Marketing to Women - The World's Largest Market
Are you aware that....
There’s an economic force on the horizon? For those who recognize it, stronger sales, higher share and greater profits are the bounty.
That force? The emerging power of women - as consumers, investors, employees, managers and corporate leaders. Cutting edge companies who recognize this opportunity are reaping the benefits, while those blind to it are leaving money on the table for their competitors.
What about you? Are you positioned to secure your share of what Tom Peters calls “Opportunity #1" for the foreseeable future? The market that futurist Faith Popcorn calls “the dominant economic force in the country”?
Did you know
- Women, who comprise just over 50% of the U.S. population, make over 80% of the consumer purchasing decisions? (And in case you’re wondering, consumer spending accounts for 2/3 of GNP, so that's hardly peanuts!) Moreover, because of their entry into the workplace over the past 30 years, and their rapidly accelerating income and ownership base, women are increasingly dominant in categories not traditionally marketed to them, including cars, computers, financial services, home improvement and consumer electronics. How knowledgeable are you about how women make decisions, what motivates their purchases, and how they respond to marketing differently than men?
- Women own 40% of all businesses in this country - and employ more people than the Fortune 500 companies worldwide?
- What are you doing to reach the women entrepreneurs who have been starting 70% of all new businesses for the past decade - driving the market for Small Office/Home Office equipment, supplies and communications technology?
- Women will acquire over 90% of the growth in U.S. private wealth between now and 2010? Have you thought about how women will become an increasing proportion of the U.S. affluent population as the Baby Boom ages? Are you reaching out to these consumers and investors, or are you doing business as usual - marketing to men (and leaving the women to your competition)?
Marketing guru Tom Peters calls the women's market "Opportunity Number One for the foreseeable future," and notes that American women, by themselves, comprise a national economy larger than Japan. Before you commit enormous resources to expanding to overseas markets, are you sure you've tapped all the opportunity here at home?
Why all the fuss? Why Now?
- Women are the world's largest market
- They account for 80% of all spending by U.S. households
- They account for 70% of new business startups
- They control over half the private wealth in the United States
There's more, but these statistics should be enough to grab your attention. Women drive the economy, pure and simple.
However, if you need more:
- Women make up 46.5% of the workforce and 49.5% of professional and managerial level workers
- Women own 46% of all U.S. small businesses, and these firms generated $2.5 trillion in sales and employ 19.1 million people nationwide.
- Women account for 53% of corporate purchasing agents and managers, and 58% of wholesale and retail buyers
It should be clear the fuss is justified and worth the effort. Although women make up “only” 51% of the United States population, they are the sole or primary decision makers for just about every household (and increasingly business) purchase. Earnings power and wealth ownership are only part of the story, then: spending tells the tale. Yet, in a recent study, 91% of the women questioned said advertisers don't understand them. (Greenfield Online for Arnold's Women's Insight Team).
Frankly, in light of the power packed in women today, the fuss is not big enough. The challenge for marketers is to understand today's woman customer well enough to help meet her needs, the wisdom to communicate in ways that resonate with her cares and concerns, and the patience to build a relationship rather than seal the immediate deal. The first to do this in your industry will make not only today's sale, but tomorrow's as well.
Have I missed the boat?
Have you missed the boat on the women’s market? If you have to ask which boat, it’s not too late but it is time to jump on board. Women are earning more today than ever before and they are responsible for the majority of personal and corporate expenditures. In fact, women are the primary decision makers in many categories that were previously considered to be male domains including automobiles, computers, home improvement, life insurance, investment accounts and travel. And, when you factor in the number of purchase decisions they influence the case for marketing to women becomes even more compelling.
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