The numbers are clear and convincing when it comes to marketing to women. A group that helps build workplaces that work for women says that women control about $32 trillion in annual consumer spending around the world. That’s a lot of money to spend.
In the U.S., women are responsible for 85% of all consumer spending (opens in new tab), and they are making more and more important decisions about what to buy. For example, they buy 93% of food and over-the-counter drugs, 92% of vacations, 91% of new homes, 89% of bank accounts, 80% of health care, 66% of PCs, and 65% of new cars.
Mindshare/Ogilvy & Mather data also shows that women are happy to talk about their spending. 92% of women say they tell others about deals or online recommendations.
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On the other hand, many women don’t think that the advertising agencies and brands that target them respect and understand them.
Jane Cunningham and Philippa Roberts wrote a book called Brandsplaining: Why Marketing Is (Still) Sexist and How to Fix It. In an interview with The New York Times, Cunningham said that the way women are often portrayed in ads shows “a complete misunderstanding of how women think.”
And most women seem to agree.
According to research from Yankelovich Monitor and Greenfield Online, 91% of women think that advertisers don’t understand them. Even though that number is likely to bother women who don’t feel seen or heard, it could be a good thing for brands that want to do better and create marketing campaigns that speak to this.
Not only the color of a product matters when marketing to women.
The good news for brands that want to win back the trust of women customers, who have the potential to spend a lot of money, is that there is no magic formula for marketing to women, but there are mistakes to avoid.
These five tips may help you get your products or services in front of smart women buyers:
Don’t be a stereotype.
Women don’t all have the same traits. A woman in her 20s who was born and raised in New York will be different from one who was born and raised in Alaska.
Too many marketers also make the mistake of defining a woman only by her gender. Instead of making a single message that they hope will appeal to all women, marketers should realize that they can often reach women more effectively when they focus less on gender and more on what it means to be human.
Also, women at different stages of their lives have different needs based on their life experiences and relationships, so it’s a bad idea to try to sell campaigns to all women, no matter how old or young they are.
Don’t put pink on everything.
There is a lot to learn about the psychology of colors and how you can use that information to better market to women. But it’s too easy to just paint everything pink.
Celebrate diversity and be open to everyone.
There are many different shapes, sizes, and races of women.
To successfully market a service or product, it helps to break it down into a specific target. For example, are you trying to reach moms in their 40s who are looking for work now that their kids are older?
Defining accurate, specific personas instead of just anyone who identifies as female will help you create more effective marketing communications that speak directly to your target market and make them feel like you understand their needs and nuances.
Don’t be afraid to go against female taboos.
For your marketing messages to be truly inclusive, you need to talk about sensitive or taboo topics that women face in the real world, such as hormonal imbalances, menopause, or getting older. Your brand can connect with women if it makes them feel more seen and understood.
Storytelling helps marketing work in the long run.
In general, both men and women respond well to marketing strategies that use stories. But the real difference can be seen in the way these stories are told in marketing campaigns.
Men are more likely to respond to facts, but women are more likely to be persuaded by a combination of facts and emotional connections.
Getting women interested in wealth management.
Wealth management firms will need to find meaningful ways to attract and keep female customers if they want to grow in the long term.
In the coming years, companies can do well if they know and understand what women want and need, as well as how they like to spend and save their money. Experts say that by 2030, most of the $30 trillion in financial assets owned by Baby Boomers will be in the hands of American women. This is close to the current annual GDP of the whole United States.
Since American women live an average of five years longer than men, older women will soon be in charge of making financial decisions. The Spectrem Group says that 70% of women switch their business to a new financial institution within a year of their spouse’s death. This means that more financial services companies need to take seriously the chance to do business with wealthy older women.
It’s never too late to get better at marketing.
Even though many small businesses and old-fashioned ways of advertising seem stuck in the past, it’s never too late to do better. Using the power of social proof to build community and trust is one of the most powerful things you can do. Also, using testimonials from real women to convince other women to buy your product or service and making connections with a group of women who know, like, and trust your brand can help build loyalty that can last a lifetime.
You will get results that can be built on if you tell women’s stories and show that you care about their hopes, fears, wins, and unique needs.