Tag Archives: Marketing Communication

Marketing to Women with Surveys and Quizzes

Marketing to Women with Surveys and QuizzesWomen love surveys and quizzes, which is why women’s magazines and websites run them so often, even using them as part of their audience draw. Take a look at Cosmopolitan‘s front cover – “Quiz: Does He Think You’re Soul Mates?” Or Stitch Fix’s “Take the Style Quiz to Get Your Perfect Wardrobe.

They’re fun to fill out, you learn something about yourself and it’s interesting to see how you compare to others in the results.

In your marketing to women strategy, use this appeal to gather information on your product, your positioning or a promotion you’re considering running. Use quizzes to gather consumer lifestyle information and surveys for product/category feedback.

Keep it fairly short. Remember that people are busy! You’re better off separating your topics into six surveys of five minutes each instead of three surveys of ten minutes each.

As for incentives to participate, whereas focus groups usually require a cash payment of $25-100 per respondent, online research is as cheap and simple as sharing the results, which can be tabulated and shown instantly. Remember, whereas a man is relatively more interested in telling companies what he thinks, women are relatively more interested in learning how other people see the situation.

Marketing to Women Survey Example

Organic Balance masterfully deployed a marketing to women survey in their Real Morning Report.

Fact: 100% of women could use an organic breakfast in a bottle. We surveyed 1,000 professional women to see what their mornings were really like. Scroll down to take the survey for yourself and see how your morning routine compares.

As women answer each question in the survey, a fact about women’s morning routines is revealed:
Marketing to Women with Surveys and Quizzes

 

 

 

 

Marketing to Women with Surveys and Quizzes

This survey is perfectly designed to attract and interest women. It’s fun, quick and gives instant, shareable results. Also, there’s plenty of opportunity for women to identify with the majority in “that’s me!” moments, which help them relate to Organic Balance’s brand. Read more about this campaign in my article, “Organic Balance Keeps it Real in Fabulous New Marketing to Women Campaign.”

I encourage you to incorporate a quiz or survey into your next marketing to women effort– you’ll earn high engagement from women and gain valuable information about your audience!

One Easy Chart to Help You Communicate with Women

Finding the Key to Marketing to Women

One Easy Chart to Help You Communicate with Women

Women and men respond to marketing communication in different ways because they communicate in different ways. They have different patterns and rituals of expression. Successfully marketing to women requires you to understand women’s communication keys. Luckily, I have a chart for that:

Women’s Communication Keys

Men’s Communication Keys

Full Context

“Complete article” – Women stress the importance of context and richness of detail. Her stories start with background and build to the main point.

Key Points

“Headlines” – Men believe in starting with the main point and only supplying detail if asked. They strip away extraneous detail.

Rapport Talk

Build connections – To win over women, you need to have conversations with them that creates a connection with her and her circle.

Report Talk

Establish status – Men, on the other hand, use conversation as a way to establish or defend individual status. They don’t focus on the personal.

Connect Through Affinity 

Women connect through affinity with others and establish links that highlight similarities. They focus on empathy- so your marketing should as well.

Connect Through Competition (Rank)

Men connect through competition- the friendlier the group of men, the more good-natured taunting and challenging you will find.

Stories and Personal Details

Women’s social currency consists of stories and personal details. They trade them, save them and value them. (Surely, this gives you marketers some ideas!)

Facts and Features

Men’s social currency relies on facts and features. I believe this is why sports scores and statistics are so popular with men, eh? They are becoming rich in social currency.

These four communication strategies should give you plenty of ideas for marketing to women. How will you plan to share stories, build rapport and build links with these valuable customers?

Surprising Personal Touches Bring the WOW when Marketing to Women

Surprising Personal Touches Bring the WOW when Marketing to WomenMarketing to women professionals can sometimes get caught up in the statistics of campaigns– open rates, click rates, conversions, etc. Our data-driven environment does indeed help us be better marketers. But we also need to remember the personal, and the value women find in being surprised and delighted.

