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Being Transparent Resonates with Women

There are a lot of great blogs, authors and companies talking about marketing to women. Most often marketing to women is talked about in terms of B2C business. It's very important to know that marketing to women is important in B2B business as well. Women are great B2B customers. The same sensibilities they bring to making their personal consumer purchasing decisions they bring to business purchasing. A new voice is heard in another great piece from MarketingProfs.com, Andrea Learned author of Don't Think Pink: What Really Makes Women Buy—And How to Increase Your Share of This Crucial Market shares insights into transparent marketing:

Narrow your focus. Start with the narrowly defined but important group of the early adopters of your product or service. Get to know them and serve them well, and their passion for your brand will attract a wider audience...

Understand your customer community intimately. You can’t sit back and operate from within your industry’s vacuum. You’ve got to understand what influences women by exploring their wants and needs. Yes, this sounds a tad touchy-feely, but the results make it worth the initial discomfort. Two elements to consider in your research are “a day in the life” and “a day in the dreams” of your women customers.

Build customer feedback into the process. You’ve got to admit that gathering customer feedback when a product is already on the shelf is a little late. However, getting their feedback on product design changes and marketing strategies before you are too far along can save huge amounts of time and money. Plus, that in-the-process connection with customers establishes your company’s commitment to them and reflects the value it places on such input. Those customers who are involved in the early-on research will most certainly be some of your product’s or service’s biggest and most passionate fans. Of course, they’ll spread the word.

Focus on your product’s context. What are the key scenarios or life stages that the women in your brand’s customer community experience? Are they sitting around at the doctor’s office? Position your brand there in some way. Are they grocery shopping, driving on the Interstate, stopping into a coffee shop chain or going to Pilates classes? Be there as well, or figure out a way to partner with brands that are already there and are already trusted.

Understand and define your brand. Has it been a while since your company revisited this topic? Has the brand become diluted in trying to be everything to all people over the past 20 years? Remember transparency key No. 1 and define what your company does in order to be relevant to the very specific market you’ve identified. The uniqueness or specialization of your brand really appeals to a woman’s sense of being “in” on a great find and it also makes them want to tell others. For example, anyone can look up “day spa” in the yellow pages. But if your spa decides to specialize in and promote a 15-minute lunch-break pedicure service, the news will spread like wildfire and there will be no need for a phonebook ad.

Be authentic. Women have radar for companies that say they know women, and even put smiling women in ads, but don’t reflect real knowledge of which products women want (or how they want to buy them). Back up, with real effort, what your company professes. If you are in a traditionally male-dominated industry, build an advisory board of female customers. If you think your business is doing just fine but you haven’t touched base with any customers lately, think again. A lot of what female consumers are looking for in products and services has changed with the times. So find out what they need and deliver it in a way that reflects your in-depth research and interest in better serving them.

Of course, as many marketers will tell you. Meeting the needs of women customers often exceeds the needs of male customers. Meeting the needs of men gets you male customers. Meeting the needs of women gets you both male and female customers. Seems like something you ought to look into.


August 11, 2004 in award winning newsletter, Award winning publications, Blog Outsourcing, blog publish, Brand enhancement, Building B2B Relationships, Building Customer Community, Business Marketing, Business newsletter, CMO | Permalink


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Here's a great AP story on a related matter--
"Women actually spent more on technology last year than men, according to the Consumer Electronics Association. It says women accounted for $55 billion of the $96 billion spent on electronics gear.

But electronics stores have been slow to catch on. Nearly three-quarters of women surveyed by the industry group complained about being ignored, patronized or offended by sales people when shopping for electronics. "

Posted by: Susan | Aug 17, 2004 10:31:00 AM