What do women want?


Mary Smith

Published on
September 3, 2009

Quick - what’s the world’s fastest growing market?  China?  India?  Neither…it’s women!  If you’re not concerned about what women think about your products, you should be.  Michael J. Silverstein and Kate Sayer’s forthcoming book “Women Want More: How to Capture your Share of the World’s Largest, Fastest Growing Market,” tells us that the $5 trillion or more of incremental spending by women over the next several years is larger than the commercial potential represented by the growth of the consumer economies of India and China. 

Women account for 93% of food purchases…do you know who’s buying your seafood?   And we’re not just buying fish and shellfish, we’re starting new businesses (70% of new businesses are started by women); could those businesses be retail markets, restaurants or wholesaler suppliers who want your products?  Don’t guess wrong! 

So, you want to market to women – how do you do it?  Hire a female marketing director (call me)!   Seriously, you don’t need to be a woman to market to women, you just need to take a sincere approach to understanding how women think. 

1.  Think about the images you use – in advertising, on your website, on your packaging; what kind of message are you sending with photographs?  There are many visual ways to appeal to women, this article lists some great ones. 

2.  Stop hesitating about using Twitter!  According to Quantcast.com, 54% of Twitter users are female!  For those of you not great at math, that’s more than half! 

3.  Focus on communicating value.  An article from Advertising Age titled “Survey: Women More Pessimistic Than Men on the Economy” quotes Michael Kahn, senior VP-marketing at Performics, saying marketers should "reinforce value and use budget-friendly messaging in [the] marketing mix." to really connect with women customers. 

4.  Really listen to your female customers.  Ask questions, and act on the answers that you get. 

5.  Just as Mark Powell breaks out sub categories within the green movement, there are obviously many kinds of women.  Women with families, single women, working women, stay-at-home moms, factor in all the ages, religions, economics, and you’re going to be sending out 80 different newsletters!  Don’t get overwhelmed, but do keep your target audience in mind at all times. 

Can the industry increase seafood consumption by improving how we market to women? How can we re-focus our messages to improve consumer perception of the health and safety of our products?

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