by Tony Fannin, president, BE Branded
There are two under served market segments in today’s market place. One is seniors. The other is women. This blog is going to focus on women. I just recently had a conversation with a prospect. Their company is in the category of improving home air quality. One of their products keeps upstairs rooms cool in the summer and warmer in the winter. We all know how difficult it is to cool/heat upstairs rooms. It’s a great product. In our conversation, we discussed the market space their product needed to appeal to. Initially, they though it was more of a guy’s product since it’s a home improvement item. They looked a outlets such as Lowes, Ace Hardware, and HVAC companies. I told them that they were going after the wrong market.
Women are completely under served by marketers, but it’s the women who dominate the decision making in almost every key area of commerce. Marketers and advertising agencies must wake up and start paying attention to women in an authentic way. Not just an ad or two or a “program”, but gear long-term strategies in earning women’s business. Here is a brief breakdown of just a few categories where women are the main buyers or are the main influencers:
• Personal computers – 66%
• Financial services (household investment decisions/banking) – 85%
• Home improvement – 80%
• Consumer electronics – 60%
• Adventure travel and vacations – 89%
• Small business loans – 70%
• New cars – 60%
• ALL CONSUMER PURCHASES – 83%
And these are just some of the categories that used to be thought as male driven. Women are harder to gain, but once you do, they stay loyal to a brand over 3-times longer than men. Women don’t buy brands, they join them. A recent statistic in the financial industry shows that the average male refers their institution to approximately 6 other people. Women, on the other hand, refers their financial institution in to 22 other people. Who would you rather have as a customer? A riding mower manufacture wanted to test for themselves if the theory of women dominating the market space holds true in their industry. The result – over 60% of their customers are women. Riding lawnmowers. Who knew?
Major marketers have begun to see the potential in connecting with women. They realize how much money they are leaving on the table by not catering to them. Lowes has made a real effort to connect to women in their marketing and advertising. Their results have been very positive so far. It’s allowed them to gain market share on Home Depot. Financial institutions such as Prudential and Fidelity are creating marketing programs directly aimed at women. I showed the prospect, that was mentioned earlier, several magazines such as Parents, Better Home and Gardens, and Real Simple. All women’s magazines. He saw advertisers such as Lowes, Home Depot, True Value Hardware, Bank of America, and Fidelity. He realized as I built the case that women are is prime audience. Not the guys he assumed they’d be. Now just because you’re marketing to women doesn’t mean you’re excluding men. In fact, if you win over the women, you’ll get the husband and the family. Lose the woman, you lose the family.
What needs to change? Most women don’t feel like they are portrayed honestly in advertising. In a survey, 91% of women say marketers don’t understand them and 59% say they annoy them.
• Women don’t buy brands, they join them
• Selling to men: a transaction, selling to women: relationship model
• Research shows women are interested in a relationship with their vendor
• Connect women to each other connects them to your brand
• Own 51% of high net worth
In the end, the women market is powerful, affluent, and in charge. Your marketing and advertising better be inviting them to join your brand or otherwise you’ll find your competitors wooing their dollars at your expense. And once they become loyal to a brand, it’s extremely hard to pry them away.