Over the past 50 years, women have taking on an increasingly important role as consumers making the purchasing decisions for their households. We can understand them being the main grocery and toiletry buyers, but studies now show that they are responsible for up to 85% of all purchases made in the US alone. This means that if you want your marketing to work, you need to market to women.
Marketing to women doesn’t mean
- Making something in pink
- Assuming that because she has a vagina she wants your product and if she says no, then she must be hormonal
- Deciding that ALL women like something based on what your mother likes
Not every woman spends her spare time at shopping malls and department stores. Marketing to women can be one of the top secrets to success in your business once you appreciate just how much female consumer behavior is driving the economy. They make purchases in just about every area, including cars and sports gear – once male-dominated markets, you just have to look to her interests.
In this article, we will be looking at ways to market to women effectively, making sure your marketing message hits the right target in the right way.
WHY TARGET YOUR MARKETING MESSAGE TO WOMEN?
Marketing is the art and science of promoting and selling products or services to consumers, either individuals (B2C) or businesses (B2B). Marketing includes both research and advertising. It often involves building a brand to achieve recognition of what it stands for and how it is different from other brands, in order to increase sales and retain customers (customer loyalty).
Women generally love to shop. They buy for themselves, and a wider circle of people that will change as she matures from teen to young adult, wife, perhaps mother, soccer mom or career woman, and so on. Some of her buying habits will be formed early, such as using products that her mom did, or finding products she loves and sticking to them.
Women will also buy a lot of items compared with a man because they tend to choose “specialist” products, such as moisturizer for face, body, and under the eyes; hand cream; cream for stretch marks, scarring, or bleaching dark spots, and so on. The older a woman gets, the more likely she is to buy (expensive) products that are supposed to fight the signs of aging. Again, not all women think this way. They’re just more likely.
Some women will also “go green” and buy personal care products, household cleaners and so on, that have not been tested on animals and are good for the environment.
Knowing what these women need and care about, as well as their problems and motivations, allows you to tap into a lucrative market eager for solutions that really work at a price that they can afford, and which offers good value for what it is.
Think about cars for a moment. Nissan, Toyota and Lexus cars are all made by the same company, but what is the brand perception and value proposition for each? The Lexus is the most expensive, perceived as a luxury car, but also one that will be reliable and last for years compared to a fun little “runaround” like a Nissan. Ownership/driving of a Lexus also tends to convey a certain image of the person behind the wheel, their lifestyle, income and so on. People will shop to “keep up with the Joneses” or impress them.
For all these reasons, targeting women in your marketing messages is the best way to tap into an active consumer audience who is already shopping on a regular basis. They are going online to do research, socialize, and hunt for coupons and bargains. They love contests, polls, freebies, and the chance to express their opinions on sites that offer the opportunity to publish reviews. Women will interact more with your Brand. So you can’t afford to get it wrong, because word will spread like wildfire. Just as Apple found out when it’s health app didn’t track menstrual cycles. 50% of the population might not use them, but the other 50% might just find it handy in a health app.
Only a small fraction of women will leave reviews, it’s true, but the reviews you do manage to get can serve as invaluable endorsements that will drive even more sales. They can also backfire and harm sales of your product if you are not careful.
Online or digital marketing has only been around for about 20 years, but mastering it can be like tapping into a gold mine. This is because online marketing allows you to target your messaging with laser-like precision compared with the “scattershot” approach of offline marketing and mass marketing such as newspaper and magazine ads, and TV and online ads at places such as YouTube.
Digital marketing is reaching a more mature phase and women are driving sales online. If you have not already begun to gear your marketing messages towards women, it’s time to start.
A word to the wise – not all women want to start a dance school, so don’t target all women. Choose ones that attend dance classes and work from there. Not all women want to start a business, some may be at college and others may be retiring. Ticking the women box and then wondering why your ads are so expensive is a painful lesson to learn.
But before you get too excited, it is important to note that not all marketing methods will work for all women. Let’s look at this topic in more detail in the next section.
