It doesn’t matter what article or study you read – women make or influence the lion’s share of the purchases in the US, and are closing in on men with the percent of earnings and overall wealth, too.
Unless you HAVEN’T been watching television, reading a newspaper (print OR online), shopping, or generally living out in the world in the last decade, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to you that women are beginning to dominate as single homeowners, leaders, risk-takers, and movers and shakers. If you aren’t giving them an equal share of your marketing efforts you’re probably missing out…and it could really be costing you!
Most retailers attempt to appeal to women using mostly old stereotypes, but what about B2B sales? The number of women in decision-making positions in business and as business owners themselves is increasing rapidly. The standard salesman approach to connecting with business customers is finding a dead end with many companies and businesses because their message isn’t being well received. Marketing your business or service is more effective if it has a broader appeal.
Women as mothers or keepers of the home and family are just one of the facets to the women of today, and that’s where most companies are missing the boat. It still seems as if women are not just stereotyped in the ads, but also in the narrow field of products that market to them. What about cars, yard tools, insurance, electronics, and the myriad of other products and services traditionally marketed to men as users and purchasers? Women are purchasing all of these and are less likely to be brand-loyal if they don’t think the company “gets” them.
Using social media is more important than ever. Potential and existing customers will purchase more, and with greater frequency if they feel connected to your brand and are reminded of their value to you as a customer. A forum for customers to connect and discuss your products is an invaluable source in your business. Every department – from development to marketing to packaging to sales – can glean ideas about new products and learn about what is and what isn’t working. It is also a great opportunity for customers to see other aspects of your business – like philanthropy, community affiliations, or even photos of the holiday party can add to the emotive appeal of your business – and score big points with women.
A fun, revealing way to assess whether or not you are stereotyping women in your ads is to take The Buchanan Test http://marketingtowomenonline.typepad.com/blog/2011/03/the-buchanan-test-are-you-stereotyping-women-in-your-ads.html . This eye-opening assessment will make you re-think some of your strategies, and even ask your agency to make some changes in your marketing approach.
In the meantime, here are a few things to remember NOT to do if you want to appeal to women consumers for both b2b and b2c advertising:
1. Assume they are NOT the influencer or decision maker.
2. Appeal to their fears or imagined inadequacies.
3. Assume they know little, if anything about the technical properties of your product.
A great example of a product that unsuccessfully attempted to appeal to women is the BIC pen for women. Just reading the amazon.com comments alone is a lesson in what NOT to do.
Hilarious? Yes, but not if this was your product or service. Disasters like this are avoidable, and just a few adjustments to how you appeal to your audience can have a profound impact on how you earn and maintain women customers.
Do you need a little help finding the right approach in your marketing efforts? Talk to Holland. We can help you get your marketing goals aligned so that you can connect with men and women to effectively build your business. Call Bryan Holland at 513.744.3001 or visit HollandAdvertising.com