OK guys, isn’t marketing to women just a good marketing practice in general? Of course. So why do so many companies, and even entire industries, miss the boat?
Perhaps executives aren’t really committed to the women’s market opportunity? Perhaps the whole “women’s thing” is a bit daunting for some reason? Perhaps the company dipped a toe in the water in the 1980s by painting the interior of its retail outlets mauve, and darn it all if it didn’t work? Well, here’s the key: Learning more about your female customers and how they shop is potentially more important than the product or service you are selling.
It’s all about “transparent marketing.” It’s knowing your market inside and out, then delivering products and marketing messages that are relevant. It involves a lot of preparatory research and continual interaction with your particular women’s market. So, how do companies revise their methods to more transparently connect with women?
- Narrow your focus. Start with the early adopters of your product or service. Get to know them and serve them, and their passion for your brand will attract a wider audience.
- Understand what influences women by exploring their wants and needs. Yes, this sounds a tad touchy-feely, but the results make it worth the initial discomfort.
- Communicate with women in a well-thought-out way. Women represent 2/3 of mail sorters, so target them through the mail and you’ll hit the bull’s eye.
- Understand and define your brand. The uniqueness or specialization of your brand really appeals to a woman’s sense of being “in” on a great find and it also makes them want to tell others.
- Be authentic. Women have radar for companies that say they know women, but don’t reflect real knowledge of which products women want (or how they want to buy them). Back up, with real effort, what your company professes. If you are in a traditionally male-dominated industry, build an advisory board of female customers.
A lot of what female consumers are looking for in products and services has changed with the times. So find out what they need and deliver it in a way that reflects your in-depth research and interest in better serving them.
Andrea Learned (firstname.lastname@example.org) consults, speaks and writes about the women’s market. She is coauthor of Don’t Think Pink: What Really Makes Women Buy-And How to Increase Your Share of This Crucial Market (AMACOM, 2004) and regularly posts to her Web log, www.learnedonwomen.com.Large Business, Medium Business, Opinion, Small Business, Targeting