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Women have many roles in the modern society, mother, wife, daughter, sister, businesswomen, entrepreneur, teacher, aunt, and friend. On top of other achievements, women today comprise 80 percent of all consumer purchasers independent of ownership or income. It turns out men are making most of the money, but its women who are spending it. Thanks to women’s “one-two punch” of decision-making authority and purchasing power, they are now the apple of the marketers’ eye. In relation to economic stimuli, the power of women purchasing power is represented by an average spending of 100 billion dollars on luxury goods and services annually. These purchases are based on listening, catering and attracting women to a brand based on their emotions and individuality. Women’s incomes have soared in the last four decades (a 63% increase as opposed to 0.6 percent for men). According to Barletta (2003), women today occupy careers that are higher paying than they did before.
Between 1985 and 1995 almost 68% of the gains in the financial management and accounting sectors were by women. 70% of women who earn above 100,000 dollars earn more than their husbands, with 48% of estates worth more than 5 million being controlled by women meaning while the men only control 35%. 47 percent of assets over 500,000 are owned by women. There is a lot of cultural change with women at the heart of it. For instance, the Hispanic market is growing at a rate of 1.7 million every year and has a combined purchasing power of 700 billion dollars above. As the buying power of Hispanics rises, it has seen culturally focused marketing become more critical. The Hispanic woman is of particular interest with her strong brand-loyalty, price-consciousness, and quality-seeking since buying the best for her family is paramount, which renders price points a non-issue (Miller 2005). Numbers never lie, marketing to women in today’s competitive environment is the fastest track for any business to boost shares and enhance profits. Conversely, attracting a higher percentage of female consumers to ones business ensures that the business has loyal, repeat customers who are renowned for their word-of-mouth advertising power.
Women and their control on consumer purchases decisions
The modern woman is the family’s chief purchasing agent mostly attributed to the increasing number of households that is headed by a woman which currently stands at 27%. In 2007, women influenced 90 billion dollars worth of electronics purchases made by consumers, whoever said women did not know one end of an electronic from the other had not met the modern woman. 61% of women influence the consumer electronic purchasing decisions made in their households. This is a category that for years has been the sole domain of men since it was viewed as being too technical. Increased customer service as well as comprehensive manuals has made such a viewpoint a no-brainer. One of the brands that really know how to capture the women’s market is apple.
They have easy to use technology, terrific design, and a lifestyle brand message that is passionate and holds strong appeal to women and all consumers in general. There is as such no need to market “herPod” when the iPod is damn good the way it is This is not the only pointer towards a gender bender that is tipping the decision making process when it comes to consumer purchases to the women’s side. Female sports fans make up: 47.2% of fans in major league soccer, 43.2% of NFL fans, 46.7 of MLB fans, 37% of NBA fans and 40.8% of NHL fans. 46% of all official NFL merchandise sold is purchased by women. 80% of all the money spent on sports apparel came from women’s purses in addition to 60% spent on men’s clothing which was controlled by women. This indicates that by marketing to women helps businesses to win both ways.
The modern woman is deeply integrated in the work place, is more educated on average than her male counterparts and often earn just as much or even more than the men. The women financial power is accelerating, with them owning and earning more today than in any other time in history. Women consumers are also more profitable indicating that for every marketing dollar that is invested, the return per customer is higher (Barletta 2003).
Boomer women represent the single most affluent segment of women and wield the most spending clout as well. These women were born between 1946 and 1964 and represent a portion of the consumer market that marketers cannot ignore. These women have seen their roles change from homemakers to become purchasers of security, luxury items and convenience. They have successful careers, massive investments that were accumulated during the “boom” years in addition to inheritances from their husbands or parents making them the most financially empowered generation of women in history. According to MassMutual Financial Group, senior women above the age of fifty have control over 19 trillion dollars net worth while owning in excess of three-fourths of the financial wealth in the nation. While their husbands were busy working their butts off and dying from heart attacks, these women were in the gym doing their yoga and Pilates. As such, they present wealthiest, healthiest and most active women generation in history (Barletta 2005).
