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Gender Differences When Marketing to Women [Part 1]

Posted by Gillian Shimizu on Tue, Jan 08,2013 @ 02:10 PM

There are likely few people out there that would disagree with this statement: Men and women are different. However, Bridget Brennan, in her book Why She Buys, explains that gender is the most powerful determinant of how a person views the world. And, because women and men are hardwired differently and view the world from such disparate perspectives, it's important to acknowledge and understand these differences in order to effectively engage and attract a female audience.  

From childhood, girls and boys demonstrate behavioural differences that carry on into adulthood. These gender differences play a huge role in how we learn, process information and even how we respond to marketing messages. Here are four tips related to our gender differences that you may want to incorporate in your marketing strategy if your target audience is women:


Tailor your message; She tends to be collaborative.  He tends to be competitive.
Women measure success internally. They strive to achieve their personal goals and to help others along the way. Men on the other hand, prefer to measure success externally with success based on winners and losers. Competitive marketing messages that directly pit your product against a competitors; or communications that focus on 'bigger, better, faster' concepts may entice your male audience, but try and avoid them if you are targeting women. A hierarchical structure is important in his world; not so much in hers.

No smiles, no sales. 
When shopping, men tend to walk into a store with one mission – to get in and out as fast as they can. They tend to place less emphasis on how attentive the service is, and are more focussed on how quickly their needs are met. Women, on the other hand, want their customer experience to be attentive from start to finish - from a welcoming greeting to conscientious after-sales support. Speed is one aspect of a woman's positive customer experience. But it isn't everything. If you can’t provide an enjoyable, stress-free experience to your female customers, don’t expect them to invest in your business.

Women are the masters of word of mouth marketing 
If a woman has a good experience with your business, she won’t hesitate to tell all the people she cares about. Better yet, if you offer first-class service with loyalty and referral programs, this will encourage your female customers to spread the word even more.

Invest in employees not computers 
Computers and automated machines may seem more cost effective than hiring employees, but if they can’t give the assistance customers need, they may end up losing you money. If a woman needs help while shopping, she has no problem approaching a salesperson. Make sure you have knowledgeable employees who can listen to the needs of your female customers and provide them with a helpful and personalized answer. If a woman has to use a computer or automated machine and she doesn't get the answer or attention she's looking for, she will be more likely to beccome disengaged.  

Related posts:
Gender Differences When Marketing to Women [Part 2] 
Gender Differences When Marketing to Women [Part 3]

Tags: Marketing to women, Gender Differences

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