NOT ALL MARKETING METHODS WORK FOR ALL WOMEN
It makes sense that not every marketing method and message will work for every woman who sees it. Their response will vary depending on a number of factors, including:
* Relationship status
* Whether or not they have children
In her college years, a woman will typically be interested in college books (hopefully!), women’s magazines, music, fun jewelry and youthful fashions. Once she gets her first job, she will be able to buy some of the better things in life, such as more stylish clothes and shoes, more expensive jewelry, and perhaps even a car.
If she starts to settle down with a spouse or partner, she will begin to “nest,” buying household and kitchen goods. She will also start to buy products for that partner in order to run the household smoothly and usually in an attempt to make the most of the budget they have.
If she becomes a mother, she will start buying products for her baby, and as that baby grows, she will continue to purchase items for them that are age-appropriate. Smart companies know that once a woman registers for a wedding, in most cases they can start marketing baby items to her within two to three years after she registers. Once she’s had a baby, they know that regular offers related to the child’s age as in matures from infant to toddler and so on will gain them sales.
Not all of the fun stops once she has a baby, of course. A woman will purchase gifts for friends and relatives, co-workers, and “just because.” However, she will also be looking for real bang for her buck to make the most of her budget. She will still shop on impulse, from time to time. However, in terms of higher-ticket items, she will do research in a range of places to determine which of the choices will give her the most value for her money.
She is probably loyal to a number of different brands, but can be persuaded to try others if the marketing and price is right. She will also be influenced by free samples, such as in stores and magazines. The company Birchbox has made a success of the marketing value of samples to surprise and delight women who subscribe. Subscribers get to try all new products without having to go into dozens of stores in the mall to get them.
By understanding that not all marketing methods will work for all women, you can save a lot of time, money and effort. How? One of the easiest ways is to create marketing personas, also referred to as customer profiles. Let’s look at this in more detail in the next section.
WHAT MOTIVATES WOMEN TO BUY?
Spoiler Alert: Making it pink doesn’t mean women will buy it. Consumer motivations can be tricky to grasp, but they are the secret to success or failure in your marketing messages. One of the best ways to understand the motivations of your target market is to study the “ideal customer” in your niche – that is, the person you would most like to attract as a customer.
As mentioned, one of the best ways to do this is to create a customer profile. Think of it as an in-depth shopping passport and biography which can help you and your marketing department (if you have one) all stay on the same page. Or think of it as a dating profile. Who are these women, and what kind of relationship are they looking for in reference to your business? What are their motivations in shopping?
Many new business owners make the mistake of thinking, “EVERYONE will want my product,” and thus water down their own marketing messages. Or, they make the mistake of thinking they know who their customer is, and then discover it is someone completely different.
For example, a recent assessment of “Seventeen” magazine found the average reader to be 21, which means some are 17, but a large part of their audience is 25. In terms of content, ads, and attracting women with greater purchasing power than a 17-year-old, this is important data to know.
Even more important than attracting a first-time customer is keeping them. Many marketers make the mistake of spending so much time chasing new customers that they neglect their existing ones. Yet studies have shown that 80% of your business will come from a loyal 20% of your customers.
If you get annoyed seeing great bundled rates for internet, phone, and TV from your carrier that are a fraction of what you are stuck paying each month, you can see how the new customer mentality can actually backfire badly.
Intelligent consumers who are loyal will call to ask for the promotional rate. A smart business will give it to them. Therefore, good customer service and support is also key to building a relationship with your target audience and maintaining it over the long haul. The motive to save money will almost always be present in a purchasing decision, but they also want value for the money they spend.
Creating a Marketing Persona
To create a marketing persona, start with a name. Imagine your typical customer is named X, and she is Y years old, married, Z kids, ages A, B and C. How much money does she earn, what are her hobbies, what is she passionate about? Green issues, politics?
If you’re not sure, ask. Create simple surveys at Survey Monkey or polls on Facebook and gather the data to form your marketing personas. Spend time at discussion boards and groups on Facebook or Yahoo! related to your niche. Track what your target audience is worried about and needs solutions for.
If you have a budget, run some Facebook ads. They are highly targeted compared to Google AdWords ads, and generally a good deal less expensive as well. The ads that work well will give you a clear idea of who you are attracting, so you can refine your personas based on the data you gather.
