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Women Rule the World: How women influence the purchase of nearly everything & four tips for wooing them in your ads

There’s a new buzzword that could very well determine the state of your business.  Even with all the talk about the state of the U.S. economy, it’s probably a term you haven’t heard before.

Here it is: sheconomy. It’s used to describe a simple fact: women buy or influence 85% of purchases in the United States.  Women account for $7 trillion in consumer and business spending.  That’s more than the entire economy of Japan!

Even if your business is stocked full with “manly” products, like tires and tools, or even if you run a barber shop, chances are that somewhere along the way, a woman influenced your male customers to check you out. (Suggested reading: Check out this TIME magazine article that discusses how the marketing execs at the masculine brand Midas intentionally market to women.)

The facts are indisputable: if your product meets the needs of females, it also meets the needs of males, no matter what industry you’re in.

So, if you want to get more traffic in the door, make sure your marketing efforts appeal to the ladies. When designing your next offer to attract more females, keep these four tips in mind:

Don’t automatically go “girly.”  

Feminine appeal doesn’t mean dousing your ads in pink, floral and smiling babies.  Learn from Dell’s mistake in 2009, when they introduced a new line of computers in “cute” colors with a “bubbly” website to match. It was taken down within 10 days because of the backlash from women.  It is okay to use more feminine imagery and color palettes, just don’t go overboard.

Promote luxury.

Women love to feel pampered, so promote those benefits of your product or service that make them feel that way.  If you have free wine with a haircut, a nice lounge in your waiting room, or offer child care, promote it.  Find the elements of your establishment that conveys opulence or comfort, and make it a key marketing message.

Make it easy for them to promote to friends.  

Women, by nature, are social creatures and the prime users of social networks.  Of the 700 million people on Facebook, 62% are female.  The rise of social media has given more power to women, which also means more power for you as a marketer.

Reward your customers for telling their friends and family about their experience with you by creating a word of mouth referral program.  Better yet, make your online offers easy for customers to share with others on Twitter and Facebook. Utilize social media to make it easy for your female customers to pay it forward for you.

Be emotionally engaging.

Our research proves that ads that get the most response from women use pictures that entice emotion.  For example, if your ads use photos of people, choose the ones that show subjects looking at eye level with the readers (see this great example).  You have just a few seconds to grab attention, and if your photos elicit an emotional response, you’re one step closer to getting them in your door!


All this makes us think maybe they had consumerism in mind when they coined the phrase, “Behind every good man, is a good woman.”   What do you think? Were these stats news to you?  What have you learned about marketing to your male and female customers?  Do you intentionally market to women even though your product/service is perceived to be masculine?  



Valpak, one of the leading direct marketing companies in North America, is owned and operated by Cox Target Media, a subsidiary of Atlanta-based Cox Media Group. With nearly 170 franchises throughout the United States and Canada, The Blue Envelope® delivers savings and value to nearly 40 million households each month.
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