Years ago, out of the blue, for absolutely no reason, I got a letter from Jeff Bezos of Amazon (well, he signed it, didn’t he?). The letter included ten one-cent stamps and arrived just after the price of stamps went up a penny. “We can’t replace your refrigerator lightbulb,” the letter read, “and we can’t make your tuna salad just the way you like it– but we can save you time.” It felt as if Jeff himself had taken a peek into my lifestyle and recognized how very busy I am; when am I going to get to the post office for a book of add-on stamps? Jeff did it for me. As a marketing to women campaign, this message was spot-on. Amazon builds its brand on convenience and personal recommendations. For return on investment, you can bet that mailing beat a coupon.

Surprising Personal Touches Bring the WOW when Marketing to WomenOne of the most original “nice surprises” I’ve heard of comes from a financial advisor at Investors Group in Canada. One of their top 5% producers builds most of his business with women, and with his marketing to women approach, I have no doubt why he’s so successful. Whenever he gets a new client or significant new business from an existing client, he sends her a jar of homemade apricot jam. The jar even has a hand-lettered label, personalizing it further. The twist on this that I love is that his clients often call up and thank him for the thank-you! You can be sure they’re telling all of their friends about this– and that’s how he keeps getting more and more referrals!

Finding a balance between crunching the numbers and remembering the emotional and practical motivations of your customers will result in memorable marketing to women campaigns that are wildly successful.

Top Visuals that Appeal to Women (and Some that Women Hate)

Women pay attention to visuals even more than the population at large. As such, your marketing team should pay special attention to the visuals they use for anything targeted towards women, such as advertising, product packaging and web design.

Top 5 Marketing to Women Visuals

Marketing to Women Visuals

Here are my top five recommendations for what to include in visuals that market to women:

  1. People, people, people. Women put people first, and you should too. Visuals should feature expressions and emotions. The “people” in your ads don’t need to be photographs or live action video. Animations and cartoons of both people and animals work well to attract women’s attention.
  2. Make sure people are realistic. Feature people your target audience can identify with and relate to, attractive “normal” women rather than perfect “aspirational” women.
  3. Show some emotion. Use emotional visuals to attract women’s attention. Showing that somebody cares one way or another is always going to be powerful- and memorable- to women.
  4. Immersion. Use your visuals to tell a story that immerses women into your brand or product. It can get messy, and it definitely is the opposite of the “one headline and one visual” school of thought, but when masterfully done, it’s much more effective, too.
  5. Show collaboration, friendships, warmth and working together. Women love collaboration more than competition and friendships more than rivalry.

Bottom 5 Marketing to Women Visuals

Marketing to Women Visuals

When marketing to women, avoid these visuals at all cost!

  1. Product-centric. Your product is not the hero. The best way to lose women is to show your product without a human context.
  2. Dystopian women. Don’t portray women as harried, frenzied and at the end of their rope. Women are proud that they can “handle it all.” Honor that.
  3. Utopian women. Conversely, don’t use visuals of “supermodel women.” In general, women don’t aspire to be perfect archetypes. They want to relate to other women like them.
  4. Isolation. Avoid visuals that could be interpreted as isolating or portraying customers as independent loners.
  5. Simplistic. Women are detail-oriented and are attracted to visuals that have depth and intricacy.

Use these tips in your marketing to women efforts to portray people in ways that are interesting and appealing to women.

Win Big with these Marketing to Boomer Women Contest Tips

Promotional contests can really win big in marketing to Boomer women. Here are three insights on incentive programs that resonate with this promising market. Boomer women have “been there, done that” and are jaded on the promise of t-shirts and ball caps. It’s time to break through the promotional clutter and offer incentives uniquely motivating to Boomers.

Change the Prize Structure to Encourage More Boomer Women Word of Mouth

Rather than have one big prize (a new car!) and then a bazillion small prizes (free product samples, keychains, pens), consider spreading the wealth out across the top tier of prizes and offering fewer trivial, lower-level prizes. The goal is to give as many people as you can something “talk-worthy” rather than throwing your money into low-value prizes that aren’t worth mentioning. The costs can be exactly the same, but the prize structure is flatter and more interesting to consumers.