For the surveys and ads, think of an easy downloadable handout you can give them as a thank you for participating. Be sure to put your business name and URL on the PDF. They will not only get their copy; they will be likely to pass it around if it is very useful to others also interested in the same niche.
Once you have developed marketing personas for the primary and secondary customers in your niche, you can better understand their motivations. Why two personas? Because not all customers are created equal. You can have two young women with exactly the same profile, 21, white, urban, earning $50k per year, for example, who have completely different motivations. One might wish to be stylish and own dozens of handbags in a rainbow of colors, while the other might think that it is better to have one good handbag, shoes and briefcase for job interviews and meetings as part of her career.
One woman might buy every toiletry in the world for her face, while the other might enjoy making her own fresh and natural beauty products that are chemical-free and not tested on animals.
Most women want to have a clean house and clean clothes, but again, environmental issues might come into play here. Options include using greener cleaners. It also might make sense to buy the concentrated liquid packs to refill their existing bottles and add water to dilute the cleaner, rather than lug home big bottles of mostly water from the supermarket all the time, which costs both muscle power and gasoline.
Many people are turning to greener cars, but studies show that these days, women are buying not just practical cars, but luxury models as well. For them, the motivation of owning a car is freedom and independence. The number of women with driver’s licenses in the US exceeded that of men for the first time in 2014, and has been growing ever since. Studies also show that they are driving more miles than men, and making more trips.
Most interestingly, the research also shows that 80% of car purchases are influenced by women. If even the most masculine of purchases, the car, is now being led by women as the main decision maker, clearly any car company who gears their marketing message toward women is going to boost their chances of making a sale. It is all a question of understanding a woman’s buying motivations, not all of which are logical.
If you don’t already have detailed marketing personas for your target customer, take the time to dig deeper and see what a difference it can make to the success of your marketing messages.
Motivations are just one small part of the entire cycle that leads to a purchase, however. Let’s look at how women make purchasing decisions in the next section.
HOW WOMEN MAKE PURCHASING DECISIONS
The buying cycle is roughly the same for women and men, but in the modern world it does differ in some crucial ways due to the opportunities created by digital marketing.
With traditional offline marketing such as a TV or magazine ad, or a direct mail piece (commonly referred to as junk mail), a consumer would encounter information about a product or service and seek it out in person. This was referred to as the “first moment of truth” in marketing. It was a crucial moment that helped determine whether or not the item met the consumer’s expectations such that they wished to buy it. Using the car example again, they would read the specifications, then take it for a test drive once or twice.
If they purchased it, then they moved on to the “second moment of truth” in which they actually bought and used the item for a short time. They were then able to decide whether or not the product was worth what they paid for it, or whether it failed to meet expectations to such an extent that they decided to return it and get their money back.
But thanks to digital marketing, smart marketers need to take into account what Google has termed the “zero moment of truth.” The zero moment is when a consumer encounters a brand name, product, or even a URL, and goes online to find out more about it.
The Zero Moment of Truth
If you haven’t recently searched for your brand name, your best-selling product, or your URL, now is the time to do it. What do you see? Is the information accurate, enticing, interesting? Do you even appear in the top listings for your company name and main keywords? Or is someone else stealing your #1 spot?
Google made some significant changes to their search engine algorithm (formula) in 2015 that were designed to make your search result more mobile friendly. The results also now includes content from the top social networks, including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and of course their very own YouTube.
What do you see in reference to your business on these top sites? If the answer is little or nothing, or what you see there is negative, you need to master marketing at the zero moment of truth.
In terms of the buyer cycle, the search terms they use will give you a good idea of where they are in the process of making an actual sale. “Hybrid car” is a completely different search from “2015 Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid.” The latter signals that the prospective customer is getting closer and closer to a purchasing decision.
Remember, no matter how good your marketing messages are, there is no such thing as, “They almost bought it.” They either buy or they don’t. You either add profits to your business, or you have to close up shop.
The zero moment of truth influences consumers strongly. They don’t know your brand. Any negativity they encounter when they run their first search for your product or brand will most likely make them steer clear. There are lots of other choices right at their fingertips, after all, so why risk doing business with a company that is conveying a sketchy online image?
