market to my life - not my gender

It’s tough being a woman. If you are one, you’ll agree. If you want to market to one, it behooves you understand why. (If you know one and are confused by her, this will help, too.) First of all, why should you care? Because she has buying power and influence – and not just hers, mind you. How many women control their own wallets, their household wallet, and sometimes even their company wallet (budget, that is)? Women are choosing how 85% of every disposable dollar is spent, and that’s not just on bread and butter. Here are more figures: 53% of stocks, 63% of computers, 75% over-the-counter drugs, 61% of major home improvements, 89% of consumer electronics.

Consider this …

  • 22% of women shop online at least once a day (Mindshare/Ogilvy & Mather)
  • 92% pass along information about deals or finds to others (Mindshare/Ogilvy & Mather)
  • 171: the average number of contacts on a woman’s e-mail or mobile list (Mindshare/Ogilvy & Mather)
  • 76% of women want to be part of a special or select panel (Mindshare/Ogilvy & Mather)
  • 91% of women in one survey said that advertisers don’t understand them

Now that we agree on whom you should target, the next most important question is what are the benefits she is seeking? Beyond the “item,” what features and services is she looking to gain? You find that answer by understanding her life.

A day in her life is a double day – work and home. You’ve heard “Time is money.” Well, to her, time is more valuable than money. Offer her solutions for her multi-tasking , multi-hat lifestyle.

Have you heard of the book Men Are Like Waffles, Women Are Like Spaghetti? That is a good visual for how we operate. Most men structure their life in compartments. Typically, they do one thing at a time. To women, everything is interconnected, multi-tasking is the only way to work – because they must move across their multiple roles while at work, home and play.

Here is a brief example. My husband says, “I’m going to the dry cleaners.” To which I respond “Great! Can you get some milk and bread?” This will lead to him saying. “I’m not going to the grocery store. I’m going to the dry cleaners.” (Even though the store is nearby.)

Understand: All he wanted to do was get in and out. Mission accomplished! Nothing personal or unloving about it, but additional tasks are “in the way” – not “on the way.” Most women, by contrast, look for additional errands to group together. Dropping off dry cleaning means that I can also get the car washed, buy groceries and go to the drug store.

Every business needs to consider time-saving elements. But that’s not all. It’s also about connecting. It’s about offering information and support.

Did you know?

  • The more-mature luxury consumer places the highest priority on making memories and experiences. They don’t buy things to have more things; they want the experience to go along with it.* What are you doing to provide that?
  • The number of wealthy female investors in the U.S. is growing at a faster rate than that of men. In a two-year period, the number of wealthy women in the U.S. grew 68%, while the number of men grew only 36%.**
  • Affluent working women with family incomes of $75,000 or more are growing in number, and 94.3% access the Internet during an average month.***


Here are some guidelines to connect better with female consumers:                    

  1. Segment your target. (Targeting “women 25 to 54” … there is no such thing.)
  2. Understand the benefits she seeks. (Hone in on those key items in your messaging. Keep in mind that she’s integrating many goals with every shopping experience and purchase.)

These are just two steps of the Marketing Strategy Model, a tool we use to help you target your best customers and develop strategies to influence their purchase decisions. To find out more, contact us at 800-813-6378.

* – Pam Danziger, president of Unity Marketing

**  – The Spectrem Group

*** – Ten Marketing Trends to Watch, Kim T. Gordon,

written by: Snow Cahill