5 Smart Ways to Market to Women

Getting your brand noticed by women is becoming more and more difficult.

Integrated social media, billions of hours of YouTube video and competing pay per click banners all make for an uphill battle to capture the attention of busy women. While there is no one-size-fits-all,  below we look at 5 smart ways to market to women including what not to do!

#1 Speak Our Language

The words “woman” and “girl” have a specific meaning, but are also incredibly diverse words that represent billions of people. Which women are you trying to reach? Who are the girls you are referring to? You probably know these answers. Now it’s time to speak their language.
Whether you are talking to moms, college students, gymnasts or young professionals, your messaging has to speak to your target market. Sometimes the best approach is to “un-market” your product and just talk to the women you are targeting. Tell them what your product or service is and how it can help them. Avoid phrases like “stay at home Moms”, “career girls” or “GenY women” in your marketing… this just shows a massive lack of understanding of each individual.

Don’t do what TrueCar did back in 2013. The brand described how it helps women finally go car shopping without having to bring a man along. TrueCar argued that it was helping to achieve gender equality by providing reliable information to help women negotiate. CRINGE!

#2 Embrace Style and Practicality

Most female shoppers tend to look for two things in particular: style and practicality. Your product must be stylish and relevant, but it must also be practical. Think of Apple as an example. The iPhone maker has designed beautiful and powerful products that just so happen to be extremely easy to use. In this particular example, your best marketing strategy for women is a gender-neutral one! Let that sink in for a second or two.

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Don’t do what BIC did with it’s famous pink pen! Yes we like nice designs but we are not stupid and really resent being charged twice as much for a “female friendly” design… oh and not all of us like pink!

#3 Understand the Difference Between Men and Women

This one can be a bit tricky. We know that men and women share many key differences ranging from basic physiology to interests, but capturing these differences isn’t always easy. Many campaigns that try to decouple the genders end up patronizing their end market. We definitely do not want that.
Nike is one of the best examples of a major company that has successfully re-branded itself to appeal to more women. Rather than plaster “Just Do It” on all its ads – a phrase that appeals to men much more than women – Nike began highlighting women’s athletic performance and how it fits into their overall lifestyle. The resulting ad campaign was much, much different and more effective to boot.

Do choose to separate your male/female campaigns like Nike women #UnlimitedYou which even has its own dedicated social and web channels.

#4 Understand How Women Shop

According to Amanda Johns, author of “Selling to the Sexes,” there are generally two distinct ways that women prefer to shop: personality over product or brand name. If you’re not a brand name kind of company, it might make more sense to focus on creating a product or service that emphasizes personality or your brand’s ethos. That’s because women are much more likely to buy from a company that is friendly, inviting, has a good reputation or stands for something positive.

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Do think about your branding message like Dove #MyBeautyMySay . In its 60-second film Dove features nine real women including a burlesque dancer, a boxer and a beauty blogger, to show that women can choose to overcome body stereotypes.

#5 Get Social

Research shows that women are by far the top social media users. With the exception of LinkedIn, women are much more active on social media than men. This is especially true for platforms such as Facebook, Tumblr and Pinterest.
If you’re looking to market to women without an integrated social media strategy, your efforts will be severely limited. In today’s economy, businesses must be digitally savvy and very active on social media if they stand a chance in reaching new customers. This is true of both sexes, but especially women. You should therefore integrate what you learned above to social media to capture women’s attention.

Do coordinate your entire campaign at the start including videos, content, storytelling and hashtags like the Always’ “Like a Girl” campaign, which points out that the images of women in the standard Unicode emoji set are too stereotypical. The campaign has over 62 million YouTube hits and the hashtag #LikeAGirl still trends.

Marketing to women isn’t rocket science, but it requires dedicated time and effort to hone your messaging to the right audience. If you have an all male marketing team then you might want a female opinion before you launch… you know… just in case!

What’s your favourite marketing campaign? Tweet me @Charli_Says and let me know