One of the first topics we talked about in my Strategy class at NYU was the power of marketing to women. My professor asked the question, “if you are not marketing to women, who are you marketing to?” Before this class I did not fully apprehend the power that lies within our gender: women now account for 85 percent of total customer spending, as stated by the Center for Women’s Business Research in Washington, DC.
I have always been one to advocate for equality of the sexes and have enjoyed reading books about or by women in leading positions. The news talks about more and more female CEOs in all segments of business. Select companies openly support gender equality and strive to close the gap between women’s and men’s salary. Celebrities voice their opinion at international conferences. No doubt that we are not living in an ideal world yet as far as this issue goes, but we are making small steps in the good direction.
Marketers, however, must be leading the pack in change. Not every marketer has to turn into a feminist all of a sudden, but we must all look at the numbers supported by recent studies. As mentioned earlier, not only do women account for the majority of consumer decisions in America, but they do so in every category including new cars, healthcare and electronics. Moreover, the same study by the Center for Women’s Business Research showed that 86% of women entrepreneurs say “they use the same products and services at home as they do in their business,” which is an important fact considering that 65% of business owners are women.
Women account for $7 trillion in US spending. Yes, $7 trillion, which is also over half of the US GDP. As women’s earning power increases, the average woman is expected to surpass the average male earnings by 2028. Over 50% of traditional male products are purchased by women. In the digital world, women account for 58% of all total online spending, along with the following numbers:
- 22% shop online at least once a day*
- 92% pass along information about deals or finds to others*
- 171: average number of contacts in their e-mail or mobile lists*
- 76% want to be part of a special or select panel*
- 58% would toss a TV if they had to get rid of one digital device (only 11% would ditch their laptops)*
- 51% are moms*
We have seen a handful of successful advertising campaigns that took the above numbers into consideration when creating their messaging. First one to come to mind is Old Spice and the famous shirtless guy on a white horse, convincing ladies that their man should at least use Old Spice if they can’t be him. This successful rebranding move by the company couldn’t have been more spot on: they realized women are the ones purchasing their partner’s deodorant stick most often. Under Armour signed Misty Copeland for their “I Will What I Want” spot in celebration of the ballerina’s determination and many accomplishments. Verizon launched it’s “Inspire Her Mind” commercial in 2014 and these are just a few of the many brands who realized the great power that lies within marketing to women. In NYC, the agency called Womenkind specializes in reaching the women’s market, providing women’s consumer insight strategy to those working with them.
If you have any favorite ad campaigns targeting women that may have not been doing so beforehand, I would love to hear about them in the comments!