8 things women want (in marketing)

Monday, February 16, 2015

The world is populated by females who are strong and dynamic, vital and valued. All around us we're seeing women and girls that are stronger, funnier, more diverse and more authentic than ever before.

 

Despite the research and polls conducted by marketing agencies, many CEOs continue to market in a predominantly ‘male’ way. Although, there is no one-size-fits-all guide to marketing to women, we uncover 8 things women want from a marketing perspective.

 

1. Recognise us

With organisations who have a membership or a CRM system, the first step is to see the women you already have and acknowledge this group. Compare who already likes you to who else is in your local population and study the gaps.

 

21st century tip

Ask the questions of your venue or service that you would ask a girl you’d like to ask out on a date. Does the kind of woman I want exist? Will she like what I have to offer? What changes will I need to make to get the girl?

 

2. Be ready to embrace us

Choosing to market to women requires strategy on many different levels. It is not a case of putting a salad on the menu or offering a free sparkling.

 

Some other aspects to consider include the physical layout of your venue, travel options, safety, and pick-up or drop-off zones. The décor, cleanliness and atmosphere of your venue or front desk should be attractive to women.

 

Think about what type of communication medium you will be relying on and factor that into strategy. For example, responsive technology and sms.

 

21st century tip

Many women communicate on social media. That means getting a digital strategy in place including appropriate investment in boosting Facebook posts. Very, very few women make purchasing decisions based on an ad in the local paper.

 

3. Acknowledge our stage of life

Once you know who you have, who you want and that you’re willing to make some changes to get them, ascertain a woman’s ‘stage of life’.

 

Women are all in different situations, depending on age and whether they have families and so on. If you focus on one type of woman, you risk alienating large sections of the female population and the male population as well.

 

For example, women aren’t all at-home mothers. Half of university graduates are women. Women run the majority of home-businesses. Women play sport, especially football (soccer), and participate in cultural activities. The trend of kid-focussed mums (the tiger parent) is changing as Generation X’s children grow up and we see the welcome return of young mums.

 

21st century tip

Women will spend more with a brand that acknowledges their lifestyle; that includes coin, conscience and calling.

 

4. Teach us the Benefits

Female consumers want to know what your offering is going to do for them. Focus on how it will make their life easier, more productive and richer for the experience. Give women positive reasons to buy.

 

Spend time on listing the benefits, even the small benefits, before you create your campaign. Women do lots of research; this includes talking to and messaging other women who have conducted other research.

 

21st century tip

Most women research on their smartphone or tablet. If your website isn’t mobile friendly, time for an immediate upgrade.

 

5. Make it easy to Purchase

The ABS reported that, in 2012–13, 74% of the goods or services purchased or ordered online included accommodation, memberships or tickets of any kind (74%). Security concerns about providing credit card details online only prevented 12% of purchases, and these were with people over aged 65.

 

57% of Australian online shoppers have increased their level of spending over the last 12 months via mobile devices (PWC).

 

Once you have listed the benefits, draw the purchasing path.

 

Diversify from the single purchasing path of ‘purchase tickets or book at reception’. It may be time for an e-commerce strategy. Other choices you could include deducting points from a loyalty system, invoicing the customer or emailing a credit card form.

 

21st century tip

Mobile devices. Again.

 

6. Converse and let us share

The great aspect of social media is the ability to build relationships and tell a story. It’s important to choose images, words and design that will resonate with the product and service.

 

If women can’t see themselves in the message, it won’t get noticed as there are a whole lot of competitors with the right kind of design in screen range. Pumping out ads is one thing, but without a group of quality real images, women will turn you off by unfollowing you.

 

21st century tip

For every three social media promotional posts, put one social post.

 

7. Image and design

Images of real women trigger an emotional response.

 

That means knowing your audience and representing them accurately. It means pushing aside imagery that reinforces antiquated female stereotypes and replacing it with imagery that conveys a more positive and powerful reflection of women today in a variety of ages, races, body types, lifestyles and occupations.

 

21st century tip

We're seeing new images of powerful women and girls all around us. Use exciting images rather than tired stock images.

 

8. Time

It will take much more effort to effectively market to women, but spending that extra amount of time getting to know women, their likes and dislikes, will help sell your brand to a target audience that is willing to purchase. 

 

You may need to transform. If so, tell women you’re doing it, and live up to the promise of change.

 

21st century tip

If there is a problem, respond in a timely manner. Especially if the problem has been posted on social media.

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