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Published: March 1, 2012 at 12:16 AM GMT
Last Updated: March 1, 2012 at 12:16 AM GMT
Women are way too discerning with their choices to be fickle. When it comes to the brands they support, they do not flip flop. They are deciders. Appeal and engage them well, and they'll be with you for a long time. They'll spread the word to their friends, family, social circles – and light up the blogosphere at every touch. When ignited, brand loyalty with women is very, well, active.
Unfortunately, too many marketers mistake this loyalty tendency for a sure thing. And, taking the woman's potential for brand love for granted – they often fling short-lived tactics, instead of focusing on the psychologies of loyalty and then on appropriate long-term strategies and approaches.
So, what must we know about marketing to women in order to sustain the love and the relationship? What are the secrets to staying power with women? What do smart marketers know about the art of building long-term connection and engagement with women – and how to avoid just recycling the one-off trivial moment of attraction? There is no one answer to any of this. But, the key is to slow down and think about how to communicate, treat and extend a hand to the woman consumer to provide meaning and value.
Playing to the Insider Impulse
Anymore, most consumers are looking for meaningful involvement – a solution, service, entertainment or outlet of some kind – with a brand. Not erratic contact from this brand. This is especially true of women. They want to feel not only welcomed – but also affirmed as an ongoing insider. Many brands fail to use this psychology to their advantage – and they focus on shallow indicators, especially in the social sphere.
Look around and you cannot help but notice how many brands force a consumer to "like" their Facebook page in order to get a one-time offer, in an effort to amass a large fan base. A marketer who executes a campaign for "likes" may boost the fan base, but they have created no reason for these fans to engage or perpetuate the relationship. That one-time campaign-driven offer is not enough to stir a sense of inclusion or insider-ism. Any brand would be much better served to create an environment where the consumer feels valued and has a reason to return and linger often.
For example, we have seen thoughtful loyalty-focused marketers take this kind of approach further and really play it out. A popular CPG brand, whose product was a body wash targeting women, ran display media and targeted (based on both demographics and lifestyle) Facebook ads. These thoughtfully designed and served ads drove women consumers to Facebook pages for a sweepstakes entry. In order to enter the sweepstakes, you had to "like" the brand. But, the engagement did not stop there. Venturing beyond the "like," consumers were invited to return for behind-the-scenes footage of the promoted tour. The sweepstakes was related to a musical artist with whom the CPG brand had partnered and been promoting through ongoing buzz building. Through this focused courtship of the woman consumer, the brand gained an exceptional volume of "likes" and continued visits from now curious and loyal consumers who felt very much on the inside. This ultimately provided enough learning – that the company was able to increase their budget and wisely allocate their execution across media outlets, types and creative.
Look to Popular Consumer Culture
We only have to look at what Apple has done to maximize and sustain value – to understand the ongoing returns of loyalty, regardless of gender. Today, most inclined consumers have a connection to the brand and typically own more than one Apple product. As this piece on Loyalty Marketing references: "All the products developed by Apple fit a particular type of consumer who wants products that are innovative, stylish, and easy to use. By focusing on creating a community of satisfied Apple users, Apple sells them first a computer, then an iPod and iPhone, or a tablet." This is a company committed to developing a community or culture around the unique personality of their products. They do this based on the type of person who would be drawn to them, so that their consumers continue to replenish their own consumption or acquisition.
Just as there will be no one answer – there is no single list of exclusive tricks for achieving a better cadence and long-term relationships with women. Because, this is not about tricks and tactics, but about slowing down and thinking through the mindset and impulses of loyalty – and orchestrating all your moves from that much more strategic place.
Bonnie Kintzer is Chief Executive Officer of Women’s Marketing Inc. the authority on how women consume media. Women’s Marketing Inc. services more than 300 clients in the beauty, fashion and health space by delivering the best integrated advertising solutions in digital, print and out-of-home. Bonnie has built a distinguished career in the media world with a strong focus on revenue creation and reengineering. Bonnie can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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