[October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, so I’ve asked Marketing Expert, Kathy Piersall to share her thoughts on building a marketing CONNECTion with women.–Scott]
Don’t just make it pink.
How many companies have slapped a coat of pink on their product, or suddenly started supporting breast cancer charities, when neither of these actions has any obvious, real connection to their brand? (“Pinkwashing“, anyone?) Women have been the special targets of marketing and advertising campaigns for decades, because marketers often assumed they controlled most expenditures for their households. So women have learned to spot condescension a mile away. Find out if women are truly a realistic target market for what your company offers. If it’s reasonable and profitable to connect with the female market, be sincere. Build genuine connections.
Allow time for discussion
Women tend to ask more questions, especially at the beginning of the sales cycle. Your female prospective clients may want to talk about the pros and cons more. Don’t feel threatened by this. It’s not confrontation or conflict. It’s your opportunity to re-emphasize your strengths and get more insight into what hopes or worries motivate them. Establish trust this way early, and you’re likely to spend less time answering questions later in the process.
“Female” does not equal “spouse” or “with kids”
As of 2005, more women are living without a spouse, according to the New York Times. And according to a 2006 U.S. Census Bureau report, roughly 20% of women 35 to 44 years old have never had kids. What does this mean? Make sure your company’s marketing speaks authentically to a female audience, and doesn’t view a woman as just a portal to gain access to a hypothetical spouse, or her 2.5 children.
“Busy” is not the magic word
The word “busy” is as overused as the color pink when trying to attract the attention of a female audience. Many marketers seem to think if they start their messages with “Gee, we’re all so busy these days!!”, every woman in earshot will drop what she’s doing, sigh in sympathy, and give her full attention to whatever statement follows. Sure, you could argue that women tend to feel obliged to take on a wider variety of tasks in both their personal and professional lives than men or children do. But if “busy” doesn’t mesh with the rest of your marketing messages, then it’s just a fake attempt to create connection. And it’s a weak start to the dialogue your company really needs to have with women, if you hope to create a relationship that’s rewarding for both sides.
Let us hear about other marketing miscues you have noticed, below. Perhaps you can:
- Share anadvertisement, commercial, or other marketing message you have seen that simply “missed the mark”, in your opinion.
- What might that company have thought about BEFORE they spent money to send out a message?
- Provide an example of a marketing message that resounded with you, leaving you with a feeling that the product or service CONNECTed with you, and was completely relevant.