Are You Relevant …To Women?
By Ross Shafer
are losing your market share or not meeting sales projections,
chances are you aren’t relevant to the most important sex: Women.
has been written about the powerful female consumer you would think
the “men folk” in your organization would realize women are the root
of all profits. Yet, still so many companies live in denial that
women account for over 80 percent of all consumer purchases. How can
anyone ignore that the $5 trillion women spend annually is staged to
gobble up new homes, healthcare, consumer electronics, investment
advice, automobiles, vacations, bank accounts, and do-it-yourself
projects. In fact, their financial heft is so significant that any
business would see an instant spike in revenue if they adopted a
Complain For A Reason: Research indicates that of 1,000 random
complaints, more than 80 percent were written and registered by
women. When the transaction goes badly they get mad and stay mad.
Their complaints register words like “embarrassed,” “helpless,” “out
of control,” “hurt,” “crushed,” and “rejected.” Those are the same
words many would typically use in an intimate, loving relationship,
and that’s because women don’t differentiate a personal interaction
from a business event; business is personal and emotional to them.
Started Viral Marketing: Not only do women tend to complain
about the perpetrator, but they also tell everyone else about the
experience. Faith Popcorn, author of, “EVEolution – Understanding
Women,” says that the average satisfied female customer will
recommend a service, shop or client to 21 other people. Since women
speak an average of 20,000 words a day – vs. a man’s 6,000 – women
were indeed the first “viral marketing” machine. Therefore, when
women have a good feeling about your company, it can create a vast
army of female unpaid spokespeople for you. Can you do better than
that with traditional marketing?
Are More Loyal Customers: If you make an effort to understand
the emotionality of a woman’s purchase, she will start to form a
relationship with you. This is critical because an emotional bond is
the only factor that breeds true loyalty; not “favored
customer cards” not reward points or discounts, not even repeating
their name in a friendly manner. Women don't want “service” from
you, they want empathy. They want to be understood. Once women feel
you have understood and appreciated them, you have not only a loyal
customer, but a referral engine as well.
Offend Women And Die: When you scorn or offend women, look out.
Consider the detrimental effects to the Tom Cruise movie, “Mission
Impossible III.” It was largely thought to be the best film of the
trilogy, yet when Cruise blathered in the press insisting his
then-girlfriend Katie Holmes have a “silent birth” as prescribed by
Scientology, his immense female fan base stayed home. Opening
weekend ticket sales dipped over 30 percent. Don’t mess with women
or their sisterhood.
Get Stronger With Age: The largest purchasing body is baby
boomer women. They are rich and powerfully influential. Ken
Dychtwald, author of, “The Power Years” says that by 2015, at least
$15 trillion dollars will land in the hands of baby boomer women.
Wouldn’t you like them to be spending some of that money with you?
You Get Into a Woman’s Wallet?
Think like a woman. Behave like a woman: Understand that women
crave appreciation for their immense buying power and influence.
Know that they want you to succeed because they love to introduce
amazing new discoveries to their friends. Behave in ways that are
caring and honest. Showing her attention and empathy will cause her
to become your advocate; an unpaid spokesperson for your company.
emotional: If you sell a product, write emotional content that
speaks to her heart and reasons for her to own what you sell. If you
sell a service, get personal and sell yourself. She wants to buy
from people who won’t make her feel helpless, anxious, embarrassed,
or vulnerable. The Nordstrom clothing chain has been wildly
successful because the salespeople are warm, friendly and personal.
There is also no risk in buying from them. Nordstrom will let you
return your purchase for any reason, at any time. Nordstrom breeds
trust and confidence.
Don’t try to suck up to women: Don’t pander to women or try to
exploit the obvious media stereotypes. Not all women are shoe fiends
and show biz tabloid readers. If you take that tact, you’ll offend
the Mensa moms, as well as the shoe fiends and tabloid readers.
Women want authenticity from you. They don’t want hype or false
promises. They would also like you to be socially conscious – which
may mean that you donate some portion of the sale to famine relief,
the environment, spousal abuse, or another heartfelt concern. They
respond to empathy; both to her and her causes.
Rethink your current strategies: Visit the blog
www.marketingtowomenonline.typepad.com. This organization has a
robust Web site to answer your questions. They also hold an annual
conference complete with big name speakers and workshops to help you
navigate these tricky waters. You may not be a member of this group
yet but you should be. Join this organization as an associate member
and you’ll be able to cross-pollinate ideas that could shatter your
old sales records.
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