Tag Archives: People are important

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?

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.

Marketing to Women Beyond the Sale

Marketing to Women Beyond the SaleWomen are more interested in, and place more value on, warranties, guarantees and customer support availability. Women want to be sure that they have help if they encounter problems with your product. And 65% of the time, it’s the woman who takes the car into the repair shop. The numbers are similar for other home-related maintenance. Offering back-end or post-purchase features are an important part of marketing to women, especially if you’re selling complex or high-end products.

The fact is, there aren’t that many companies that truly satisfy customer concerns, questions or complaints. Instead, you get stuck in an endless phone menus or directed to “knowledgebase articles.” When you do reach a voice from the Land of the Living, the answer is ultimately that nothing can be done about your problem anyway/

Marketing to Women Beyond the SaleFor anyone reading this who says, “That’s not our customer policy,” let me say two things. First, of course it’s not! No one makes a commitment to delivering bad customer service. Second, try using your own customer service system anonymously– not from a company phone or device. I’m afraid that you’re likely to discover what most customers discover: the service is terrible.

That’s right. I said it. And I bet you’ve probably said it, too, about other companies. But most people believe their own marketing about their company.

I heard of one study that included the question, “Would you come back to…?” in reference to the company that sold the product. Of the people who answered no, not one mentioned the product; all of them instead identified a service-related problem.

Make sure to keep marketing to women beyond the sale. She wants to be a loyal customer, but you have to reciprocate that loyalty. When customer service resolves questions and problems and does so via a caring, intelligent person who genuinely wants to help reach a resolution, it’s surprising and delightful.

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.

Selling to Women: Inspire ‘Me Too!’ Moments to Grab Her Attention

When getting to know each other in conversation, men typically have a very different dynamic than women. Men’s dynamic is a sort of “one-ups-manship.” They establish what each is interested in and who is better or more knowledgeable in each area.

Women find this approach tiresome. If you are a man establishing a professional relationship with a woman, you’re going to have to change your game to keep her interested.

Women don’t care about pecking orders and hierarchies. They want to know what they have in common with other people. When selling to women, keep the mantra, “Me too!” in mind.

Selling to Women: Inspire 'Me Too!' Moments to Grab Her Attention

Here’s one effective way to look for “Me Too!” Moments in your sales conversations with women. You’ve probably noticed that women are always trading compliments. “What a great scarf you’re wearing!” or “I love that book you’re reading! Great taste in literature!” And the woman receiving the compliment usually responds with a story, such as,

“Buying this book was a complete accident. I grabbed the first thing on the newsstand at the airport when I realized I had forgotten my Kindle and was late for my flight. Turns out to be fantastic, though!”

When getting to know a woman in a prospecting situation, try addressing appropriate compliments to the client, listening to her stories, and identifying points of commonality with her. After hearing the woman’s airport book buying story, you could ask, “Oh, so do you fly often? I do, too.” Women are looking for other people who belong to the same “tribes” they do, and now you’ve just joined her jetsetter tribe.

Being part of her tribe and understanding the frequent flyer lifestyle could lead directly to her discussing her tight schedule and why it’s so important for her to find a financial advisor with the acumen to look after her investments while she’s busy with her career and family. And because she feels you understand her, she will view you as a friend and advisor instead of someone just after her business.

P.S. Warning to men, here! When you identify subjects you have in common with women clients, keep in mind that you’re trying to establish what you both share and what makes you the same. You’re not trying to compete for the top spot in who has flown to the most airports or read the most books. Women find it distasteful when a simple getting-to-know-you conversation turns competitive. Remember to think in terms of “Me too!”

Are You an Advertising Bully?

Women might think you’re an advertising bully if you’ve ever pitted one group against another, even in a seemingly innocuous manner.

Are You an Advertising Bully?

Marketing to Women Approaches Must Avoid Put-Downs

Comparative scenarios with one party at a disadvantage or portrayed as inferior make women uncomfortable, and they react surprisingly strongly. Even indirect language can trigger this reaction.

When my client Wachovia was developing a campaign addressed to women business owners, one of the ads we tested included the statistic Women are starting businesses at twice the rate of men. Would you believe that not one woman, but several women, immediately rejected that language on the grounds that it was putting down men? We changed the statement to read Women are starting 70% of all new businesses, and it tested much more positively.

Similarly, when my Allstate client tested a copy claim that stated Women drivers have 15% fewer accidents than male drivers. To women drivers everywhere, we say THANK YOU, a number of women in focus groups saw that as male bashing, objecting, “That’s just as bad as they’ve always been about us.”

Women don’t like putting people down. With their peer group mindset, we’re all in this together. (For more detail, read “9 Key Differences Between Men and Women That Affect Your Marketing Approach“)

In marketing to women, no people put-downs are allowed. That means men, competitors, other women– anyone. While fact-based product superiority claims are probably OK, if they’re not too heavy-handed, user-based superiority claims are definitely not. Keep it positive or show self-deprecating “me too!” moments that are very relatable to your customers’ life experiences.

Marketing Financial Services to Women is Easier

Women have peers, while men have hierarchies. These two different mindsets mean that women are more receptive to trusting an expert adviser, like a financial planner, than men are. To spell it out very clearly: Women make better clients! Marketing to women is the smartest thing your firm can do.

Watch the video: Women Have Peers. Men Have Hierarchies.

Women Put People First, Last and Always

Personally, if I read one more article that says, “Women are all about relationships,” I think I’ll choke. Relationships is such a mushy word, don’t you think? On one level, it’s mushy-gooey- it sounds as if women go around desperately looking for someone to be nice to them. On another level, it’s mushy-ambiguous: one poor, hardworking word has to cover our connection to our spouse or best friend, a work acquaintance, or a sales clerk in the department store.

While I don’t want to get mired in the relationship swamp, I do think it’s fair to say that women are more likely than men to think that people are the most important and interesting element in life. To them, it’s self-evident that when you come right down to it, it’s all about people.

Baby GirlBaby girls only three days old sustain eye contact with adults twice as long as newborn boys. As early as four months, girls can distinguish facial features and tell the difference between photos of people they know and people of strangers- while boys can’t. As we get older, these tendencies remain in place. A study conducted among teenagers used a stereoscopic headset to lash simultaneously a different image to each eye. One eye saw an object, the other a person; it was up to the brain to decide what it had seen. Consistent with everything else we know about them, girls more frequently reported seeing the person, while boys saw the object.

This difference in orientation extends to the external, beyond perception and focus; it’s behavioral as well. I think few of us would be surprised to learn that when video cameras were placed in a college cafeteria, researchers learned that college girls talked mostly about the people in their life, while boys were more likely to talk about sports, politics, tests and class work.

Knowing that women put people first changes the way marketing should work. Currently, sales efforts are product based (features and benefits, anyone?). Loyalty programs are based on stuff (points, miles, perks). Most advertising promotes a thing instead of how that thing relates to people.  If women are interested in people, not things, how can your marketing take advantage of this fact (and get ahead of your competition in marketing to women)?