Women are different to men we already know this…and if some of us don’t is there really any hope for the human race? However, there are plenty of people – notably in the advertising industry – that don’t seem to know just how different….and persist in either marketing products to women as if they had either exactly the same motivations as men or were a minority market lacking in real purchasing power. This is wrong on both counts.
Now, we’re not about to attempt to re-write the whole of advertising dogma or go on an extended rant about, well, the battle of the sexes essentially. What we are going to do, however, is run through our top tips for anyone considering a campaign targeted primarily at women. Along the way we hope to debunk some myths and demonstrate some significant differences.
1. Men want transactions, women want relationships – foster that relationship.
In “Marketing to Women”, Martha Barletta explained that women reach purchase decisions in a different way from men. “Men and women don’t communicate in the same way and they don’t buy for the same reasons…he simply wants a transaction to take place, she’s interested in creating a relationship. Every place women go they make connections…91% of women say that ‘advertisers don’t understand us’”.
2. Women don’t just spend more, they decide more.
Statistics from the NFWBO (National Federation of Woman Business Owners) show that women are the primary decision makers for goods purchase in 85% of homes. They make 75% of the decisions in buying new homes and 81% of decisions surrounding weekly shopping. They influence at least 80% of all household spending. And they now spend 10% more than men on average on the internet (£579 pa to £541 according to Verdict Research).
3. Justify the necessity of purchasing your brand.
Men, as a rule, already know what they’re after when they shop…and, as a result, are simply looking for the best and cheapest deal they can. Women, on the other hand, are more open to suggestion whilst shopping. Argue your brand’s case – chances are she’ll listen more than he ever will!
4. Sell her a package – make your brand more than the sum of its parts.
Studies have shown that the average female consumer wants more than just a product sold to them – so make your sales stance more than just a run down of your brand/item’s points. Provide inspirational stories relating to the product, offer tips relating to better use or understanding of the brand. Position your client brand in a way that has relevance to her personally.
5. Sell your brand with endorsements.
Women, in general, listen to others more than men do – at least that’s what studies tell us. So sell your brand with endorsements provided by commentators perceived to be impartial and intelligent. If your brand is genuinely good this is perfectly possible…and it will certainly attract the female market!
6. Appeal to her Peer Group.
We’re not talking about direct appeals here but…as well as listening to others women also tend to talk to each other more than men. Position your product as a discussion item (provocative presentation often works well for this) and the theory runs that female consumers will spend time discussing it amongst themselves increasing your brand recognition and positive reinforcement.