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Marketing To Women. Contrary To Popular Male Belief, There Really Is A Difference

One of our clients has decided that they would like to do a campaign that targets women. As a man who professes to be in touch with the feminine psyche, (with female partners in and aside from business), my assumption was that I would not find all that much of a difference between marketing to men and women.

But the question of what the differences actually could be was intriguing so I decided do a little digging on the good old world wide web.

Now you have to be careful when you research anything on the web, because it is the great equalizer when it comes to information, and it’s really hard to separate the political agendas from the honest information, especially with issues like this. But like anything in life, if you dig around enough, you will start to see patterns of opinion.

Rather than bore you with the longer version of the results I found, I have distilled this research down to what I call “The 10 Commandments of Marketing To Women.”

What you will hopefully find as you read through it is that there is a high level of interconnectivity between all of these characteristics, which is not something you can always observe in men.

Here they are, in my opinion, the 10 most important things to keep in mind when marketing to women.

  1. Women Are Focused On Connections: They look for similarities as opposed to points of difference. They focus on creating cooperation, good relationships and ways to help each other.
  2. Women Trust Common Experience, as opposed to men who tend to put more faith in authority. The reason for this is that men think vertically as in hierarchies whereas women tend to think laterally as in common ground or level playing fields, where everyone can benefit.
  3. Women Prefer Win/Win Situations, as opposed to men who think win/lose. That is not to say they are less competitive than men, just competitive in a different way.
  4. Women Plan Ahead To Avoid Negative Outcomes. As a result women tend to be better long term thinkers and planners.
  5. Women Put More Time And Research Into Their Decisions. This means that if you are marketing to them, you are obliged to do a very thorough job of communicating information to them, as they will take it all into account.
  6. Women Are More Loyal To Those With Whom They Do Business. This has to do with the fact that women are simply much more confident in their decisions, whereas with men, not so much.
  7. Women Refer More Often Than Men. This is an adjunct to 6. It’s a lot easier for women to be good and frequent referrers, because they are more confident in the decisions they make in the first place and because it is more in their communal nature to recommend products and services they are happy with to others.
  8. Women Are Much More No-Nonsense Than Men. If a woman has an objection to something, she will tell you about it and expect you to address it immediately. She is a big believer in testimonials, as opposed to marketing hyperbole because she has highly developed B/S meter.
  9. Women Prefer Stories Not Facts. To women, stories are more memorable than features and benefits. She will relate stronger to stories involving people’s experiences with your product or service. This makes an emotional connection that can motivate them to take action. This means that things like testimonials and product reviews are something they will take a good deal of interest in.
  10. Women Believe That Quantity Is Not Quality. Women tend to look at just about everything in their lives from a qualitative perspective. Quality of life. Quality of service. Quality of products. Quality of experience.

A Wisened Man’s Perspective

Now being a man writing this post naturally puts me at a disadvantage. Because on the one hand, you could look at the aforementioned things to keep in mind when marketing to women and think, well OK, that’s the man’s point of view.

But then I would have to politely correct you because the sources I used to derive this list all come from blogs and web sites that are run by women. Just wanted to clarify that point.

Now if you’re a woman out there reading this, very little here is going to come as a surprise. But if you’re a man, most of this is quite a revelation…at least it was to me. It might be worth reading a couple of times, and seeing if there aren’t some things we men could do to be more like women. Maybe then the world would be less of a ‘dog eat dog’ place than it is now.

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