Are men really from Mars and Women really from Venus? Sort of…
We think differently, we speak differently, we behave differently and therefore we spend money differently and for different reasons.
Why is it so important in business (and for our purposes in radio) to know how men and women differ in their purchasing habits? Because women make up more than half the U.S.population, and make or influence the purchase of more than 80% of all products and services.Women’s buying power has increased tremendously in recent years. Mothers alone account for $1.3 trillion of sales per year.
Women are the majority decision-makers today, not only in the traditional areas of fashion, food and cosmetics, but also for big-ticket buys like cars, financial services, home improvement, computer electronics and travel.
I know we are all in radio ministry, but knowing particularly how to appeal to women’s purchasing sensibilities (since we are appealing to them to invest their money with us several times a year on air), is not at all a bad idea. If you’re interested, there are two books that break these down very effectively: Mary Lou Quinlan in her new book, Just Ask a Woman: Cracking the Code of What Women Want and How They Buy.
Martha Barletta in her new book, Marketing to Women: How to Understand, Reach and Increase Your Share of the World’s Largest Market Segment.
Women are especially valuable customers because women typically ask for recommendations from friends and acquaintances before they buy and, if they’re happy with a product or service, they’ll talk it up and recommend it to others. If they like your radio ministry…better believe their friends and family will know about it!
When making and considering purchases (especially bigger ticket items), women judge the quality of the relationship as well as the quality of a product. If they don’t like the sales rep – they don’t buy.
In general – they ask a lot of questions and do a lot of listening before they form a trusting relationship. They will also take longer to make a decision.
Women will go to more trouble to obtain what they want, and will take longer to make a buying decision because they want “perfect answers.”
Men on the other hand, will go for convenience and focus on the features and benefits of the product before taking concern with the sales reps personality quirks.
Men will buy a workable answer rather than continue to shop, while women will continue to shop in hopes of finding the EXACT thing they want.
Here’s an example – a woman wanted a cell phone that would work anywhere, not rack up high roaming fees, and be “cute.” The woman’s husband researched various plans and came up with one that suited her calling and financial criteria. “What kind of phone comes with it?” the woman asked.“What difference does it make?” replied the husband. The woman checked out the phone offerings and learned they included a Nokia model that could be had in “ocean blue,” although the nearest store carrying one in ocean blue was an hour’s drive away. She drove. “The color of the phone is the most important thing?” asked her astounded husband.
The answer is “no.” It wasn’t the most important thing, but while this woman was buying, “she wanted what she wanted.”
To women, details matter. “A woman might choose a Jeep Cherokee because it’s the only one whose hatch she can easily flip open.
This is why when we are describing an incentive, or a contest my male colleagues will hear me go into detail to describe the prize, the trip or the ministry incentive. We even have fun going back and forth with this. It’s a fun male/female moment at times on the air when I describe a station logo t-shirt as “vibrant Chartreuse!” to which my male co-host will respond, “I just call that green” These can be fun moments, but the truth is there’s value in details for women.
Studies have shown, that the male sees his relationship to others in terms of higher-lower, faster-slower, first-second. (Linear)
A female sees her relationships in less competitive terms: similar to-different from, know her-don’t know her.
So, advertising that implies others will be “jealous if you own this product” works with men, but is off-putting to women.
Women, want to be able to say: “Yep, that’s my life. If that product (or service) works for her, it’ll probably work for me.” They want to be able to identify.
Women also relate better to “warmer” than to “winner.”
A Nissan print ad stating “horsepower increased 17%, torque increased 6%, bragging rights increased 100%” is a male-only ad.
Women don’t care about bragging rights (even those who know what torque is). But an ad for an SUV that says, “Think of it as a 4,000 pound guardian angel,” is an ad that resonates with women.
This is also why the “be a hero” messaging doesn’t resonate with her the way it would with a male listeners. Because to her, giving to ministry or providing the ministry partnership bonus is not “heroic.” It’s just the right thing to do.
Stephanie Kay Welter is an Independant Radio/TV Host, Fundraising Expert, Voiceover/commercial talent, Coach, Owner Crowned Productions, LLC … contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit her website at www.StephanieKay.org.