Women shop, and buy, differently than men. So if you market to women, it’s helpful to know what makes them tick when they’re making a buying decision.
Let’s Start with Some Background Information
Did you know that women control over 51% of the corporate buying decisions in America? And women make 80% of all consumer buying decisions, as well.
Women start businesses at 1.5 times the rate of men and women own 40% of the companies in America.
So whether you’re selling to the large corporate market, small biz market, or consumer market, women influence a huge amount of that buying process.
What Do Women Want and Need?
There have been lots of studies about the psychology of marketing to women, and books and books written on the subject. It’s really fascinating reading, if you have the time to wade through it.
But if you’re a woman reading this article, the fact is that you don’t have the time to read all those books. You see, the most important psychological point in marketing to women is that they’re busy and time-constrained. (Do you know any woman in your life who has a ton of leisure time? I don’t!) They’re trying to juggle multiple priorities and what they most wish for are ways to save time and have less stress in their lives.
Tips for Marketing to Women
Knowing that time is important to them, you can alter your marketing to be NOT time-intensive. What does that mean?
- Get to the point. When writing articles, creating videos, drafting sales copy, designing websites, get to the heart of the matter as quickly as possible. Don’t make her wade through a lot of fluff and extraneous detail: she’ll walk away otherwise.
- Use bullet points/sub-headings. When writing, use any device that helps her to scan your material quickly. She can then choose which sections of the writing to delve into in more detail.
- Micro blog. Use social media tools such as Twitter and Facebook to force you to encapsulate your point in 2 or 3 sentences.
- Be time sensitive. Explain to her how much time and effort it will take to consume/use your product or service. She needs to know what she’s committing to before she’s willing to buy. It’s not just the investment of money that’s important to her, but the investment of time as well.
- Information, information, information. Women do a lot of research before they buy. Make sure you supply them with all the information they need and want.
If you honor women’s busy schedule and their need to research before buying, you’ll come a long way to earning their trust. And once you have a women’s trust, she’ll be a life-long customer.
Of the percentage of woman business owners, how many were set up that way because of tax and minority owned business advantages? This is my our business is set up under my wife’s name.
That’s a great question, Lee. I don’t know the answer to it, but you could probably find out from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. A huge number of women-owned businesses are “solo” entreprises (one owner, no employees), so I’m not sure that tax benefits came into consideration when they formed their businesses.
Being a tomboy growing up, I always thought that I related more to men professionally – but I’ve found that my favorite clients are women. I have read the Marketing to Women book – and these tips enhance the knowledge I got through that experience. We are unique and wonderful and definitely require a quick, scannable approach!
I think the idea that “marketing to women” means having a pink and white website with a lot of girly things on it is so old-fashioned and sexist. Women are strong, reliable, smart and savvy. We can relate to male-focused marketing. But we also have a “bs-meter” and know when we’re being sold. Understanding what’s going on in a women’s world and daily life, and the things that trigger her psychologically during the buying process makes us all better marketers.
These are good points, Karen, especially the one about the “bs-meter”. There are a couple of other things that I think are true for women consumers:
– We want the opportunity to ask as many questions as we have without the salesperson getting impatient
– We don’t necessarily make “snap decisions” about purchases. In deciding which items to buy, we often want to confer with our spouse/partner, with friends, or with relatives.
I absolutely agree, Jan! When we tell a salesperson, “I have to think about it,” we really DO have to think about it. It’s not just a polite way of saying, “No.”
Ali R. Rodriguez
The most poignant part of your article, is that indeed, once our trust is earned, we become life-long clients. Getting there, on the other hand, is the whole point of your article.
LUV the BS meter. I believe you have become the Judge Judy of the marketing/coaching industry.
Well done, Karyn.
Thanks, Ali, I love delving into the psychology of marketing and understanding what’s going through people’s heads when they’re making a buying decision. If we could get to the point of our marketing, and honor people’s time and intelligence, we’d all be better off. When marketers ramble on and on, I for one turn OFF!
Love all your pointers. I also want to know that they care about me and my needs.
Authenticity is imperative in gaining women as clients and most of all in keeping them. The message must match the messenger.
Thanks for the reminder to keep my communication short, sweet and to the point! I’m always frustrated when in a retail store there is no price tag for something I need or want but don’t have time to track someone down to find out. I usually pass on the purchase. Online, sometimes there is not critical information in the description. For example, if multi color, what color will I get? Salt and Pepper shakers, want one of each but no way to identify salt vs pepper.
Thank you for another great article! I write copy and programs for women business owners, and I couldn’t agree with your more. We are “on a mission” and “pressed for time” as I tell my clients, and we want all the info upfront, so we can keep it movin’. When I am coaching clients how to write better for their audiences, I make sure they understand how women buyers think.
I also was hesitant (when I first began my business) to publish my prices on my site–but my gut wanted me to do so, and so I did! The results have been tremendous–mainly ladies dropping by and calling me and saying “thank you for publishing your prices.” I’m glad I went with my gut.
So glad to hear you published your prices, Shannon. Many women dislike having to ask about prices unless the pricing has to be custom-tailored to their needs/contract. They can’t see a reason why someone would “hide” a price unless it was either: 1. because it’s too high, or 2. the salesperson wants to lure them in before disclosing it. I think we’re all afraid of the “used car salesman” approach to selling and pricing. 🙂
Karen: I liked your point about not wasting a woman’s time and getting right to the point. Many women who market to women (even business coaches) start off every email or newsletter with comments about the weather, their kids, their pets, or their vacations. I assume they’re trying to be ‘authentic’ and ‘let their individuality come through.’
There’s a school of thought that says people have to know, like, and trust you before they’ll buy. One woman business coach managed to get all choked up and teary-eyed about 8 times in a recent sales presentation I attended. I guess she was demonstrating empathy, but personally, I trust people who are more logical than emotional–at least when it comes to making good business decisions.
Another school of thought says that people in the C-suite are far less likely to make decisions based on emotion than the average person, and they don’t have to ‘like’ the person they hire or buy from.
Any thoughts on segmenting your audience further? After all, men are busy, too.