Gone are the days that sex sells everything. A sexy, twenty-something model advertising a car will not sit well with most female consumers. The 75 year old trend of only using women IN advertising has drastically shifted to advertising TO women. The majority of women say that advertisers don’t understand them. Since 80% of all household buying decisions are heavily influenced or made by women it makes sense to implement specific marketing to women methods that illicit a purchase from them.
The female gender is complicated – I know I am one. We are as different and unique as every snowflake that falls. At any given time we can be playing the role of mother, executive, nurse, friend and teacher. With the vast differences in women it is impossible to pigeon hole us into a specific category. Women get married, have children, attend school, and change careers all at varying ages so the traditional advertising categories often don’t apply. However there are some universal practices that companies can use to appeal to the female psyche regardless of age and stage in life.
- Establish credibility and trust
Woman get bombarded with the artificial- from the airbrushed models to their best friend's Facebook posts. Women want genuine, honest portrayal of products, goods and services. When products portray real and honest – they are very successful (Dove Real Beauty). With the advent of Lean In Collection- a group of images that showcase powerful women- not the stereotypical sexy woman- advertisers have access to real images for use in campaigns.
- Enhance the relationship
Women want to feel connected to the products they use and they want to recommend them to their friends and family. The relationship with the female consumer has to be cultivated and built even after a purchase. Meet women where they are – they want to be understood. Women are emotional creatures – appealing to the emotions in an authentic way will move your brand to the forefront when a purchasing decision is being made. Interact with them through a variety of media – social and traditional. Invite them to try new products and/or give their opinion on those products.
- Encourage research
Most women are involved with large purchases- cars, houses and luxury items. When looking to purchase a large item (and sometimes even a smaller one) women research. They will look at many aspects when researching a purchase. They will do a comparison with like items, read reviews from reputable sources, gain opinions from their social media contacts and ask lots of questions. Women will often recoil when felt pressured into buying. Be patient and make researching easier for women. Post relative comparisons, advice from experts and feedback from customers. Understand that purchasing a large item may take them longer, but women will often tout that purchase way louder than men which will give you the best type of advertising – word of mouth.
- Engage remotely – Women spend lots of time away from home. They often have phone in hand just in case someone needs them. Use that fact to engage remotely. When women do make a snap purchase they often turn to their phone to check for any reviews, coupons or quick information to help them make a decision. Use all mobile outlets to connect with women – social media, email, and even text messaging. There is a fine line between being connected and being annoying so walk it tightly!
Keep these facts in mind as you plot your marketing strategy for 2016!