Marketing to women in 2020 – what you need to know

Women are the most significant demographic when it comes to purchasing decisions, but there are key pitfalls to avoid when marketing to them.

If your target customers are women, good news! They’re loyal customers who will stick with you if you do a good job. But first you’ve got to reach and connect with them. If your marketing strategy to attract them is rose tinted, it’s time to think again.

The importance of women as customers

One thing is for sure, women are an extremely powerful consumer group. They’re especially important when it comes to purchasing big-ticket items, for example, single women are the second largest group of home buyers – pipped only by married couples, according to the 2019 Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends report, published by the National Association of Realtors.

When it comes to online shopping, women are also particularly relevant, with Small Business Trends finding that: ‘the majority of millennial women shoppers (94 percent) spend over an hour per day shopping online’.

Importantly, within families, it is women who drive the purchasing decisions, with Bloomberg finding that they steer 70-80% of such deliberations. Interestingly, 85% of women said that if they had a positive experience with a brand, they would become a repeat customer, according to Nielsen’s Women in Nielsen (WIN) Employee Resource Group, once again proving them to be a particularly valuable demographic for your digital marketing strategies.  

Marketing to women rule 1: Throw away your stereotypes

Let’s be clear, whilst the female demographic is demonstrably a powerful buying block, you must be careful not to homogenise them within your marketing. You need to let go of all the stereotypes you may hold about women and acknowledge that all groups people contain a diverse set of wants and needs.

A clear demonstration of this lies in research by Activision Blizzard Media  who found that contrary to popular belief, a majority of Mums (57%) were gamers , making them a valuable demographic within the gaming industry, finding: ‘gamer moms are more engaged with brands on social media and more likely to recommend them to their friends and family’.

Marketing to women rule 2: Avoid gender marketing strategies

Many marketing initiatives have missed the mark by trying too hard to appeal to women. This has been especially true within the beer industry, with the brand ‘Chick Beer’ providing a salient example of how not to do it.

‘Chick Beer’ was specifically geared towards woman, boasting about their brew’s lower calorie properties, as well as its design being a black bottle with a pink label on it. It is safe to say that the backlash towards this was immense, with the Chicagoist commenting: ‘dumbing women drinkers down to the lowest common beer demoninator does not legitimize our presence in the marketplace. Marketing beer specifically to women hurts women just as much as the sexist, male-focused advertising of big brands.’

Needless to say, ‘Chick Beer’ was not a great hit with females – or any other demographic for that matter! – and the beer is no longer in distribution. This all could have been avoided if they had not marketed so hard towards women, and instead created a low-calorie, great-tasting and appealingly packaged product, aimed at anyone looking for a health-conscious ale in an aesthetically pleasing bottle.

Marketing to women rule 3: Understand their values

Despite the vastly differing backgrounds of women, The Boston Consulting Group carried out a survey which found that – regardless of their different backgrounds, interests and priorities – when it came to making financial decisions, women held similar values, including:

  • Multifaceted products: because women are often found juggling different roles – such as being an employee and a mother – the survey found that they favoured goods and services that could answer two problems at once
  • Fulfilment for loved ones: women were found to favour items that they knew would be useful or bring joy to those around them
  • Family purchases: women were found to be in control of the family purse strings
  • “Agents of leverage”: the survey found that, most importantly, women wanted their purchasing decisions to provide them with more free time.

Currently, women are monopolising consumer power, making them a valuable target for your online marketing strategies. But you need to tread carefully, ensuring that you appeal to the diversity and complexity of the factors that drive their decisions. But if you connect with their values, marketing strategies that resonate well with women could take your business to the next level.

For more information on marketing strategies for your online business, contact Eonic today.