It’s no wonder that 91% of women still say they feel misunderstood by marketers, with the ever-present old-stereotypes of women saturating the thinking of today. There’s no doubt about it, breaking through the traditionally masculine world-view of marketing is unchartered territory and whilst tackling gender-diversity can be part of the solution, it is not the solution itself.
Operating the business with the female lens firmly focussed is a must-have. The female consumer at the centre of the business model is another. It’s time to tackle lazy cliches, male-lens product development and tired old research. The financial might of women means truly understanding how to illicit what women need and the good news is, it’s easy when you know how.
Myth 1: Women do most of the cooking and cleaning.
It’s true that women spend on average about ten hours more a week running home admin, but it doesn’t mean that the good men-folk are not doing a bit of cooking if not a lot! Since the foodie movement, men are responsible for being more than just “King of the BBQ” and this is something we should be recognising more and hat-tipping too. Like washing brand Aerial who have had great success with their #sharetheload which encourages family and husbands to do their bit.
Myth 2: Women don’t buy cars and computers.
Women buy over half of products typically geared toward men, including electronics, DIY products and cars. Take GMC’s Acadia – a 7 seater crossover between a station wagon and a minivan, introduced in 2006, designed for Mums, by a mum who headed up an all female design team to dream up a car that been lauded for family friendly conveniences. In the first year – 53% of primary drivers of Arcadia were women (compared to 40% of crossover vehicles) and GMC had to cut their advertising budget because demand exceeded supply. Read about it’s appearance in Australia here
Myth 3: Women just love pink.
Semiotics matter and colour is part of social conditioning. But it’s about an overall aesthetic. Even though pink has become the colour we all know for breast cancer awareness and numerous ads geared toward women, a 2016 study showed that women’s favourite colour was actually blue. And when it comes to consumer electronics, women, like men, prioritise their purchases in terms of price, warranties and functionality—colour is near the bottom of the list.
Myth 4: Women care a lot more about their looks than men.
And that’s okay. Women care about everything: social responsibility, their families, their children, education and poverty. Check out Boston Consulting Group’s Women Want More study here. And whilst women may surpass men in beauty product buys, premium skincare purchases rose for men by 11% in 2011. Remember that Old Spice ad with Isaiah Mustafa? It gained over 39 million Youtube views and sales soared by 55%.
Myth 5: Women are not competitive.
A recent University of Chicago study suggested women simply manifest their competitiveness differently than men. For example, she’s likely to practice different behaviours like social exclusion to move up the ladder, but lets hope enlightenment for women shows that better strategies are on the way. In addition, participation in a competition doubles for women when they can compete in a two-person team.
And don’t forget, fellow marketers—women account for approximately 80% of all purchase decisions. It’s crucial for brands to start understanding their female audience better.
For more insights into the Australian female consumer, talk to Bec about Female$ and how to leverage the person that is commanding the household spend. Got a burning question? Email firstname.lastname@example.org