Courting the Ladies: A Few Simple Truths About Marketing to Women Online


Marketing to women is a bit trickier than marketing to other demographics. Why, you ask? Well, a working woman and/or mother is already busy with work, kids, household chores and finding some personal time. At the end of their day they don’t have time to do a lot of digging through ads, really want they want to do is curl up and go to sleep. Being a woman is a very busy life that could leave even a superhero tired at the end of the day.

Somewhere in her busy day, you need to grab her attention to make her want to buy your product, and this is a huge deal because she is ultimately the decision maker when it comes to spending money. Check out the stats below:

1. The US has approximately 55 million working women between the ages of 25-54, even though they earn less than men, they make 80% of the buying decision in the household. They research more and are LESS LIKELY to be influenced by ads.
2. Women spent $7.6 billion on jeans in 2005, up 10% from last year
3. In the year 2000, 9.2% of households were run by single mothers. The estimate of single mothers in 2000 was 9.68 million.
4. I have seen reports that billions of dollars are spent on cosmetics each year
5. Women make up 51.6% of the online population, as of 2004

It’s time to reach back and remember our Marketing/Advertising 101 class…people are most likely to purchase a product from an ad that they can relate to.

Let’s take number 1 and number 2 of the stats above, if women are less likely to respond to ads, then why are there so many ads out there showing teeny boppers, who are a size 0 trying to sell jeans? For Pete’s sake, women in the age range of 30 or above do not want to relate to that and should not feel they have to, so make ads that relate to her. Show a woman with a few pounds on her, sending the kids off to play with friends, she escapes into her room, throws on a pair of jeans, sighs and stretches out on the couch and the ad ends in silence…Now THAT will capture your working audience.

Spin that into an online ad, we make Jeans for the working women or something like that, show the same lady stretched out on the couch with her eyes shut, people will get it. Make the online ad into an email campaign, shoot the email out saying, “Our jeans are just for you, and no your teenager can’t borrow them.” Then make sure the email campaign goes out and reaches their inbox either around lunch time, because they are probably sitting at their desk eating lunch, or late evening, when they have a small amount of quiet time after everyone is asleep.

Again use people and text that women can relate to, mix up the ads, believe it or not, just because someone is not blond and a stick doesn’t mean they are not beautiful, so let them know this by the ads.

I saw a famous footwear ad on TV Sunday night during Grey’s Anatomy and loved it! I could relate to the commercial, a group of women, all different backgrounds and looks, all very happy and dancing around because they love their shoes. I thought it was great and it caught my attention, why? Well, it came on during a program I am not ashamed to say I watch because of Patrick Dempsey or McDreamy as he is so appropriately named on the show. I love shoes, my friends and I are all different looking, so it was easy to relate This morning I remembered the commercial, went to the website and signed up to receive offers and promotions. VIOLA! How easy was that? I saw shoes online I really liked and will be going to buy something this weekend. Seriously let’s see what happened there:

1. I watch a TV show because the men on the show are hot. Yes men, wake up women do watch shows because the guys are hot.
2. A shoe commercial airs during that timeslot — good marketing, catch the user when they are captivated
3. I could relate to the commercial, it didn’t take a lot of imagination to picture my friends and I doing the same thing. Two more pluses for marketing, Famous Footwear gave me something I could relate to and it didn’t make me wish to be skinnier, prettier or anything else, all it did was make me grin.
4. The commercial stayed in my mind, and drove me to their website. Very good combination marketing, keeping the user intrigued.
5. The site featured some of the same ladies from the commercial, so I knew I was in the right place and right there on the page it says sign up for promos and offers. How easy is that? This showed the user what they want and women like deals, so they sign up in hopes of receiving some type of coupon before they hit the store this week.
6. All I had to give was my name, zip code and email. The site makes you feel safe, and not like you are giving away your life history.
7. And now, they have a customer, because I will be buying a pair of shoes or two this weekend and telling my friends about it.



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