I’m finalising my slides for my keynote presentation on Marketing to Women that I’m giving at the Pharmacy Assistant’s conference in a few weeks, and I’m reflecting on how women are different to men in many ways, not least in how we like to be marketed to.

Women are the biggest contributor to GDP and responsible for the majority – about 90% – of all consumer purchases (up to $28 TRILLION globally). We are educated, influential, and increasingly we own our own businesses. 

As well as making purchasing decisions for ourselves, we often also make these decisions for the children and the men in our lives. Yet despite this, many women feel misunderstood when it comes to marketing undertaken by many brands and businesses.

generating social proof

Ridiculously, there are men who won’t acknowledge they need to do business with us to make the sale.

I’m often reminded of the time The Accountant and I were buying our first home together, not all that many years ago. I was negotiating the deal, but the real estate agent wouldn’t talk to me – other than to say “come and look at the laundry”. He looked a bit shocked when I told him the laundry was my husband’s domain and I barely knew how to use the washing machine! During the sales process, I would call the agent, leave a message, he would call my husband! Needless to say, we ended up buying from someone else – someone who was happy to talk to me about money, and not just about what the laundry looked like!

I certainly won’t be going back to that business again.

Key to creating a successful marketing campaign targeting women is to understand the current trends that drive demand, purchase behaviour and brand loyalty. Understanding these insights, while remembering that people do business with people they know, like and trust, will help your marketing efforts succeed.

One of the best ways to attract women to your brand is to offer social proof.

Women have always liked to talk – in fact, women speak 10,000 – 12,000 more words a day than men. As well as face to face conversations, today these conversations are happening on social media and in online forums and communities.

Word-of-mouth in both offline and online communities is a major influence in women’s buying habits. Generating and sharing social proof through social networks can exponentially increase the influence of your brand.

People are far more likely to trust their peers than they are to trust advertising, with word-of-mouth recommendations from friends and family being extremely influential in decision making. Research by Nielsen shows that 4 in 5 Australians trust recommendations from someone they already know, and 3 in 5 trust comments from other online consumers.

So how can you generate some social proof? Below are four effective ways:

  • ask for customer referrals
  • collect testimonials and share them on your website and your Facebook page – don’t just ask for written testimonials, ask for video testimonials too
  • customer ratings and reviews – ask for ratings on your Facebook page and on Google
  • use influencers – look at who the main influencers are in your community or industry and work with them to promote your business (note, you will probably need to pay them, which they must disclose)
  • social proof works better with pictures – if you are including customer testimonials on your website, ask if you can also use their photo.

Why is this important? A study of 10,000 accounts at a German bank showed that customers who came from customer referrals had 16% higher lifetime value than those who came from other acquisition sources. Additionally, the customers churned 18% less.

What are you doing to generate social proof?

Mel Kettle works with associations, not-for-profits and businesses to help them communicate effectively and authentically so they attract, retain and engage their members and customers. To inquire about working with Mel, please email mel@melkettle.com or click here.

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