In the immortal words of Queen B, “who runs the world?” Girls!  Or, more specifically, women. Women are the world’s most dominant consumers, with 85 percent of the buying power, whether in purchase or influence. It’s no surprise then that everyone’s trying to figure out the secret to marketing to them, or in other words, what literally, and figuratively, makes women “click.” Do you want to know the secret? Come closer. Are you ready? Here it is: don’t treat her like she’s a woman. Treat her like she’s a person. Though it sounds elementary, this is the most important factor in getting, and keeping, her attention.

The mistake marketers make time and again is speaking to women as though they’re all the same. Falling into gender stereotypes is a common pitfall when marketers speak to women in a single, unilateral way – perpetuating the belief that all women want things to be pink, for example. We need to change the conversation from talking “at” her to talking “with” her. When determining how to reach out to women, we look at two key elements to help define our target – the role she plays (Is she a student? A mom?), and her interests (Does she work out? Love to travel, cook, shop?).

The true secret is that it’s more about behavior than gender.  So, do the research – look at the data, segment the market, figure out your target’s interests.

I am sure that DJ Khaled would agree that some of the “keys” to consider when marketing to women include:

  1. Listen and Learn before you Launch: Before you reach out to her, understand her lifestyle and learn about what drives her. Next, don’t come to her just to chat – make sure to share a meaningful point of view or solution.
  2. Tap into her emotional quotient: Yes, she has feelings. But unlike conventional wisdom, they don’t cloud her judgment – they sharpen it. Make her feel something about what your product or service is doing for her, for her family and for the world.
  3. Give her what she wants and needs: It’s good for her to get something because she wants it and it’s practical when she needs it – but if marketers can marry the “want and need,” or bring it back to the want at the end, it makes the process much more fun for her.
  4. Reach her where she already is: Marketers should seek her out where she already is rather than always trying to bring her somewhere else. This can be done by targeting the titles she reads, pitching the social media platforms and channels she follows, partnering with like-minded influencers and brands she admires, etc.

What’s the secret behind cracking the female code in marketing? Don’t forget that first and foremost, women are people. Just as they come in different shapes and sizes, their interests and aspirations are as varied as the colors of the rainbow, and certainly extend well beyond the color pink.

Deborah SierchioBy Deborah Sierchio, Senior Vice President at Coyne