Entice Boomer Women with Experiences, not Clutter

Instead of products or price discounts, offer experiences interesting to Boomer women. They are in the prime of their lives and have time to be adventurous. She doesn’t want another knickknack to sit on the shelf. She wants to live life to the fullest. And if she can share that experience with friends, the reward will be valued even more. Spa services, dance lessons, NASCAR rides, day trips and wine tastings are all shareable experiences that might appeal to your particular Boomer women target. Get creative!

Random Acts of Kindness vs. Organized Incentives

Sometimes, a “surprise and delight” campaign can be more effective at helping you reach your marketing goals than an organized contest or event that’s heavily promoted. For example, the Peapod delivery person once surprised me with a lovely bouquet of red roses. “Wow,” I said, “They’re beautiful. Unfortunately, I didn’t order any roses, so they must be for someone else.” Turns out, because it was Valentine’s Day, Peapod had decided that all customers receiving orders that day would be surprised with flowers. It wasn’t an incentive or a reward that I claimed for ordering more or ordering sooner. It was a sweet surprise, totally unexpected and forever remembered.

Think ‘Rich’ in Marketing to Women

No, not rich like this:

Think 'Rich' in Marketing to Women

I mean rich communications that are full of depth and detail. Marketing communications that engage women and draw their attention.

For Effective Impact, Design Rich Marketing to Women Campaigns

As every marketing professional knows, consumers are exposed to thousands of marketing impressions every day. For your marketing to women campaign to generate awareness, convey information and evoke action, it must have three characteristics:

  1. Continuity
  2. Consistency
  3. Multiple points of contact with the target audience

You can’t reach those goals with an isolated tactic or two– especially not when marketing to women. They tend to crave a richer communication. You need a comprehensive program to ensure that you get through to the consumer you’re trying to reach.

Notice that “repetition” didn’t make my list- no one wants to see the same ad over and over. For most effective impact, design executions that are variations on a theme. Then, choose diverse media like TV, social media, retargeting advertising.

One recent example was Sam’s Club’s Memorial Day campaign in May. Early in the month, members were sent an Instant Savings Booklet showing the various grilling-themed savings available for the month– no coupons required! Sponsored post advertising highlighted individual offerings:

Think 'Rich' in Marketing to Women

And other posts tempted members with samples available in-store:

Think 'Rich' in Marketing to Women

As the holiday weekend came to a close, Sam’s Club varied the theme a bit to summer road trips:

Think 'Rich' in Marketing to Women

Using appealing imagery and careful, pithy copy, Sam’s Club drove store traffic and sales around the story of summer barbecues (and morphed the campaign into other summer themes). To make this campaign even more appealing to women, I would only suggest featuring more people in the executions.

Enrich your marketing to women campaigns, and enjoy richer results!

Organic Balance Keeps it Real in Fabulous New Marketing to Women Campaign

Most marketing to women execution makes me yawn– it’s predictable and not particularly appealing to women. But protein shake brand Organic Balance woke me up with this perfectly planned video:

This spot reminded me of the original U by Kotex campaign from a number of years ago, created by Ogilvy & MatherThat ​gracefully ironic self-awareness of the young women in the set-up scene – adorable! The real women segments had me nodding in self-recognition – funny!

​Organic Balance’s fabulous new marketing to women campaign really embodies my “Real, Not Ideal.” GenderTrends principle. While watching the video, it is such a relief to transition to the “real women’s mornings” part of the video! I felt so able to relate that I do believe I was having an oxytocin episode. (Oxytocin is the hormone that promotes bonding in everybody, but especially in women. It is released both when women feel, as well as when they want, more closeness.) When those real women segments were showing, I was thinking, “Yup – That would be me!”

The brand doesn’t stop with one video– the campaign directs viewers to a Real Morning Report mini-site that uniquely appeals to women. You’re invited to take a survey (fun!) that reveals what mornings are like for other women (interesting!). And invites you to share cute, pre-made “Morning Facts” with your networks  (easy! friendly!). Also, enjoy coupons  to try out the product.

Organic Balance Keeps it Real in Fabulous New Marketing to Women Campaign Organic Balance Keeps it Real in Fabulous New Marketing to Women Campaign Organic Balance Keeps it Real in Fabulous New Marketing to Women Campaign

Every element of this creative campaign shows the brand really understands women and how to relate to them. What can your brand learn from Organic Balance?

