Who are the world’s most powerful consumers? Are they the millionaires? The CEOs of the Blue Chip companies?  Rap stars? They are none of the above. Women are the world’s most powerful consumers. They make up just over half the population and more important, they control well over half of the spending. Surprised? You shouldn’t be. They’re responsible for most purchases: Household spending, corporate purchasing, and small businesses expenditures. Let us again examine a woman’s purchasing power: She shops for herself, for her husband and for her kids. A woman is the gatekeeper to the domestic checkbook.

Consider how men and women differ in their shopping habits: Typically, when a man goes shopping he knows exactly what he wants, heck, he practically runs to the aisle! He pays for the purchase and he’s out of there as quickly as possible. For a man, going shopping is similar to going to the doctor-something to be avoided at all costs. The only time that a man deliberates is when he’s checking out the circular saws at the local hardware store, but otherwise, habit dictates that he abscond as quickly as possible.

Now let us examine a woman’s approach to shopping. Generally, when a woman is doing her shopping she compares several items carefully, slowly going up and down an aisle several times if necessary. She’ll not hesitate to ask the salespeople questions (something a man would never do) as she considers her choices. A woman will spend hours pushing a shopping cart around and comparing seemingly unrelated items. It’s easy to see that women are far and away the more educated of the two genders.

Nevertheless, most large companies persist in focusing their marketing efforts toward men. Why, you ask? Perhaps these same companies still believe that the man works and the woman stays home and raises the children. This premise would be true if it was the 1920s but unfortunately it’s almost a century past the Jazz Age. New times require new approaches to selling products to women.

The key to creating marketing programs that will ensure women’s continued loyalty is to understand what women value.

Often, what they value is different from what men value. The things that men find interesting or important just don’t seem to elicit the same reaction from women. With men you have to paint with broad paint strokes-reduce something to its bare essence. The simpler the better. Women, on the other hand, want details, and plenty of them. You have to appeal to all the senses as much as possible, as if you can touch it, taste it, hear it, see it, or smell it. For women it’s all about the details. 

Women often purchase items based on criteria that, for men, would be totally irrelevant. Let us consider cell phones for example. A man will base his purchasing decision on whether a given cell phone has GPS capability, whether it has sufficient memory for a sizable mp3 library and whether it’s easy to use with games. These criteria can be important to women but equally important will be the color of the phone, its size and texture. Does the phone look too bulky in their front pocket? What about roaming charges? It becomes clear that women have much longer lists of requirements that need to be met before a purchase is made.

In conclusion, to appeal to women it becomes critically important to:

  • Include as much background as possible-details! Sum everything up with a powerful conclusion
  • Focus on people as beneficiaries of a product
  • Focus on creating a sense of closeness and belonging
  • Embrace the older demographic
  • Show some emotion
  • Describe the warranties and support hotlines in detail