Category Archives: Women in business

How to Prove Marketing to Women Works

How to Prove Marketing to Women Works

If you are leading the marketing to women charge in an organization skeptical of the power of the purse, it is imperative you capture the results that validate your program’s impact. Build measures that track the impact of your marketing to women initiatives– these systems aren’t easy to implement and are hardly ever free, but they are essential to overcoming corporate inertia.

Tracking must be comprehensive and should include elements such as:

  • Brand preference
  • Sales
  • Repeat purchases
  • Customer satisfaction

Measure men as well as women. Many companies fear that by reaching out to women, they may alienate men. But the opposite is actually true-because women have a longer list of wants and seek the Perfect Answer, improving effectiveness with women tends to boost customer satisfaction among men. Track it and prove it.

Presales Indicators Will Be Key

Because women’s decision cycle is longer than men’s, it’s likely that you will see presales indicators from female consumers before you notice strong improvement in actual sales. These indicators might include:

  • Increased awareness
  • More favorable perceptions
  • Increased requests for information and sales materials

Given the pressure companies face to deliver quarter by quarter, your ability to sustain marketing to women programs throughout the ramp-up time may depend on your ability to demonstrate preliminary movement in the right direction using these “stand-in” measures.

How to Track Presales Indicators

Quantitative surveys conducted via phone, mail or online and mall-intercept are a great way to track changes in women consumers’ awareness of, attitude towards and interest in your product at the expense of your competitors.

Given that the competitive future of your company may well depend on its ability to market successfully to women, it would be a really good idea to put those tracking systems into place right from the start.

An Uplifting Conversation with the Bra Whisperer

Wouldn’t you love to get some one-on-one time with Susan Nethero, the Bra Whisperer? In less than two weeks, at M2W 2012, you can experience the next best thing– I’ll be leading an intimate session with Susan. We will explore the secrets behind her incredibly successful business, Intimacy— how she started, how she markets to women and maybe even some bra tips!

Susan Nethero’s Intimacy is a nine-figure business with 18 retail stores. She trained under the Queen of England’s Royal Bra Fitter, June Kenton (Royal Bra Fitter! Who knew?) and has been helping women find the perfect fit for 15 years. Susan is also an Oprah favorite, appearing on the show an amazing five times! Just check out one of her videos from Oprah.com below:

Oprah.com Video: 5 Lingerie Must-Haves

Susan Nethero on Oprah

Oprah.com Video: 5 Lingerie Must-Haves

Along with being the Bra Whisperer, Susan’s also a whiz at marketing to women (How else could she have built Intimacy into the success that it is?). Recently, I’ve had the opportunity to work with Susan as a business advisor, and, I must say, she is the perfect client! Whether we were collaborating on marketing strategy, marketing communucations or brand ambassador strategy, Susan is decisive and action-oriented.

If you’re trying to build a business through marketing to women, you won’t want to miss my conversation with Susan. Here are some of the questions and topics we’ll explore during our M2W session:

  • Her Business Idea: What was Susan’s original inspiration for Intimacy? What gaps in the market did she see?
  • Her Product: Can 85% of women really be wearing the wrong size bra? How can so many be so wrong?
  • Her Stores: Her 18 stores are located at some of the ritziest addresses in America. Who shops at Intimacy? Are all her customers sleek young celebrities?
  • Her Marketing: Who coined the term “The Bra Whisperer”? FIVE Oprah appearances – Are you kidding me?! Why did America’s most influential TV diva bring her back again and again?10,000 maniacs – What makes women stand in line for hours for an Intimacy bra fitting?
  • The Sweet Swell of Success: How long before she opened her second store? Her tenth? What were some of her early challenges and how did she deal with them? What does she know now that she wishes she’d known then?
  • Her Future Plans: Once you’ve built a huge business empire from scratch, what do you do for an encore?

Marketing to Women Conference 2012

M2W 2012 is in its 8th year– and like fine wine and cheese, the conference is only getting better with age. This year, M2W is part of a week-long event called Women Mean Business! Week.