Get More Insight on Marketing to Women with “Real, Not Ideal” Positioning

Authenticity is meaningful and motivating to women. Here are a few of my other posts that will help you keep it real when marketing to women:

Top 3 Marketing to Women Approaches in Banking

In “Banking Made Better: Marketing to Women Case Study,” I discuss the future of marketing banking and financial services to women. To make these concepts clearer, I’m providing contemporary examples of the marketing to women strategies I helped ACTON Marketing develop. Here are online examples of the top three marketing to women approaches in banking today.

5/3 Bank – ‘Curious’ Brand Positioning

Women’s social currency is storytelling and sharing personal details. They are most interested in how banks’ products and services help people in situations like their own. 5/3 Bank’s series of ads focuses on people’s goals and dreams and shows the bank as a partner in consumers’ lives. They leave explanation of the details to personal conversations with the bank’s employees or further research on the website.

Top 3 Marketing to Women Approaches in Banking

Styling itself as “The Curious Bank,” 5/3 Bank assures consumers that they want to learn about you, your goals and what’s important in your life.

Top 3 Marketing to Women Approaches in Banking

Huntington Bank – Welcoming, Transparent and Friendly

Top 3 Marketing to Women Approaches in BankingWomen are people-powered but are also savvy consumers. Huntington Bank honors these traits through a friendly, transparent approach with their tagline “Welcome” and product “Asterisk-Free Checking.” Instead of offering several competing checking accounts, Huntington focuses on one account that is:

“Free to open. Free to maintain. Free from minimum balance requirements. Free from monthly maintenance fees. And most importantly, free from asterisks.”

For women, that also means free from pouring over fine print and comparing details with Huntington’s competitors in search of the Perfect Answer.

Bank of America – Doing Good

Polishing your corporate halo is an excellent way to appeal to women. Right on Bank of America’s home page, they tastefully tout their “Student Leadership Program,” described as:

Top 3 Marketing to Women Approaches in Banking

“Our Student Leaders® program connects young leaders with employment that helps to give them the necessary tools and resources they need to advance. Through the Student Leaders® program, we recognize high school juniors and seniors who step outside of the classroom to contribute service in their own communities and beyond. Student Leaders® are awarded paid summer internships with local nonprofit organizations and participate in a Student Leadership Summit held in Washington, D.C.”

Other “Leadership and Service” programs include Neighborhood Builders, volunteering opportunities and Global Ambassadors.

These are only three approaches financial institutions can employ in marketing to women—but they are very effective approaches. They are also good examples of how marketing to women’s gender culture elevates an industry or category as a whole. Men and women both have benefitted from product improvements and marketing evolutions seen in the banking world. Remember the days before free checking when banking products were sold using black and white tables of numbers and disclaimers? No thanks!

 

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.

Give Yourself Extra Time when Developing Marketing to Women Creative

In her work for First Union as senior vice president and director of Women’s Financial Advisory Services, Debra Nichols developed an enormously important approach to developing creative that targets women. When starting a new marketing to women program, marketers should allow a longer creative development lead time to build in a three-round learning curve.

In her experience, the first draft comes out “too pink,” with the positioning a little trite, the models too idealized and the copy too sparse. Maybe something like this:

Give Yourself Extra Time when Developing Marketing to Women Creative

The second round, after coaching about marketing to women, comes out “too beige,” with information overload and still little that is really engaging. For instance:

Give Yourself Extra Time when Developing Marketing to Women Creative

This third round, fortunately, brings things back into balance, often hitting the mark, tapping into the meanings and motivations that will connect with the brand’s women customers. Here we go, that’s good:

Give Yourself Extra Time when Developing Marketing to Women Creative

This three-round dynamic makes it essential to set up a male/female advisory group (the women to comment, the men to learn) to look at the creative and identify any red flags before spending money on production and media. Give yourself time when developing marketing to women creative and you can avoid being too stereotypical or too insipid. You’ll take your marketing creative to the next level and be just right.