Even in an age of equal opportunity the pitch audience, in most sectors, is more likely to be all male or mixed with few that are female only. Whatever the mix, the principles of good pitching are much the same, the first being to do research into your audience! The enterprising Lady Geek , inspired by founder Belindar Palmer, offers five bits of good advice. The last three apply universally.
Five Things Companies Need To Do To Speak To WomenPosted: 27 Oct 2011 02:21 AM PDT
1) Don’t pink it and shrink it
The cardinal sin of marketing towards women is to ‘pink it and shrink it’. The woefully misguided approach goes something like this. Take a perfectly decent product, give it a marshmallow Barbie paint job and miniaturise it so it fits perfectly into tiny female hands. Ta da! Women friendly. We’re bound to love it, right? What makes things even worse is that the tech spec on ‘female orientated’ models often falls short of the ‘male’ counterparts. It’s not the colour of a product that entices us, it’s the sleek design quality.
2) There’s no need to overtly target us
There’s no point trying too hard to push exclusively to women, we’ll see right through it. Take time understanding us like you would on any other demographic, but please don’t over-egg the pudding. Just because we’ve got breasts doesn’t mean we have special needs. We’re different but don’t want to feel we’re that different.
Far too many products are rammed down our throats yelling ‘Look at me! I’m being relevant to women! Here come the girls! It’s patronising, it’s ineffective and often quite alienating. A subtler, more nuanced approach is always far more success commercially.
3) An emotional connection is a big selling point
Studies have proven that women are likely to form more of a lasting emotional attachment to products, and campaigns that make an effort to engage with this often prove to be very successful.
A great recent example is John Lewis’ beautifully executed advert ‘She’s always a woman to me’, which whizzes the viewer at highspeed through seventy years of a woman’s life. The reason this advert works so well is not only that it’s beautifully executed – which it is, heart achingly so– but that it also promotes a strong, enduring attachment to a reliable brand.
4) Too much choice is no choice at all
Many men might be perfectly happy to sift through mountains of information in order to find out whether one little black box is slightly better than another little black box, but most women are overwhelmed by choice. If a product is a hassle to buy then we will cease to care about it.
So having a hundred near-identical products in the market can be a real turnoff: we don’t want choice, we want the right choice. We want to know that a product does what it’s supposed to and is obviously at the top of its field. We don’t have time to find a diamond in the rough.
5) Entertain, don’t educate
Don’t try and use statistics to teach us that we need something. Instead, show us why we need it, how it can benefit our lives preferably in a way that’s entertaining, fun and engaging. I’m much more likely to warm to a product if it’s marketing does not preach, but has surprised me or made me laugh. Top Gear is a great brand that has made cars acessible to men and women by entertaining them.
image by Joana Pereira