CONSUMER BEHAVIOR 101: UNDERSTANDING THE FEMALE CONSUMER.

For a long time, women’s impact on consumer behavior has been ignored but this trend is quickly changing. Women control 51% of the wealth globally, they influence 90% of home purchases and 70% in travel and leisure. Due to this researchers and influencers are going out of their way to make sure that they understand women better.

Now take a moment and join me.

I want you to be totally honest with yourself in this exercise. How many times have you considered women when coming up with a marketing strategy? And when you do consider them, how often do you stereotype them? Do you go the extra mile to make sure that the female consumer feels understood and appreciated?

Well, if for some reason you have been ignoring your female consumer, it is about time you reconsidered that.

Women control over $20 trillion in worldwide spending. 71% of social media users are women and 78% use the Internet to do research on product information and review. The impact that women have on economy is so huge to the extent that it ranks second after technology as a major factor on sales and marketing. Experts predict that by the year 2020, women’s impact will be larger than India and China’s growth market combined.

In as much as women have a large impact, they are divided into various categories.

The key female consumer segments include:

1. The Fast Tracker.
This is 24% of the population and 34% of earned income.
They include the educational and economic elite.
They often seek adventure.
They are independent women striving for achievement.

2. The Relationship Focused one.
This is 16% of the population and 13% of earned income.
They are content and optimistic.
They are not pressed for time.
They are more focused on experience and not the product.

3. The Pressure Cooker.
This is 22% of the population and 23% of earned income.
They are married with children.
They often feel ignored and stereotyped.
They are successful multitask ears as they struggle for stability.

4. Managing on her own.
This is 10% of the population and 9% of earned income.
They are single again either because of divorce or they are widowed.
They mostly seek ways to form connections.

5. The Fulfilled Empty Nester.
This is 15% of the population and 16% of earned income.
They are largely ignored by marketers.
They are more concerned about health and aging gracefully.
They are more into travel, exercise and leisure.

6. Making ends meet.
This is 35% population and 12% earned income.
They have no money for beauty or exercise.
They lack college education.
They seek small luxuries as they struggle to make ends meet.

REACHING OUT TO WOMEN.

Now that you have the statistics at hand, the next logical step would be determining how these numbers favor your business. Industries such as shopping, beauty, health & fitness, home furninishing are just some of the major markets dominated by women.

Industries such as electronics, finance & banking, automobiles( which is alarming because 67% of consumers buying cars are women) are some of the industries that women cited that should do more to understand them.

Back to where we were, how do you market to women?

Build a relationship with your female consumer.
Make sure that the ads are personalized and conversational. While coming up with the content make sure that it’s in tune with their values. A powerful platform to reach out to them would be Pinterest as 80% of the users are women.

Tap into her emotional side.
Women, unlike men, are very aware of their feelings and once they become your customer, chances are high that they might become a loyal customer. Focus on the experience rather than the product. Make sure she knows that she is not another dollar for you to convert. Based on how women are busy nowadays, be sure to walk her through your product and its benefits.

Social media
Before deciding on which social media to use, do your research on the generation they fall into as different generations use different platforms. Millennials and Generation Z prefer Snapchat, Instagram, Vine while baby boomers and Generation X prefer Facebook and Twitter.
Use social media to create awareness and increase your number of CTRs(Click-Through-Rates).
Make good use of product review sites as women will always do their research before committing to make a purchase. Use the company’s blog site to put educational information for your consumers to read.

Avoid negativity and stereotyping.
This one is very important as most female consumers get turned off by this. I like to call them the 3Ps. Pink, patronize and passive. Do not market to women as if they do not understand who they are or what they want. Avoid using pink to denote that it’s feminine, I mean there are so many other colors that you can use. Show women that you embrace and respect their fierceness and femininity.

Align your values.
Show that your values match. Women will buy products when they know that some of the proceeds will be donated to a charity organization or that it will be used to empower other people. Show your female consumers what your company stands for.

CONCLUSION.
Marketing to women can be quite daunting especially if you are new at it. Understanding your key segment is the first step to unlocking this world with so many opportunities.

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