A quick Google search will flood your screen with seminars, new business models, web sites, articles and blogs dedicated to the recently discovered art of marketing to women. The foundation being that 85% of all brand purchases (that's about $7 trillion annually-more that half of the GNP) are made by women. And yet more and more conclusive research is revealing women are not swayed or influenced by the traditional branding messages. In fact, more often than not, women are turned-off by the very brands seeking to target them. The modern woman has become numb and indifferent to ads that speak to her husband, or even worse, her great aunt.
This is not at all surprising considering a measly 3% of advertising creative directors-the people in charge of communicating to purchasers-are women. Even the advertising industry award shows can't argue the point. Less than 15% of the top honors are awarded to ads targeting women. It's like some very valuable logic was lost somewhere in the last 50 years.
Change is on the Horizon
It's been a very slow realization, but it's finally happening. Established traditional agencies are seeking out the female creatives, new female-focused agencies are cropping up all over the U. S. and Europe, and even the huge, super-star ad agencies are adding entire departments dedicated to tapping into this gold mine of a market.
More Numbers Making News
Research tells us that 71% of women feel that brands only consider them for beauty products and cleaning products. Which is astounding considering additional statistics state the following:
94% the wealth acquired in the next four years, will be acquired by women
69% of household health decisions are made by women
74% of all NBA & NFL apparel is purchased by women
91% of new home decisions are made by women
81% of grocery decisions are made by women
60% of the online population are women
62% of all workers are women
Does this Mean Excluding Men? Absolutely not.
Improving your marketing doesn't mean making it “for her eyes only. " That would be short-sighted to say the least. In fact, making your product more desirable to women will more than likely make it more appealing to everyone. Quite simply, if you connect with the intelligence and sensibilities of a woman, chances are good you're message is effective across the sexes. Business owners, both male and female, should consider the fact this information is immensely valuable to every person wanting to thrive or, and in some cases, survive in today's tenuous market place. Particularly in a fragile economy, advertisers should focus on trying to understand how women think and feel in order to expand their audience.
In other words, if you want your company to shoot for the stars, you may want to aim more in the direction of Venus.
Stephanie Holland, Holland Holland CEO/Creative Director, is a serious marketing guru with an extremely thorough methodology and ever-present sense of humor to balance it all out. She has headed up Holland Holland Advertising for 25 years.