Four tips to reach the 85% buying power of women

Today I moderated a panel from two experts on marketing to women. We discussed how women make 85% of the buying decisions from houses to health care, from banking to electronics. The key for women is relationship: we buy from people we know and trust. Building trust makes for relationships. A business cannot develop relationships through an ad campaign or sales force. Women don’t like to be “sold”. It takes public relations practices-strong community engagement, superb customer relations strategies, even philanthropic endeavors-all tactics that lead to building those relations which leads to trust.  The panel shared insights on the dominance women play in technology, both the purchase power online and the realm of social media for business relations.

All women are not alike, so the demographic of just “women” is far too broad.Targeting by age, region, lifestyle, marital status, parenting status all need to be considered. According to one source, women feel anywhere from 59-91% misunderstood by the marketers, depending on products from health care to financial services.

Women across generations and demographics are often offended that marketers use women, and mostly through sexual exploitation, to sell to men. Advertisers should heed this–because men aren’t buying the majority of products or services.

The best practices in marketing to women were showcased through a microcosm example of the local women’s expo which hosts more than 250 vendors and sees thousands of women come through in a few days all looking for an experience. 38% of the products and booths deal with health care, and yet women flock to the auto mechanic booth.

Whether you have a product or service, if you are trying to reach women as a market remember this:

  • Women don’t like to be “sold”; be authentic.
  • They have to trust you to do business, so listen
  • Fine tune your marketing to really find the right women-gender is insufficient to define us
  • Build a relationship–you’re better off investing in customer service with experiential elements, than seeking new clients
  • Women dominate online shopping and social media; you want our dollars? Use technology.

If you don’t know what an experience should look like or how to be authentic, then ask your women clients. They’d like to tell you and that’s a start to letting them feel listened to.

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