Marketers must understand that women are elusive. Today’s woman is modern and confident, yet still holds onto some of the traditions of the past. So while they don’t want to be associated with the nuclear family of the ‘50s, they also don’t want marketers to assume they are so modern that they don’t value traditional family roles. Marketers must move away from the status quo and towards a fresh approach that mirrors the attitudes and thinking of the current female segment.
While women continue to hold a stronger position in the corporate world and choose to be single, they still hold onto some of the traditional roles and responsibilities of the past. They cherish family and friends yet push hard up the corporate ladder. They hope for the engagement ring even though they may out-earn their potential husbands in the workforce. Understanding this natural tension between the past, present and future that many women face is a big step towards brand loyalty.
During my research I came across these stats about what women buy.
- 53% of all stocks
- 51% of all sports equipment
- 66% of all personal computers and 51% of consumer electronics
- 47% of hardware and home improvement materials
- 85% of groceries
- 75% of over the counter drugs
- 90% of greeting cards
- 94% of all home furnishings
- 46% of men’s wear
- 60% of flowers
- 65% of all cars
- 80% of all health care
- 88% of medical insurance
- 60% of self-help books
Although the future of marketing circles around women, this is a huge challenge for all companies. Female consumers are very busy and have a complex web of duties that make them less than readily available. They have the ability of do many things at the same time with equal concentration, making them multitasking or rather “multi-minding.” So it is tough to grab such women’s attention with TV ads. This is the reason why marketing to women is easier in print advertisements as illustrated in magazines such as New Woman, Cosmopolitan, and so on.
Many companies have already recognized this change and have responded accordingly. It is a big challenge in comparison to marketing only to men. But the whole cheese lies in marketing to women, the contributors to 80% consumer purchases. Women today do not limit their shopping to just staring outside the shop’s window. They march straight in and decide what is best for them. Some females even consider shopping as their hobby apart from reading, cooking, sewing, and so forth. The door for business has opened wider. But the obstacles laid forward are tougher than before. It is not a mission impossible, but a mission critical.
Martha Bartletta in her book ‘Marketing to Women’ explains these principles and converts them into valuable marketing and communication insights. Here are some insights from her book that are worth thinking about:
- Women think “We”, Men think “Me”
- Women want Trust, Men want Respect
- Women Affiliate, Men Differentiate
- Women connect through commonality, Men connect through competition
- Women seek understanding, Men seek solutions
- Women get personal, Men stay detached
- Women do it all at once, Men do one thing at a time
- Women maximise, Men prioritise
- Women want “the perfect answer”, Men settle for a “good solution”
Marketing to women is not a rocket science but it requires a lot of labour and spending so marketers should understand the significance of marketing to women as, women are the primary consumers and key decision makers.