Some marketers are getting the message. In a recent film for Comfort by Ogilvie and Mather, ‘The Day I Visited my Son’, two women are shown discussing their sons. We see the sons, too. One is serving a four-year jail sentence, the other is a NASA astronaut. Without spoiling the ending for you (you can watch it here on YouTube) the take-out is refreshingly different to all those simplistic ‘use this product for a sunshine-filled happy ever after’ marketing messages of the past.
How do you market to women? There’s a flaw in the question. Not all men drink beer and watch football. Some do. Not all women are homemakers and mothers. Some are. Successful products or services focus on the individual and find a like-minded audience. We’re impressed by Ban.do, the lifestyle company founded by Jen Gotch, a former photographic stylist. She and friend Jamie Coulter started out with a simple website for fifty floral crowns hand-fabricated out of vintage millinery supplies – and they sold out within days.
Today, Ban.do sell bags, clothes, makeup, jewellery and stationery with a nostalgic, feminine flair that’s especially popular with the 18-35 age group. It’s distributed in over 3,000 stores and 50 countries. What makes Ban.do succeed (and a pastel-coloured biro fail) is that it’s authentic. It’s not aimed at ‘women’ but individuals.
The decline of mass advertising media and rise of targeted digital marketing gives us a wider range of tools than ever before to address the individual. No marketing strategy in 2017 should still be targeting ‘women’ per se. The best way to ensure your marketing is sensitive to different audiences is to ensure that your own decision makers reflect the wider world. It works. Sarah Kauss founder of the water bottle company S’well is a shining example of how to take a simple everyday product, and build a loyal customer base.