Obviously, Big-Ticket Brands Should Be Marketing to Women

Research shows today’s women buy more than men-even the big-ticket items

Marketing to women for big-ticket brands

Historically, men purchased the big-ticket items. Cars, computers and hi-fi components have always seemed to hold more fascination for men than women-“It’s a guy thing.” Women don’t talk about these categories much, because they don’t care about them the same way men do. You don’t find Cosmo and Redbook full of articles on these topics; and I’ll bet that women are a pretty low percentage of the subscriber bases of Road & Track and Wired. My guess is that, like most marketers, many big-ticket marketing managers base their assessment of “best prospects” on a certain amount of gut feeling: it’s obvious who the real enthusiasts are (granted), so it’s “obvious” who should be the target audience for a company’s marketing efforts (Whoa! Not so!).

Just because women don’t make a hobby of these products doesn’t mean they don’t buy them. What’s truly obvious is the research. Women are the majority buyers in many unexpected areas, including, I might note, new cars and computers-two of men’s biggest enthusiasms! Below is a table I published in my book Marketing to Women showing big-ticket purchase areas where women drive the purchase decision more than men:

Women Make Big-Ticket Decisions


Of investment decisions


Of consumer electronics


Of new cars


Of computers


Of home improvement decisions

Once you’ve done the analysis, the only thing that’s “obvious” is that you need to change your marketing approach for a large segment of your buyer base. For men, a purchase is one of these categories is fun; for women, it’s functional. Two completely different mindsets-two completely different marketing appeals.

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