Understanding the Consumer Power of Women

Relationships - By: Jim Jubelirer
Business Coaching Article | Ten Principles of Leadership


Women control the majority of purchasing decisions in a household and their influence is growing. Women across the world are expanding beyond traditional roles to influence decisions in the home, in business and in politics. Marketers have a massive opportunity to better connect women with the products they buy and the media technologies they use to make a positive impact both in their lives and in the bottom line.

So what makes female consumers different from their male counterparts?

Mirror neurons are complex cells that send messages to a brain when we see, hear, or sense actions of other people. When I see you lift a glass of water, the part of my brain that says “Reach for glass, move my arm, lift glass to mouth” gets activated, even though my conscious mind doesn’t actually tell my arm to move. Mirror neurons are the biological basis for empathy and compassion. In general, women demonstrate stronger mirror neuron responses as compared to men. However, it would be more accurate to refer to feminine (more empathic) vs. masculine (problem-solving oriented) traits that are present in both men and women.

So, how can you apply these trends to improve your own marketing efforts? Here are 2 places to start: • Women read more than men • Women respond more strongly to ads that include images of other people.

Nielsen, the audience measurement firm, surveyed women in 21 countries representing 78 percent of global spending. What they found is that women want to participate in something bigger and proactive to make the world a better place. This is an area that businesses can use to build a deeper emotional connection to their customers. According to Nielsen, there are 5 Key Learnings to Better Engage with Women: 1. Invest in her tomorrow. 2. Ease her worry. 3. Giver her back time. 4. Earn her trust. 5. Connect to the bigger picture.

One large brand has started to become an ally to women by using visualizations that paint a more realistic picture of actual life rather than emphasizing unattainable images of beauty. Another campaign is the “The Joy Project”, which helps women remember the joys of parenthood and provides an opportunity to give back with donations to improve the lives of children.

In what ways are you making an effort to market directly to the real needs of women?