You may not think you can do much about the search engine results pages, but the truth is that you can if you plan ahead. Having a professional-looking website with fresh, interesting content can drive traffic and influence people. It should also mobile friendly because so many people are shopping on smartphones and tablets these days – especially women.
Your site should have high-quality images that support the written content at the site. The image file names should include the name of the product and an important keyword. In this way, you can also be located on Google images, not just the usual search engine.
Your social media presence should try to take control of the conversation so that positive comments will outweigh negative ones. Reviews, endorsements and testimonials can all help drive you to the top of the search engine page results and convey the image of a popular, successful, and honest brand.
What Women Want
Women are most influenced by what they discover on social media in terms of feedback from real users, and celebrity endorsements for more expensive models of cars. They do their research online about what it is like to own, drive and maintain the car, rather than just looking at a list of technical specifications the way many male car buyers tend to.
For instance, many women want a safe, reliable car with all sorts of convenient features, such as a rear facing camera to help them back it up and park safely, but they want it in powder blue or canary yellow in some cases. They want a cleaner, greener car, but may be afraid to handle the charger cable themselves for fear of being electrocuted, so will tend to stick to cars with cleaner fuel.
They also want to work with companies they feel they “know,” which are friendly, and which they can interact with in a range of ways. Any company that looks at the opportunity to sell to women as a “win/win” for both parties is much more likely to gain loyalty than ones that are clearly only after profits and do not put people first.
Women are not just shopping for themselves, but for families, their departments at work, and even entire corporations. They are making decisions about items that until recently would have been considered “male markets,” such as computer software, hardware, and devices like smartphones, laptops and tablets.
Even the men who do buy these items will often ask for feedback from a wife, partner, female colleague, and so on. They might get women to fact-find for them, or give them a well-informed second opinion.
Informed purchases are the name of the game these days. No one wants to throw away money. Women move further and further along in the buying cycle as they gather all the facts they feel they need to finally make a decision.
Yet even there, the process from zero moment of truth to purchasing can get derailed at any time. Marketers talk about a “sales funnel,” in which a large number of consumers learn about the product – the wide part of the funnel, if you will. Yet only a few people will buy – that is, travel down to the narrower tip of the funnel.
However, it might be more realistic to describe it as a sales sieve, because prospective customers can drop out of the process at any time. Even if they decide to buy a particular model, they will then start to compare prices in order to get the best deal, which can also take time.
Understanding the way women make purchasing decisions is key to getting the right information in front of them at the right time. Not understanding this is the equivalent of asking someone to marry you the moment they meet you. Most reasonable people will wish to have the opportunity to get to know you first before considering a commitment.
Email marketing and social media are two of the best ways to develop a relationship with prospective customers and really understand what each woman wants and needs. When you show you understand a woman’s motivations and aspirations, you can transform your offer from just another marketing pitch to something so compelling that it will be like you’re able to read their mind.
Women Need to Feel Confident about Their Purchase
Women want the right solution at the right price and need to feel a large degree of confidence that they have made the correct decision in choosing your company. One way you can help this process along is by offering a 100% money-back guarantee with no questions asked.
No questions makes it easy for your customer service people. There is no decision making involved. They just have to issue a refund no matter what. But you can a send a follow-up email once they have got their money back to ask why they returned it. Most will not bother to answer, but if they do, pay attention to the feedback.
Often, it might be a case of their mistake, not yours. They think they are getting one thing and get another. Failed expectations will only be your fault if your marketing message is misleading, so do check over your marketing material for each product you are trying to sell to see if there is anything that might be misconstrued.
The main thing to remember is that your copy should be accurate even while your marketing material is enticing. Old advertising advice from the 1950s recommended that marketing departments, “Sell the sizzle, not the steak,” hyping up the product but not always delivering completely.
These days, smart women are always going to ask, “Where’s the beef?!” Therefore, accurate, honest, factual, and truthful marketing material will win in the end. You can still have some sizzle, but it should be in relation to what their life will be like (a lot better!) if they buy your item.
Fulfill this promise, and you will not only gain a loyal customer, you will often gain a loyal brand advocate, one willing to recommend your product to others because they are so happy with their experience. This will in turn lead to more “zero moments of truth” that can start off a whole new buying cycle for other women interested in items that really work.
