By siteadmin | Social Media Marketing | 6 September 2013

Women contribute to a major chunk of consumer purchases. They have dominated the social sharing on popular social media platforms and are major content creators. You must have thought that marketers may have understood the female demographic, yet almost 90 percent of women are of the opinion that advertisers do not understand them. What went wrong?

1. Dare to step outside the line
Starbucks has seen a decrease in profit, whereas Mc Donalds managed to build up o its inexpensive image by offering gourmet coffee and their advertising focused on fashionable, urban women who had discarded their traditional image of women with unhealthy food. McDonalds added salads, healthy options and sponsoring events, such as Fashion Week, McDonald. This attracted a new demographic and increased worldwide sales.

2. uh aanh, no stereotyping!
If you are going to go with a mindset to target pastel colours and pink frills, you will alienate the majority of their market. Women respond best to ads that use positive and powerful role models that showcase women in a positive light.

3. Focus on usability and good aesthetics
Do not have a separate campaign for men and women. Focus on good design and usability instead. Apple is a good example of having a gender neutral feel, beauty in their designs, colour options, non age-specific appeal for women without alienating men.

4. Know who is buying your product
Gillette had a campaign that asked all women who like clean shaven men to endorse their message. It got a great response. The campaign saw celebrities asking their men to shave. This had a wide reach

5. Understand subtle differences between men and women…
Nike had a high-testosterone image (Just Do It) and this ad featured top male athletes shown in winning scenarios. This resulted in 50 percent market share in the men’s fitness market, but only 20 percent Nike’s revenue came from women’s products. Later, Nike changed their focus and started communicating with women to understand how they relate to sport and performance, and the decisions they take in purchasing sportswear. The key was advertising how sport fitted in with their active lifestyles and showed regular women taking part in sport. Initially, Nike shoes for women were modeled on smaller versions of their men’s shoes. This trend soon changed and new designs were created for women’s different body shapes and movements, with more lines emphasizing a fashionable look.

6. Appreciate real women
The default argument used by advertisers for not only featuring women who are unattainably thin and representative of the narrowest standards of beauty, but in then Photoshopping them beyond all recognition, is that ‘real’ women don’t sell beauty products.

Do not make advertisements for only skinny women, having a narrow perspective on beauty. Instead, focus on real women with curves. Dove’s Real Beauty campaign (begun in 2004) changed the face of the beauty advertising industry. With few award-winning short films such as The Evolution of Beauty,and commercials featuring or standard-sized women, Dove sought to show that ‘real’ women are in fact beautiful. Dove’s sales suddenly rose exceptionally as women could relate to the images and the message of positive self-esteem.

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