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What Do You Want To Know About Marketing To Women Online

Posted on | June 25, 2008 | 5 Comments

by Holly Buchanan

I never used to be popular at parties. I mean, I dressed up, I was pleasant, I’m a good conversationalist. (OK, there was that one time that I tripped and splattered a whole glass of pinot noir on the hostesses Bichon Frise. Come on – I offered to have him dry cleaned. The hostess was not amused.) But overall, I am a lovely guest.

Unless there’s sushi. I love sushi and have portion control issues. But I always leave at last three, well, at least one piece for the other guests.

So why the popularity problem? My occupation. Whenever someone asked what I did, I answered “I work for an Internet company. I’m a conversion rate specialist.” As I went on about conversion rates, shopping cart abandonment, or PPC campaigns, their eyes would start to glaze over and eventually they found an excuse to move on to another guest.

Well, I’m happy to say that’s all changed. Now when someone at a party asks what I do, I say “I specialize in marketing to women, specifically marketing to women online.” Let me tell you, this is better than most pick-up lines. Every woman, and a lot of men, have stories about how some advertiser/company/brand failed miserably in an attempt to win female customers. Business owners grab me (literally) and say, “I know I need to do something about my website/email campaign/blog/Facebook page – everyone says you need to be on the Internet, but how do I do that? How can I actually increase sales and make money?”

There’s a lot of confusion out there. I’ve talked with marketers of big brands who’ve run online marketing campaigns that didn’t work and had no idea why the campaigns failed.

So many people see the possibilities in tapping into offline and offline channels to reach women, yet so many aren’t sure what to do, or how to do it. It’s a real problem.

On a brighter note, my party invitations have quadrupled and I am never without someone interesting to talk to.

Oops, sorry, we were talking about you weren’t we. Well there’s good news on that front as well. I’ve devoted the last 4 years to studying and writing about marketing to women and marketing to women online. I’ve seen what fails, but more importantly, I’ve seen what works. When done right, the potential is positively dizzying. (Is “dizzying” a word?) There are so many exciting communication channels – websites, discussion forums, customer reviews, social media, word of mouth, blogs, videos – it’s an exciting time to be marketer.What I’d like to know from you is, what do you want to know about? What are your marketing to women online (or offline) questions? Here are a few questions I often hear:

Do women process advertising messages differently than men do?

How do you market to women without turning off men?

What marketing mediums are most effective for reaching women?

Should I have a man or a women design my website?

How do men and women use the Internet differently?
How can I tap into the power of word of mouth to reach women?
Do men and women have a different sense of humor?

Those are just a few questions I often field. But what about you? What would you like to talk about? Leave a comment and let me know.

Looking forward to some interesting and profitable discussions. Now, off to find a new party outfit and reputable dog groomer.


5 Responses to “What Do You Want To Know About Marketing To Women Online”

  1. Kiondra
    June 25th, 2008 @ 10:45 pm

    I often read success stories about people who had great ideas, launched then a few months later had millions of people visiting their website. What I want to know is once you have the idea, put in the hard work to bring it forward, and have define who your audience is…what’s next? What is the missing marketing link between a great site and a high traffic well known great site?

  2. Billy
    June 26th, 2008 @ 2:04 pm

    Do women really want to be marketed to? I feel that most women I encounter don’t want to be marketed to, or rather don’t want to be marketed to by a company that thinks they know “what women want.” How do I avoid doing this while still reaching out to my female consumers?

  3. Mary Schmidt
    June 27th, 2008 @ 11:09 am


    As a fellow marketer, I’d like to have more ways to show clients that marketing to women doesn’t mean alienating the men. And, that they don’t have to get “cute” or “too personal.”

    One of my clients practically breaks out in a cold sweat whenever the topic comes up. He knows people (including one of his board members) keep harping on “marketing to women” but he’s concerned this will mean losing the customers he already has. I think he has visions of me forcing him to wear a tutu and give group hugs. 😉

  4. Michele Miller
    June 29th, 2008 @ 6:13 pm

    Hey Holly,

    Congratulations on the new column! I think I’m in line with Mary. Even though I spend a great deal of time in the marketing-to-women arena, there’s always the challenge of convincing a client he/she should be focusing on this area, and how it needs to be done differently. Traditional entrepreneurs are so mired in “the way it’s always been done,” that they’re often running scared. What would your advice be for gently convincing a client to take the leap?

  5. Holly Buchanan
    June 30th, 2008 @ 6:59 am

    Great questions – I will answer all of you in upcoming columns. Stay tuned!


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