Is marketing to women just pink napkins and yoga? A Lady's Touch: PartII

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whatwomenwantIn the second half of my series of marketing to women, I share an extra 8 pointers on how you can get to know your female clients.  Getting to know what women want is more complex than pink napkins and yoga, so if you missed some valuable insight into what women respond to most our first two tips can be found on our website.

In the meantime, these are the remaining and most important decision factors that make women want to make a particular establishment their venue of choice.

1.   Women can be bought: Take a cue from cosmetic companies. They have offered a “gift with purchase” for the longest time. This encourages the consumer to choose one brand over another and increasing the average spend.  For example, purchases over $100 receive a free cosmetics bag.  If a Monday night is looking rather quiet, why not text a $50 voucher to some of your key female clients and see how many can be convinced to come out on a school night.  Adding little freebies such as a chocolate as they leave or providing taste tester of beers/wines before committing to a full glass is a nice touch they won’t forget!

2.   Women like clean: This goes without saying.  If the bathrooms aren’t cleaned regularly and the table tops are sticky, don’t expect repeat business.  Making sure that soap dispensers are topped up and even adding a mild scented reed diffuser in your bathrooms, can really make a difference in the perception of your venue.

3.   Women like safe: Sensitivity is involved in enhancing women’s feelings of safety, particularly in outdoor areas around the venue. Externally, there needs to be a critical focus on visibility so that patrons can see an entrance to the venue from wherever they park their car.  A sense of safety can be created through a thoughtful layout involving well planned lighting, landscaping, signage and use of security camera notification can be an effective and comforting tool that enhances peace of mind.

4.   Women like the warm and fuzzy: Women will make a purchase if they believe it is doing good and helping somebody else.  A new company called Thank You Food really hits this mark. All products are Australian made and all profit is donated to disadvantaged people in developing countries.  Through powerful branding, this company convinces the consumer that every purchase changes a life.  When I bought them, I didn’t even look at the price tag because the feel good factor was so strong. Think about how your venue can incorporate the sale of a product or service with an altruistic goal. Another example is the Grill’d Local Matters project – simple, effective and local.

Marketing to women | DWS Research
Think globally, act locally. Charitable services can make a difference to your community as well as promoting your venue to women.

5.   Women function on a time clock: according to the fifth annual “What Women Want” survey on women aged 21 to 60.  The results found that  if women had a 25th hour in their day they wouldn’t spend it on sex (6%) or even their kids (6%), instead, they would opt for more sleep (24%) and more time with their significant others (12%). For venues this spells out CONVENIENCE.  These small, but important details make all the difference:

  •  providing take away cups
  •  take away and all-day grazing food
  •  quick ordering processes
  •  fast service
  •  tuning some venue televisions into favourite shows with subtitles turned on (avoid sport, catwalk modelling and music video shows)
  •  providing magazines and newspapers in bars and restaurants
  •  early trading and late trading
  •  guaranteed gaming hours

6.   When women talk, other women listen: The social media scrap booking site Pinterest, which began in March 2010, now has more than 70 million users of which 80% are female subscribers. Australians are the 4th largest users of this ‘powerhouse of sharing’ posting everything from recipes, holiday tips and DIY. At the core of Pinterest’s success is the underlying need of women to network and share this in person and online “word of mouth” frequently dictates choices.

 7.   Target women, not girls: In 2009 Dell released a pink laptop targeted at women, there was such backlash over the concept that their newly created “female friendly” Dell website and marketing campaign was very quickly dropped as criticism went viral. Ultimately the package was seen as too obvious and condescending with a focus on all things pink, calorie counting and yoga. If a campaign targeted at women is to work, the best bet is to develop a campaign that identifies their real needs and desires – not what you expect. Do some research – ask your female relatives what they really care about as a start. Solve a problem.

 8.   Women like to feel special: Chivalry might be dead, but that doesn’t mean it can’t live on in your venue.  The art of chivalry moves beyond basic customer service to true charm and consideration, making patrons feel special and valued. This might include encouraging staff to hold doors open, assist patrons to their car, pull out stools/seats for them, provide a source of conversation when a patron is dining alone or if their companion leaves the table for a moment. Training your staff in advanced customer service means that each time patrons visit they have a unique experience that is not available to them in other venues.

The beauty of these tactics is that they are simple and inexpensive.  Courtesy costs you nothing, but means everything to your female customers. 

For more inspiration, stay tuned next month when I give you an overview of venues who have turned marketing to women on its head.  Contact Samantha Litfin for more information on marketing and research on 07 3878 9355 or email

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