Other icons of the marketing to women world who are presenting at M2W include:

  • Mary Lou Quinlan – Founder/CEO of Just Ask a Woman and author of Just Ask a Woman, What She’s Not Telling You, Time Off for Good Behavior and The God Box
  • Fara Warner – Editorial Director of International Special Editions for Newsweek/ Daily Beast Company and author of The Power of the Purse.
  • Michael Silverstein – Senior Partner and Managing Director of The Boston Consulting Group and co-author of Treasure Hunt, Trading Up and, most recently,Women Want More (with fellow BCG partner Kate Sayre).
  • Tom Peters – Global Marketing Guru and author of In Search of Excellence, a Brand Called YOU, Re-Imagine!, The Little BIG Things and countless other wonderful books.
    Tom is the original thought-leader on women in business. As is his wont, he has been loud and unrelenting in his efforts to wake the world of marketing to the world’s biggest spenders (women), and to shake up management rosters with the talent proven most likely to improve business results (also women!) Call me amused, but every female consumer and executive in the world owes a tip of her feathered cap to “the father of ‘women mean business!'”

View the M2W 2012 Speakers

Register with Code Marti25 to Save 25%

M2W 2012 - Marti SpeaksAs a speaker for M2W 2012, I am pleased to offer my readers 25% savings on conference registration. Just enter code Marti25 in the Discount Code field.

And just a reminder… The conference is rapidly approaching!

I’d love to see you there. Here are the registration links:

10 Things Every CEO Needs to Know About Women

1. As employees, women are better prepared to work in the new Information Economy, earning 58% of all college degrees.

2. As managers, women are rated higher than their male counterparts by bosses, subordinates and peers, not only on “soft” skills, like communication and coaching, but also on a broad range of “hard” skills, like setting standards, planning and decisiveness.

3. As investors, women currently control 51.3% of private wealth in the U.S. The number of wealthy women in the U.S. (investable assets of $500K+) grew 68% 1996-1998, while the number of wealthy men grew only 36%. Now in 2010, women comprise fully two-thirds of wealthy Americans.

4. As buyers, women make the purchasing decisions for 81% of all consumer and business dollars spent in the U.S., including 68% of new cars, 66% of computers and 51% of consumer electronics, to name just a few.

Women Really Are Different from Men

5. Women are ensemble players – they value consensus and collaboration, and seek points of commonality with other people. Men are soloists – they stress self-reliance and autonomy, and seek to differentiate themselves from other people.

6. Women are synthesizers, pulling all elements, details and context together to grasp the big picture. Men are analysts: their version of the big picture involves stripping away detail and focusing solely on the essentials of the situation.

7. Women can perceive “the fine points” better than men. They see and recall more elements and nuances in any environment, product, service or communication, and they care and express more about them.

8. Men look for “a good solution” that addresses most of the key criteria, then they move on. Women search comprehensively for “the perfect answer,” a result that is just right in every respect.

9. In evaluating elements of a major decision, women want the same things as men, they just want more. Like more facts, more details, more information, more feedback from others and more time to make their decision.

10. Having gone through a more comprehensive “due diligence” process in reaching a decision, women tend to be more loyal to their choice of product and provider, and generate more referrals through more active word-of-mouth.

Women Mean Business – Controlling the Company Checkbook

Women play a significant role in business buying. Whether you target the corporate market or the small business market, there are compelling reasons to get smart about marketing and selling to women.

Up the Corporate Ladder

Many people don’t realize that today, 49% of all professionals and managers in the workplace are women. Even more interesting to B2B companies is the fact that women comprise 46% of purchasing managers and 58% of wholesale and retail buyers.

The New Entrepreneuse

Did you know that 40% of all businesses in this country are woman-owned (ownership at least 50% female)? In fact, for the past 15 years, women have accounted for a full 70% of new business start-ups! That means two out of three enterprises that are creating new accounts to handle their banking, telecommunications, office equipment and supplies, shipping, travel, etc. are woman-owned. And lest you leave with the impression that women-owned businesses are fledgling enterprises uncertain to survive, know that 65% of women-owned businesses have made it past their five-year anniversary, compared to 58% of their male counterparts.

If knowing your customer is the key to selling to her effectively, lots of companies targeting business decision makers had better start learning how women buy.

What’s the Difference?

Until recently, everyone thought the marketing strategies they developed were equally effective at communicating to women and men. They usually aren’t. Women approach the big-ticket buying decision completely differently than men do, and they reach their decision based on a different set of perceptions, priorities and preferences. Companies that combine insights on female gender culture with solid marketing know-how can develop savvy strategies that attract women’s business, strengthen customer relationships and activate women’s “marketing multiplier” – word of mouth. Those who realize it sooner rather than later will reap the rewards in greater share, higher sales and increased stock price.