The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
If the world did not have women, there would probably be no economy. For any company, in the grand scheme of things, it is always best to advertise and market to women. If your product is good, you will develop a base of loyal followers who will tell their friends, who will tell their friends, who will tell their friends, and so on in the grand plan of your marketing efforts, all because one woman liked your product.
While men certainly do shop, they often make a plan to go to the store and get a few items. Although women may do the same thing, they are more likely to go out and shop around, look for things to buy, look for things they may like, are more susceptible to leaving the house, and of course, actually buying the end product. If you want your company to be successful, you are better off catering to women.
When I was younger, I remember I used to love the taste of Dr. Pepper. Unfortunately, over the years, they changed their signature formula and they lost a huge fan of their product… and it has never tasted the same since. They recently released one of the most sexist commercials a few years ago, introducing Dr. Pepper Ten, which was featured as a product only for men. “It’s not for women.” It was supposedly a product for men. While I’m sure women will still buy Dr. Pepper, going from the gossip of the words that came out of my girlfriend’s mouth: “Oh, it’s for men only? Well, I guess they don’t need my business then.” Why would Dr. Pepper do something like that? I’m sure Dr. Pepper didn’t really care or understand that by saying the product is not for women, they risk losing out on an entire market of women. Women are more likely to go grocery shopping, more likely to go shopping in general, and more likely to buy products for the entire family. That was a lack of good marketing ploy on the part of Dr. Pepper. While the ad may have been completely unintentional because they wanted men to think it was not a girly drink — being only 10 calories, it sure came off in such a way that they were not looking to have women buy their product.
The company, Proctor & Gamble, came out with a deodorant called Secret, and while the product is designed and made for women, Proctor & Gamble advertising of Secret figured out a way to be completely directed at women without offending any men. Secret Deodorant came out with their signature line, “Strong enough for man, but made for a woman.” This type of advertising remains non-sexist, universal, and unoffensive to its target audience and non-target audience.
For any company to advertise and market to women, they must understand women. They must understand what women want, what they need, and what causes them to buy. The company must focus on the behavior of women and their shopping habits. Women make up 85% of the consumer market and it is expected that women will spend about $7 trillion annually on products.* While many companies feel they do a good job in advertising and marketing to women, only 9% of women believe the marketing is actually effective. Only 13% of mothers feel that companies market to them correctly, and only 7% of Baby Boomer women — who have a net worth of $19 trillion alone in financial wealth.*
Product color is not a factor that ultimately determines the sale. While companies may think pink or another feminine color will help with marketing efforts, the fact is, it really doesn’t. Apple attempted to produce different more feminine colored technology products that catered to women, only to find out that women just loved the Apple technology and could not have cared less about what color it was.
Cars are a hard sell to women and some men, but it is 92% of women who actually influence the decision of a car purchase.* She may be threatened easily by sales techniques, feel as if she is being taken for granted, or be overwhelmed by the car itself. In the 1980s, Volvo was another company that figured out what women want: While Volvo could have boasted about all the cool features under the hood and within the car, they went with two simple messages that women could understand: Safety and Reliability. What more could a woman want in a car? And all the features within the car were just a bonus to her.*
Nike also began to change their image as well. Originally, Nike products for women were just smaller versions of their men’s products.* Nike took initiative to understand women’s lifestyles and how exercise plays a role in women’s lives. By shifting from focusing mostly on their 50% market share of men to the 20% women, designing better footwear for women to fit and comfort body shapes and movements, Nike developed a huge loyal fan base of athlete women.*
Most companies just put their ads and marketing efforts out there and hope for the best. Out of all those companies, only 20% actually know their customers and cater to their needs specifically.* The lack of research in women costs companies billions to trillions of dollars per year in unsold products, failed products, and marketing efforts. By really focusing on a target audience of women, companies can establish brand loyalty. Many women become loyal to Procter & Gamble, Revlon, L’Oréal, Unilever, Estée Lauder, Avon Products, Shiseido, Beiersdorf, Johnson & Johnson, Alberto-Culver, Henkel, Coty, Limited Brands, Colgate-Palmolive, Kao, Mary Kay, Yves Rocher, Kosé, mark., Coach, and Access Business Group. All of these companies have a net worth of billions of dollars and either cater women products or family products.
As far as marketing efforts go, it is never easy to market to men or women. It may be even harder to market certain products to women. Do not stereotype women into a single category. Every woman is different and every woman likes different things. Different feelings, emotions, and thoughts will affect her buying habits. Women have their own values, habits, and personalities. Many companies might focus on a specific type of woman, not realizing they are completely losing out. While a company cannot make millions of products for individual women, it can begin to make various products for petite women, younger women, older women, athletic women, larger frame women, and heavyset women. Tapping into the dimensions of understanding women’s values, habits, and personalities will give businesses the opportunity to drive value to women and influence their purchase behavior.*
By establishing trust, respect, and loyalty for women customers, a company will receive the same in return, and may acquire more customers, as women are very good social advertisers and marketers. If you trust in her, she will trust in your company. Treat her like your #1 customer and she will let you know that you are her #1 brand.
*Source: Getting Women to Buy: Better Insights to Transform your Marketing to Women
Insights in Marketing’s eBook is designed to spur new thinking on how to effectively market to women. This eBook ventures outside the traditional marketing research box and provides valuable information to marketers about exactly what women want and how to give it to them.
This eBook provides answers to questions that many marketers have yet to ask. While women are incredibly sophisticated and complex, marketing to them doesn’t have to be. This book outlines who women are, what motivates their behavior and how to influence that behavior. It’s surprisingly simple, and yet, to date, businesses have been led astray, time and time again.
“Getting Women to Buy” provides insights on the following:
- Why marketing to women fails
- Behavioral drivers that motivate women
- Five distinct psychological profiles of women
- How to transform your marketing using these psychological profiles
- Real-life case studies on the five profiles in action
This is a free eBook. There are instructions on how to download this eBook located here:
“Getting Women to Buy” was written By Tinesha Craig
Director i-on-Women™ | Insights In Marketing
Matthew Gates is a freelance web designer and currently runs Confessions of the Professions.