2018 has been declared the year of the woman. She’s fighting back against stereotypes and decades of harassment. The result is that she’s become stronger than ever. A smarter and wiser consumer. Women are no longer accepting the status quo of being marketed as sex objects. In fact recently, I read that Victoria’s Secret is even rethinking how it portrays women in the era of #MeToo after reporting dismal sales these last few quarters. 

Yet marketing to women has often been left to the men of the boardroom.

Studies show that even though women account for $7 trillion in spending and influence 85% of all consumer purchases, many businesses don’t provide customer-first marketing – meaning they don’t put her needs above their own business goals. And most women say they want brands to engage with them on their own terms. But, that’s not happening either. Ninety one percent (91%) of women feel that marketers don’t even understand them and many women don’t trust most of the brands they buy. Whoa.

Brands need to support women more than ever and I don’t mean responding with Femvertising. Marketing needs to be strategic, authentic and useful. Look what happened recently with Lean Cuisine The female empowerment message fell flat and came across as patronizing – the complete opposite effect of what it intended. They tried too hard.

Partnership Marketing – An Often Overlooked Approach

One way that brands can demonstrate support of today’s woman is by aligning with brands that can offer real solutions to her lifestyle – especially in non-endemic or unexpected categories. Doing this can really add to a brand’s value proposition and extend it directly to the customer.

Females are the main catalysts behind the purchase of cars, healthcare, housing, food and vacations yet sometimes when brands look at potential marketing partners they go to the obvious – fashion, beauty, etc. Brands need to look outside of their comfort zone to areas such as financial services, consumer electronics, etc. if they want to show “I’m with her”. After all, isn’t the company you keep what says a lot about a brand?

My partnership-marketing agency Regatta has been helping brands more effectively market to women and increase marketing ROI for over 15 years. We’d be happy to help you too.