It seems everywhere you turn in the communications and marketing world, the topic of marketing to women is red-hot. Headlines tout the power of the woman's purse; major marketers refer to their customers as “her.” Today, almost every business wants, and in fact needs, to reach women.
In truth, it is really no wonder that marketing to women has become a priority for marketers and business owners. Women make 85 percent of consumer purchasing decisions, spending more than $3.3 trillion annually. The business interest in marketing to women will only continue to grow as women's buying power escalates. Attracting their purchasing power is no longer a “nice to do” – it is a “must-do.” What is astonishing to me is not that the marketing-to-women revolution is here, but rather that this movement did not start sooner.
While this unprecedented buying power is driving marketers' attention more than ever before, current efforts are not working as well as they would like. But why? For one, women are “multi-minding” – making them more difficult to reach than ever via traditional marketing means. Multi-minding, in a nutshell, means constantly juggling a myriad of thoughts and tasks to manage the many dimensions and responsibilities of a woman's life. Multi-minding has become a survival technique for those living busy lives. Given women are choosing to live robust, activity-filled lives, this coping mechanism is not likely to go away. In fact, it likely will continue at an accelerated pace. Multi-minding is a genuine cultural phenomenon, and it is here to stay.
Reaching women today is all about developing an authentic relationship online and offline. And, it is about building credibility of the brand and company by using a consistent message and being relevant where she lives and works. Sounds easy, right? As with any successful relationship it is a journey, not a destination. The rulebook is being written as we speak. Will your brand or business be a part of it? It is worth it to be included. To lag behind and to do less with today's powerful, techno-savvy, multi-minding female consumer will eventually erode your bottom line. Let's start today by listening and involving women in our planning processes.
Kelley Murray Skoloda is a partner and director of Ketchum's global brand marketing practice and the author of the recently published Too Busy to Shop: Marketing to Multi-Minding Women. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.