Connecting to the female consumer is not easy, because there is no one magical way to target women. They are a diverse group, and in many ways it is harder to reach them than their male counterparts. If you have designed marketing plans that have been unsuccessful, you need to try something new. There is a difference in marketing and selling to men and women, and maybe your first plan wasn't the right plan.

Before you can implement a strategic winning program with women, you need to understand that women are not a one-size-fits-all category. While many of the traits women demonstrate set them apart from men, each consumer is an individual with her own unique experiences, skills, thought processes, and buying patterns. Women, however, are generally more...

  • Loyal customers
  • Relationship-oriented
  • Interested in soliciting consensus from a group
  • Thorough in their research prior to the purchase
  • Worried about the feelings of others
  • Value-oriented
  • Appreciative of respect and integrity in a business relationship

Visualize a sliding scale with totally male traits at one end and totally female traits on the other. Even though most women will fit from the middle to the feminine end, not all will. On the scale, both men and women will be scattered throughout, demonstrating that all men and all women are not created equal or the same.

If you don't take the risk, you can't get the biggest reward

Taking chances should be part of your plan to capture the women's market, but they should be based on educated, solid strategies.

To develop a sound plan, you need to know the following:

  • What are industry competitors doing?

  • What has your company tried in the past?

    • Have you previously developed programs to attract women consumers?
    • What has worked, what hasn't and why?
    • How much are you willing to invest in time and dollars to get the number one market in the country—women?

  • Does your company want to be a leader on the cutting edge or a follower?

Be creative, but demand results

If you create a promotion or event to attract women and it is well attended, but doesn't lead to sales now or in the future, was it a success?

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Gerry Myers is CEO, president, and cofounder of Advisory Link ( She is co-author of Leading the Way to Success and specializes in marketing and selling more effectively to women.