Women account for 85 percent of all consumer purchases, including everything from auto purchases to healthcare. Over the next decade, women will control two-thirds of consumer wealth in the United States and be the beneficiaries of the largest transference of wealth in our nation’s history. One survey reveals an alarming finding, underscored by the two previous statistics: 91 percent of women said that advertisers don’t understand them. Belief Agency wants to change that. Here are 10 tips to help reach your female audience.
1. Women Love Details
Consider an anecdote from the book Why She Buys, in which author Bridget Brennan and her husband went to a BMW dealership for a test drive. They had already done the research and were planning on purchasing a BMW 540i. During the drive, Bridget noticed the cup holders were very small and flimsy. She asked about it.
“Europeans don’t eat or drink in their cars,” sighed the salesman.
“I’m American, and I do drink in the car. In fact, I drink a cup of coffee every morning on the way to work,” she said.
“Well, then why don’t you just stick it between your legs?”
Bridget and her husband didn’t buy the BMW 540i from this salesman, but they did purchase the same car at another dealership. Bridget also found a website that sold aftermarket cupholders designed specifically for the model they bought. Beyond the first salesman’s inappropriate remarks, sticking it between your legs wasn’t a viable long-term solution. Not only did that salesman lose a commission on one car—he lost the family’s business forever. And it’s likely Bridget told her friends and extended family not to shop there.
2. Women Love Talking to Each Other
Women are more likely to share and seek information from each other to make purchasing decisions. Women can be your best advocate or worst nightmare when it comes to word of mouth! In one survey, conducted on millennial moms, 74% reported that they are sought out more often than other friends as advisors on a wide range of topics.
3. Women Love to Help
There are 40 million millennial women, and they love products that support a cause. More companies are comprehending this fact. The founders of THINX discovered that 100 million girls miss school because of their periods every year. Here’s how THINX provides a solution while supporting a cause:
- You buy one pair (or more) of awesome, period-proof THINX undies.
- A girl is able to purchase an affordable and sustainable pack of pads, keeping the girl in school every day of the month.
- THINX sends funds to their partner organization AFRIpads, which is on the ground in Uganda with 130 employees and four factories.
- AFRIpads trains women to sew and sell washable, reusable cloth pads—turning local women into entrepreneurs.
4. Women Love Beauty
No matter how practical, economical, safe, helpful, or useful a product is—if it isn’t pretty, it won’t sell as well as the better looking options. When building a website intended for women, consider the following:
Create a website that is clean, easy to navigate, and interactive. Millennials want good visuals and little copy. Too many sales are lost by poor, unappealing websites. Millennials think: “If they don’t understand how to create a good website, how can they possibly understand me?”
5. Women Love a Thoughtful Environment
What’s the beauty of Target? Women love it. It’s cheap but not tacky. This doesn’t just happen by accident. On Your Mark Research articulates the Target appeal:
Target highlights their “focus on design” stating that they “concentrate on aesthetics…[and] know that things like artistic seasonal displays can turn a weekend shopping trip into a fun family outing.” How Target chooses to design and present its stores make women feel like they can go there to escape for an hour.
6. Women Love an Enjoyable Experience
How can you turn errands into something worth anticipating? Take another look at Target. Target is a destination, not a place to run errands. On Your Mark Research gets it again:
Indulgence veiled by practicality: Women often feel the need to justify their shopping trips with sensible motives. When women go to Target, they have a good reason to be there, but they also get to treat themselves too.
Many women feel good about the prices they find at Target because they perceive them to be comparable to other low priced retailers...Target also seems to deliver on the perception of high quality through consistent branding. Whether it be their television spots, print ads, or store environment, Target has communicated a brand image that is sleek, modern, and clever.
7. Women Love Convenience and Require Flexibility
40 percent of American households with children under the age of 18 include a mother who is either the sole or primary earner for her family. What if she wants someone to come install internet, fix the dryer, or deliver a mattress? Why does a working mother have to take a whole day off and be home between 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.? Businesses are catching on, by offering extended business hours.
8. Women Love Feeling Understood
Women spend much of the day anticipating the needs of those around them.
How does a woman provide for those needs? For the conscientious business, it requires planning and an understanding of your audience. A store geared towards stay-at-home moms will be different than a hotel which caters to traveling working women. But both exist: Ikea and Hyatt.
Ikea has a great, well-staffed play area. There are huge windows so you know people are always watching—adding accountability to the staff. There’s even an area for moms to grab coffee while their kids are at play. I’ve gone to Ikea on a rainy day with a friend, dropped kids off in the play area, taken a cake and coffee break, and picked up a few kitchen items on our way out. We weren’t going to shop, but who can leave Ikea empty-handed? The well-balanced facilities make these kinds of visits more workable for busy women.
Hyatt recently launched a program designed specifically for women, by offering curling irons and yoga mats. These may seem like silly perks, but for someone trying to travel light and stick to a workout routine while looking sharp for a big business meeting—these are amazing amenities!
9. Women Love When You think of Their Families
There’s a lot to think about when it comes to buying products for a family, and the trends are moving towards natural, simple products. There’s also a growing level of responsibility and cultural guilt when it comes to buying for kids. You don’t want to be exposing their skin to harmful chemicals when you put on their diaper or wash their hair! Honest Company is another example of catering to the needs of women. They have replaced the guesswork by supplying exclusively natural, safe products—while making all related information easily accessible for their consumers.
By offering safe products at every budget level as well as home delivery, Honest Company are winning on every front. They also have a whole line of chemical-free products just for your home—so they’re not isolating products to working women.
10. Not All Women Love Pink
The last thing I will say is that pink is a color, not a marketing plan. It’s an emblematic concept—think like a woman and listen to their needs, and you’re already in a much better position to capture their business.