In the online world, the companies and individuals that are successfully marketing to women online are the ones that understand how to communicate interactively with women. The most important factor in understanding the mind of women is watching what they DO online, how they behave, and above all, how they arrive at buying decisions.
Once you have formed some conclusions about this, you can dig deeper into your marketing personas to understand better what women want, and be able to offer it to them. However, it is important to realize that what women want may not always be what you think. Let’s look at this topic in the next section.
WHAT WOMEN WANT – IT MAY NOT ALWAYS BE WHAT YOU THINK
Now that you understand the general pattern of a woman’s buying cycle, the other important factor to consider is what women want. It may not always be what you think it is. Any marketer who jut slaps pink on something in an effort to appeal to women is destined to fail.
As part of your marketing personas for your female customers, the following questions can help:
* What does she need/want?
* What is her life like on a daily basis?
* What makes her buy?
* What are her main issues that drive her buying decisions?
* What makes a product or offer irresistible to her?
* What keeps her coming back to buy more?
* How can your product improve or enhance her life?
Generally speaking, women are very busy people, juggling to keep a lot of balls in the air all the time. They want to do it all and “have it all.” Women usually work long hours as single women and still want to have fun with friends, and a romantic relationship. They may not buy for a spouse and kids, but they will buy for friends and family regularly. They will have several different wardrobes – work, casual, dating, winter and summer. They will usually buy a lot of personal care products, including makeup.
Partnered women are constantly balancing work, a home and family, carpooling, and all of the responsibilities that they have on a daily basis. They will not usually have the same extensive wardrobe needs as a single woman, but they will often buy clothes regularly for both their children and their partner.
Women’s Product Research
Many women are pressed for time with chores around the house and taking care of the kids. They don’t have hours to spend researching and analyzing everything they buy, so they often appreciate getting help with this. Millions of people subscribe to consumer reports for this very reason.
The Consumer Reports website also offers an increasing number of helpful free articles that can help people make the most of their money. Since the reviews are unbiased, they are worth paying attention to. They are also based on extensive testing, so can give prospective customers a good idea of what their life will be like if they buy.
Trust is one of the most important factors in relation to women making final purchasing decisions. Because women are so busy, they want solid, reliable products that they can buy easily without a lot of hassles, and feel like they have a relationship with the company. They want to know your customer service will be there for them if they need you, and will deal with them in an honest manner.
When researching products online, women want to:
* Save time
* Find information fast
* Improve their lives
* Find real solutions
* Connect with others
* Research products easily
* Shop hassle-free
* Be entertained
* Get good advice from women like themselves/those who know what they are talking about in relation to the products they are interested in
* Get more detailed information such as size, color or other specifications that can help them decide the product is right for them
* Get more information for products for other people
Women are often caregivers, so what they are shopping for will not always be for themselves, but the important people in their lives. Yet they will still apply the same buying cycle, logic, and decision processes to each purchase, regardless of whether or not it is for them, and whether or not they are spending their own money or simply helping their mom or dad buy a new vacuum cleaner.
They want real solutions, not hype. They will be interested in special features that are useful and offer good value. For example, not all vacuums are created equal when it comes to pet hair. A woman with pets, or a parent who has them, is going to search for pet hair vacuums, most likely at Amazon (the largest shopping search engine in the world), and then read the reviews carefully on each model within her price range.
Even for such a specific product, there are a lot of different models. A chart with a side-by-side comparison of the features and benefits of each of the top models you sell, or are selling as an affiliate marketer in exchange for a commission, is just the kind of information a woman wants and needs to speed her toward a smart purchasing decision.
So in addition to showing a woman how the product or service will make her life better, add information about how the item will also help others around her, directly or indirectly.
But most of the time, consumers about to spend their money are going to ask the all-important question: “What’s in it for me?” (WIIFM). Even if it is for their husband, the question is still relevant. The value proposition would in that case be an overall happier husband who would be wowed by her gift, or very happy that she had gotten such a great bargain on something he really needed.
