Women already buy the majority of products in almost every category. They are responsible for 80% of consumer spending.
So what’s the point of marketing to women? It may seem redundant. Surely marketers couldn’t be doing such a terrible job, or women wouldn’t be buying anything at all.
2 Reasons Marketing to Women Will Boost Your Brand
Marketing to women is about two main factors:
To gain share with women. Motivate women to choose your brand instead of your competitors’ brand. Marketing to women will help you build share.
To enhance your profits. Women are more loyal customers, which means they make repeat purchases and actively spread word of mouth. Because women have a long decision-making process, once she makes a decision, she wants to stick with it and build a relationship with your brand. Also, because she believes so strongly in her decisions, women’s word of mouth is phenomenal. In fact, I say that Women are Referral Megaphones!
Currently, women purchase many brands through necessity or chance, because these brands don’t support her decision-making process or appeal to what she cares about during the sales cycle. Even if you have a high market share among women now, marketing to women is important for your brand. You never know when a clever competitor could come along and offer your women customers the Perfect Answer they’ve been seeking.
Wow, I bet you didn’t know that 50% of millionaires in the U.S. are women, did you?
Millionaires make up 9% of U.S. adults:
50% of those are men, with an average age of 46
50% of them are women, with an average age of 50
These days, most wealthy women earn their own wealth. Of women with at least $3m in investable assets, 61% earned it themselves, according to Russ Prince and Hannah Grove in Women of Wealth. Women like Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, fashion designer Tory Burch and Spanx inventor Sara Blakely are becoming the new face of wealth.
And here’s another shocking fact:
Nobody prospects high net-worth women!
LIMRA, the insurance and financial services trade organization, finds only 50% of female producers prospect women, with only 20-25% of male producers prospecting women. Marketing to these wealthy women is not only smart– but it’s also less competitive!
Consider this heads-up my favor to you. But you’d better act fast before someone else earns the loyalty of these high net-worth women.
When people talk of “older women,” images of the stereotypical grandmother come to mind. But while Boomer women (or, as I call them, PrimeTime women), likely may be grandmothers, they won’t fit most stereotypes. While yesterday’s grandma may have sat in a rocker, reading a book and sipping tea during her leisure hours, today’s grandma is more likely to be sitting at her computer, checking her investments and sipping bottled green tea, just come in from her tennis match.
Today’s woman 50-70 years old is very different from women of previous generations. In fact, it may be said that this is the first generation who can legitimately be called “PrimeTime,” for two reasons:
As recently as 50 years ago, 50-70 wasn’t really the “prime of life.” Boomer women are the first generation of women to have the benefit of recent significant advances in health, fitness and nutritional awareness, as well as access to miracles of modern medicine like knee replacements and heart transplants.
Additionally, 50 years ago, 50-70 wasn’t really a “prime marketing target,” either. The things we buy now with our discretionary income simply didn’t exist then. There were virtually no consumer electronics—no smart phones, no personal computers, no GPS devices, no Internet. There were no spas, no cosmetic surgery, no gourmet grocery stores, no home furnishing stores (except for Sears), no Home Shopping Channel, no personal trainers, no venti decaf nonfat vanilla lattes. There were few real investments besides one’s home, little participation in life insurance, and a good deal of reluctance to get involved in the stock market. (Remember, the great stock market crash was still fresh in many minds).
Fifty years ago, the relatively recent innovation of Social Security enabled most people to retire at 65. Note that when Social Security was established in 1935, the average life expectancy was 61. So, for most people, there were at best only a few years between retirement and death. Travel, hobbies and socializing were modest.
So who are Boomer women? They are women who defy historical precedent. They represent an inflection point in history- a dramatic, radical change from those who went before them.
And the opportunity for marketing to Boomer women is just as dramatic and radical. We now have an entire generation to buy our products and services that simply never existed in the past. For most companies, this amazing realization has yet to dawn on them—and I wonder when they will finally take notice.
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.
Marketing to women will deliver more bucks to your bottom line than putting the same budget against an all-male target. Consider the following trends and facts found in today’s marketplace:
The sales potential of the “women’s market” is enormous and on a steep upward trend. Earning and spending trends increases are just the tip of the iceberg. As women continue their advances in the workplace, they are acquiring more disposable income. Women also control the majority of all household spending, and have the “final say” on major purchase decisions, such as cars and home renovations. As Baby Boomer women receive inheritances, first from their parents, then from their husbands, more and more buying power will accrue to women’s wallets.
Women are more profitable customers than men. Women are more loyal customers than men, making every follow-up marketing and sales dollar more efficient. Also, women’s word-of-mouth and referrals constitute inexpensive marketing of the most powerful kind.
Effectively targeting women leads to higher customer satisfaction among both men and women. Companies as diverse as BMW, Wyndham Hotels and Merrill Lynch have found that improvements designed to enhance brand appeal among women actually deliver greater customer satisfaction among men, too. When you meet the expectations of women, companies exceed the expectations of men.
Marketing to women delivers a better return on your marketing dollar through both greater opportunity and greater impact. While in many categories the traditional male targets are saturated, the corresponding women’s segments are untapped and virtually uncontested by competition.
The largest, fastest growing market in the world is waiting. Worldwide, women control consumer spending. They are accumulating income and investable assets as never before in history. And, they’re expanding their decision-making presence in corporations and small businesses.
The business is there; the real question is: Are you?