industrial” are they? Wrong.

In the US B2C world, women account for 80% of consumer spending. And they buy significantly more industrially-designed products than men. According to Michael Silverstein of the Boston Consulting Group,

“Women make the decision in purchases of 94% of home furnishings… 92% of vacations… 91% of homes… 60% of automobiles… and 51% of consumer electronics.”

Please tell me you aren’t thinking something like, “Well, sure, women buy a lot of consumer goods. Isn’t that sweet?”

Women mean business, too. Women also account for about 55% of business buying decisions (Listen up, B2B!). It’s worth noting that, according to the US Bureau of Labor statistics, women comprise over half of wholesale and retail buyers (think retail inventory), purchasing agents and managers (cost of goods), administrative assistants and managers (business equipment and services), and HR employees and managers (employee benefit plans). In other words, except for real estate and new building construction, women place the purchase order. And even if she’s a recommender rather than the final decision-maker, if you don’t make her short list, you have no shot at the contract.

How to Design Products Women Love

How do we know that the world of industrial design is failing in marketing to women? In many categories, women report a continuing gap between what they want and what they’re offered. By large majorities, they feel manufacturers, marketers and designers aren’t paying attention to what they want.

Why the World of Industrial Design is Failing in Marketing to WomenIn the automotive industry, for example, a 2014 Frost & Sullivan study of car buyers revealed that globally 50% of women are dissatisfied with their vehicles, which probably explains why fully 74% say they feel misunderstood by car manufacturers. I’ve seen similarly shocking numbers from studies in other big-ticket categories, including consumer electronics, financial services and healthcare, so I’d be comfortable guessing that this pattern would hold in just about any of them.

Design firms love to say that their process is customer centric. But the marketplace is telling us that either they’re focusing on the wrong customer—at the very minimum, they’re not including the right customer—or they aren’t doing a great job figuring out what she wants. Women are different. They aren’t built like men. They have different lifestyles and roles than men. They perceive, prioritize and shop differently than men do. And as far as women can tell, designers and marketers don’t care.

Women are far more likely than men to recognize and respond to the second-tier features and improvements that all brands rely on to differentiate themselves from competitors. Women’s perceptual abilities allow them to register and retain details better than men do. Moreover, because women shop differently from men, they pay more attention to features that men—and researchers—tend to classify as unimportant.

Men are more likely to believe that little things make little difference. Women believe that little things make all the difference. In their search for the perfect answer, women seek out more options and compare their trade-offs down to the last detail.

In the world of industrial design, thousands of products are annoying millions of women every day. And for designers, that’s called opportunity. Listening to women—as end users, as buyers and as designers—is a sure and certain path to better innovation, stronger sales and greater career success.

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:

Single Boomer Women, a Marketing Trend

Single Boomer Women, a Marketing TrendMany Boomer women find themselves single in midlife, either by choice or by chance. As of the 2010 U.S. Census, 39% of women aged 50-74 were single.

Before you go feeling sorry for these single Boomer women, you should know that most of them are not leading the stereotypical sad, lonely life you might imagine. These women are PrimeTime Women and are smashing the myths of “old maids” and “little old ladies.” They are enjoying their autonomy while growing their social networks through clubs, communities and interest groups. They finally have time to cultivate the interests they may not have during their youth – and are discovering new activities.

Single Boomer women in the United States are becoming an economic force in their own right. Savvy marketers need to keep in mind that they are the sole decision-makers in a substantial percentage of 50+ households.

Three industries in particular need to step up their game- housing, real estate and financial services. Already, single women own almost twice as many homes as single men. I’m sure you can think of ways to enhance your offerings and marketing to single Boomer women (if you haven’t already?).

Marketing to Women: Enable Boomer Women to Pursue Passions and Explore Possibilities

Boomer women live life in drive. Their outlook on life and the future is optimistic, eager and very engaged. When marketing to these women, brands should emphasize the pursuit of passion and exploration of possibilities. Here’s a little context to start your thinking.

Boomer Women Pursue Forgotten Passions

Marketing to Women: Enable Boomer Women to Pursue Passions and Explore PossibilitiesOne of the first thing Boomer women do as they grow older and have more “me time” is to return to some of the activities and passions they set aside when they got overcommitted with work and family responsibilities.

They remember how much they used to like to write or sing of teach or belly dance or climb mountains. Among participants in my 50/50/50 panel, one woman told us she was starting piano lessons over again and made a point of practicing an hour every day. Another decided she wanted to prepare for retirement by taking business seminars. Others took classes in computers, photography, handicapping (when a new horse track opened in her area) and adventure (parachuting, rock climbing, rappelling. Wow. And our Girlfriend Group participants were returning to passions like art, glass beads and history.

… And They Seek Our New Possibilities

Marketing to Women: Enable Boomer Women to Pursue Passions and Explore PossibilitiesMany Boomer women are seeking out new directions. They recognize the world of possibilities before them and are unconcerned about starting fresh, being novices at something they’ve never tried before. They feel open to any opportunity and are willing to take risks the way they did when they were younger.

The irony is that when they were younger, they were unafraid because they thought they were immortal and couldn’t conceive of failure. Now they are unafraid to take risks because they know they won’t live forever, and they know failure is OK.

How These Outlooks Affect Marketing to Boomer Women Strategies

In 1970, the enormously popular book What Color is Your Parachute? was published. It offered thought-provoking new perspectives and, most interestingly, tons of exercises designed to get you to think creatively and without constraints about what workplace occupation could fire up your sense of passion and enable you to live the life you wanted.

So where is Part 2? What Color is Your Clock or something like that– terrible title, I know. Just work with me on the concept here. The idea would be to apply the same or similar exercises to help Boomers visualize the second half of their lives, and it would be tailored to their different priorities and attitudes.

I suggest to craft marketing to women campaigns based on stories of people who are exploring new possibilities and achieving their dreams. Help Boomer women understand how your brand will help them fulfill their visions and aspirations by showing them how you have helped others.

[VIDEO] Are There ANY High Net Worth Women? Oh YES, and Here’s How to Reach Them

I’m surprised how many financial advisors don’t seem to know about the large market of high net worth women! Here are some facts about selling to high net worth women – and how to reach them!

Watch the video: Are There ANY High Net Worth Women? Oh YES, and Here’s How to Reach Them

[VIDEO] Why I Don’t Think We’ll Ever See Women as 50% of CEOs

Women and men choose to do different things. And that’s okay! In this marketing to women video, see why the majority of women choose different occupations than men– even in the gender-equality wonderland of Sweden. And see why these choices don’t make them women any less powerful.

Watch the video: Why I Don’t Think We’ll Ever See Women as 50% of CEOs