Fun Works by Leslie Yerkes
Marketing to Women Online:
How Not To Do It Part II

Marketing to Women Online:
How Not To Do It

I've been working on a new book. Well, I've been thinking about working on a new book is more like it. I created an outline over a year ago, I started the introduction several months ago, and I continue to gather research but... I have not really started the book.

This is what John Lennon would say is life happening and getting in the way while I'm planning other things. <sigh>Stack_of_books

Still, when I do get into the new book, it will be about Women and Web 2.0. The book will describe the power of women in a world of interactive communication. That's where it's at today and that's where you should be, if you want women to buy from you online. You should be using Web 2.0... to the max.

Before I get into how to do that...and it won't be in this post...I'd like to talk about how NOT to do it. Sometimes by recognizing and learning how NOT to do something, you get a better feel for how to do it right. Marketing to women online doesn't require as much work as you may think - but it does require focus.

So, here are 10 Things You Should NEVER Do, when you Market To Women Online: (actually, 5 today, and 5 tomorrow...)

10. Please don't lump us into a "target market." Targets are for hunting. We prefer to be shoppers, or consumers. As such, we would like to be referred to as people. Referring to us as the women's market is a good start. Or, follow others' advice and talk about us as a niche. A nice niche.

9. Don't overwhelm us. Yes, women like choices. We like to get items in various sizes or colors, but be smart enough to know the women you're marketing to and offer them exactly what they want. (don't forget that colors appear differently on different monitors - try to use standard color descriptions: blue, red, yellow, pink... if you say goldenrod and on her monitor it looks orange...that's a problem). Remember, with Web 2.0, if we're disappointed - we're going to share with millions of our sisters.

8. Stop the flash openings! They weren't smart marketing four years ago, and they're less so now. YES we have broadband so it's no longer an issue of slow downloads, but when your website immediately opens with a movie or video, and loud music (you don't know how high I have the speakers turned up, or why), you risk startling us and...sending us off to your competitors. OFFER the movie or flash content in a sidebar or link or give us a "skip opening" button. We like movies but... only when it's our choice.

7. While you're selling to us, talk to us. Teach us something. Appeal to our womanly wants and needs (like taking care of each other and our families; health is a prime area of interest to women and, today, finances are a big concern, too.)

6. Use the wrong images! We aren't all twenty-somethings. We don't all aspire to the Twiggy look. Age is relative - and, the boomer women are as strong, exciting, sexy and smart as all the other groups. Give us credit for that - show women in all walks of life, doing all sorts of things (even engineering... in 2005, 21% of engineering graduates were women).

5.  Ignore our chatter online! Yes, more women blog than men. We even keep and write in our blogs more than men. Don't dismiss our chatter as chatter. We talk politics, health, wealth, business, shopping, kids, pets and more. Believe it.

Tune in tomorrow for 5 more things you should NEVER do when marketing to women online. 


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jen_chan, writer

Ah yes, I get that whole flash thing a lot. Anyway, I agree that our blog chatter is not merely chatter. We hold very strong opinions about important issues the world faces today. These opinions are not to be taken lightly either. There are hundreds of women bloggers out there (including this one) who have very unique, interesting and thought provoking perspectives on matters relevant to us all. and yes, we do not want to be bombarded with too many choices.

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