The other key question to consider in the minds of most customers is, “Who are you, exactly?” All the people around her influence her buying habits, but who you are as a business will influence her as well.
The Power of Amazon
Amazon has transformed itself over the last two decades from a small bookstore with a funny name not related to books, to a 10-ton gorilla online in terms of shopping. They reward loyal customers and give them a range of options, and it pays off big time. There are more than 244 million registered accounts with a one-click payment option, which makes it easy to buy. More than 54 million are members of Amazon Prime, mainly for the free shipping. But more than 34% of those take advantage of the streaming of Amazon’s range of original shows.
Prime members spend an average of $1500 per year, compared with $625 for non-prime users. Such is the success of it as an online purchasing hub that an estimated that 1 in every 4 dollars spent online is being spent at Amazon. More than 70% of their shoppers buy on mobile devices.
Even if you are only a small company with one employee, you, you can still leverage the power of Amazon in a number of ways. The first is to become an Amazon Associate and receive a commission for every item sold through the specially coded links you create.
The second way is to list your products in the Amazon marketplace. As long as the item has a product identifier code already in their system, you can sell on Amazon. More than two billion Marketplace products were purchased in 2014, and that number is growing. Your customers will have a chance to review you as a seller, so you need to be honest and professional, but the rewards can be huge.
The most important reason to be on Amazon if you can is that it has become one of the largest search engines in the world. Around 44% of web users go straight to Amazon to start researching a product, skipping search engines like Google and Yahoo! completely.
Social search is also eroding traditional search engine usage. While a person is in their social media account, they will type queries into their search box. They will then see a range of choices, such as Facebook pages, groups and more. They will also get search engine results from Microsoft Bing.
All of the “signals” they get through finding your products on Amazon and Facebook can lead to confidence in who you are, and whether or not you are worth doing business with. Putting an email sign-up coupon for a great free offer on your site can then further the relationship and build closer connections as they get to know you through the helpful and informative, not pushy, emails you will be sending to them.
In the next section, we will offer some top tips on how to market to women effectively.
TOP TIPS FOR MARKETING TO WOMEN
Now that we’ve covered how and why women typically shop, and the shopping cycle, we want to offer some tried and tested ways to market to women effectively.
- Tip #1 – Help Your Customer See Your True Motives
In the last section, we mentioned the importance of an email subscriber list in order to build relationships with your target audience. Studies regarding the science of branding have shown that it can take as many as 17 exposures to your brand before prospective customers even start to pay attention to or recognize your brand, let alone start to consider buying from you. That being the case, the more places they see information about you, and the more information they are able to get, the more likely they will be to become willing to give your products or services a try.
Existing brand loyalty can be a tough thing to overcome in some cases. You might think that price alone will sway them to try your products. But as we have discussed, a woman’s buying process is a lot more complicated than that. They want to feel they know your company, and above all, they want to know your true motives. Is it all about the money? Or do you have higher goals than just turning a profit?
At the back of her mind, she will be wondering:
- Who are you?
- Why are you selling me this?
- Why are you telling me this information?
- What’s the mission of your business?
If you don’t already have a clear mission statement of who you are and why you are in business, your target customers won’t be clear about who you are either.
If your true motive is to genuinely want to help, and to offer real solutions, not just make a fast buck, it will definitely show and put you closer to the top of her shopping list.
- Tip #2 – Build Trust
People stick with the same brands year after year because they feel assured of quality and what to expect. Think of the disaster that the top brand Coca-Cola caused itself when they decided to change their formula. The result was them having to bring the old formula back as Coke Classic because there was such a huge demand for it.
Women in particular are not just looking for brands and products but also relationships. Once they feel they have a relationship with you, they will not just become repeat buyers, they will also become brand advocates. Establish relationships with them through email marketing and social media, and watch the word about your product spread.
The only downside to this is that bad reviews and negative feedback can spread just as quickly as positive feedback, if not more so. Always behave in a professional manner online and never send anything over the internet that you wouldn’t wish others to see. Monitor social accounts and nip negativity in the bud with a customer-centric approach that shows you care about your customers as people, and not just about their cash.
