The Disconnect Between Women and Marketing

August 6, 2013
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Written by Account Services Intern, Erin Piepenbrok

As women begin to wield more and more influence over the worldwide economy, it’s clear that all aspects of business must adapt and tailor their approach to connect with the female shopper. Currently, connecting with the female shopper is a formula that’s still being demystified, but those businesses that have successfully made the connection through mediums like blog marketing ultimately gained a boost in sales and loyal, returning customers.

The Disconnect

At present, a disconnection exists between marketing and women. Women currently control more than $20 trillion dollars in worldwide spending (and $5 trillion in the US alone, half of the country’s GDP), yet 91% of women feel that marketers do not connect with them. Furthermore, women control or influence 85% of all US consumer brand purchases and carry heavy influence in purchases in the following categories:

  • 91% of New Homes
  • 66% PCs
  • 92% Vacations
  • 80% Healthcare
  • 65% New Cars
  • 89% Bank Accounts
  • 93% Food
  • 93 % OTC Pharmaceuticals

 

Why should marketers take notice of this? Because recent studies have found that because women are so influential in the market, 80% of new products fail because they don’t connect with women. So to say that women are a niche market, as marketers often do, couldn’t be further from the truth. If anything, they are a critical market.

Who Are These Women: Understanding the Target Market

A study conducted by Mediative entitled “A Glimpse into The Online Behaviors of Women” identified women shoppers as falling into three categories: Young Women, Professionals and Digital Moms. Each of these categories of women have specific tastes and trends that apply to them, to understand them will be beneficial to any business. Young women, who are active and present on social media, are more likely to look at consumer generated content than are middle-aged women.  They are also more influenced by consumer reviews, mobile coupons and friends social media posts. Professionals spend less time on the computer at home and more time on the computer at work. According to Mediative’s study, “they shop online an average of 10 times a month, go on social media sites 18 times a month, and casually surf the internet nearly 30 times a month. In 2011, the majority of a professional woman’s online purchases were made between 12 PM and 1 PM.”  Digital Moms have a particular set of considerations that include the age of their children and the age of the Digital Mom. For example, women who were under 35 were more likely to use mobile browsing and text messages, and women who were over 45 preferred to use online news sources and consumer reviews.

Connect the Disconnect: What Women Want

It’s been one of society’s most famous questions: what do women want? In the realm of marketing, this question is beginning to be answered and some clear trends are beginning to develop that marketers can capitalize on:

  • Shopping is a social activity for women. They love to talk about it, whether it’s what they bought, how much they bought it for, and where they bought it. Connect them to the brand through blogs, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Women are three times as likely to learn about a product through other women and place great importance on high information availability. Communication and networking is essential to reaching women.
  • Customer service is key. Melissa Ann Andrews from Portada Online described the essential role that customer service plays in women’s brand loyalty, “It doesn’t matter necessarily that a company is rated number one in consumer polls. It matters if that company had what they needed. It has also been shown in surveys that women will stay with a store that has associates that help them feel important and valued. Being ignored by sales people was listed as a main reason that women would stop shopping at a store. The top complaint for women while shopping is lack of help when needed. Women were also found to be angry while shopping if employees intruded on conversations.”
  • Anticipate needs and communicate value. Women enjoy a company that can anticipate what they want and can make a clear statement on how this product will add value to their lives. Women don’t want to have to ask hundreds of questions to sales associates and don’t want a list of features presented to them. Communicate a message that shows how value will be added to the woman’s life with a particular product. It should be noted that this doesn’t mean the product has to be feminized in itself, but rather communicate a feminine-friendly message.

Women are essential to a business’s success and understanding how they operate in a shopping experience has opened up a door to new marketing initiatives and creative ways to connect. If you can connect with them, you’ll gain a loyal, returning customer.

What do you think women want to see from a company?

Sources:

http://www.she-conomy.com/facts-on-women

http://www.she-conomy.com/report/marketing-to-women-quick-facts

http://www.she-conomy.com/article

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