7 ways to get women to buy (your message)
Wednesday, July 08, 2015
By Marti Barletta
It’s clear to me that a lot of folks
marketing to women could use a refresher course on how to portray women in their
advertising and marketing.
Include some of these "Lucky
7″ elements and watch women flock to your brand:
Related: Marketing to Boomer
women: A radical opportunity
1. Go beyond "respect"
to "understanding." Articles about communicating with women cite
countless studies, surveys and anecdotes, which all reveal that women feel
marketers and salespeople don’t view them or treat them with respect. While
that may be true, the term "respect” is so overused and under-defined that it's
become generic and meaningless. What women mean by "respect”is more akin
to being understood. She wants to be listened to and accorded as much response
as if the communication were coming from a man: a man who speaks up for what he
wants and expects to get it.
2. Remember, better real than ideal.
Women want to identify with your advertising. Female culture is all about
commonality and empathy, not differentiation and aspiration. She’s looking for
that flash of recognition that sparks a connection between her and the real
people, real situations, real product usage and real reactions that tell her
you get who she is.
3. Cope with chaos. Today’s
woman copes cheerfully with chaos (usually). She has to. She normally has a full-time
job, primary responsibility for managing her household and plenty of church,
school and community activities to amuse her in her "spare time.” The
aspect many marketing-to-women campaigns neglect to portray is that
women no longer feel torn with guilt at not being supermom. Their houses aren’t
spotless. Their kids are sometimes mouthy. They have the occasional bad hair
day. And that’s okay; they’re fine with it. It’s advertisers who apparently
live on Planet Perfect, and when women visit there, they don’t recognize a
4. Cast more women who aren’t
20-year-old glamour goddesses. A classic marketing-to-women study by Grey
Advertising showed that 82 percent of women wish advertisers would recognize
that they don’t want to look 18 forever. Forget the latest
ditz-of-the-moment pop star and consider the attractive, normal-looking women
of shows like Downton Abbey, House of Cards and the new, upcoming X-Files
episodes (Gillian Anderson has never looked better!).
5. Choose your spokeswoman wisely.
When choosing a spokesperson for your brand, keep in mind that women value
empathy over envy in their role models. Women seem to like a role model better
if she (or he) isn’t perfect. Oprah is one of the most widely admired women in
America, and one of the things women like about her is that she struggles with many
of the same issues they do. In other words, go for less Miss America and more
for Miss Real.
6. Reflect the new definition of
beauty. Advertisers are very conscientious about including ethnic
diversity in their marketing communications, but only a pioneer few are even
beginning to show the age and size diversity women are looking for. One of the
cornerstones of female gender culture is inclusion, and women resent the
rigidity of one standard of attractiveness. It’s time to let go of the "blondes
have more fun” (and better looks, more money, higher status and better men)
approach to beauty.
7. Tap into the "girlfriend
factor." The depth and meaning of a woman’s friendships are among the
most treasured elements in her life. According to the Grey Advertising study,
74 percent of women would like to see advertising show more women doing things
together with their girlfriends, sisters and moms. Personal disclosure,
constant contact and emotional expressiveness make up the core of the
girlfriend factor, and each creates opportunities for emotional association
with your brand.
How well is your company marketing
to the women you know?
Barletta has been called "the High Priestess of Marketing
to Women” and "the Chief Rabbi of the Sheconomy.” She is author of Marketing to Women and Prime Time Women, which focuses on the
market’s high-spending sweet spot, Boomer women in their mid-life prime. Her
Fortune 500 consulting clients have included Diageo, Ford, GE Appliances,
Logitech, Pfizer, Volvo and others.
Views expressed in blogs, posts and user comments are those of the
authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Network of Executive
Women or its Officers, Board members and corporate partners.
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