- Tip #3 – Answer Your Customer’s Questions before She Even Asks Them
As we have discussed, women are busy, and often spend a lot of time caring for others – not just themselves. At the back of a woman’s mind during her online research, she will more than likely have the following questions:
* How much time is it going to save me?
* What problem/s will it solve for me?
* What specifically will the product do for my life?
* What are the main benefits?
* How easy is it to use?
* If I buy this product, how will it affect how I will be looked at by others/the people I wish to impress?
* If I buy this, how will it help my loved ones?
* Who else has bought this product, and what do they think of it?
* Can I trust this company?
* Will this product help me save money/make money?
Answer these questions in your marketing material for each product, and for the company as a whole. Convey how customer-centric you are, and follow through. Then see what a difference it will make to your sales, and the number of loyal customers on your list.
- Tip #4 – Start Slowly with High-Ticket Items If You Want to Make a Sale
We’ve discussed the buying process in women, but it is important to note that the more expensive the product, the longer the buying cycle will be. Grabbing a pack of gum off the display in the supermarket is easy. Choosing a car is much harder – a process that can take weeks, months, or even years.
Branding is all about creating certain associations in the consumer’s mind. It will help them get to know you, then gradually start to trust you (hopefully), or mentally cross you off their list because you don’t seem to be the kind of company they want to do business with.
All your points of contact should therefore reinforce each other as a “confidence-building” exercise. There are a few ways to accomplish this:
* The 100% money-back guarantee, no questions asked
* Free samples
* A trial version, such as software
* A great deal on a special bundle they can only get from you, for a limited time only
* Offer a reduced price to try your product first and give you feedback, reviews or endorsements, which will then help garner more sales
* Guided tours, such as slideshows, videos, screenshots or screen capture movies
Take the guesswork out of buying, and they will become much more inclined to buy. The first sale is always the toughest, but a woman will be much more likely to remain loyal if the product does what you say it will and meets her needs. The best way for her to discover that is to try it.
- Tip #5 – List Features AND Benefits
Many copywriters produce long lists of features to give information about their product in order to entice people to buy. The trouble is that these laundry lists are really not that exciting.
A list with both the features and the benefits will spark enthusiasm and keep on answering the question as to why they should buy your product versus another.
As an example, let’s think of leather seats in a car. Depending on which audience of women you are trying to target, you would then state the benefits of that feature. For example, if you are trying to sell a sports car and want to target not just any woman, but a sports car-loving persona, you would emphasize the sleek stylishness of the interior. However, if you were selling an SUV to a soccer mom, then the benefits are that leather seats are durable and easy to clean.
Give plenty of details, but include the benefits too. Make the information easy to read, such as by using bullet points. Be upfront about the information. Don’t make it hard to find anything that might be important in helping a woman finally make up her mind.
One rule of thumb is to read the copy yourself. If you get confused by it, then your target audience will certainly have knowledge gaps. These gaps are exactly the reason why they might back away from making the purchase.
If you’ve been on Amazon recently, you have probably noticed the questions and answers section at the site, where prospective customers can get more details from other customers who have already bought the item. Look for similar products to the ones you wish to sell, and check out the questions being asked. Use this as a model for your own marketing copy.
Remember how busy most women are these days, and the trend for shopping on mobile devices. Make it as easy as possible to buy from you and see what a difference it can make to your profits.
Use the tips in this section to review your current marketing material so you can market more effectively to women. Update your personas, and you should notice a real difference in your sales.
Ready to Market to Women?
With more than 85% of purchasing decisions in the US being made by women, but only 3% of top marketing executives being women, a lot of businesses are just not getting it when it comes to marketing to women.
Marketing to women online can be one of the easiest ways to tap into this lucrative path to profits if you understand the minds of female consumers and their behavior in relation to the niche you are working in.
Write clear, honest marketing copy that saves them time and gives them the information they need up front to make an informed decision. Remember that they often buy for many other people, not just themselves, and that not all women are moms who need to buy lots of kids’ items.
Leverage the power of social networks, especially ones with a high rate of female users, such as Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. Offer real solutions with real value at the right price, and watch women browsers become buyers, loyal customers and brand advocates.
Women in Cars Overtaking Men on the Fast Lane
Harvard Business Review