Women control an incredible amount of buying power. After all, we're roughly half of the people in the world.

Even when men were the primary income earners of the middle-class family, women were still often targeted by marketers because their perspective had the chance to sway the entire household's decision.

Marketing to women isn't a new idea, but it's time to make sure that your business's approach has evolved.

Here are six considerations you need to think about when you're marketing to women:

1. You can't generalize an entire gender

The first and most important thing to understand about marketing to women is that marketing to "moms" or "daughters" or "single women" isn't enough. Women are complete, multi-faceted people who have diverse interests and a variety of life experiences.

While the fact that we are female may affect their purchasing experience, trying to sell to us just as "women" isn't going to be a winning strategy over time.

2. Women are more likely to give to causes than men

Many women choose to spend their dollars politically, purchasing from companies that donate some portion of their profits to causes they believe in (to be fair, many men do too). As a company, one idea may be to foster a relationship with a local group whose mission you agree with or to have a specific day where you donate profits to a national group.

This can help women feel like they're doing more than just shopping, which can boost your sales.

3. Make sure you know what you're talking about

This is less about "talking to women" and more about understanding niche-specific terms. For example, someone who does not spend a lot of time in the sewing community may not realize that while older people prefer to call themselves "sewers," many younger hobbyists refer to themselves as sewists.

If you're writing a piece talking about sewers and targeting it toward Millennial women, you may not get the reaction you want.

The best way to make sure that your marketing is likely to resonate is to hire a content writer who meets as many of your perfect customer attributes as possible.

4. Un-marketing can be more effective

It could be worth focusing less on marketing their products with catchy slogans or fancy graphics, and instead on connecting with women by simply explaining what products do. This can be especially effective when you can capture word-of-mouth marketing that connects customers to customers.

For example, Newcastle Ale is well-known for its cheeky ads that mock their product--as well as using fan-supplied photos instead of stock ones. By approaching the concept of a marketing campaign differently, they can engage women (and men) in a fresh manner, which is fun for the company and the consumer.​

After all, most customers consider their friends and family to be the best experts on any given product. By moving forward transparently, companies can capture the interest of women who are tired of being sold to, and just want to research products.

5. Don't just make everything pink

The worst mistake marketers can make is to take a standard graphic that they already use, recolor it pink, and then decide that the ad now targets women. If there was ever a time where simply using pink to attract the attention of women was a viable strategy, that time has passed.

Women like a wide variety of colors, just like men do. Offer us a diverse variety of options, in ads, products, and marketing.

6. Respect women's diversity

More than at any other time in history, women are celebrating their diversity. Trans women, women of color, black women, and LGBT women--just a few examples--are embracing the differences in their identities and exploring their interests.

By finding out what intrigues them and marketing to their specific interests--and in their language--companies have a great opportunity to market their products and services to women.

Too often, we think of marketing to women being focused in narrow industries. Fashion, electronics in pastel shades, a certain subset of entertainment, and a wide variety of food items.

As companies continue to grow into the 21st century, it's important to remember that the percentage of female leaders--from entrepreneurs to CEOs--is growing.

What tactics and techniques have you found work well when marketing to a primarily female audience?

Published on: Mar 10, 2017