Marketing to Women: Why Marketers Don’t Understand Women

January 6, 2013 § 1 Comment


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, a great blog on getting seen on social media by Robert S. Kims, Guerrilla Marketing Korean.  


Marketing to Women: Is Facebook Making Us Rude and Fat?

October 11, 2012 § Leave a comment

Okay, so the election is coming up and the comments on Facebook are coming faster and getting more rude all the time.  The trash talk really heated up after the first Presidential debate.  I’m stunned at what people will post on Facebook or say on Twitter  – and then I come across the following bit of information.

A new study from professors at Columbia University and the University of Pittsburgh, first publicized in the Wall Street Journal, found that browsing Facebook lowers our self-control.  The effect is most noticeable with people whose Facebook networks are made up of close friends.  Why are we aggressive online?  Experts say we’re less inhibited online because we don’t have to see the reaction of the person we’re addressing.

An Inflated View of Ourselves

Here’s how it happens:  We tend to present an “enhanced” image of ourselves on Facebook. This positive image—and the encouragement we get, in the form of “likes”—boosts our self-esteem. And when we have an inflated sense of self, we tend to exhibit poor self-control.  We somehow adopt a feeling of entitlement and that causes us to lash out at others who don’t agree with our views.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the researchers conducted a series of five studies. In one, they asked 541 Facebook users how much time they spent on the site and how many close friends they had in their Facebook networks. They also asked about their offline lives, including questions about their debt and credit-card usage, their weight and eating habits and how much time they spent socializing in person each week.

A Hefty Side Effect to All That Facebook

Another side effect of all this Facebook bravado is some added weight.  People who spend more time online and have a larger percentage of close ties in their Facebook friends were more likely to participate in binge eating and to have a great body mass index.

So there you have it, ladies – Facebook can make you pudgy and can make you lose your filter like Dorothy’s mother on The Golden Girls.

Marketing to Women: Celebrating Twitter’s Birthday!

March 22, 2012 § 2 Comments

Sorry, Twitter, this is a belated Twitter Birthday greeting.  We love you and can’t believe you are six years old now.  How time flies.  You know the ladies love you.  In fact, some 10% of all female internet users “tweet”, compared to 7% of male users.

Today, Twitter says it has grown to more than 140 million active users — up from about 100 million back in September. There are also about 340 million tweets per day.  Twitter is also now available in 28 languages around the world.

There’s a new term around called tweets-per-second, or TPS.   While there are folks who don’t use Twitter, you see it everywhere.  Whether it’s American Idol, The Voice, a sporting event, The Today Show or a news show, their twitter handles and tweets are broadcast widely.

So what do we use Twitter for?  I use it for communicating for business, keeping up with news and getting ideas for my blog and marketing.

Here’s an infographic that gives some good info.

Marketing to Moms: Smartphones are Mom’s Best Friend

April 12, 2010 § 2 Comments

Moms are finding smartphones so useful that Mobile Moms are one of the fastest growing demographics to own smartphones.

In the first quarter of 2009, about 14 percent of all wireless users who identified themselves as mothers said they owned a smartphone, according to Nielsen. This figure was up from 8.3 percent of moms who owned a smartphone in the first quarter of 2008.

Importance of Working Moms

Working Moms are the power users.  Their busy schedules and need to connect with work, friends and home, making them 42% more likely than the average cellular user to download content to their phone.  Their usage is best represented by their spending for cellular services which are 21% more than the average cellular user. The average cell phone bill for Working Moms is $94 versus $78 for all cell phone users, as reported by a 2009 Scarborough Research study.

Social Use of Mobile

91% of mobile users go online to socialize, compared to only 79% traditional users. (Ruder Finn Mobile Intent Index)

Social networking is one of the fastest growing behaviors on the mobile Web, growing from 22.5% in Jan. 2009 to 30.8% in Jan. 2010.  Access to Facebook via mobile browser usage grew 112% in the past year, and Twitter experienced a 347% growth spurt. (comScore MobiLens)

55% of women use their mobile for social media,  ten percent more than men at 45% (Nielsen, 12/2009).

Social Connector

Of those on mobile phones, the top uses by all adults, reported by the Ruder Finn Mobile Intent Index, are:

Instant messaging – 62%

Forward e-mails (58%), content (40%), and photos (38%)

Post comments on social networks – 45%

Connect to people on social networking sites – 43%

In addition to these primary activities are the important banking, shopping, and comparison duties that Moms must carry out on a daily basis.  And research shows women are much more likely to purchase when shopping online than men are.

This growing usage of smartphones makes a mobile marketing strategy a must for brands hoping to reach Moms.


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