Marketing to Women: Why Marketers Don’t Understand Women

January 6, 2013 § Leave a 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.  

Marketing to Women on Smartphones: That’s 50.9% of us!

May 10, 2012 § 2 Comments

Smartphones have crossed the tipping point.  According to Nielsen, a majority (50.4%) of U.S. mobile subscribers owned smartphones, up from 47.8 percent in December 2011.  And of course women over index the national stat - 50.9 percent of female mobile subscribers carried smartphones in March 2012, compared to 50.1 percent for men.

Shop till we drop our phoneSo, is it any surprise that we are using those oh-so-smart mobile devices for shopping?  Of course not. Seventy-nine percent of us are using our smartphones for shopping.

Smartphones are really the mobile shoppers dream for  the following:  “Locating a store” (73% vs. 42% for tablets ), “using a shopping list while shopping” (42% vs. 16% for tablets) or “redeeming a mobile coupon” (36% vs. 11% for tablet owners).   However, tablet owners are much more likely to use their device for online shopping: 42 percent of tablet owners have “used their device to purchase an item,” compared to just 29 percent of smartphone owners.

For marketers, it is important to understand how our target is using a mobile device so we can tailor messages and design appropriate engagement opportunities.

Pay As You Go  Currently we are buying online, but Nielsen points out that soon we will become comfortable with using our smartphones to make payments for items.  I can’t wait. ” Just one less thing to worry about,” says Forrest Gump.

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