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Psychographics focuses on segmenting consumers based on their interests and passions versus their demographic age and where they live.
To use psychographics effectively we have to keep in mind a couple of key things about the differences. The male and female minds work differently. The sexes are equal in the capability of using their brains…they just do it differently.
Women are the original multi-taskers. Because of this they are constantly stressed. Let’s look at how this started…
While the caveman was off hunting, the women did everything else. Watch the kids, tend the fire, gather wood, harvest anything edible and keep the home camp safe.
Men still think task-oriented and tend to compartmentalize their attention. Women think more with a wide-angle lens. Female attention developed to being more fractured in order to do “their part” in the survival of the family and tribe.
This led to small changes in the brain. In women, the corpus callosum, the bridge of nerves that connect the two sides of the brain is thicker. This allows women to use both sides of their brain in problem-solving.
Men tend to only use the left side of their brain for problem-solving.
Men’s brains are about 10% larger…but hold on guys, women have more nerve endings and connections than men. (White matter.)
Men and women use different areas of their brains to solve problems. Without getting into the science, the result is women are generally more connected with their emotions. They identify and control them better than men.
Men are more task-focused and resent emotional stresses. Anyone who has ever been around a frustrated man, knows this to be true. The “rant” and “blowing off steam” are well-known phenomena.
While the number of male and female shoppers is about the same, according to a study by Bloomberg, women make more than 85% of all consumer purchases in the US. They influence over 95% of total goods and services purchased.
The notion that men are in charge of all decisions should have just fled your mind and marketing plan.
While men will “settle for” a workable product just to escape the shopping experience, women won’t. They are looking for the perfect solution and will keep hunting to find it. They are more selective.
In thinking about this, I recalled how many times I’d been in a department store looking for something and to whiz through the departments because the colors were wrong, the cut was wrong. It was more about the perfect product than the price.
If you ask 5 females, most will admit to succumbing to buying a garment based on sale price. They take it home and many times leave it hanging in the closet. They wanted something that meets all their criteria but didn’t get it.
Women add emotional complexity to the mix. It’s because of their two-sided approach to problem-solving. They are more susceptible to emotional appeals, like a promise or a sale than a man.
According to a 2007 survey by the AMP Agency, (an ad agency founded by Gary Colen in 1995,) women don’t change their shopping style with their age. This isn’t what the investigators expected. They expected to see age-related shifts that didn’t occur. Our shopping patterns tend to be life-long.
It was mentioned earlier, that female multi-tasking puts women are under more stress. This is still true today. Much of it is hard-wired and self-induced.
We, women, feel we have to be the perfect super-woman in each of the roles we play. Super-wife, super-mom, super-career person. From the time they are young, women are taught to be care-givers and put the needs of others ahead of their own.
It’s never home or career, hubby or the kids…the internal pressure there is to do it all well.
On the inside, they want to feel taken care of, respected and listened to. They crave some self-comfort and restoration.
No wonder men have trouble understanding us.
Focus on their needs, concerns, interests, and passions. Focus on stress-reducing products, things that will make their life easier. Things to help them relax and restore. Things that help them feel better about themselves.
Get them engaged with lots of information that will help the left-brain, right-brain connections to make a decision. Listen to them and respond with what they are asking for. Not sure what they are asking? Read product reviews and questions on a site like Amazon.
Provide information that answers questions they haven’t thought of yet.
Women love validation so customer success stories, testimonials, and other third-party information can help move them toward the purchase.
Make sure your format works on all devices. While men have embraced mobile devices, the majority of women prefer to work on a desktop or other device with a larger screen that facilitates research.
Women respond better to email offers than their male counterparts. They are willing to get additional information from you in exchange for their email address. A special offer in that email may well bring them back to your website again…this time with buying in mind.
Never assume she isn’t interested if she abandons her cart or suddenly leaves your website. She is a multi-tasker and you never know what interrupted her shopping.
Gently remind and invite her back again…with the respect of a valued friend, not someone you’re trying to hammer into a sale.
Stressed women hate harassment or being talked down to.
In my personal experience, the worst email offenses are often sent on behalf of a man. If you want to get on my blocked list…just keep those up. Even brands whose products I like, I’ll walk away from rather than receiving emails I perceive as insulting to me or my decision-making process.
Women are stressed multi-taskers looking for solutions to improve their quality of life.
Treat them well and provide information so they can satisfy both sides of their brain to make the decision.
Don’t underestimate their buying power. Women not only buy for themselves but the buyers for children, extended family, friends and the elderly. This isn’t just true in the USA but in nearly every society.
Even when they don’t make the purchase themselves, they influence it. They are caregivers, relationship builders, and communicators.
A last note…because of their role as caregivers, they tend to have high expectations of customer service. Elevating your customer service elevates your brand.
Need help to enhance your ROI marketing to women? Contact me: [email protected]
Judith Culp Pearson receives three top honors
at the annual Society of Permanent Cosmetic Professionals in
Ft. Worth, Texas - October 7-9, 2023