Marketing to Women: Why Marketers Don’t Understand Women

January 6, 2013 § 1 Comment

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Things are changing for women.  For the first time in history, women now outnumber men in the workforce. We are more educated, accounting for approximately 58% of students in tw0- and four-year colleges.   We account for 85% of all consumer purchases, and we are not just talking about diapers and milk.  Our purchases include homes, healthcare, cars, travel and computers.  And 96% list “being independent” as their single most important life goal.

So when research says 91% of women don’t think marketers understand them, what are we saying?

First, women don’t feel they are being accurately portrayed.  Using the color pink is not advertising.  Women respond to marketing in a more emotional level.  Women place importance on personal and proactive customer communication.  We want authenticity, relevance, honesty and an exchange of information.  Also, families don’t look like the stereotyped mom, dad and 2 children.  Some 40% of all births today are to unwed mothers.  Only 4% of families with kids under 18 fall into the working father and stay-at-home mom model.   And many young say being a good parent is more important than marriage.

Second, men control much of today’s advertising messages.  Only some 3% of advertising agency creative directors are women.  Why is that a problem?  The female perspective is not always accurately represented.  We have men left to their own to interpret how they communicate to and with women.  That’s why campaigns from advertisers like Dove celebrating real people and Chico’s use of older models and stars are seen as rare and innovative.

Third, many marketers have overlooked the dominance of women online.  Women dominate social networking, instant messaging and email.  Women compose 56% of the social media population; that’s 81 million of us.  Women dominate Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.  Women spend  8% more time online daily and 40% more time on social media than men do.  And peer-to-peer recommendations are trusted more than any type of advertising – 92% rely on people they know!

Fourth,  smartphones are the most important tools in women’s handbags.  50.9% of smartphone users are women and we are using smartphones to stay in touch with our families and friends, interact on social media, and shop, shop, SHOP!!  If women can’t easily find you on their mobile phone or if you are not competitive, she will move on to another source.  Moms are on their phones six hours daily and  readily admit that their smartphones are more important than sex!

Use 2013 to understand your target audience better.  Chances are a large portion of your audience are women – smart, connected, independent and pink-resistant.

This is a guest post on http://www.Sparkah.com/blog, a great blog on getting seen on social media by Robert S. Kims, Guerrilla Marketing Korean.  

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