Marketing to Women: The Overlooked “Breadwinner Women”

October 8, 2012 § Leave a comment

Breadwinner Women

Stereotypes are hard to break.  We all harbor old stereotypes about nuclear families that are not true in today’s society. One is about breadwinners.  The majority of all American women (53%) are now breadwinners in their households, according to a survey conducted by Prudential Financial.  Among the 1400 women surveyed, 40% are single and 22% of married women earn higher incomes than their spouse/partner.

Some of the traits of breadwinner women are -

•  Women are more collaborative in decision making.

•  Women are focused on household expenses.

•  Women are concerned about taking care of others first and not being a financial burden to loved ones.

Think a minute about your customer base.  You probably have many “breadwinner women” in the ranks.  I personally know many of these strong, successful women.  Thanks to the fabulous Bridget Brennan and her blog on Forbes, here are three important reminders on how to appeal to “breadwinner women” and one more from me!

1.  Invest in Customer Service.  Women have higher expectations of customer service than men do and are willing to walk when they are not treated with the appropriate attention or service they deserve.  Just one example – For years, women have been taking a “token” man to car lots and mechanics to ensure they get the best deal.  But they won’t much longer.  Sales training should include a long look into who is making the purchase decisions for a wide variety of purchases.  Currently women have 80% of the purchase decision power on buying the family car.  Women also make 62 percent of new car purchases and have over $5 trillion in purchasing power. And when the car breaks down, women make 65 to 80 percent of the service and maintenance decisions.

2.  Provide convenience in-store and online.  Women are multi-taskers and their time is limited.  They expect retailers to offer multi-channel solutions.  They expect physicians to be open after five and on weekends when children really get sick.  They expect everyone to have easy-to-use websites that are easy-to-view on all mobile and laptop.  They want services personalized and customized to their needs.

3.   Provide a helpful experience.  Women buy more than just a product.  They buy a service.  Women love Nordstrom’s not just for the beautiful shoes, but also for free shipping and free returns that puts them in charge.  Women love Lexus because they also care about roadside service, giving you a loaner and making sure your car is washed and clean inside and out when it comes back.

4.  Provide help in making decisions.   Women like to gather information and collaborate on decisions.  That’s why providing a steady stream of information is important in the healthcare setting.  And it’s why 9 out of 10 women seek online health info.  It’s why women want to understand financial products before making a decision on them. It’s why women spend time on blogs, message boards and product fan pages to research products and get firsthand product reviews and recommendations.

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