Connecting with Female Customers
As editor of M2W® E-ssentials (http://www.m2w.biz/essentials/index.php), an online community that is an extension of M2W®-The Marketing To Women Conference (http://www.m2w.biz), Patti Minglin has seen her fair share of what works (and what doesn't) when brands try and connect with female consumers. Patti has taken a break from your editorial duties (she is also the editor of M2Moms® E-ssentials--http://www.m2moms.com/essentials/essentials_home.php--and Good And Green E-ssentials--http://www.goodandgreen.biz/essentials/index.php) to give us some of the top strategies that seem to always lead to success when trying to win with women:
- Be real:Several years ago when Dove put real women in their advertising campaign, something happened to the female consumer?she began demanding more authenticity from her brands. Women are the researchers?the fact gatherers?and they want to know exactly what your product can do for them in their daily lives. Yes, your SUV may not have the best gas mileage, but can the trunk hold more football gear than a smaller car? Does it come with a navigational system that can help her find her way on a business trip? Tell her everything there is to know?speak her language and share her values?giving her a message that truly resonates.
- Bring Her Into The Conversation: We all know those people who talk just to hear themselves talk, and unfortunately, that is how women feel about many of the brands that are trying to speak to them?it is a very one-sided conversation. Create a dialogue with women that allows them to give you feedback and opinions on everything from new product features to what is most important when they walk onto the dealership floor. Ask questions and?most importantly?listen to the responses. Chances are you will find new ways to make your brand more relevant to her life.
- Tell A Story: In the 1990's Taster's Choice created a series of commercials that followed the romantic encounters of a man and a woman who shared the love of Taster?s Choice. Each commercial played out like a soap opera?keeping viewers tuned in to see what would happen next. It was more about the story than the coffee, but it still drove sales?Taster?s Choice saw a 10% increase in sales while the commercials aired. Your story doesn't have to play out like a soap opera (who really has that much time anymore?), but don't leave out the details?women love a good story and will want to share it with others.
- Create A Community: Women want to be part of a brand's conversation, but they also long to connect with others who share their same passions and interests. Create a way for her to communicate and share with others?post a regular blog and ask for comments, create a website page for consumers who have purchased the same type of car or host a special event at your place of business that not only gets women through your door, but gives them the opportunity to interact with one another. Create the right community and the consumers will follow.
- Don't Skimp On Customer Service: Your marketing to women strategy may begin in a corporate office or marketing meeting, but it needs to continue to move through your organization all the way to the point of sale. Women rank customer service as one of their top brand priorities and if treated well will not only become a repeat customer, but will bring along their friends. On the flip side, if a woman receives poor customer service, she will not only tell her friends and family, but anyone else that will listen. Look at today's online complaint blogs and websites?the majority of the entries are from women. Women want to not only be heard, but understood?and that includes every level of customer contact from managers to mechanics.