Over the past 50 years, women have taking on an increasingly important role as consumers making the purchasing decisions for their households. We can understand them being the main grocery and toiletry buyers, but studies now show that they are responsible for up to 85% of all purchases made in the US.
Not every woman spends her spare time at malls and department stores, of course, but marketing to women can be one of the top secrets to success in your business once you appreciate just how much female consumer behavior is driving the economy. They make purchases in just about every area, including cars and sports gear – once male-dominated markets.
In this guide, we will be looking ways to market to women effectively, making sure your marketing message hits the right target in the right way.
WHY TARGET YOUR MARKETING MESSAGE TO WOMEN?
Marketing is the art and science of promoting and selling products or services to consumers, either individuals (B2C) or businesses (B2B). Marketing includes both research and advertising. It often involves building a brand to achieve recognition of what it stands for and how it is different from other brands, in order to increase sales and retain customers (customer loyalty).
Women generally love to shop. They buy for themselves, and a wider circle of people that will change as she matures from teen to young adult, wife, perhaps mother, soccer mom or career woman, and so on. Some of her buying habits will be formed early, such as using products that her mom did, or finding products she loves and sticking to them.
Women will also buy a lot of items compared with a man because they tend to choose “specialist” products, such as moisturizer for face, body, and under the eyes; hand cream; cream for stretch marks, scarring, or bleaching dark spots, and so on. The older a woman gets, the more likely she is to buy (expensive) products that are supposed to fight the signs of aging.
Some women will also “go green” and buy personal care products, household cleaners and so on, that have not been tested on animals and are good for the environment.
Knowing what these women need and care about, as well as their problems and motivations, allows you to tap into a lucrative market eager for solutions that really work at a price that they can afford, and which offers good value for what it is.
Think about cars for a moment. Nissan, Toyota and Lexus cars are all made by the same company, but what is the brand perception and value proposition for each? The Lexus is the most expensive, perceived as a luxury car, but also one that will be reliable and last for years compared to a fun little “runaround” like a Nissan. Ownership/driving of a Lexus also tends to convey a certain image of the person behind the wheel, their lifestyle, income and so on. People will shop to “keep up with the Joneses” or impress them.
For all these reasons, targeting women in your marketing messages is the best way to tap into an active consumer audience who is already shopping on a regular basis. They are going online to do research, socialize, and hunt for coupons and bargains. They love contests, polls, freebies, and the chance to express their opinions on sites that offer the opportunity to publish reviews.
Only a small fraction will leave reviews, it’s true, but the reviews you do manage to get can serve as invaluable endorsements that will drive even more sales. They can also backfire and harm sales of your product if you are not careful.
Online or digital marketing has only been around for about 20 years, but mastering it can be like tapping into a gold mine. This is because online marketing allows you to target your messaging with laser-like precision compared with the “scattershot” approach of offline marketing and mass marketing such as newspaper and magazine ads, and TV and online ads at places such as YouTube.
Digital marketing is reaching a more mature phase and women are driving sales online. If you have not already begun to gear your marketing messages towards women, it’s time to start.
But before you get too excited, it is important to note that not all marketing methods will work for all women. Let’s look at this topic in more detail in the next section.