When I look back on the highlights of marketing to women for 2012, there are surprisingly few. But I do see some interesting and encouraging trends which will set the stage for success and failure in 2013.
Here are my marketing to women predictions for 2013
Marketing to Women Prediction #1 – Less Stereotyping
When you look at recent literary/movie/TV successes, you will notice a trend. Here's a hint:
- Katniss Everdeen (Hunger Games)
- Lisbeth Salander (Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series)
- Bella Swan (Breaking Dawn)
- Alicia Florrick (The Good Wife)
- Emily Thorne (Revenge)
What do all these femal characters have in common? They break through stereotypes. They take chances. They are the heroes of their own stories. Advertisers should take note. Are you stereotypping women in your ads? Find out by taking The Buchanan Test.
Marketing to Women Prediction #2 – Financial Companies Will Focus More on Women
In my marketing to women best commercials of 2012 it's no surprise to me that financial ads were among the winners. All the trends point to the continuing rise in women's economic power as they earn, inherit and control more money than ever.
Look for more financial compannies to focus attention on women in 2013.
Marketing to Women Prediction #3 – Women's B.S. Meters Will Become Even More Fine-Tuned
If it sounds even remotely like a sales pitch, women are going to be wary and in some cases, completely tune out. I still watch sales people in action using canned scripts and asking "gotcha" questions. For example, "If I could show you a way to lose 15 pounds without giving up any of your favorite foods would you buy from me today?"
If a woman does not believe you have her best interest at heart, it's going to be very hard for you to sell to her. This is yet another reason why personal recommendations, testimonials and customer reviews will continue to be key to increasing sales to women.
Marketing to Women Prediction #4 – Marketing to Women Online Will Be Key to Your Success
I've been saying this since 2005, but this trend shows no sign of slowing down. Women will continue to shop, do research and interact online.
Your website, email, social media and mobile strategy should be at the core of all of your marketing efforts. The experience she has with your brand online will be a key factor in how and whether she does business with you on or offline. She is expecting to get the information she needs, when she needs it. Too many brands still fall down on the job with their online customer experience.
Marketing to Women Prediction #5 – More Women Will Be Promoted to Key Positions in Marketing and Advertising
An absolute highlight for me this year was The 3% Conference, a tour de force from Kat Gordon. The title 3% comes from the fact that only 3% of advertising agency creative directors are women. Some of the biggest brightest stars of the advertising world were on stage and in attendance.
From all the research we've seen, up to 80% of all purchase are made or influenced by women. And yet 97% of creative directors are men. There's a huge disconnect here. So much of advertising is made by men, for men, with creative elments that appeal to men. Don't believe me? Check out AdAge's Best Commercials of 2012.
So what has to happen to change a very embedded culture? I think Tom Jordan nailed it when he said:
"It's going to have to happen from the outside in with clients telling ad agencies, 'look, women are buying most of my products. You have all men on my business. I want that to change.' The only way more agencies will hire and promote more female talent is if clients demand it."
It is my greatest hope for 2013 that this last prediction comes true. Nothing will have more of an impact on the success or failure of marketing to women. Could the 3% conference one day be the 50% conference?
Here's to happy and successful 2013!