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Men, Aim Your Advertising Toward Women if You Want to Improve Sales

target1A quick Google search will flood your screen with seminars, new business models, web sites, articles and blogs dedicated to the recently discovered art of marketing to women. The foundation being that 85% of all brand purchases (that’s nearly $2 trillion annually—more than half of the GNP) are made by women. And yet more and more conclusive research is revealing women are not swayed or influenced by the traditional branding messages. In fact, more often than not, women are turned-off by the very brands seeking to target them. The modern woman has become numb and indifferent to ads that speak to her husband, or even worse, her great aunt.

This is not at all surprising considering a measly 3% of advertising creative directors—the people in charge of communicating to purchasers—are women. Even the advertising industry award shows can’t argue the point. Less than 15% of the top honors are awarded to ads targeting women. It’s like some very valuable logic was lost somewhere in the last 50 years.

Change is on the Horizon
It’s been a very slow realization, but it’s finally happening. Established traditional agencies are seeking out the female creatives, new female-focused agencies are cropping up all over the U.S. and Europe, and even the huge, super-star ad agencies are adding entire departments dedicated to tapping into this gold mine of a market.

More Numbers Making News
Research tells us that 71% of women feel that brands only consider them for beauty products and cleaning products. Which is astounding considering additional statistics state the following:

  • 94% the wealth acquired in the next four years, will be acquired by women
  • 69% of household health decisions are made by women
  • 74% of all NBA & NFL apparel is purchased by women
  • 91% of new home decisions are made by women
  • 81% of grocery decisions are made by women
  • 60% of the online population are women
  • 62% of all workers are women
  • 66% of PCs purchases are made by women
  • 92% of vacations destinations are made by women
  • 65% of new car purchases are made by women

Does this Mean Excluding Men?
Absolutely not.
Improving your marketing doesn’t mean making it “for her eyes only.” That would be short-sighted to say the least. In fact, making your product more desirable to women will more than likely make it more appealing to everyone. Quite simply, if you connect with the intelligence and sensibilities of a woman, chances are good you’re message is effective across the sexes. Business owners, both male and female, should consider the fact this information is immensely valuable to every person wanting to thrive or, and in some cases, survive in today’s tenuous market place. Particularly in a fragile economy, advertisers should focus on trying to understand how women think and feel in order to expand their audience.

In other words, if you want your company to shoot for the stars, you may want to aim more in the direction of Venus.

———————————————————————————————————————————————————————

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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9 Responses

  1. I appreciate your comments about women and marketing, there IS something to be said about the subject as well as understanding it. You got me to thinking of how I can market to more women for my product and services. Thanks

  2. I’m helping a client (male financial advisor) learn how to tweak his sales and marketing to be more female friendly. Some good rules of thumb for all marketing apply here as well.
    1. CLIENT ENGLISH–everybody thinks they speak in the same language as their clients. Few do. Spend time paying attention to the way THEY talk about their needs, you and your solution. Resist the urge to translate their words. Keep it simple, keep it the same as what they said and you’ll find it much easier to communicate effectively with new people who will become new clients.

    2. NO CHARLIE BROWN–whenever adults talked in the Charlie Brown cartoons we only heard “Wah, wah, wah.” Your materials will have the same impact unless they really sound like you. Worry less about sounding smart and professional and more about sounding like yourself. If I can make your stuff indistinguishable from 4 other people in your industry by just removing your name with white-out, your materials should be scrapped and upgraded. It’s gotta sound like an authentic version of the unique you.

    3. SKIM++ –when you write, make sure you consider that different people have different informational styles. Some of them want a little info, some a lot. Write and communicate in bullet points with details available so they can SKIM and add detail where they want. Making materials easy to read makes it easier for them to be effective.

    For more, sign up on the website for the newsletter. Good stuff with specific advice is posted regularly on my site OR catch me on Twitter at AleciaHuck

    Happy Marketing!

  3. […] success stories only if developed, implemented, monitored and managed with clear cut strategies. Women are your market, and social media is the way to reach them. But you must connect […]

  4. If you want to read a reader’s feedback 🙂 , I rate this post for 4/5. Detailed info, but I have to go to that damn google to find the missed pieces. Thank you, anyway!

  5. Thank you for this “reminder” of how we need to be more aware of the female decision makers and their buying power! Some of those stats are astonishing. What did happen to make the ads and marketing so focused on selling to men? What “happily” married man makes all the decisions on what to buy, where to travel, and what shows to take in?

    -only 3% of creative directors are women? are men more creative than women? I don’t think so.

  6. […] design. The “fuss” makes sense when you realize that women control 85% of the spending, yet 71% of women feel they are only considered for beauty and cleaning products. These simple statistics clearly […]

  7. […] The “fuss” creates clarity when we comprehend that women control 85% of a spending, nonetheless 71% of women feel they are usually deliberate for beauty and cleaning products. These elementary statistics […]

  8. […] ‘fuss’ makes sense when you realize that women control 85% of the spending, yet 71% of women feel they are only considered for beauty and cleaning products. These simple statistics clearly […]

  9. […] design. The “fuss” makes sense when you realize that women control 85% of the spending, yet 71% of women feel they are only considered for beauty and cleaning products. These simple statistics clearly […]

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