A slew of recent reports focuses on marketing to women online. A key takeaway is appreciating the ever-increasing and complex issues women deal with, juggling their career and home lives as two-income families become the norm, not the exception. I’ve concluded today’s working woman is truly a multifaceted person. Time is precious, and salient information must be delivered to her succinctly.
- She multitasks, switching quickly back and forth between work and family, home and friends.
- She’s a multibuyer, responsible for investigating and purchasing everything from groceries, clothing, and school supplies to gifts and items for herself.
- She consumers several media simultaneously, accessing TV, magazines, Internet, radio and other media, often while on the way to work, at work, on the way home, and at home.
- She’s a multithinker, making lists of what has to be done, thinking and planning so everyone in her life is taken care of.
Women are veritable tornadoes of activity. Psychologically, they’re excellent multitaskers, but they’re now faced with even more responsibilities and less time to handle them. According to “Real Women. Digital World.” research (prepared by Just Ask A Woman and TNS Media Research):
- Women spend time online at work for nonwork activities (they justify this because of the long hours they spend at work).
- They alternate between using the Net for work and sprinkling in visits to some of their favorite sites for news, weather, games, and financial information.
- Spending time on the Internet is a leading media choice for women, second only to work, sleep, and family time in terms of being an activity valued as a resource.
- Although women browse and research online, they shop and buy at both physical stores and online. This phenomenon is driving online commerce.
The study also found multitasking is mandatory. Qualitatively, the study found in detailing activity, some women spend more than 24 hours in various activities during a single 24-hour period. Impossible? On the surface, yes. In reality, no. They’re adept at doing two, three, or more things at once.
Given at any moment, your email message reaches a woman who’s multitasking and multithinking, how do you break through, reach her, and get her to respond to your offer? E-mail marketing messages, and Web sites to which they lead, must be “women friendly” to be successful:
- According to Entrepreneur Magazine (February, 2004), women “never stop gathering information.” Women, perhaps more than men, need and want as many details as possible about what they consider buying. Knowing this, make sure your email messages and landing pages are succinct and don’t waste her time. Include:
- Primary benefits
- Key features
- Identifiable testimonials
- Guarantees and warranties
- How-to-use suggestions
- According to a Nielsen//Net Ratings study conducted for Washingtonpost.com and Newsweek Interactive, “Over 60% of online working women recommend using the Internet in an advertising campaign aimed at reaching them.” Knowing this, adequately fund online if your target audience is working women.
- Since women need to “cut through the clutter” to find the information that helps them make good buying decisions, make it easy for them. Don’t clutter your online ads with information that only gets in the way. Give them facts. Provide details that will be used in buying decisions. Remove puffery and fluff so your message delivers the facts. Craft an irresistible offer combined with warm fuzzies: guarantees and testimonials.
Finally, before you send email to women, make sure women in your company, and female friends and family read the ads and email. Listen to their input. The “Mom test,” asking Mom to read email and visit your Web site to uncover navigation and ordering issues, should be expanded to include their opinions on the message, copy, and offer. Keep reading…
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