Are You Making These 3 Mistakes When Marketing to Women?

Are You Making These 3 Mistakes When Marketing to Women?

Donna Galante Blog

Someone smacked into my car and broke my right tail light at the market recently. I called around and found a replacement part, but when my mechanic tried to install it, the part didn’t fit.
Instead of apologizing for my inconvenience when I returned the part, the salesmen were insulting, condescending, and argumentative ….Trying to convince me the part could be made to fit my Cadillac CTS.
Bridget Brennen – author of Why She Buys – relays a similar experience when shopping for her new BMW 540i… When she questioned the flimsiness of the cup holder the salesman responded with “BMW is a European car and Europeans don’t eat or drink in their cars.”

If you’re a Mad Men fan, you may recall the season 1 episode where Dan Draper, Creative Director, (Sterling Cooper Advertising) asked the question: “What do women want?”
And Roger Sterling, Partner, responded: “Who cares?”

Even though we’re no longer in the Mad Men advertising era, many marketers are still trying to recycle those same old messages. Some of them dating all the way back to the silent generation…
However, women from the silent generation were not the bread winners… Or the major decision makers in family purchases.
Today women control 80% of consumer spending, make 87% of health and wellness decisions,
and spend about $7 trillion annually.
While interviewing some of today’s most successful health & wellness marketers, I discovered the three biggest mistakes to avoid to when marketing to women.
1. Misunderstanding the Power of Gender
Gender is the most powerful determining factor in how a person views their world, processes information, and makes decisions.
Men and women’s brains are wired differently and those differences affect how we:

• Communicate
• Express emotions and vulnerabilities
• Make decisions

Many marketers ignore gender completely, assuming marketing is marketing. Or worse they consider “Pink” an actual strategy for marketing to women.
Tip: Unless you’re promoting breast cancer awareness, think value not color.

2. Assuming Women are Homogenous
Women are not only different from men, they’re different from each other. Demographics alone will no longer suffice in understanding women’s needs.
Marketers must dig deeper to uncover the multi-dimensional woman by considering:
• Life Stages
Whether she’s a mom, millennial, boomer, or senior, you must meet her where she is. Age is not enough… A forty year old mom could be the mother of a college student or a 2 year old.
• Ethnic Insights
According to Pepper Miller (author of “What’s Black About It”), marketers often fail to see the value in marketing to African American women because – unlike Hispanic women – they speak English. However, understanding this ethnic belief system is a critical component in marketing health and wellness to black female consumers.

Tip: Don’t fall into the trap of stereotyping women. Instead, ASK women what they want and they will TELL you!

3. Misunderstanding the “WHY Women Buy” Factors
Women respond to human beings not products and price points.
Start focusing on the people using the product more than the product itself by:
1. Creating Community
Find out where your target market hangs out and make the connection. Whether it’s in your local community, social media, or online forums. Then Stop talking AT them and start talking WITH them. Be creative, fun, and helpful.

2. Building Trust
Speak her language to create rapport. Be honest and try ‘un’marketing. Instead of coming up with a campaign full of promises and hype, simply tell your customers what your products do and why they’re worth buying. Take their concerns seriously – from R&D to manufacturing to customer service.

3. Showing Empathy
Women are some of the busiest people on the planet. Show her how your product can make her life easier. Hello Fresh’s approach to “Cooking Made Easy” delivers delicious and healthy recipes with all the pre-measured ingredients to your door. You chose how often – weekly, bi-weekly, monthly. And there’s even a PAUSE button for those times when you won’t be dining in.
Tip: Focusing on women will NOT alienate men. Going the extra mile to meet women’s expectations will increase your buy-in from men as well.

For more road-tested stories and strategies from some of today’s top female marketers – including Dr. Donna Galante – click the link below to download your FREE book preview of Marketing Health & Wellness HER WAY: How to Connect & Engage with Women Buyers.
To Your Health,
Angela Tanger

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