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How Female Entrepreneurs Can Better Connect With Women Today

by Soft2share.com

The ultimate shoppers, women know the science of comparing prices, researching brands and landing the best bargains, both for themselves and for family. Whether as therapy, necessity or leisure fun, shopping is a powerful outlet for women because they generally control the checkbook and the wallet, making regular decisions about how the entire family will spend money and how much.  Many women also rule the coffers at work, approving and denying business purchases.

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Marketers, however, often botch their promotions to these female power players. They don’t understand them or their purchasing motivations and fail to market to them effectively; sometimes in certain fields, they only market to men.  Here are five suggestions to help marketers connect to modern women.

  1. Collect data on your target audience.  The best marketing requires preparation. Female entrepreneurs should not assume that because they are women, they automatically know what women like and are like. Women are diverse — and often surprisingly so. Every product niche has its own specific type of female following.

However, in order for marketing campaigns to be customized to address that woman, businesses must put money and time into effective marketing research. Otherwise, they end up appealing to phantoms and clichés. It is not uncommon for the savviest female entrepreneurs to spend one or two years with a marketing firm who can identify and analyze the women that spend the most money on their products or services, refer the most acquaintances and are the biggest fans of the brand.

Once companies have real – not speculated – data on how the products are being used and by whom, then they can fashion promotions that accurately depict their female users in the right context.

  1. Avoid stereotypical feminization of products and marketing materials.  Bizarrely, many companies still believe that the key to connecting with women involves the color pink, flowers and babies. When women shop, they are concerned about quality, benefit, price, design, workmanship, innovation, company reputation, customer service and endurance. Those traits are what make a product right for women, not a feminine veneer.  So, if a company can’t roll out its best products with cute mauve labels and “just for women” slogans, what can they do to appeal to the female audience specifically?  Read on.
  2. Seek input to find out what exactly women value about certain products.  Scientific research confirms that women, more so than men, possess a mind for remembering details.  Specific details about what makes a product convenient, safer, less complicated and better overall communicates value to women shoppers.  The answers about what brings a product value may not be the features the company anticipated, so input from women is necessary.  They might fixate on how the product is configured, how parts move, the size of the product, whether it coordinates with other products, does it have multiple uses, etc.

Polls, surveys and reviews by female participants can provide insight about the appeal of planned improvements to an old product or a new product launch. Some entrepreneurs make it a point to have women on advisory boards or female-based focused groups on standby, whether online or offline

  1. Encourage and reward participation. Social mavens who tell their family and friends about purchases they adore, women like to become a part of a brand they admire. However, too few companies have promotional programs set up to harness the social skills of women.

Entrepreneurs should offer their most loyal female buyers the chance to become ambassadors for the brand, providing discounts and other incentives for sharing their tales of product usage online through blogs, management of fan pages or forum comments.  Businesses can also promote contests where the prize is something women can share with one or two others, provided they get others to enter the contest.

  1. Find women on social media.  When online, marketers must go where the women are. Women are by and large the biggest audience on social media, posting on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook and Blogger. Don’t waste too much time with promotions on Linked-in or  Google-Plus, because research shows that while women do have accounts on these sites, men are more plentiful and more active.

To reach women, entrepreneurs must do more than just have a social media presence; they must have a company representative who is regularly active on a variety on social media pages.  Women don’t just read social content, they actually click links, post, answer questions, ask questions and express opinions; they appreciate companies that answer back and interact.

Women control 85% of the purchase decisions across most major categories. Businesses can’t afford to be late in tailoring marketing to them. To read more about getting women to buy, download this free eBook by Insights In Marketing, LLC on how to transform your marketing towards women.

Willie Pena writes about marketing to women, marketing research and various marketing and business topics.

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