Women outnumber men online. So reports tell us. This is not news. What women do online isn't really news, either. We research family health. We compare products and visit comparison shopping sites. We shop. We connect via our blogs. We socialize.
Ah! There it is - the S word: socialize. The word that has replaced "blog" - as in "do you
blog use social media?"
The bottomline is that we talk, online; to each other, to you, to the media, to our lawyers, our therapists, our accountants, our kids, and even our pets. Women need to feel that connection. The Internet has become our gigantic coffee klatch, and we're proud of it.
Shel Israel of Naked Conversations talked about marketing to women online back in May, and noted that the trend of women changing the way we do things on the net, is finally showing results. His opening line is troublesome... "A couple of days ago, there were headlines declaring that fashion has eclipsed technology as the most popular e-tailing category." Further in he says, "I don't know if this observation is politically correct or not, but guys buy computers and cars. Women buy shoes and accessories."
Well...it isn't that his statement isn't politically correct. It's that it's just plain wrong.
Okay, let's not pick on Shel. He was only reporting what he thought he knew.
Truth is stranger than fiction, every time. Women consumers buy everything. Or we influence what others buy. Women love the net for its convenience and its availability. This means women should be a primary focus, no matter what you sell. (where have you heard this before?)
The key is to recognize our value in the marketing mix. We're savvy shoppers. We're always thinking about someone else (kids, grandkids, husbands, boyfriends, girl friends, Moms, Dads, pets...), and we're always eager to "do the right thing." That means - taking care of the environment. That means carrying extra tissues in our purse, and cough drops, and change for the phone.
Marketing to women online means recognizing our instinctive behavior - but also getting to know us individually. Holly Buchanan notes, in a post from 2006, that women shop online for a number of reasons, one that doesn't get much press but which is very important: anonymity. When we're online, you don't know our age, our dress size, nor... our gender. So, be nice and be respectful...because the person using your online chat might be...your Mom/sister/daughter/daughter's BBF/grandmom/aunt/cousin/ex-girlfriend...etc. etc. etc.
What does it all mean? It means...women are the consumers you should be paying attention to. We (collectively), we (separately), and we (intuitively). We are the net.