Afterword: Investing in a Transparent Future
We have seen the future and I can assure you it is not pink. The path to success with this enormous market involves transparently marketing to women based on a thorough understanding of their buying behavior, insightful and innovative segmentation, and the enlisting of women as your marketing partners . A transparent approach gives marketers a new lens to look through and allows them to see lucrative and fresh new opportunities within their businesses and industries. We predict that companies who embrace and commit to transparently reaching women will position themselves for both initial success in the short term and industry leadership over the long haul. Much of the marketplace appears to be in a daze at the steep learning curve concerning what women customers want. With so much ambiguity, the prize is ripe for the picking for those companies who seize the day and engage in a transparent marketing process.
The Future of Your Business: Invest in Reaching Women
It may have been previously uncharted territory, but you can certainly proceed with confidence when considering the women's market. It will always be there and it will only grow in economic influence. Plus, even initiating an effort to understand them will be a sign that you value their business ”and that's a great first step!
Beyond that, the changes you make in your products, services and customer experience will not only appeal to your most important customers (as women comprise the buying majority for most industries), but those changes will, in most cases, also exceed the expectations of your male buyers . You simply can't lose by focusing on the needs of women and tailoring your brand experience to better fit them.
Of course, getting started requires a commitment of time, talent, money and energy, but the enormous potential of the women's market has both immediate and long-term profits.
The Women's Market Investment
Invest in long- term relationships with women customers. Make a long-term commitment to improving the lives of women and serving them in a more relevant manner. Don't let your women's market efforts fizzle after the initial steps. Remember that reaching women consumers is more than implementing one big new idea. Instead, your success lies in a series of smaller and ongoing product and service improvements.
Invest in change and innovation. Many of the best ideas for reaching women have yet to be invented, and it will take employees and companies with an openness to new ideas and a commitment to internal change to bring them to the marketplace . It takes energy and commitment to turn a company (or even a team of people) in a new direction, let alone pioneer new territory with confidence and ingenuity. It is going to take a lot of change to capture the business and loyalty of the world's largest market segment, and even more change to maintain a leadership positionit is critical that organizations be willing to change.
Invest in marketing programs aimed at women customers. Until now, many companies may have talked a good game while still not committing the necessary budget in order to better reach women. In order to communicate with women in a compelling way, you need staff power, accurate information, the input of women (up-front) and key changes in the company's marketing effortall of which take money.
Invest in capable staff. Not everyone is well suited to participating in a women's-initiative marketing team. So, pull together your most insightful, consumer-savvy, open -minded and strategic people, male and female, who genuinely like, respect and enjoy female customers.
Invest in listening and understanding. A fair number of companies are currently developing marketing plans, products and approaches around very outdated , and often untrue, stereotypes about women. Marketers need to start by listening to women and commit to involving them earlier and more deeply in the marketing process. The point-of-purchase is too late to discover the one thing any woman could have told you would kill a sale.
Invest in research. Ask yourself, "What do we think we know?" and "What do we need to learn?" Time and money should be spent to find out what is already known about your women customers, in general. Then, their personal anecdotes and details can come straight from their own mouths to amplify your research and understanding of this market.
Invest in improving and integrating the customer experience. An exceptional customer experience increases women's total satisfaction with a purchase, which encourages repeat visits and word-of-mouth recommendations. Women will be more inspired to offer you their loyalty if your company provides a consistent customer experience that meets their needs, saves them time and improves their lives.
You can feel the rumblings as companies wake up to this matchless opportunity; and we predict within the next decade key pioneers will begin to break away from the pack across all industries. In addition to scoring some immediate successes, committed companies are making wholesale changes throughout their entire organizations by embracing the transparent process. Over time we predict that these transparent front-runners in technology, healthcare, automobiles, sporting goods and consumer package goods will begin to give established Fortune 1000 companies a run for their money as they crack the code on women's preferences and buying behavior.
The transparent approach is not about isolated marketing programs, but about initiating changes that reverberate throughout an entire organization, and that point of difference gives the transparent front-runners immeasurable advantage over those who "wait and see". Women customers are opportunity number one, and with so much riding on your success in reaching them we equip you with our best advice: Don't Think Pink!