Boomer women juggle careers and family demands, are environmentally concerned and makeup the most discriminating of shoppers. This more mature, luxury consumer is keen on placing high priority on making experiences and memories. Purchases are not made just for the sake of accumulating more but due to the experience that goes along with purchasing the item. This is why high-end stores emphasis on pleasant atmospheres, courteous, knowledgeable sales agents and event chair massages in some of the stores transferring something mundane and uninspiring into a premium experience. They expect superior quality in all their products and are extremely discerning.
Their quest for more information has seen their increased engagement in online social media. The fastest growing category on Facebook is comprised of boomer women. Figures indicate that women who earn more than 74,000 dollars are increasing in numbers with 94.3 percent accessing the internet every month. Half of these women are now considered to be heavy internet users with the use of television, radio, direct mail and newspaper experiencing a decline within the segment. Women are making more, spending more. They also represent the investors group that has the fastest growth rate in the United States with the number of wealthy women growing by 68% while the men grew at 36 % (Barletta 2003).
Purchasing decisions by women
Women make purchase differently that the men. Women research more extensively and their decision is less likely to be influences by the ads unlike men, who will try out almost all the products advertised during the Super bowl. In fact, a majority of women feel misunderstood by marketers: 91% of women interviewed in a single survey indicated advertisers misunderstand them. This has resulted in them trusting advertisements less and less. They prefer getting recommendations about products from their peers as well as such avenues such as Women’s magazines reviews and TV shows like Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and Oprah.
To reach this market, focusing on the communicating the product value instead of just listing the features is the way to go. For instance, to gain the women market, Volvo engaged in a comprehensive process of incorporating women input into their design: color coding the fluid lids found under the hood, rear seats that are easier to fold and trunks that are easier to load. But instead of highlighting the new cool features, the company went with the slogan “volvo for life” as such addressing that is really important to women: dependability and safety. The additional features only work as back up to this message (Sheconomy 2011).
Decisions they make are increasingly becoming more grounded in reality and connections they make within their social circles. The ever busy modern woman who has been said to be “multi-minding” (thinking about multiple things at once) as opposed to “multi-tasking” will hardly be grabbed by ads. This is unlike men who are more rush, they just buy; they hunt. Women will take their time, look up information on magazines or any other source that provides details around products ensuring the decision making process is comprehensive so that it is easier for them to recommend products to their friends and makes it easy to buy other stuff. This calls for an increased emphasis of product placement, sponsorship and editorial content shaping over TV ads.
This is why Dell was excited when Oprah included the Dell Pocket DJ ($199) and the 30 inch LCD TV ($ 2,199) as her favorite things in the 2004 shopping list. The two weeks period after this show aired the sales of the plasma TVs by Dell spiked to account for 70% of the company’s units sold during that holiday season. This has forced company to incorporate a PR budget to capture the women market. The Businesses needs to focus on women that are already buying their products. They should then visualize the circumstance by plotting on a graph or making a comparison of how women purchase in comparison to the men. The business then determines what type of communication connects with the women, determine what works and which does not and then make the connection and starts cashing in on this demographic (Barletta (2003).
According to Sheconomy (2011), women represent a majority of the online market: 22% shop at least once daily online, 92% convey information on finds/deals to other, they have an average of 171 contacts in their mobile lists or e-mail, 51% are mothers, if asked to get rid of a digital device, 58% would toss the TV while only 11% would get rid of their laptops. Recent research indicate that a majority of women and mothers look to recommendations made by friends on message boards, blogs and social media websites (Facebook) before making their purchasing decisions. In fact 40 percent of mothers polled in a study on social media moms indicated that they made purchasing decisions to buy children’s products based on a recommendation on Facebook with 55% saying they based the decision on a personal review blog.
Another study indicated that a staggering 73 percent of women online are active users of the social media websites. 59 percents of those polled indicated that they rely on blogs when making purchasing decision, a substantial figure considering only 22% of the online population does that. If a company needs to create a connection with women, the use of blogs, social media sites (Facebook), and message boards are crucial. The peer group recommendations that are generated by social media with relevant content ensure that businesses become highly visible to women and mothers (Becker 2011).
Numbers never lie, marketing to women in today’s competitive environment is the fastest track for any business to boost its share and enhance profits. The women market presents not only the world’s largest consumer market but also the one with the most purchasing power.
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