March is Women’s History Month
In honor of Women’s History Month, we’d like to share a few thoughts on marketing to women. Women are not a niche market. They are the market.
Today, 85% of consumer purchases in the U.S are made by women.
A whopping 80% of women make the decisions when it comes to health care.
Even in traditional “male” domains like financial and retirement planning, women are rapidly gaining ground. Among married women who are their household’s primary breadwinner, for example, 65% say they “take control” of these areas.
Reaching this audience requires more than superficial changes to your communications – e.g., altering colors or photos. It means really appealing to women’s interests and identities, their life stage, even the way they like to interact.
Should women be approached differently than men?
While some may bristle at this notion, finding it patronizing, it’s hard to dismiss the whole Mars-Venus thing. Fidelity Investments, which is run by Abigail Johnson, has found that women are more likely than men to seek outside input and want to know what a service will really mean for them. As a result, Fidelity is now looking to its customer service reps to connect with women in a way that will resonate more, meaning they’re more likely to chitchat to establish rapport. And they frame conversations around her longer-term goals or the important people in her life.
Similarly, new research has found that financial advisors are much more likely to create a satisfactory relationship with women if they create a safe space for questions and candid answers.
Makes good sense to us. As a bonus, if you meet the higher customer service and information-seeking standards of women, you might please your male audience, too.
Closing the confidence gap.
As women take a more prominent role as consumers of financial services, it’s up to the industry to make them feel comfortable. Prudential’s 2014–15 study, Financial Experience & Behaviors Among Women, revealed that there is still a significant “confidence gap.” While 75% of women said it was very important to have enough money in retirement and 66% said the same about keeping pace with rising health care costs, only 14% and 9%, respectively, were confident they would meet those goals. These results underscore the need for marketers to educate consumers, simplify the complex and build confidence.