“Women belong in all places where decisions are being made… It shouldn’t be that women are the exception.” — Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Indeed, ladies of all ages are not just the fairer gender. They are also growing in their influence on the world’s economy – even in traditionally masculine businesses like construction, Information Technology, manufacturing and engineering.
What I love about this book is that it goes beneath the surface of all things pink, sweet and fluffy, and puts in much effort to distilling the desires of the female gender.
Why should we market to women? Aren’t guys the ones ruling the boardrooms while making more money all along?
Read these facts (they are from the US but I am sure Singapore’s situation would be similar) and weep:
Oh, and let us not forget that women typically outlive men by about five to six years. Too bad guys, you are the weaker gender!
Now that you’re familiar with the strong economic and social reasons for us to market to women, you’ll need to know how.
Well, according to Faith and Lys, there are Eight Truths of Marketing to Women. Let us go through each of them in detail.
First, you need to bond the fairer sex together by creating a community of womenfolk.
By now, we all know how much girls need to talk, interact and socialise with each other – from laboratories to lavatories, restaurants to retail. Connect them to each other as a group and they will love your brand for it.
Web communities such as iVillage, women.com, and oxygen.com are just a few of the examples of women being linked together.
Women increasingly play multiple roles – employee, mother, wife, chief domestic officer, cook, cleaner and so on.
(Of course, men do play multiple roles too but I will leave that for another day).
To win their hearts and their wallets at the marketplace, you need to cater to women’s increasingly complex and multi-faceted lives. From home office services, to cameras keeping an eye on her kids at daycare, to offering a much needed spa treatment or meals on the go.
The key thing here is to appeal to her need for convenience and flexibility. And that probably includes creating more women-friendly workplaces.
Isn’t this true in both marketing and relationships?
Like a doting husband, you need to anticipate what your female customer needs way before she makes the first enquiry.
Find out what will be convenient and useful to her by envisioning what she goes through. If possible, involve other women in planning every step of the way and create innovative solutions to meet the hidden needs.
The littlest details can set a women off – for good or bad. As a marketer, you need to cater to those minute hygiene factors that us men take for granted.
Starbucks is one company that is “EVEolved” all around. Female customers can enjoy their coffee in a bright, clean place with a well-stocked restroom (a must if you want to attract women) and she can purchase the in-house music on CD or a cookie for her toddler in tow.
Subtleties like aesthetics and the five senses – sight, sound, scent, taste and touch – affect ladies a lot more than we know it.
This is where convenience and anticipation comes into play yet again. Juggling multiple roles in an increasingly hectic workplace, women need things to be delivered to them.
See if you can find a way to make it easier and less of a hassle for them. Solve their pain and they will flock to you.
A great example here are grocery ordering and delivery services like RedMart and Honestbee. They’ve transformed the task of shopping for daily essentials and vastly improved the lives of women (and men) in Singapore.
Also called “brand-me-down” or inter-generational branding, women are more likely to pass down age-old traditions, practices and brands from mother to daughter than men do.
In Asian markets where family ties are strong, the brand-me-down approach will definitely sell. You tend to use the same cooking oil and same washing detergent as your mother.
Ditto for the transmission of family values, rituals and practices.
With their natural maternal instincts, women want to be involved in your brand.
You need to get their inputs and their involvement from the onset – colour, features, price, service guarantees etc – in order to secure their loyalty. Make your female customers a part of your product development team.
Ethical issues in marketing are more key than ever before, especially for the fairer gender.
Don’t neglect the environment, your employees, minorities or the poor. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) matters more than ever in this day and age. Discerning women will be able to sniff you out in an instant.
So there you have it. Eight tips to shape your marketing approach to women. As Aretha Franklin and Annie Lennox has sung, “Sisters are doing it for themselves”, so you better hurry or you may miss the boat!
“I love being a woman. I like dressing up; I love buying shoes.” – Carly Fiorina