Men, You Have to Know What Women Want – Especially During a Recession

marketingweek_logo1I was honored when Jo Roberts, reporter for  Marketing Week, asked for my input in her article, “What Women Want”, It first appeared today, in this week’s issue and it is packed full of new research, opinions and advice that speak directly to how women are ditching brands during these tough economic times and marketers are failing to convince them to reconsider. In her article, Roberts states,

“Women are giving marketers a headache; one that will turn into a full-blown migraine unless brands learn how to communicate effectively to female shoppers during tough economic times.”

A new study conducted by HPI and exclusive to Marketing Week revealed that the recession has placed more pressure on male marketers now than ever before. Knowing that women are your market is definitely a step in the right direction, but it simply is not enough. And now – knowing how to communicate with women is no longer a competitive edge – it is mandatory.

According to the research, almost double the amount of women (28%), compared with men (15%), say they feel squeezed by the economic climate and more than half (51%) of females say they are buying more cheaper brands and shops’ own-label products than they used to. Marketers need to take immediate action if they are to maintain customer loyalty.

That, quite simply, requires understanding them. Or, as Jo Roberts surmises:

It appears that whether marketers are selling an essential everyday product or a pricey luxury, marketers need to find a way of getting off Mars and heading over to Venus. Chartering a pink spaceship simply won’t fly in this climate.

Below are just a few enlightening highlights from the article.

  • Women are more nervous about the recession
  • Women are cutting their spending more than men
  • Because women are the biggest shoppers overall, the end impact on companies is greater
  • Marketers should be very wary of developing over-simplistic “women friendly” strategies
  • Brands need to communicate they are on women’s side
  • Need to balance messages with both optimism and empathy
  • If you’re a premium brand you can’t suddenly claim to be cheap, but you can make sure they understand the value you offer in terms of the quality of the brand
  • Understanding how women shop does not mean making everything pink and fluffy
  • The consumer electronics sector as a whole is lagging behind with its female marketing strategy

To read the “What Women Want” article in its entirety, click here.

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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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10 Responses

  1. Women’s designer labels are too expensive anyways.

    The fact with rescission is you are expected to spend more money to help the economy recover.

    This is why the stimulus is giving to many tax refunds to people who are buying new cars and houses,etc.

    Kind of funny though. They can afford to do this.

    Cheers

  2. I’m a technology strategy consultant specializing in consumer electronics brands/products that embrace the significant opportunity to market to women – and this article is golden.

    I appreciate you creating further awareness and more momentum for female-inspired marketing, product development, and media strategies. This is the raison d’être for my company and my blog – blog.allisinc.com.

    All the best.
    Remy Allis

    • Remy,

      Thanks for your comment. So glad you enjoyed the article. I just checked out your blog and site. Sounds like we have very similar passions!

      Stephanie Holland

  3. […] of women are willing to pay full price for items they want and need. But as noted a few days ago in Marketing Week, studies also show that women do not feel that advertising connects or appeals to their needs, […]

  4. […] Research reveals that women are indeed stressed out about the economy. And as the primary household purchasing agents, what women are looking for from advertisers is an appropriate balance of empathy and optimism. Brands that suspend communication or inadequately connect with women during recessionary times are by default, communicating a sense of desertion. […]

  5. […] run if a strong and well thought-out plan is not in place. Begin with knowing who you are and the female audience you need to reach now. “The high-volume, low-dollar, high-complexity nature of Digital programs […]

  6. […] weren’t hearing what women were truly seeking – a friend or a partner who would empathize with them through the stressful and challenging […]

  7. […] as quoted in Marketing Week, “Brands need to communicate that they’re on women’s […]

  8. […] Research reveals that women are indeed stressed out about the economy. And as the primary household purchasing agents, what women are looking for from advertisers is an appropriate balance of empathy and optimism. Brands that suspend communication or inadequately connect with women during recessionary times are by default, communicating a sense of desertion. […]

  9. Shouldn’t this be retitled, “what we want women to want”

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