If your business isn’t actively marketing to women, you’re missing out. Women tend to make more of the spending decisions in the average household and also spend more time online. Some companies have caught on, but choose to market to women in very stereotypical ways that prove ineffective.

Though the exact numbers vary by study, experts generally agree that women probably control up to 70-80% of consumer purchasing decisions. What’s more, according to an article by Dan Muggeo on smartbiz.com, 63% of online shoppers are women. This translates to a tremendous opportunity to market to a powerful target audience.

In order to effectively market to women, it’s important to understand what motivates their purchasing decisions. Muggeo advises having a relationship-oriented marketing approach, meaning that women feel engaged in a dialogue with the company based on trust. Other tips include addressing online security concerns and having customer loyalty programs.

Women respond well to products and services that appeal to their lifestyles and priorities. They also often make purchasing decisions on behalf of their male counterparts, so it’s important to not exclude marketing to women, even if what you are selling is generally targeted to males.

According to she-conomy.com, a self-claimed “guy’s guide to marketing to women”, only 3% of advertising agency creative directors are women. This means that a whole lot of men are deciding how to market to women. This leads to advertising that can be stereotypical and formulaic.

Think of the last commercial you saw for a housecleaning product. Often, advertisers rely on the following approach: a hardworking, all-knowing mom/wife stock character is up against a dopey dad/husband who is constantly making a mess of the house. These caricatures may appeal to some women, but many see straight through this.

Michael J. Silverstein and Kate Sayre of the Harvard Business Review call women “the largest market opportunity in the world.” Don’t get left behind.

Women rule. Get used to it.

John Bradley Jackson
Entrepreneur, Professor, Author
Deja New Marketing
© Copyright 2012

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