Persuasive Marketing to Women

Is your product appealing to women?

women shopping at mallThe first major step in marketing is, naming your product creation something that sounds appealing to women. Women buy on emotions, so appeal to her gut.

When a woman is shopping at the mall, she’ll take advantage of the opportunity to buy a few additional purchases and run a few errands (buy new bed sheets for the guest room, socks for her husband, a new winter coat for next fall that’s discounted 40 percent off the original price if she buys it today).

On occasion she’ll buy for their “family” as well as for herself.

When a woman is shopping at the mall for an item, she has a totally different set of priorities than a man. When she’s shopping for a black skirt, for example, she thinks perspective: I want this black skirt to wear to the office party this Friday afternoon. In other words, she doesn’t define her goal by product features but by end use. (her goal!)  When she’s inside the store, she looks at the black skirts and gauges them as to how they measure up to that use.  She’ll try on a couple that would be just fine to wear on a Friday afternoon, but! As she is considering which skirt to buy, other considerations start to creep into her mind. Is it dressy enough to wear on more formal occasions? How likely is it to wrinkle when she sits down?  Does it need to be dry cleaned or can she wash and iron it at home?  In other words, instead of discarding judgments, she’s more likely to be adding them.

Now she’s got a problem:  If the skirt doesn’t meet all of the criteria she’s raised, (Is it dressy enough, will it wrinkle, or does it need to be dry cleaned?) They’re obviously not the perfect answer.  And why should she settle for a partial solution when the perfect skirt might be hanging on a rack, only two stores away in the mall?  “Better go take a look, because “ya never know”. Well, it’s true! Maybe they have the skirt that go with the black jacket she bought last month, or maybe there is a great sale at the other store.  How will she know, unless she goes and takes a look?

When woman were surveyed, 61 percent of women said “when making a clothing purchase, they would visit several different stores before making a final decision on a clothing purchase.

Women will go the extra mile in order to make the absolute RIGHT purchase – in order to find the Perfect Answer.

One thing to keep in mind, fellow marketers, is that women are very rarely going to buy early in the decision process.

What’s the solution?

Women search for perfection rendering them reluctant to buy until all possible options have been explored.  The marketers challenge is to overcome this decision reluctance by assuring her that they have indeed found the perfect answer.

So, do the comparative shopping for her! Ask her what her needs are, and by presenting three options with the pros and cons of each.  Emphasize the benefits of making a decision now, one that can be fined tuned later by adding a warranty as an example or an exchange or refund policy if she’s not completely satisfied with her purchase.

Talking to women – or rather, listening to them – is the best way to provide yourself with the points of difference that will make or break you verses the competition.

Listen to her and learn. And then give her the Perfect Answer.

Women actually seek out advice and welcome the opportunity to learn from someone with greater expertise.  This relieves her of the need to do all the research herself.  She can shift the duty of due diligence into the advisor – who then brings her the perfect answer instead of requiring her to find it for herself.  This means less time going from store to store all across town, and more time doing the things she loves to do.

Provide plenty of information: young woman reading a brochure

The more information you make accessible to her the more you prime her with what she needs to make a decision on.  Through educational materials, such as printed information, websites, collateral media and retail merchandising, you can appeal in multiple dimensions a strategy to which women respond well. Train your sales force to respects the fact as to how much information women frequently already have when they reach the sales floor, because of advanced data gathering through friend’s, family or research conducted on the internet.

Women figure that they are bound to learn stuff along the way in any process:  just because she didn’t know everything when she first started on her shopping spree, it shouldn’t keep her from being open to better options as she find them.

When you consider the fact that she has a longer list of criteria in the first place and add in all this rethinking and looping back,  it is not surprising that a woman’s decision process takes considerably longer than a mans. Case in point: one study found that women spend 40 percent more time researching a mutual fund before they invest.

Not all women are the same. Unfortunately, that means you can’t reach all women with a single marketing strategy. You need to consider their age group, marital status, and other demographics to determine what platform may be best for marketing to them. Some women (particularly women under age 40 or those who work full-time) use their Smartphone’s to access the internet, while others (those over 40 or stay-at-home moms) use primarily a computers.

The key is to spread your message out across different venues, with an emphasis on those more likely to reach your target demographic, because if your potential customer sees your message in more than one place or on more than one device, she is more likely to remember it.

It’s always a little dangerous to create a product, “just for women” unless women truly do have a unique need that is different from men. It’s much wiser to simply market a product to women without actually defining it as a “product for women only.”

If you have a product or service and you want to position it as “just for women,” make sure there is a specific and real reason why you are labeling it a “women only” product.  Consider instead marketing it to women without actually labeling it as being “for women only.”

If you do create a product just for women, beware of any judgmental language.  Women are very aware of anything that sounds condescending.

Make sure she clearly heard and understands your commitment to always be there for her, and you will follow up with her after the sale. Send her birthday or Christmas cards. Send her an email or card letting her know how much you appreciate her business, and you’ll keep her informed as to further specials or other products or services she may be interested in purchasing. If you don’t build a relationship, call or communicate with her by referring to her by her name, why would, or should she stay loyal to you, when she can buy the same product or service from someone else?

What do other businesses with similar products do to promote their business to women? (Hand out free samples as gift to try first, maybe?)

Show some emotion. Showing that somebody cares one way or another is always going to be more powerful – and memorable – to women than a sterile, cold, or high – tech sales presentation.

By: Fay B. Castro

One Response to Persuasive Marketing to Women

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