Men don’t get it when marketing to women

Chitra Narayanan New Delhi | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on November 03, 2011

The spotlight was on women consumers on Day Three of Ad Asia 2011 as the team from Boston Consulting Group showed the growing economic power they wield today.

Women are driving $12 trillion in global spending today and this will grow to $18 trillion in five years. They drive two thirds of global consumption and their economic influence is an inescapable phenomenon, revealed Ms Yeonhee Kim of the Boston Consulting Group (BCG).

Quoting from BCG‘s global research covering 15,000 consumers, including 5,000 in Asia, Mr Abheek Singhi, Partner and Director, Boston Consulting Group, said: “In all segments, between now and 2008, we found that the degree of control women have in Asia over purchases is increasing.”

Between them, the duo presented a formidable set of data to show why marketers need to reorient their thinking when selling to women.

Even as Mr Singhi in his presentation demonstrated how women consumers are very different from men, Ms Yeonhee Kim showed how within Asia, there were differences among the women consumers. “There is no one Asian woman,’’ she said.

Mr Singhi said that women consumers were more demanding and difficult to satisfy. While 40 per cent of women consumers were found to be dissatisfied with financial services and consumer durables, the corresponding number for men was ‘in the late 20’s’, he said.

Ms Yeonhee Kim showed how women consumers in Japan, India and China were so different from each other in their priorities, the way they spent and controlled spending.

While Indian women would trade up for food, Chinese women focussed on personal care, and Japanese woman would trade up for travel and home. Each country in Asia is in different market evolution stage and different cultural and ethnic backgrounds, which is why there is no one Asian woman, she summed up.

But do marketers get their acts right when selling to women? “You cannot sell to women like they are men wearing skirts,’’ said Mr Singhi, quoting American businessman Leslie Wexner.

He then proceeded to pinpoint 10 mistakes that men make when marketing to women. Among these were “ignoring the importance of emotional appeal, cutting price to build sales, not changing offerings often enough, ignoring the importance of community, forgetting design and aesthetics, and underestimating the importance of love.’’

Published on November 03, 2011

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