In-Culture Marketing Keeps Your Brand in Focus
Because the consuming ways of Anglo American women have just recently come into sharper focus for many marketers, we may too easily default to marketing to them when developing a new campaign. But, the facts are in: Hispanic, Asian and Black Americans are the three key markets poised for major expansion in the United States during the coming years .
Knowing what we do about how much women, in general, influence consumer spending, it behooves us as marketers to focus in on what makes the women of these ethnic groups see our brands clearly and positively. Our marketing efforts should become in-culture in step with a marketplace that now has an increasing number of skin colors and cultures.
There is so much to learn about female consumers in the emerging majorities that you can't just dip your toe in the water. Rather, you've got to dive in and fully commit to continuing your education in how to reach them. Do whatever you can to discover what cultural cues might be influencing their view of your product or brand.
When they see your brand reflecting their culture and communitythrough event sponsorships, in-language billboards or ethnically specific offerings (such as food products)that's when the women of these hugely influential markets will stand up and take note of what your are doing. And, that's how they will all get the best perspective of what your product or service has to offer them.
Chapter 8: Learning Curves and Life Stages ”Relationship-Building Opportunities
Conventional wisdom often prompts marketers to target young people because brand preferences are established early in life. Although some brand preferences are established in youth, there are other windows of "brand openness" in customers' lives when companies have a lucrative opportunity to capture the attention of firsttime buyers and shift dollars away from the competition.
When a customer faces a steep learning curve prior to a purchase (such as buying stocks or mutual funds) or experiences a life transition (such as having a baby), a significant number of new brand decisions are made. Because such customers need extra support during these times, they represent prime opportunities for building strong customer relationships and cultivating deep brand loyalty. And the best news for marketers is that these learning curves and life transitions occur multiple times throughout a person's life, not just when customers are young.
In this chapter we will explore the role confidence plays in the buying cycle and then take a closer look at the life transitions that women navigate throughout their lives. With customers hungry for tailored information and customized support, you will learn how your brand can be in the right place, at the right time, delivering the precise information customers are seeking.
The Confidence Question: How Education and Experience Filter a Woman 's Buying Mind
As marketers we have to be prepared for the wide range of comfort levels about different industries that might filter the buying minds of women. For example, purchasing toothpaste may seem easy, but what about the buyer's confidence in purchasing baby equipment (when there is so much new emotion attached) or in knowing how to buy life insurance? There is a danger of alienating more tentative buyers by not providing foundational information necessary to make a purchase, especially for the first time. On the other end of the spectrum, those companies that take a more elementary approach to their markets may find that more confident consumers skip over their brands, feeling their sales people, products or services are not sophisticated enough.
This lack of understanding about how to address both tentative and confident customers has elevated those companies that do get it right above the crowd and positioned them for success.
Because people can vary so widely in the knowledge and experience they bring to the table, it is important to explore the ways to address them wherever they are in the learning and buying process. For industries that traditionally require a high learning curvelike financial services, home improvement, electronics or even something that should sound fun, like snowboardingthe fear of the unknown may be the greatest barrier to drawing in a woman as a customer.
To best prepare for all confidence levels, you should provide a variety of entry points to your sales process and keep the learning environment comfortable and supportive. In the end, the newly empowered female customer you've shepherded through to a purchase will likely have become your biggest fan and most passionate evangelist.