Marketers: Have You Found The Right Woman?

Great article by Kelley Murray Skoloda author of the book “Too Busy to Shop: Marketing to “Multi-Minding” Women

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Friday, 24 Apr 2009

Marketers: Have You Found The Right Woman?

This guest blog was written by Kelley Murray Skoloda is “Too Busy to Shop: Marketing to “Multi-Minding” Women

Too Busy Too Shop
Too Busy Too Shop

Given the high competition for every consumer dollar and the fact that much of the recession-related job loss has been realized by men, many companies are now realizing that marketing to women is a must do part of the marketing mix.

In just the last few weeks, media coverage has testified to the new focus on marketing to women.

A headline in the The Economist says “recession-hit companies target female customers.

AdAge notes “…marketers are spending more time concentrating on the female demographic.”

In truth, it’s really no wonder that marketing to women has become a top priority. Women make 85 percent of the household purchase decisions, spending almost $5 trillion annually. Attracting their purchasing power is no longer a “nice to do,” it’s a “must do.”

If women are marketers most coveted buying audience, what do they need to know to attract her purchasing power? Women are busier than ever juggling their lives at work and home, and now economic pressures.

Women have bypassed multi-tasking and are “multi-minding” – mentally juggling the many dimensions of their robust lives. And research shows that women have little time for commercial messages. These factors add to the complexity in reaching female consumers.

Marketers need to rethink their ideas about a 24-hour day and find an appropriate place for their message. And, given their buying power, if marketers are not targeting women, they will lose.

In my opinion, there are four key areas in which marketers and business owners should concentrate.

1. Credibility: It takes time to build and just a moment to lose, and it now exists on two levels — brand and company. Women need to feel that the brand, and even its parent company, deliver on its promises, has a good reputation, and can be trusted. Information from “family and friends” tops women’s lists for credible information when making a purchase decision.

2. Quickly Connect: Time is at a premium for the female consumer and she has little time or appetite for commercial messages. Long-form and complicated messages will be deflected by women. Brands and business must use bite-sized messages that are repeatable across any communications medium.

3. A Holistic Approach: It is imperative that marketing live where your multi-minding female consumers live. They may not be able to fully absorb any one message, but a cumulative effort is needed to have her see your product or service as part of her life.

4. Consistency: Just like in real life, relationships are not built overnight. It takes time and consistent effort. Remember credibility? Well a big flash in the pan may drive initial interest, but credibility build over time, especially with women who are relationship oriented.

Over the years, I’ve learned that looking for a single magic bullet answer to the question of how to market to women is nearly impossible, and the rulebook is being written as we speak. But, there are some tried-and-true methods described above that build a strong foundation.

It’s true, lagging behind with today’s powerful, multi-minding female consumer will eventually erode your bottom line.