Tag Archives: Executive Advice

Getting Marketing to Women to Work

Bust through the Walls of the Corporate Silo

Getting Marketing to Women to Work

In working with companies that have decided to pursue the women’s market, I often observe that the actual marketing to women is a breeze compared to dealing with the organizational challenges, which is more like leaning into a hurricane. It doesn’t matter whether the company is structured by product (as it is with the Ford Focus or Ford Explorer) or by function (as in advertising, sales, IT, etc.). The problem remains the same: because the company is not organized by the customer, it’s almost impossible to get the whole team pulling in the same direction.

Getting Marketing to Women to WorkEverybody in the organization may agree that marketing to women is a great idea. “Absolutely, marketing to women; let’s get right on it!” Unfortunately, everyone’s budgets are already maxed out on other priorities this year, so it will have to wait until next year. Unless someone at the top builds “Opportunity Number One” (as Tom Peters refers to the women’s market) into the company’s strategic priorities, you don’t have a prayer at putting a concerted effort into the marketplace.

To get the maximum horsepower out of any strategic initiative, every department that touches the customer needs to participate. Moreover, every customer contact needs to be consistent and integrated with all others, so that the company delivers a “one look, one voice” message to the customer. This is particularly true with marketing to women initiatives because of a woman’s greater propensity to respond to context and multiplicity, the sum total of the brand contacts she encounters from day to day.

The Spirit is Willing, but the Budgets Don’t Work

Getting Marketing to Women to WorkWhat this means is that Moses (that would be you, oh Chief Exec!) must come down from the mountain and communicate the company commitment to marketing to women in no uncertain terms. Right after you’ve put down the heavy stone tablets, you need to create a cross-functional team with the same objectives, authority and budget as a new product launch team– and the same accountability for success.

Both men and women should be equally represented on this team. Too many men and you won’t have the female perspective you need to make the right judgment calls. Too many women and– rightly or wrongly– but in any case, realistically, the team will lose credibility and its efforts will be discounted as “the women’s project.”

Let’s get marketing to women efforts to work at your organization! Reach out to me for more personalized advice for your product and brand.

6 Reasons for Marketing Financial Services to Women

6 Reasons for Marketing Financial Services to Women

Here are six points to share with your financial advisory team about why you should be marketing financial services to women:

  1. Women are enjoying growing earnings- and will continue to do so
  2. Women have a growing participation in investment management
  3. Women already command the majority of financial assets
  4. Women will inherit twice – from family and spouses
  5. The most wealthy age group, those who are 65+, becomes increasingly female as the population ages. Women have longer average lifespans
  6. Half of all millionaires are women

So put these points up on your bulletin board, add them to your internal communications and make sure everyone understands the opportunity you’re missing if you’re not marketing to women!

3 Marketing to Women NEWS FLASHES

Attention, CEOs, CMOs, COOs and everyone in the C-suite!

3 Marketing to Women NEWS FLASHES

BREAKING: Here are three executive summary news flashes you need to know before developing your next strategic initiative. 

Women Are Not a Niche

Women are not a “niche,” so get your marketing to women initiatives out of the specialty markets group.

Sometimes, ya gotta laugh. Time and time again, I’m invited to speak at a major corporation by the executive heading up a business group called something like Specialty Markets, Minority Markets or Emerging Markets. This group has responsibility for marketing to various niches– and women. All I can say is, “Wait a minute! You’re supposed to motivate 51% of the population and you have, what, 4% of the corporate marketing budget?”

First In, First Win

The competition is catching on to marketing to women.

I can’t explain why it has taken so long for American business to recognize and act on the tidal wave that is the women’s market. But it’s a secret no longer. Companies from Nike to Nabisco and from Wachovia to Wyndham, companies like General Motors, Volvo, Harley Davidson and Jiffy Lube as well as Charles Schwab, Citigroup, Kimpton Hotels, MinuteClinic, Lowe’s and The Home Depot are all seeking their industry’s lead in the women’s market.

Paradoxically, there’s still room to leap ahead. That’s because many pioneers entered this new territory cautiously and tentatively. For whatever reason, their hearts aren’t truly in the marketing to women game, and that means good news for you. Their reticence means that you can benefit from what they’ve learned– and leapfrog to the front.

Get Serious about Marketing to Women

If you dip your toe in the water, what makes you think you’ll get splashy results?

Unlocking a gigantic new consumer segment warrants at least– at least!– as much commitment as launching a new product line. There are companies that spend millions to market a line extension without blinking an eye; others invest billions to open undeveloped global markets without a backward glance. Why? Because it’s an “obvious” opportunity. How is it that the same companies can decide that the women’s market warrants merely a test launch in a single market to “see how it does?”

 

Can Men Develop Good Marketing to Women Campaigns?

Only 3% of creative directors are women. That’s a surprisingly low percentage, isn’t it? Male dominance in the field may explain some of the poor-quality marketing to women efforts I’ve seen.

Can Men Create Good Marketing to Women Campaigns?

We can’t go from 3% to 50% representation overnight. So the question is: can men develop good marketing strategies and advertising executions that appeal to women? Short answer: Yes, they can!

Well, it’s a little more complicated than a simple yes. Male creatives doing a great job of marketing to women can be done– and has been. Here’s what it takes.

How Men Can Become Marketing to Women Experts

  • He has to be  sophisticated enough communicator that he can work easily and comfortably in the world of women’s verbal and visual subtleties and emotional richness.
  • He needs in-depth briefings on the specific principles of female gender culture, how women respond differently to the marketing disciplines he’s working with, and how this particular target segment of women thinks and feels about this particular product.
  • He needs to be open to feedback on his work from women that may not “feel right” to him, at least until he becomes familiar with the new culture he’s working in.

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.