Reaching Women – Essential Insights for Marketing to Women

Reaching Women – Essential Insights for Marketing to Women

So you sell a “male” product so you should market to men right?  If you sell to women, you should make it all about the product’s looks right? Essential insights for marketing to women? If the man is the main breadwinner in the house, your marketing should target him…shouldn’t it?  If you haven’t already done research on who is buying your product, then it’s time.

The role of researcher is still largely assigned to the woman of the house or the office.   It’s time to really assess who you’re speaking to and then deliver the right message in the right tone through the right channels.

Stop focusing on the male decision maker!

If you are a B2B and the signature on your purchase order is largely done by a “Mr” then you may assume your customers are mostly men.  Actually, what it proves is the head of finance or the purchasing officer is a male.  Even if the decision maker is a male, there’s no point speaking to the decision maker if he’s never going to see your product.

Researchers in traditional small to medium sized businesses remain female.  The team assistant, the receptionist and the department junior is still, more often than not, the female (although this is rapidly changing).  They may not make the final decision, but they do present the short list.   If you haven’t already, it’s time to start profiling your traffic, not just your buyers.  Find out who exactly is arriving at your site ready to buy.

What the studies have shown

Recent studies by Microsoft in conjunction with global advertising agency Ogilvy found some pretty interesting results:

  • 86% of women share their “finds” with others
  • Loyalty cards, reward programs, opt-ins and daily mail bargains were among the top ways to increase sales
  • 89% would sacrifice a television or mobile phone for her computer
  • 85% of women use email in the decision making process

She Speaks Magazine’s study on women’s purchasing decision making process found:

  • 77% of women are influenced to try and buy from other women online
  • 51% of women follow their favourite brands on social networks but don’t necessarily purchase there
  • 68% are influenced by coupons and offers
  • 61% are influenced by product reviews
  • 45% use company email to make purchase decisions
  • More than 80% visit “super store” websites in a 30 day period
  • Women spend 6 – 60 minutes doing online research before hitting the shops

So what does this mean when allocating your marketing budget?

  • Women are more likely to be influenced by peers and recommendations.  It’s vital to include customer recommendations on your website and on review pages.
  • Because women research and discuss purchases, get involved in industry forums to be sure that your brand is present.
  • Use social media as a branding tool and create a conversion strategy to move your “tribe” off your social media pages and onto your mailing list.
  • Create a loyalty program.
  • Use Facebook offers and other social tools to create sales opportunities
  • Where appropriate, consider daily deals sites such as Grab One to raise product awareness
  • Use email lists wisely and always include a call to action coupon to drive traffic back to your site and into your purchase funnel.
  • Include a blog or other “content” on your site that delivers trusted information about your industry.  This shouldn’t be sales information.  Create the go-to place for succinct information she’ll need in the research phase of the purchase.
  • Create an inviting online sales environment for buyers

Don’t make the most common mistake…

Much of the marketing focused on women is based around relationship or status based benefits, accordingly the advertising industry frequently patronizes or insults women.

In fact, the quickest way to push female shoppers away is to create a condescending tone in your copy.  Women make purchase decisions based on benefits just as men do.  In most practical purchases for the office or home, the purchase decision will still be based on functional benefits.  Women may however be more easily turned away by poor design and navigation and prefer more visual purchase prompts.

Whether it is radishes or razors, boats or botox, office supplies or obstetricians, a woman is likely to be behind the purchase.  Make sure you are using the right social incentives and messages to capture her dollars!

About the Author

Dana Flannery is a Social Media Marketing consultant at Talk About Creative.  Her focus is on reaching women for her clients including Boys Clothes marketer, MIDA.


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