I started this blog in 2004 to support the idea that marketing to women online is a practice more businesses should be focused on. Since then, a lot has changed. The Internet has changed, for one. It's grown... Facebook and Twitter were not part of my original writings, and to dismiss them now would spell trouble across the board. People are knowledgable about marketing to women, recognizing the inherent differences in how women shop, how we think, and what our role is in the family. Interestingly, another factor plays into the marketing to women concept these days - the fact that many people are promoting gender neutral marketing - in other words, just market. Don't target women or men.
I'm not one of them. I still firmly believe women are different than men, we shop differently than men, and we use the Internet differently. We're unique.
However, I have to give the non-gender folks some due. I understand their purpose - to teach marketing at its core: how do you reach your audience - not how do you get women to buy from you. We see reports that men shop online more than women do. Men spend more than women do. Dads are now taking on the role of grocery shopper. The world is turning upsidedown! How is any small business supposed to keep up?
I'm here to help. Because, it's not that hard. My original premise is still true, it still holds, and you would do well to pay it some attention. IF you market to women, you also market to men. If you market to men, you likely leave many women out of the focus. Women are the driving force in ecommerce.
According to CNBC in May of this year, "Men Are Out-Shopping Women Online" - the article states, "...there are 19 million affluent men online, and the vast majority of them are shopping." How nice. What about the non-affluent men? What are they doing? I submit, they're letting their wives or girlfriends or Moms shop for them. Unless it's electronics.
Women dominate social media. According to Huffingtonpost.com, this article cleverly tagged "battle of the sexes" notes "...women make up 64 percent of Facebook users, 58 percent of Twitter users, and a whopping 82 percent of Pinterest users." w00t! Can you say Marketing to Women Online in Social Media? And those numbers are from July 2012. More telling is this stat, in the same article, "Even online gaming, a world once dominated by men, has gone through a gender switch up. For example, take Zynga, the social gaming platform responsible for some of the biggest hit games on Facebook: Digital Flash found that "women over the age of 55 spend more time playing online games than males aged 15 to 24 and males 25 to 34 combined."
Women don't just dominate social media, folks. We dominate the online retail space. According to Statista, the stats around gender visits to retail online, from July 2012, are pretty telling. 48.60% of men are visiting retail online, while 51.40% of women are visiting retail online.
To prepare for 2013, set your sites on understanding your women customers. Women are often stereotyped into "shoppers"- in rather unflattering ways (just look at the Target Christmas commercials - which, to their 'credit' are now aimed at men also), but the truth is more real: we shop for others more often than we shop for ourselves, and we like shopping. A few, rare men will ever admit to enjoying the shopping experience.
The first stop to understand women and how marketing to women online works, is a visit to Holly Buchanan's blog, Marketing to Women Online. Holly is keeping up with the need to give women more attention, more serious thought, and more focus. Along with Lipsticking, she is the best resource when it comes to Marketing to Women Online in 2013. I especially love this recent post, "Best Commercials of 2012" where she requires brands to pass The Buchanan Test.