Women play an enormous role in the economy, and yet many companies struggle to effectively reach this powerful block of consumers. Strong market research has to account for the right kind of consumers, and today that means women. Women control 70-80% of all consumer purchasing and earn over 18 trillion dollars in income worldwide.
Through smart market research and key awareness about today’s female consumers, your company can avoid these top mistakes in marketing to women:
When your company’s marketing plan includes pink or pastel as your main strategy to reach women, it’s time to go back to the drawing board. Women see through the weak effort and are generally repelled rather than attracted by it.
Women are more likely to respond to companies with stellar customer service, easy-to-navigate shopping experiences, and straightforward design. Spend time conducting high-quality market research to learn what your specific audience values, and then focus your marketing dollars in that direction.
When you focus on values that rank high for female consumers, like the customer service experience, it benefits all shoppers, not just women.
Even industries that were once considered predominantly male-oriented, like technology and automotive, are significantly influenced by women today. Women account for over 50% of all purchases in these categories. Industry leaders that adapt to the needs of female consumers will find themselves ahead of the competition, earning women’s trust and loyalty.
A major marketing mistake is to treat women as simply a niche market or “initiative” to be tested. In reality, with women making over two-thirds of all purchasing decisions, they should be a major focus of any company’s efforts. Too often, companies allocate only a small percentage of their marketing budget for women-focused campaigns. Instead, budgets and research should reflect the reality that women make most consumer purchasing decisions.
While the corporate world is becoming more diverse than ever, there is still much room for improvement. One of the best ways to ensure that a proportionate amount of attention (and funding) for female consumers is through equal representation in your marketing and management teams.
Diversity can only enhance your messaging with female consumers. Women relate to stories, products, and messages that affect their daily lives and reflect their experience. It’s hard for a room full of men, or even women of only one demographic, to capture that. You need multiple women of varying backgrounds on your team.
Adding diversity to your company’s hiring practices is more of a systemic fix – but ultimately it pays to have women on your team. In fact, companies with evenly represented genders tend to have higher ROIs than male-centric companies.
Be cautious about the implicit messages behind the images in your marketing collateral. Often, ads portray women as bystanders rather than action-takers; part of a couple or traditional family unit rather than independent or part of a non-traditional family. They are the passengers in cars, the moms behind the kitchen counter, or the women choosing fruit at the supermarket. They are not typically the drivers, the managers, or the breadwinners working from home.
These subtle messages do not resonate with today’s female consumer. She is often the sole source of income for her household and the caregiver for multiple generations. Women marry later and choose to remain childless or have fewer children than ever before. They hold higher positions in corporations and make up a huge portion of the workforce.
Rather than resort to the typical stock image of women as mothers or part of a couple, spend time learning more about your female consumers. Market research can identify the particular roles women have, what they relate to, and what their needs and wants are. What you find out about your target market may surprise you, and it will certainly inform your marketing.
Effective marketing in 2020 and beyond needs to account for all aspects of today’s consumer. Gender, race, sexual orientation, age, cultural background, and core beliefs are deeply important and influential in the marketplace.
Need help understanding your target market? We offer robust and innovative market research solutions to help you understand the wants, needs and motivations of your consumers. Contact us today to learn more.