So you’ve started a new business, or you have had one up and running for a while and you begin to notice “the plateau effect” on your revenue. Discounting the usual high and low periods during the year, it may be your marketing campaign needs to be revamped to target a specific group of people…one that you may have unconsciously overlooked due to preconceived notions about gender preferences in industry-specific categories.
Surprisingly, or rather not so surprisingly to the ladies at WeDames, women are the biggest influencers on purchases made in the United States, and not just on home products either. The old adage of men being the breadwinners while the women stay home to raise the children has died. And on the occasion that a woman is a stay-at-home mom, this label no longer fits: she is a household Chief Executive Officer that manages the day-to-day operations for all the people under her management AND is the premier financial advisor for the breadwinner in the family.
On another note, not all women are shop-a-holics armed to the teeth with credit cards: many of them spend much deliberation on what to buy, from which brand to buy from, and in what quantity. In other words, our gender has a tendency to think things through (and occasionally over think) and complete our due diligence before making our purchases.
Women Often Influence “Male” Markets
Despite whether you believe that auto-parts are a mostly male industry, women still have a massive influence on this and other previously believed male-dominated enterprises. Women drive an estimated 80% of consumer spending with their purchasing power and influence, including said “male” industries, women still dominate spending capacity by more than 50% in most of these areas.
In fact, according to Gallup, Women have a massive influence in the following categories (The following statistics were taken from the Gallup website here:
- Homes 91%;
- Bank Accounts 89%;
- Automobiles 60% (women buy more than half of the new cars in the U.S. and influence up to 80% of all car purchases);
- PCs 66%;
- Women request 65% of the service work done at dealerships;
- Healthcare 80%;
As we can ascertain from the above-mentioned information, we can see that women really are the driving force behind purchases and purchasing decisions.
In fact, as I was meeting with my SCORE mentor on the topic of WeDames and some paperwork I have been filing, he told me an interesting story that stuck with me. He met a man a few years ago who had this dream to come up with a website to sell cars. He had a smart search function so that his target audience (whom he originally believed were men) could find a car in their area based on price, make, model, or various bells and whistles.
Naturally, the emphasis was put on the bells and whistles of cars like rims, engine, stereo, chrome, etc. After not receiving sufficient revenue for a length of time, he realized something wasn’t working, so he decided to do a little research as to determine what it was he was doing wrong, and what he found shocked him! Most of the people buying cars were women and most of them could care less if a car had a V8 engine, that awesome stereo system or those sick rims. They cared enormously for functionality: can my family fit comfortably in the car, what kind of safety features are available, what is the gas consumption, what is the price point, etc., were the things women took into consideration when purchasing a car. So, he revamped his website, targeted it towards women and has since enjoyed a significant increase in his revenue to which the likes of big car name-brands began noticing.
How Women Feel About Marketing and Advertising Campaigns
It would appear that women, in the words of Glenda the Good Witch from the Wizard of Oz, have always had the power! Unfortunately, the majority of women feel that advertisers and marketers don’t understand them. This often leads to women feeling put off by certain brand names, or even repulsed by them.
The following statistics were taken from http://she-conomy.com/facts-on-women:
- 59% of women feel misunderstood by food marketers;
- 66% feel misunderstood by health care marketers;
- 74% feel misunderstood by automotive marketers;
- 84% feel misunderstood by investment marketers;
- 91% of women in one survey said that advertisers don’t understand them.
Tips To Consider When Marketing to an Audience of Women
- First and foremost, don’t assume you know anything about your women audience. Each woman is different and brings with her different knowledge, skills and traits. Like that famous gag book, Everything Men Know About Women by Dr. Alan Francis, when selling to a woman, be empty! If anything, ask questions so you can better understand what it is she is looking for.
- Don’t talk to women like they are substandard or sub-par, or like they won’t comprehend your industry. They will let you know if they don’t understand any technical jargon and are typically not afraid to ask questions if needed.
- Treat each woman who walks into your sphere of influence as a valuable person who has probably researched your brand before even considering approaching you. She may know more than you think!
- Don’t assume that media-portrayed stigmas are what is important for women. As with all your customers, listen. Not all women want a pretty pink laptop with built-in shopping apps and weight loss tips.
- Aside from a few outliers, women that are interested in purchasing luxury or higher-end items are typically in the mid 50’s and above. This particular segment is known as the empty-nesters and suddenly find themselves with much more income now that the kiddos are out of the house and fending for themselves.
- Don’t try to upsell a woman unless you have listened very carefully to what she says and how she says it. If she keeps repeating words and phrases like “safe” or “easy” or “simple,” don’t try to convince her on buying something that doesn’t match what she is looking to purchase. In all honesty, this goes for both sexes, or for anyone that comes to you looking for products and services.
- If she has a great experience in your store or talking with you, she will remember and tell her friends. And women value their friends’ experiences!
In summary, if you are looking to get feedback on your product or service from a niche group of women in Springfield, Missouri give me a buzz and we can set up a meeting to see how we can work together. There is always time for a little market research!
WeDames Organization was started by two long-time friends in April 2016 and is all about empowering and bringing women together in Springfield, Mo. Aside from being an online women’s magazine and women’s community, we aim to support local families and the local economy via our magazine and events. The women’s networking events we host are fun, festive and enlivening. Ladies’ night out is one such women’s event, and is an excuse for us to get out of the house and let our hair down.
WeDames Women’s Magazine covers topics ranging from parenting, fashion, local businesses, tips, health, well-being, dating, marriage and where to shop in Springfield, Mo. Joining our community is free, but you must identify as a woman, and be 21 years and above. Click here to join our newsletter and join in on the action in Springfield, Mo!