Marketing To Women: Focus On Relationships

“I’m a woman. I think, feel and see differently. How well do you think you really know me?

There are few smart guys (even experienced husbands) who wouldn’t welcome these words of wisdom when jammed up in a “what did I do now?” situation. Of course, truly knowing and understanding women doesn’t just apply to relationships. (I know I’m on thin ice writing this – but I am trying to make a broader point, so please hang in there with me).

Women are the primary purchase decision-makers in most American households. According to one study, women make up the majority of all consumer purchases — clothes, computers, new homes, vacations, healthcare, food, etc. It was found that although both partners work in a particular household, it’s the women that direct how 80% of the combined income gets spent!

So what does this mean for marketers, especially those of the male kind? (and by the way, this includes women marketers – because so much of the profession has been historically documented by men)

The way men and women think and react differently and make decisions has an impact on marketers. How do you communicate and illustrate your value proposition to a female prospect, customer or client? How do you market to women online?

Now, this post is primarily looking at marketing of consumer (and therefore, media-marketed) products. B2B and Direct Sales is a somewhat different topic with different issues as it relates to gender.

Marketing to women online is all about creating relationships. If you have products or services for women, your website has to speak to women in their language and address their specific needs. Design that appeals to women counts a lot too. Here are some suggestions for marketers looking to connect with women:

  • Provide excellent service. Answer her questions promptly, create meaningful emails, have giveaways!
  • Listen to her needs. Create discussion forums and online communities where she can share her thoughts and experiences with others.
  • Be her go-to site. Be an expert. Depending on what product or service you offer, try creating a section of your site that answers her questions and provides her free valuable information. With expert information, she will feel more confident in her choice and is more likely to buy.
  • Create and establish a site personality. Women relate to sites similar to the way they relate to people – that’s why it’s all about relationships. Your site and your value proposition should accurately reflect who you are. Trustworthiness, warmth and networking matter to her, so get rid of all the hype and speak to her the way you would to a friend.

Once you get her nod of approval, it will be much easier to connect and sell to them. If you do connect – it’s very likely she’ll refer you to her friends and family too!

What do you think? Does this “ring true”?

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