What Women Want (And Are You Giving It To Them?)

We’ve all done it. As kids, when we wanted something at the supermarket we clung to our mothers whining, whimpering, and pointing hopefully at whatever caught our fancy that shopping trip.

As grown-up men, things remain sort of the same.

We go shopping and cling to our wives or girlfriends and sigh longingly at trucks, cars, high-sugar cereals and snacks that we really, really, want!

Let’s face it, men, when it comes to buying stuff, women hold the keys to the purse!

In fact, they make purchasing decisions not just for themselves, but also on behalf of their husbands, partners, kids, in-laws, their kids’ friends, their businesses and even relatives and elderly patients, author Bridget Brennan points out in Why She Buys.

The numbers bear this reality out.

According to she-conomy.com women account for 85% of all consumer purchases from groceries and home improvements to automobiles and health care. And when it comes to the enormity of global buying power of women, figures like $20 trillion globally and $7 trillion in the United States alone are thrown around.

Read that slowly: The buying power of women in the United States is at $7 trillion alone! Trillion with a “T”

Given these huge numbers, take a minute to pause and ask yourself what your organization is doing to harness the power of this immense marketplace?

Author Fara Warner has some helpful questions in her book, The Power of the Purse: How Smart Businesses are Adapting to the World’s Most Important Consumer – Women.

  • Does your organization, its marketing department, your ad agency and your sales force truly grasp and understand women?
  • Do you have a stereotypical view of women consumers that has not changed in the more than a year?
  • Do you still think of women as a minority?
  • Are you afraid to be the first in your industry to think to focus on women and if you do, do you think that will turn off male consumers?
  • Do you think one ad campaign or marketing message will work on all women?

As you ponder these questions, here are my quick takeaway:

As a senior leader of your organization, you have to be constantly thinking and posing these questions to your corporate marketing department and implementing measures and metrics as a portion of your strategy for delivering business results for women.

  • Don’t Homogenize Women: This is the no-brainer. Every woman is unique and multidimensional and it is unwise to have a one-size fits all approach to marketing to women.
  • Millennial Women are Not Their Moms: Millennial women are nothing like their mother. They buy different things and place a greater cache on uniqueness and individuality and the impact their buying has on the society and environment at large (Case in point: think of their locally sourced, cage-free, hand-raised, hand-picked eggs buying behavior.)
  • The Future is Multi-Cultural: We know America is set to be a minority-majority nation by 2043 where the population is going to be majority non-white. Given this reality, what is your organization doing to market to an audience where the non-white woman is eager and willing to try your product or service?

So, this Mother’s Day, buy your Mom and Wife some nice flowers, take them to dinner and look around you. It’s a $2 trillion dollar opportunity waiting for your taking.

Related article: Marketing to Women

Jeffery Tobias Halter is the country’s leading male expert on engaging men in women’s leadership issues. He is the author of two books, WHY WOMEN, The Leadership Imperative to Advancing Women and Engaging Men and Selling to Men, Selling to Women.

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