Marketing: Targeting customers

Jane Blakeborough

Jane Blakeborough gives some pointers on customer engagement

Expert: Jane Blakeborough

Company: J.M.Blake Marketing

Background: Owner of J.M.Blake Marketing, a specialist consultancy, tailored to companies within the bathroom industry

Despite the fact women purchase or influence the purchase of 94% of home furnishing products, many bathroom manufacturers still market their products to men only. With women consumers globally controlling $20 trillion in consumer spending, this is not the sound of the feminist drum banging here, this is a purely commercial observation.

Male and female decision-making processes are very different when it comes to making a purchase.

Here are a few pointers:

1. Women make purchase decisions on a more emotive level. Explain the benefits and relevance of the product in an interesting, fun and engaging way.

2. Women are inspired by product styling achievable in their own home. Style your products in an imaginative, yet realistic setting.

3. Women take longer to move through the different stages of decision-making. They often appear to be quite circular in their route to the final purchase and will seek out answers to their queries. The more information you make accessible, the more confidence they will have about making a purchase.

4. Women don't respond to gratuitous gestures. Attempting to reach out in a pink, soft, frilly or fluffy way is a mistake. Relying on dated gender stereotyping, rather than in-depth research, will alienate rather than engage.

5. Women look at the long-term considerations of their purchase. Their decision is based more on the quality and longevity of a product. Women are also more likely to consider the environmental issues when making a purchase.

6. Women frequently begin their purchasing process via word-of-mouth recommendation. Women may take longer to come to a purchase decision but once they have found that perfect product, they will want all their female friends, family, neighbours and colleagues to know about it. Don't miss out on this invaluable marketing tool.

Men and women ultimately want the same end result, however women take longer and need more persuading. Therefore, by the time you have applied all of the rules of engagement required to take women through the purchasing process, your male customers will have already purchased and be back home watching the football.

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