Marketing To Women- World’s Largest Segment Your Business Should Consider

Controlling the Company Checkbook

Women are the world’s most powerful consumers. They are the big Spenders, whether you’re talking about households, corporate purchasing, or small businesses.It may not always be noticed, but when it comes to business buying,women play a significant role as well. Whether you target the corporate market or the small business market, there are compelling reasons to get smart about marketing and selling to women.The big-business market: climbing the corporate ladder.cash4wealth Obviously, it is no longer unusual to see women in the corridors and conference rooms of today’s corporate offices. In fact, today, 49 percent of all professional- and managerial-level workers are women. Even more interesting to the businesses that sell materials to major companies is the fact that 51 percent of all purchasing managers and agents are women. Human resources executives, who play a key role in deciding on the financial services providers for their companies, are predominantly women. Office administrative managers, who choose the businesses that will provide their company’s supplies and services, are mostly women. And business communication leaders, who buy the production and media services for their company’s marketing, advertising,and PR, are very often women. If knowing your customer is the key to selling to her effectively, lots of business-to-business companies had better start learning how women buy.

Effectively targeting women generates higher customer satisfaction—among both women and men

The small-business market: the new “entrepreneurs.” Most people are unaware that women-owned businesses, businesses whose ownership is at least 50 percent female, comprise 40 percent of all companies in the US. Would it surprise you to learn that these women owned businesses employ 35 percent more people in the United States alone than the Fortune 500 companies do worldwide? Does that give you some perspective on the buying power they control?

The Power of the Purse

From 1987 to 1999, the number of women-owned businesses grew 103 percent, or one and a half times the national average. What’s more, their employment levels grew 320 percent. Their revenues grew most of all, up 436 percent! And the fastest-growing women-owned businesses were the larger companies, firms with more than 100 employees.


Companies targeting the small business market and looking to open new accounts need to focus in on the fact that women business owners account for a full 70 percent of all new business start-ups over the past decade! And, lest you leave with the impression that women-owned businesses are  fledgling enterprises uncertain to survive, know that 65 percent of women-owned businesses have made it past their five-year anniversary, compared to 58 percent of their male counterparts. Clearly, marketers who sell to small business owners have every reason to focus on women. Increasingly, the buyer for small office/home office (SOHO) equipment, supplies, communication technology, travel, banking, and business services has a female face. The four factors we’ve just discussed are powerful enough alone to sound the alert for marketers. However, there’s more. Not only do women make up a large market, but they also are more profitable.

Profitability in the Women’s Market

Marketing to women will deliver more profit to your bottom line than putting the same budget against an all-male target.

More Profitable Customers

Two dimensions of the women’s buying process make them more profitable customers than men in the long term: loyalty and referrals. First, because women are more demanding in making the initial purchase in a category, they recoup their time investment by staying more loyal to the brand they’ve chosen in subsequent purchase cycles. Second, because word of mouth is more prevalent among women, they are more likely to recommend to others those brands or salespeople that impress them favorably—in essence, you’re getting free marketing of the most powerful kind. How many marketing opportunities do you know that can deliver higher sales and higher profits at the same time?

Why Market to Women?

Higher Customer Satisfaction—Among Men, Too Effectively targeting women generates higher customer satisfaction—among both women and men. Companies as diverse as BMW, Wyndham Hotels, and Merrill Lynch have found that marketing and service improvements designed to enhance brand appeal among women have resulted

in greater customer satisfaction among men as well. The reason? In many respects, women want all the same things as men—and then some. Accordingly, when you meet the higher expectations of women, you are more than fulfilling the demands of men. You’ve got two satisfied customers for the price of one, so which market would you emphasize?

Better Returns on Your Marketing Dollar

Marketing to women delivers a better return on your marketing dollar through both higher customer acquisition and greater customer retention. While in many categories the traditional male targets are saturated, the corresponding women’s segments are untapped and virtually uncontested by competition. Furthermore, because women are more inclined to long-term brand relationships, enhanced loyalty means every marketing dollar invested in acquiring women customers results in a higher overall retention rate. It just makes sense to put greater focus where you get more bang for your buck.

Marketing to women delivers a better return on your marketing dollar through both higher customer acquisition and greater customer retention.

Gone are the days when father knew best, the days when a loving husband bought a new washing machine for his wife’s birthday, or brought home a new family car as a surprise. Marketers in big-ticket industries recognize the shift, but so far only a few of them are realizing they need to get savvy about how women make decisions, what motivates their purchases, and how they respond to marketing differently than men. Whether you’re an established market leader looking for new markets or an innovative newcomer who thrives on new ideas, the women’s market is the kind of big idea that can make a major difference to the bottom line (not to mention boosting your own visibility as a farsighted marketing leader!). And if anyone says to you, “Where’s the incremen tal market? Women are already buying cars and computers, so how will marketing to women build our business?” here’s your answer: “Sure, they’re buying—but wouldn’t you rather they bought your brand instead of your competitor’s?” The largest, fastest-growing market in the world is waiting.

Throughout the world, women control consumer spending. They’re accumulating income and invest-able assets never before seen in history. And, they’re expanding their decision-making presence in corporations and small business. The business is there; the real question is where are you?

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