Are you responsible for increasing sales and revenue for your company? No matter what your title is, if that is your goal, you are savvy about the substantial purchasing power wielded by women. Indeed, according to a study by the Boston Consulting Group, “women control $12 trillion of the world’s $18.4 trillion in annual consumer spending, a percentage which will likely rise as a new upwardly mobile class of young female professionals overtakes their peers in wealth and status. BCG notes that women will likely be the ones driving the (economic) recovery.”
But did you consider that you have to appeal to female consumers in very specific ways? Welcome to the new “she-conomy”!
If you really want to be effective – not just reaching these women but also influencing them to buy – you need to speak to “life stages” rather than to “ages.” You have your Millennials, your Sandwich Generation, New Mothers, Empty-Nesters, Baby Boomers, and Gen Xers.
Let’s look at motherhood. Becoming a mother is a huge, life-stage transformation that alters a woman’s purchasing behavior and the benefits she seeks. Consequently, it triggers a significant re-evaluation of products and brands (according to BabyCenter LLC).
- 85% of moms say having a baby changed their buying habits;
- 73% say it changed their buying criteria;
- 62% say it changed the brands they buy.
Before they have children, women, according to BabyCenter, are most concerned about product and service quality, features and design. After becoming mothers, though, they are much more likely to shop based on safety, quality and price.
Is your business offering products or services that meet these top needs?
The study also found that pregnancy and parenthood create a series of entry points that create a timeline of purchases for such things as home renovations, digital cameras, traveling and appliances. Is there an opportunity for your business to partner with a Toys “R” Us– or a Babies “R” Us–like retailer and showcase your products exactly at the time a woman is considering this purchase?
Let’s consider Gen X, the generation that follows the powerful Baby Boomer generation. Ann Mack, director of Trendspotting, JWT, noted that now is an interesting time for Gen X women: “Two-thirds of women agree that technology allows them to work wherever, whenever, while 71% use technology to work more independently and call their own shots.”
Although that flexibility is great, some of these women are now finding themselves in the “sandwich generation” – sometimes forced to care for Boomer parents in some way, while also preparing to pay for their own children’s escalating education costs.
I am part of Gen X. So you marketers who want to sell a Medicare plan to my Boomer mom won’t get her; you will get me. I’m the one researching what each part of Medicare means.I’m the one looking into different provider costs and coverage. I’m the one calling for more information.
Choosing the right plan is complicated, I confess. In addition, I have to make other decisions than those involving Medicare. What I’m asking you to consider is that the sandwich-generation folks are making more decisions than you might realize.
According to research by Communispace, images of perfect, smiling families and promises of financial security don’t wash with Gen Xers. They want “realism mixed with reassurance with a dash of tradition and innovation. Extremes of fear-mongering or idealism are particularly repellent to them.”
On the other hand, don’t suck up to them, advises Communispace’s researchers: “They’re not heroes; they’re just doing their job. Offer products and services that speak to caregivers’ motivations: peace of mind, fulfillment of duty and family togetherness.”
Does your brand and your messaging speak to those key motivators?
Does your campaign need fresh ideas and strategies? Do you need help determining who your best customers are (targets and sub-targets)? Beyond that, you need to understand their behavior.
Did you know that we at The Palm Beach Post have the technology to get you in front of your core audience when they are most likely to purchase your product or service? One of the ways we accomplish that is “behavioral targeting.”
We can also leverage ad networks. How do they work? Contact your Account Executive atThe Post to find out more.
written by: Snow Cahill