How Marketers Should Appeal to Women

March 22, 2010

Marketers targeting a female audience need to understand the critical difference between men and women, according to Dr. Bob Deutsch of marketing firm Brain Sells. Namely, women cycle and men consummate.

How Female Consumers Differ from Male Consumers
Deutsch further defines this key difference between as the sexes as females being oriented toward the conceptual, underlying dynamics, the relationship between things, and to stability over the long-term. The female understands and sees patterns over time.

In contrast, males are oriented toward the present, the concrete, the visual, winning, and themselves. Evolutionarily speaking, the male must “bring home the bacon.” Above all else, males are pragmatists.

Seven Tips for Marketing to Women
With these gender differences in mind, Deutsch offers the following seven factors retailers seeking to make their brands more appealing to female customers should be aware of:

1. Pattern. Marketers should recognize that women have the ability to perceive more than the metric of a product attribute or an instance in time. They appreciate the underlying pattern (idea) that gives rise to the fleeting moment.

2. Authenticity. Beyond immediate appearance, marketers should realize that persona, biography (or history), and current contingency must all be factored into a brand, and that universal principles underlie particularities.

3. Quality, not just quantity (size). Marketers should understand that for women, bigger and more is not necessarily better. A steady build is often better than an impulsive response.

4. Connectedness, not just individuals. Marketers should know that communality can reign over dominance. Women see people as all bound together.

5. Society, not just markets. Marketers should recognize that markets are numbers, but numbers are not people. Women are people and have personal feelings and social intentions.

6. Quality of life, not just accumulation. Marketers should learn that women have material and spiritual needs made up of individual wants and musts which are cast in the context of a social matrix.

7. Reasonableness, not extremism or absolutism. Marketers should see that all issues have grays, and exaggerations to one side or the other only cover-up the reality of subtlety and nuance to which women are attuned.

Gen-Y Women Respond to Interactive, Non-Intrusive Campaigns

Marketers trying to influence the subset of women who are members of Generation Y (ages 15-32) should realize these women discover new brands and get most of their style inspiration and product recommendations from blogs and social media, according to a recent research report from PopSugar Media and Radar Research.

Nearly twice as many Gen-Y women than Gen-X women (ages 33-44) say they rely on blogs to influence their decisions to buy a product (28% vs. 16%). Twice as many Gen-Y women than Gen-X women report they discovered a new brand or product from a friend’s status update on a social networking site (42% vs. 22%).

Consumption of new media, such as blogs, reinforce Gen-Y women’s perception of themselves as more individualistic than earlier generations. This generation of women cites blogs as being more accessible, more likely to be honest, on the cutting edge, and more likely to know about trends first. They also believe the “commentor community” on blogs is very important. Gen-Y women say they often find new ideas about websites and products from other readers’ comments on blogs.

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