Marketing to Women Messaging: How to Portray Women

It’s become clear to me that the world of marketing to women could use some refresher tips on how to portray women in advertising and other marketing messaging. Include some of these “Lucky 7” elements, and watch women flock to your brand.

Marketing to Women Messaging

Beyond ‘Respect’ to ‘Understanding’

Articles about communicating with women cite countless studies, surveys and anecdotes, which reveal that women feel marketers and salespeople don’t view them or treat them with respect. While that may be true, the term “respect” is so over-used and under-defined that is it generic and meaningless. What women mean by “respect” is  more akin to being understood. She wants to be listened to and accorded as much response as if the communication were coming from a man: a man who speaks up for what he wants and matter-of-factly expects to get it.

Better Real than Ideal

Women want to identify with your advertising. Female culture is all about commonality and empathy, not differentiation and aspiration. She’s looking for that flash of recognition that sparks a connection between her and the real people, real situations, real product usage and real reactions that tell her you get who she is.

Coping with Chaos

Today’s woman copes cheerfully with chaos (usually). She has to. She normally has a full-time job, primary responsibility for managing her household, and plenty of church, school and community activities to amuse her in her “spare time.” The aspect many marketing to women campaigns neglect to portray is that women no longer feel torn with guilt at not being supermom. Their houses aren’t spotless. Their kids are sometimes mouthy. They have the occasional bad hair day. And that’s okay; they’re fine with it. It’s advertisers who apparently live on Planet Perfect, and when women visit there, they don’t recognize a soul.

Cast More Women Who Aren’t 20-Year-Old Glamour Goddesses

A classic marketing to women study by Grey Advertising showed that 82% of women wish advertisers would recognize that they don’t want to look 18 forever. Forget the latest ditz-of-the-moment pop star and consider the attractive, normal-looking women of shows like Downton Abbey, House of Cards, and the new X-Files episodes that are scheduled (Gillian Anderson has never looked better!).

Choose Your Spokeswoman Wisely

Marketing to Women MessagingWhen choosing a spokesperson for your brand, keep in mind that women value empathy over envy in their role models. Women seem to like a role model better if she (or he) isn’t perfect. Oprah is one of the most widely admired women in America, and one of the things women like about her is that she struggles with a lot of the same things they do. In other words, go for less Miss America and more for Miss Real.

Reflect the New Definition of Beauty

Advertisers are very conscientious about including ethnic diversity in their marketing communications, but only a pioneer few are even beginning to show the age diversity and size diversity women are looking for. One of the cornerstones of female gender culture is inclusion, and women resent the rigidity of one standard of attractiveness. It’s time to let go of the “blondes have more fun” (and better looks, more money, higher status and better men) approach to beauty.

Tap into the ‘Girlfriend Factor’

The depth and meaning of a woman’s friendships are among the most treasured elements in her life. According to the Grey Advertising study cited above, 74% of women would like to see advertising show more women doing things together with their girlfriends, sisters and moms. Personal disclosure, constant contact and emotional expressiveness make up the core of the girlfriend factor, and each creates opportunities for emotional association with your brand.

This entry was posted in Advertising to Women, Differences between women and men, Marketing to Women, Things women care about and tagged , , , , , , , , on by .

About Marti

To The Huffington Post, she’s “the High Priestess of Marketing to Women;” to TIME magazine, “the Chief Rabbi of the Sheconomy.” Renowned business guru Tom Peters calls her “the First Lady of Marketing to Women” and says she “is one of the best presenters, male or female, I’ve ever seen.” Marti Barletta shows you how to get more customers, make more money per customer and keep customers loyal longer - simply by getting smarter about women. Her first book, Marketing to Women, is available in 19 languages,” and her latest book, PrimeTime Women, focuses in on the market’s high-spending sweet spot - Boomer women in their mid-life prime – and shows marketers how to use this prime segment’s growth, size and buying power to propel their business for the next 20 years. As the go-to authority on marketing to women, women in leadership and women’s growing role in shaping the 21st century, Barletta has been quoted on CBS, ABC, MSNBC and NPR, as well as in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Economist, USA Today, Fast Company, TIME, Business Week, Inc., and many other publications worldwide. Ms. Barletta’s consulting clients have included Diageo, Ford, Kodak, Pfizer, Volvo Worldwide and others. A popular speaker internationally, she has enjoyed rave reviews on every continent except Antarctica, including in Australia, Chile, Dubai, Japan and Sweden. She has spoken for hundreds of companies, conferences and associations; and across dozens of industries, including consumer products, financial services, travel and tourism, retail and real estate development, to name a few. She is proud to say that numerous clients have booked her for return appearances. Her dynamic style, command of her subject and passion for her topic make her a popular speaker. Audiences love her practical tactics tailored to the interests of each audience, her lively style and sense of humor, and her memorable stories about men, women and marketing. Specialties:I show you how to attract more customers, keep them longer, and earn more money from every customer simply by getting smarter about today's mightiest market - women.

2 thoughts on “Marketing to Women Messaging: How to Portray Women

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *