Platform: For women, big is better and it’s time to act on it - PR professionals are ignoring the buying power of the female pound at their clients’ peril, says Belinda Lawson

Women make up half the UK workforce and it is predicted that by the year 2020, 20 per cent of fathers will be ’house parents’ while their partners assume the role of chief bread winner. In addition to this, single women with full-time careers are now the fastest growing group of home-owners. All of which indicates that the future for sales is increasingly female.

Women make up half the UK workforce and it is predicted that by the

year 2020, 20 per cent of fathers will be ’house parents’ while their

partners assume the role of chief bread winner. In addition to this,

single women with full-time careers are now the fastest growing group of

home-owners. All of which indicates that the future for sales is

increasingly female.



Women should be a more attractive target market for products outside the

traditional female arena of clothes, make-up and food. But are

communications professionals missing a big trick by failing to take

advantage of this growing opportunity to expand sales?



When it comes to communicating male-orientated products like computers,

hi-fis and gadgets, women are still way down on the agenda - if they are

there at all. The lack of communication with women suggests that they

are just not interested in these products or that they are

technophobes.



But bearing in mind that reports claim that 40 per cent of internet

users are women, this is obviously not true.



Women certainly have the buying power for these products - but are we

getting the messages across to create the desire for them? This is where

I believe we and our clients have our work cut out - we need to find a

way of getting these onto the ’must have’ list for women.



Even when there is a general marketing push made to interest women in

traditionally male products, it is usually for a female version which is

smaller and cheaper - from nippy little cars to coloured mobile

phones.



If we are ever going to get women to buy bigger we need to create the

desire to know more about the benefits of the ’best’ and therefore the

more expensive models. Otherwise, women will be destined for a life of

small and elegant, rather than big and ballsy.



As communication professionals we need to identify the triggers which

will encourage women to buy big so that we can raise awareness of the

benefits they should be looking for. And we are in the best position to

do so, seeing as consumer PR is predominantly female!



I think that the key word here is ’trust’. While men are more likely to

be won over by products which promise the best, women remain more

sceptical and worry about being conned. This is where PR’s role in the

marketing mix is important because women need to be won over and

persuaded. While advertisements are limited in the messages they convey,

PR can communicate the benefits in a language which relates to women.

Women want the results of technology - efficiency, speed, better quality

and so on - but are not too bothered about how they get them.



PR’s role is crucial because unless women receive more information and

understand the benefits, price will continue to be the single biggest

discriminator. Women are more wary of spending on products they know

very little about and therefore are not buying big. Instead they are

pushed towards cheaper, feminine versions - which accounts for the

success of these models among women.



But if women continue to be excluded as a major target market for

bigger, more advanced models then they - and we - will be making a

serious business mistake. If communications professionals fail to take

advantage of the increasingly powerful female pound they will be

shutting off sales and profit margins. With this in mind, PR should be

leading the way and performing a vital educational role in broadening

women’s attitudes towards technology in all its forms.



Belinda Lawson is a director at Lawson Dodd Communications Management.



Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register
Already registered?
Sign in

Would you like to post a comment?

Please Sign in or register.