Isn’t that a billion dollar question, and only if I had the answer!

But surely can share some statistics & insight – women in the GCC are anticipated to hold $930 billion in wealth by 2017. In a time of global potential slow-down, it is now even more imperative for marketers to strike a chord with this influential market.

UAE currently ranks at the top in global retail consumption index. While family influences play a critical role in purchasing decisions and in the socialization process, especially parents Men and Women are both different when making a buying decision. Right from need recognition through the evaluation of alternatives to the post purchase behavior, men and women work differently with different types of stimuli and different parameters of evaluations.

We know women are always the most complex to understand, grouping and targeting them is no longer as straight forward as some of us marketers might believe.

A lot of brand activations to engage with females simply do not take into account the complexity of being a woman today; this leaves marketers wondering ‘why wasn’t my campaign effective’ and the audience further disengaged

What’s clear is that the female audience is very vital to us marketers, so how can we better connect with them? Here are five guiding principles we found that can help bridge the ever-widening gap.

  1. Talk to them as individuals – Women appreciate being approached on a more individual level, not being pooled together and targeted simply as being opposite to men. A woman may go from being wife and mother to boss and businesswoman all in one day, and she wants to see this reflected in the brands she buys into
  2. Features don’t sell, relationships do – Most women are attracted to an emotion or lifestyle rather than the ingredients of a product. It is vital that a relationship be struck between brand and consumer by allowing her to relate to people, problems and experiences on a personal level. Campaigns using real women, real life stories and realistic situations have become more popular and are being used by brands
  3. No direct selling, subtle message goes a long way – Women are brand savvy, they shop across a wide range of products and this results in them having a greater design bandwidth than men. Design is appreciated more by women and the obvious, in-your-face approach can be a real turn off for them. A strong emotional connection is more successful when gently hinted at, intuitively understood by a woman. Women appreciate the consideration and thoughtfulness you have built into your design, so give her the little touches she will want to talk about, appeal to all her senses and make products easy and natural for her to use
  4. Converse, don’t talk at them – Women don’t like being talked at. They want to be informed, make up their own minds and to take part in a two-way conversation. An engaged female consumer can be a powerful advocate for a brand.
  5. Be always stylish – Style and fashion are essential aspects of a woman’s everyday life. This means that looking good is just as important a goal for a brand as providing functionality. A great example of a brand that recognises this can be seen in Dulux’s Let’s Color campaign. Female orientated products such as perfume have understood this for some time – achieving great success as a result.

The effort involved in reaching female consumers is well worth the reward as, although they must be seen as individuals together they hold the world’s largest purchasing power. Not only that, once the connection has been made by a brand, women have a great propensity to tell everyone how great you are too! If you share the love with them, they’ll return the favor.

Author: Ganesh Iyer