Don’t just sell, connect.
Do you truly understand the women you’re marketing to? Brand marketer Linda Landers shares that 91% of women say advertisers don’t understand them. (LinkedIn) Even women who look more like the pictures in magazines may not own this reality.
My research has confirmed beauty is all in your head, and outer manifestations of it don’t always match inner perceptions. Women internalize the loving-but-sometimes-critical voices of their childhood and the culture around body image just as they do around basic competence.
For example, despite outperforming men, female surgical students give themselves lower grades. (Business Insider) Marketing has traditionally presented problems, or made them up (morning breath anyone?), to encourage insecurity in consumers so they seek solutions in the marketplace. But women increasingly don’t believe that the marketplace will solve their problems.
Many women I’ve spoken with feel overwhelmed and let down by traditional marketing and the increasingly unattainable perfection that’s presented. They are tired of trying to be perfect. They are seeking their own definitions of beauty.
Supportive language empathizes without condescending, and presents your brand as one that gets it. For example, Graceship laptop bags for women have been designed to be stylish, functional, and vegan. The language used before and after a sale has a sassy sisterhood vibe that supports and celebrates your purchase of a smart new accessory.
Help women sort through the voices of authority in their heads.
Women are often the healthiest person in the household and try to encourage these habits in the rest of their family. For example, women make 80% of healthcare decisions and more moms than dads believe their families would find it difficult to manage everyday activities if they became sick (84% vs. 63%). But mothers filter products through a raft of ‘they say’ voices in their heads.
These include their parents, friends, pediatricians, celebrity doctors, magazines, news articles and the like. With so many claims on the best way to raise a healthy family and to stay fit personally, women seek truth and are skeptical of new claims.
Be honest with women, assume they can and will research what you say. If you put forth a quick front-of-the-package fact on your product to help it sell, make it true and relevant. Shore up your claimed benefits with facts and sources that your particular demographic values.
Respect your buyers, female or male, and your marketing will be a success.
This article has been edited and condensed.
Jennifer Cooper is the President of BuyerSynthesis, the buy-whys™ marketing research company. She helps emerging and established brands grow revenues through better understanding their buyers. Connect with @buyersynthesis on Twitter.
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