Marketing to Women
(How to Increase Your Share of the World’s Largest Market)
By Marti Barletta
(Book Report by Gary Tomlinson)
Women are the world’s most powerful consumers. They are the big spenders, whether you’re talking about households, corporate purchasing, or small businesses. Would you believe that until the first edition of this book was published, not a single book addressed the nuts-and-bolts specifics of how to market to persons of the female persuasion? Why is that, when women make up just over half of the population and, more important, control well over half of the spending? It’s time for a book that presents the business case, identifies the operating insights, and details specific marketing tactics for the consumer group marketers need most – women. This is that book! What’s the first rule of marketing? Understand your market. What’s the second rule? Understand your consumer. What Makes Women a Worthwhile Market? Packaged goods companies and retailers have long recognized that women form the core of their market. However, until very recently, the big-ticket industries – automotive, financial services, computers, consumer electronics, home improvements, and travel for example – appear to have overlooked female customers almost entirely. Despite the fact that women represent a significant percentage of the buyers in most of these categories – usually 40 to 60 percent – we still see almost exclusively male-targeted advertising. Somebody’s not watching the “buy-o-meter” carefully enough. By not understanding their markets, these companies are leaving money on the table. What is worse – and makes this missed opportunity a devastating sales drain – is the multiplier effect each female consumer sets into motion. What women buy, women “sell”; when they’re pleased with products and services, they talk about them to others – men and women alike. The resulting word of mouth is the most powerful marketing tool you could ask for. Every new woman customer you acquire creates a multiplier effect of sales referrals and extra business. Why Market Differently to Women? The answer lies in Rule Two – understand your consumer. Up until now, we all assumed that men and women operated pretty much the same way when it came to buying decisions. Women have a very different set of priorities, preferences, and attitudes. Page 1
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Their purchase decision process is radically different. And they respond differently to marketing media and messages, language, and visuals. Any marketer who wants to capture a substantial share of a woman’s wallet has some gender learning to do in order to understand this previously overlooked consumer. At this point, you may be asking yourself: So what if men and women are different? A car is still a car, and a computer is a computer – right? Wrong Question! Never Mind the Product, It’s the Prospect that Matters: Men and women perceive, believe, and behave in ways unique to their gender. At times, their differing roles in life – different work, different play, different domestic responsibilities – generate differing needs. Smart marketers know it’s not the product and its features that should drive the marketing, it’s the prospect and her needs. The communication connection – aligning your brand with your target audience’s perceptions – is what will propel the success of your marketing programs. Men’s Marketing Doesn’t Work with Women: Gender-based differences in perceptions, attitudes, and communication styles generate gender-differentiated responses in priorities, decision processes, and purchase outcomes. You can address these differences in your marketing to great advantage, or you can ignore then at your peril. Women’s Marketing Increases Customer Satisfaction Among Men: Some marketers do recognize that men and women are different, but they worry that...