Tag Archives: Market Research

Marketing to Women Requires Focus

There are a million great marketing tactics you could use to target women. But not all of them will work for your brand. And you can’t afford them all, anyway.

To help women identify your brand as The Perfect Answer, your marketing team must identify the one or two stages in the purchasing process that have the most opportunity for increasing your business. I call women’s purchasing process the Spiral Path (Unlike men, women spiral through each phase of the decision-making process, and may revisit previous steps when she learns new information).

Women’s Spiral Buying Path

How Women Buy: The Spiral Path

Concentrate most of your marketing tactics on the most important stage, rather than spreading your marketing budget across the entire decision process. Nobody has enough money to do a good job across the entire process.

There are a million great marketing tactics you could use to target women. But not all of them will work for your brand. And you can’t afford them all, anyway. To help women identify your brand as The Perfect Answer, your marketing team must identify the one or two stages in the purchasing process that have the most opportunity for increasing your business. I call women’s purchasing process the Spiral Path (Unlike men, women spiral through each phase of the decision-making process, and may revisit previous steps when she learns new information): Concentrate most of your marketing tactics on the most important stage, rather than spreading your marketing budget across the entire decision process. Nobody has enough money to do a good job across the entire process. Use your chosen strategy as your screener—unless a tactic has a laser-like focus on the purchase path you decided would do your brand the most good, don’t bother with it. It will only defuse your message and defuse your marketing efforts. And it can be quite freeing to have the power to say “no” to a tactic. For instance, if your brand would benefit most from a focus on Activation, use tactics that will awaken the need for your product in women, such as consumer education workshops, sponsorships or article placement. Tactics such as special offers and loyalty programs probably won’t be effective at this stage of the decision-making process. Or, say your most important marketing goal is Retention and Recommendation—helping the customer stay committed to your brand and improving your customer relationship. You might engage in a referral benefits program or improvements to your customer support call center. In this case, you might ignore mass-market advertisement altogether. The bottom line: do your research; pick your marketing strategy and stick with it. If your brand has a consistently appealing message to women in the most important decision-making stage, women will take notice and reward you with their purchases.Use your chosen strategy as your screener—unless a tactic has a laser-like focus on the purchase path you decided would do your brand the most good, don’t bother with it. It will only defuse your message and defuse your marketing efforts. And it can be quite freeing to have the power to say “no” to a tactic.

For instance, if your brand would benefit most from a focus on Activation, use tactics that will awaken the need for your product in women, such as consumer education workshops, sponsorships or article placement. Tactics such as special offers and loyalty programs probably won’t be effective at this stage of the decision-making process.

Or, say your most important marketing goal is Retention and Recommendation—helping the customer stay committed to your brand and improving your customer relationship. You might engage in a referral program or improvements to your customer support call center. In this case, you might ignore mass-market advertisement altogether.

The bottom line: do your research; pick your marketing strategy and stick with it. If your brand has a consistently appealing message to women in the most important decision-making stage, women will take notice and reward you with their purchases.

Marketing to Boomer Women: Are These Consumers Smarter than Millennials?

Marketing to Boomer Women: Are These Consumers Smarter than Millennials?Sigmund Freud once claimed that “about the age of 50, the elasticity of the mental processes on which treatment depends is, as a rule, lacking. Old people are no longer educable.” Ironically, Freud was 51 when he wrote those words, and he went on to produce some of his best work after 65.

The idea that younger people are smarter and savvier than their older counterparts is inaccurate. When marketing to Boomer women, realize they are often just reaching the peak of their cognitive powers.

Boomers Enjoy the Combination of Wisdom and Brain Power

Scientists have discovered that despite a few short-term memory glitches and a slower processing speed, our mental capacity doesn’t even reach its full potential until midlife. They are learning that, contrary to Freud’s assumption, the brain continues to change and grow throughout life. One key area of growth is the accumulation of white matter in the sophisticated thinking centers of the brain (which peaks around 50). Because of these two factors, Boomer women and men can manage information better, analyze facts better and generate meanings that were entirely beyond them when they were younger.

Of course, the most important difference between older and younger brains is also the easiest to overlook: older brains have learned more than young ones. They’ve been around the block a lot more times, seen the world, made mistakes, made discoveries, managed recoveries and made amends. Says George Bartzokis, UCLA neurologist:

“In midlife, you’re beginning to maximize the ability to use the entirety of information in your brain on an everyday, ongoing, second-to-second basis. Biologically, that’s what wisdom is.”

Marketing to Boomer Women: Are These Consumers Smarter than Millennials?Studies have shown that years of experience and practice enable older adults to build up a rich library of alternative ways to solve problems or make decisions that allows them o bypass steps needed by younger adults. We get better at sizing up a situation and problem-solving. We have more confidence in our opinions, feelings and decisions and don’t need validation from others. We are more pragmatic. We develop a richer vocabulary and a better understanding of how to use these words effectively. The abilities we learned earlier in life and gained proficiency with over the years are now smoothly polished and almost second nature.

Does all this make Boomers smarter than Millennials? At this stage of life, it just might! Sales and marketing to Boomer women efforts would be wise to assume these women are smart, sophisticated and discerning.

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. 

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