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Sunday, Jun 4, 2023

Reaching the Marketplace throu

Let’s get this out of the way from the start. Marketing to women is not niche marketing. Women make up more than half of the world’s population. While this is not a surprising fact, it does constitute a majority. Statistics also show that women in the U.S. make the majority of purchasing decisions, controlling more than $1 trillion annually, while influencing another $1 trillion. It is projected that by the turn of the century, women will purchase 60 percent of all vehicles, comprise more than 30 percent of all business travelers, and at least half of the work force.

Historically, the salesmen of the world have been successful in marketing goods to women. The world has changed and women have changed dramatically along the way. This economy provides an abundance of choices in goods and services. And women are exercising their affluence through the choices they make. Women are purchasing and influencing purchases based upon their own personal needs and goals. The message is clear, and marketers must pay attention.

Considering the needs of women in marketing communication does not need to be an either or proposition. Rather, when women are spoken to appropriately in advertising, or any marketing endeavor, the message can be inclusive of the entire audience.

It is important to keep three things in mind when taking this approach. First, it’s easy to overlook the fact that men and women process information differently. This difference is not a bad thing, it just is. Thinking like a woman isn’t something men can do easily. (Just as women don’t think like men). It is good business to consider both perspectives.

Second, women quickly access their feelings and emotions. A message that misses the emotional mark may be quickly discarded. Men, on the other hand, are likelier to be assessing the rationale.

And finally, women frequently seek a different end benefit than men. The benefit to a man may be an achievement or accomplishment of some sort, a tangible commodity. The end benefit a woman desires, may be less tangible involving a feeling or emotional concern.

Take investing as an example. My brother-in-law Charlie develops his investment portfolio with increased wealth and fulfilling his responsibility to his family as his reward. In contrast, my sister Tracey develops her portfolio in pursuit of a sense of independence and self-reliance. While both may end up at exactly the same place, men are more driven by the reward of the asset itself. Women are more driven by the emotion behind the reward.

Eating out in a restaurant is another example. When my friend Cliff and his wife Susan go out to dinner, they have distinct agendas. Cliff’s motivation is his appetite and the desire for a fine meal, while Susan appreciates the experience of dining together. The restaurant they choose is the same, the reason is different. When it comes to buying cars, you only need look at my husband Cary and me. Cary is buying the car itself and the status attached to it. I, on the other hand, prioritize safety and peace of mind.

These examples illustrate the differences between men and women’s psyches, and what motivates their purchasing decisions. The ability to tap into these emotions and anticipate these end results helps to produce provocative advertising, and a smart approach to marketing a business.

Businesses everywhere can realize benefits by recognizing that when men and women open their purses to spend money, both the contents and the context are very, very different. ..What? Oh that’s right, men don’t carry purses. Need I say more?

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Caryn Wiley is President of Wiley & Associates, an almost all-woman advertising agency that specializes in the female consumer. They are based in Westlake Village, CA.

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