Marketing to Women This Holiday Season

Marketing to Women This Holiday Season.

Marketing to Women This Holiday Season

By Linda Landers, Founder & CEO, Girlpower Marketing

By now most of us understand that women are the primary consumers in the U.S. today, making over 85 percent of all household purchase decisions. Women’s combined consumer and business spending is fast approaching $8 trillion – more than the entire economy of Japan. When marketing to women this holiday season and beyond,businesses need to keep the following in mind:

There is no “women’s market” — there’s your women’s market. Marketers should not segment women strictly by age. Whether a woman is 28, 39, or 52, she’ll respond more to marketing messages that address her life stage, not her biological age. Unlike previous generations, today’s women are experiencing life in a less linear fashion; women are having babies in their 40s, starting new careers in their 50s, and re-entering the dating scene in their 60s. Marketers need to clearly understand the differentiation in marketing to the different life stages of women, and tailor their messages accordingly.

Pink is not a marketing strategy. Today’s women are not looking for a watered-down version of a male offering that has been feminized with clichéd colors. Instead, they’re looking for solid information, ease of use, stellar customer service, and brands that are looking to build real relationships with them based on their interests, personal identities and problems that they need to solve. Instead of relying on outdated assumptions and
stereotypes, marketers must do the hard work to be relevant to women consumers – taking the time to learn what motivates them to order to present their brands in a meaningful way.

Recognize that women think different than men.  All human brains start as female brains, until the male brain is flooded with testosterone. But there they part paths. A woman’s brain has four times as many connections between the left and right hemispheres as a man’s. All of those signals hurtle down the superhighway into her right brain – the home of emotional memory, intuition and experience. A woman not only
reads – she attaches feelings to what she’s reading. A woman’s heart is in her brain – tell her a story that is filled with emotion, and explain why your brand is relevant to her. Sounds simple, but many businesses develop and market products without ever asking their female customers what is most important to them and why. Companies such as Best Buy and Volvo have made gaining women’s input a key part of their marketing process, leading to product improvements that both men and women appreciate, along with marketing messages that resonate with both.

This holiday season, Cyber Monday is expected to be the biggest online shopping day of the year, representing a $1.25 billion day. How will female consumers manage their Cyber Monday shopping?

Mobile devices will continue to play a strong supporting role in the online shopping surge, with 52.9% of female Smartphone owners using their devices to do research and make purchases. In addition, social media will continue to be a huge power player in promoting brands as women interact with them across more touch points than ever before. This constant engagement makes it imperative that marketers understand women’s preferences in order to connect with them at the correct time and with the proper information.

Finally, female consumers are more likely to interact with and buy from businesses and brands that a friend has recommended. This word of mouth interaction may be harder to track than hard mobile device statistics, but it should not be ignored.

Businesses should plan their strategies for reaching the female market this holiday season by making sure all sites are optimized for mobile devices, and providing regular personalized interactions. By enabling social media sharing across all platforms, businesses can create an integrated approach to reaching women that will be successful this holiday season and beyond.

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About the Author: Linda Landers is founder and CEO of Girlpower Marketing, a consumer lifestyle public relations and marketing and firm with a specific expertise in marketing to women.

It All Comes Down to Today (Most Likely Tomorrow)

It All Comes Down to Today (Most Likely Tomorrow)

It All Comes Down to Today (Most Likely Tomorrow)

This is it, gang… Election Day. 

If you’re like me, you’ve about had enough of this campaign season, the ads, the name-calling, the mudslinging, the polls, and the robo-calls (I’ve heard from former NY Governor Pataki, NJ Governor Chris Christie, among others; however, I’m still waiting to hear from the “Pimp with a Limp”).

By most accounts, this election will be close, perhaps a reflection of the deep divisions that exist in our nation today.  While I won’t pick the winner, I will predict that we won’t know the outcome of the election until the wee hours of Wednesday morning (some might say that’s like betting that rain falls down).

I’ve been intrigued by the communications aspects of the election and have written about the style and substance of our candidates on a number of occasions.  Let’s take a look at a few more that have occurred over the past week… 

The Hurricane Factor.  In the early aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, President Obama clearly benefited.  He demonstrated leadership and bipartisanship in touring the storm-ravaged state ofNew Jersey with Governor Chris Christie, a Republican.  However, I’m not sure if the goodwill generated by the President’s actions will last given the potential backlash caused by voter frustration resulting from the slow pace of the recovery.

Do Newspaper Endorsements Matter?  Much has been made of newspapers switching sides in this election as a number of previous Obama supporters endorsed Governor Mitt Romney.  At one point in our history, newspaper publishers were viewed as “king makers” and held positions of influence.  Is that still the case?  Their influence may be on the wane given the declines in readership.  Also, I believe that newspapers may reflect the attitudes and concerns of their readership in endorsing candidates.

Does the Man Make the Campaign or Vice Versa?  At the end of the Republican primaries, Governor Romney was the last man standing.  At best, he enjoyed lukewarm support among the party faithful.  What happened?  The electorate got a firsthand look at Mr. Romney via the debates and he made the case for being a viable alternative, which energized his supporters.  In addition he improved dramatically in terms of the likeability factor (this in the face of the Obama Team’s campaign to “demonize” him).  Having been through a brutalizing primary season, Mr. Romney was well prepared for the rigors of national campaigning.

Is Voting the Best Revenge?  I always thought that living well was the best revenge; however, the President told supporters at a rally, “Don’t boo, vote, you know, voting is the best revenge.” Governor Romney quickly made the statement a line in his stump speech, by asking “the American people to vote for love of country.”   My guess is that this episode has done little for either candidate as they’re preaching to their respective choirs.

“You Take the High Road…” Rather than resort to name-calling, it appears that the Romney Team has taken the high road and continues to focus his message on the economy, job creation and energy independence. For his part, the President was using the term “Romneysia” for a bit.  Again, we’ll have to wait to see how effective this approach will be.

What Happens in Benghazi… Most likely will have no impact on this election.  This election is all about the economy and Americans have been known to vote with their wallets and pocketbooks.  Job creation, lower taxes, and less governmental regulation are the primary issues.  One candidate has a record while the other doesn’t.

Kid Rock vs. The Boss.  Do celebrity endorsements matter?  I’m not sure.  I believe they help in galvanizing one’s supporters and generate a bit of excitement on the campaign trail.  Both camps appear to have made good use of star power.

Regardless of your party affiliation, I’m sure that you will be glad to see an end to this election season; however, our nation is clearly fractured and needs to be united. President Lincoln once said, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.”  While the context in which that line was originally delivered was different, I think the sentiment can be applied to our nation today.