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In Her Shoes – How Should Marketers Speak to a Female Buying Audience?

It’s no longer a secret that women are ultimately responsible for the vast majority of consumer purchases—about $2 trillion each year to be approximate. So it’s no surprise brands across the board are vigorously targeting this valuable market. As we know from heaps of research, traditional advertising has been speaking directly to a male audience and ignoring (if not offending) women for decades. This is obviously a dilemma ad agencies are scrambling to solve. Thousands of talented creatives are now having to learn a new language of sorts, via seminars, books and a host of other methods developed to help them hone their tone.

Here are a few things to remember when vying for the attention of the female buyer:

  • Relying on old research and typecasts is the fastest way to get a woman to ignore your message. Women have become numb to traditional advertising.
  • Minor changes to copy and creative won’t work. Study how the modern woman thinks.
  • Connect. Women seek out personal connections. They are interested in what brands stand for and how products may affect them day-to-day.
  • Presentation must be pertinent, applicable and in context with their lives.
  • Keep it real. Women have developed a kind of radar that instantly detects and rejects superficial selling techniques.

Women are indeed making the buying decisions, and have been for years. Not just for themselves, but for the entire family. Most marketers recognize the importance of getting this market’s attention. The smart ones are figuring out exactly how to do it right.



Stephanie Holland is President and Executive Creative Director for Holland + Holland Advertising, Birmingham, Alabama. Working in an industry that is dominated by men, she is one of only 3% of the female creative directors in the country. Stephanie works mostly with male advertisers, helping them successfully market to women. Subscribe to She-conomy by Email

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