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IWD 2024: Marketing to women: Combining intuition and technology to unlock the market
Thu, 7th Mar 2024

The International Women's Day 2024 theme of "Inspire Inclusion" resonates profoundly. In our journey toward a more equitable society, acknowledging and celebrating the diversity within the female demographic is paramount when it comes to marketing. From diverse backgrounds to unique preferences and purchasing behaviours, women defy simple categorisations. However, amidst this complexity lies an opportunity for brands to delve deeper, combining intuition with technology to unlock the true potential of this market and truly understand their customers. 

It's essential to acknowledge that applying blanket generalisations to entire genders for marketing objectives is not only risky but can also lead to inaccurate strategies. People, irrespective of their gender, exhibit a wide array of preferences. Nonetheless, it is possible to identify certain overarching patterns that may inform marketing approaches aimed at distinct demographics, serving as a foundational layer for further audience segmentation and strategy refinement that can be enhanced through data and insight. 

When tailoring marketing efforts towards women, consider incorporating the following elements:

  • A greater openness to emotional storytelling and scenarios that viewers can relate to.
  • Messaging that resonates with individual values, ambitions, and a sense of community.
  • Imagery that highlights relationships, authenticity, and personal expression.

Critical considerations for effective marketing - regardless of gender, include:

  • A deep understanding of your audience is fundamental, extending beyond mere demographic data like age or income to encompass lifestyle, interests, and digital habits.
  • Recognise the diversity within the category of "women" by segmenting your audience more finely to tailor messages more personally and avoid sweeping generalisations.
  • Authenticity and empowerment are paramount. Feature real women in your marketing content to celebrate diversity across age, ethnicity, and body shapes.
  • Craft messages that empower, reflecting women's goals, accomplishments, and the pursuit of personal growth.
  • The power of the community should not be underestimated. Foster a sense of belonging and trust around your brand through user-generated content, active social media participation, and collaborations with influencers.

So how do you do this? Here are our top tips:

  • Data: Utilise data analytics to study and comprehend the specific preferences, buying patterns, and behaviours of female consumers in eCommerce. We can and do consider the gender split for our clients, and this should be considered for any marketing efforts.
  • Segmentation: Make use of segmentation to create targeted marketing campaigns, tailoring promotional materials and advertisements to different demographics of women with varying interests and preferences.
  • Data-Driven Product Development: Are there any gaps in the market where data can be analysed for products catered specifically to female consumers? 
  • Female-Oriented UX: Consider the scope for a more user-friendly experience tailored to women, with factors such as design preferences, navigation patterns, and overall usability. 
  • Product Imagery: Use data to evaluate the impact of diverse and inclusive imagery on female consumers. Incorporate a variety of body types, ethnicities, and age groups in product visuals to resonate with a broader audience.
  • Loyalty: Use data and insights to develop rewards and incentives that align with the preferences and shopping habits of female customers. This could benefit brand loyalty and generate repeat custom.
  • Feedback / Improvement: Use data analytics to gather insights directly from female customers to allow for continuous improvement in products, services, and overall customer satisfaction. This could include surveys and user testing targeted specifically at female users. 
  • Continuous Analysis and Adaptation: Regularly review and update data analytics strategies to stay in tune with evolving trends. Be flexible and adaptive, making necessary adjustments based on ongoing data analysis.

And if you need some inspiration, here are some brands who are hitting the mark:

Bodyform: This feminine hygiene brand has built a reputation for shunning traditional stereotypes and embracing frank conversations about periods. Their humorous ads and social media campaigns address real concerns women face, fostering a sense of community and open dialogue.

Sport England's This Girl Can campaign: This initiative challenged the perception of women and sport, showcasing diverse women enjoying physical activity on their own terms. The campaign resonated with its target audience by celebrating inclusivity and empowerment, moving beyond traditional fitness narratives.

Dove's Real Beauty campaign: This long-running campaign has challenged unrealistic beauty standards by featuring diverse women of different shapes, sizes, and ethnicities. By celebrating real beauty in all its forms, Dove has fostered a loyal following among women seeking authentic representation.

Empowering women through inclusive marketing
As we move forward, continuous analysis and adaptation remain paramount, ensuring that marketing strategies remain aligned with evolving trends and consumer preferences. By following these principles and drawing inspiration from brands like Bodyform, Sport England, and Dove, marketers can effectively navigate the complex landscape of marketing to women, inspiring inclusivity and empowerment for generations to come.