Marketing to Women This Holiday Season

Holiday Marketing to Women

Marketing to women is worth it.

By now most of us understand that women are the primary consumers in the U.S. today, responsible for 85 percent of all consumer spending. Women’s combined consumer and business spending is fast approaching $7 trillion – roughly the size of Japan’s economy. When marketing to women this holiday season and beyond, businesses need to keep the following in mind:

There is no “women’s market” — there’s your women’s market.

Marketers should not segment women strictly by age. Whether a woman is 28, 39, or 52, she’ll respond more to marketing messages that address her life stage, not her biological age. Unlike previous generations, today’s women are experiencing life in a less linear fashion; women are having babies in their 40s, starting new careers in their 50s, and re-entering the dating scene in their 60s. Marketers need to clearly understand the differentiation in marketing to the different life stages of women, and tailor their messages accordingly.

Pink is not a marketing strategy.

Today’s women are not looking for a watered-down version of a male offering that has been feminized with clichéd colors. Instead, they’re looking for solid information, ease of use, stellar customer service, and brands that are looking to build real relationships with them based on their interests, personal identities and problems that they need to solve. Instead of relying on outdated assumptions and stereotypes, marketers must do the hard work to be relevant to women consumers – taking the time to learn what motivates them to order to present their brands in a meaningful way.

Recognize that women think different than men.

All human brains start as female brains, until the male brain is flooded with testosterone. But there they part paths. A woman’s brain has four times as many connections between the left and right hemispheres as a man’s. All of those signals hurtle down the superhighway into her right brain – the home of emotional memory, intuition and experience. A woman not only reads – she attaches feelings to what she’s reading. A woman’s heart is in her brain – tell her a story that is filled with emotion, and explain why your brand is relevant to her. Sounds simple, but many businesses develop and market products without ever asking their female customers what is most important to them and why. Companies such as Best Buy and Volvo have made gaining women’s input a key part of their marketing process, leading to product improvements that both men and women appreciate, along with marketing messages that resonate with both.

This holiday season, Cyber Monday is expected to be the biggest online shopping day of the year, representing a $1.25 billion day. How will female consumers manage their Cyber Monday shopping?

When marketing to women, focus on mobile.

Mobile devices will continue to play a strong supporting role in the online shopping surge, with 52.9% of female Smartphone owners using their devices to do research and make purchases. In addition, social media will continue to be a huge power player in promoting brands as women interact with them across more touch points than ever before. This constant engagement makes it imperative that marketers understand women’s preferences in order to connect with them at the correct time and with the proper information.

Finally, female consumers are more likely to interact with and buy from businesses and brands that a friend has recommended. This word of mouth interaction may be harder to track than hard mobile device statistics, but it should not be ignored.

Businesses should plan their strategies for reaching the female market this holiday season by making sure all sites are optimized for mobile devices, and providing regular personalized interactions. By enabling social media sharing across all platforms, businesses can create an integrated approach to reaching women that will be successful this holiday season and beyond.