When I meet people and explain that our company specializes in marketing to women, I can often see the wheels turning. The next question usually goes something like, “Oh yeah? So, you work with retailers and fashion/beauty companies?”
While our work does include traditional retail and other female-focused products or services, we are much more apt to help market healthcare, technology, homes, financial services or even pest control companies. Women represent the vast majority of decision-makers across nearly all categories and we’re able to make the biggest difference in categories where marketing to women is an afterthought or at the very least, not the focus.
Here are a few misconceptions about marketing to women along with solutions for your consideration:
Misconception: Marketing to women is cookie cutter or one size fits all.
Solution: Return to basic marketing segmentation principles.
We must understand and accept that it’s not as simple as marketing to women as a wholistic group. We must commit to studying the role that gender plays in the path to purchase and it is highly different among varied segments of women. The path to purchase is very different for a millennial mom than it is for a boomer woman. While companies continue to be enamored with big data, returning to basic marketing segmentation principles is a safer bet for uncovering the heart and soul of your female consumers.
Misconception: Marketing to women is all unicorns and fairy dust.
Solution: Avoid the tendency to “shrink it and pink it.”
This is not a new discussion. In fact, in 2011 the Harvard Business Review conducted a study that concluded women hate the color pink. The results were presented in the context of the fight against breast cancer, but the findings are still relevant to today’s marketers. Researchers found that it was not the color itself but the fact that it is a gender cue. Women are tired of gender cues. We often view them as assaults on our intelligence and ability to make an informed purchase or decision. This is particularly relevant to packaging design.
Misconception: She cares what Kim Kardashian thinks.
Solution: Utilize micro-influencers to reach her.
In the “State of Influencer Marketing 2018,” 86 percent of marketers reported using influencer marketing in 2017 and of those, 92 percent said it was an effective strategy. Here’s what is changing. Brands are moving away from macro-influencers and embracing micro-influencers. This all goes back to market segmentation. Women are more likely to be influenced by highly specific content. For example, an influencer writing about losing weight via Whole 30 is a much more effective influencer than one writing about various diets. If you’re planning an influencer marketing campaign for 2018 make sure you hire a firm that understands and works with micro-influencers.
Kelly Fletcher is Founder and CEO of Fletcher Marketing PR. The firm helps companies reach highly specific groups of female consumers with measurable results.