Increase sales by focusing on the female-factor

It’s a well known fact that women are the purchasers or key influencers of 85% of all consumer purchases. Even in traditionally ‘male’ product categories like electronics and cars women are responsible for over 65% of all purchase decisions. However, 91% of women say advertisers don’t understand them (She-conomy). Indicating that many businesses are missing out on crucial sales by not focusing on women more strongly in their designs, communications and sales strategies. Strategic planning and design is critical to attracting more women to your product or service.

Here are 6 simple ways you can create more female appeal and boost your profits:

1. Pay attention to customer service

Research shows that women have higher expectations of customer service than men do. Whether that service is face-to-face, online, or over the phone, women will leave as a result of poor, disrespectful or frustrating service.

In a study polling 5,800 consumers in the Asia-Pacific region, 45 percent of people said they would pay a premium for good customer service. Think about how you can design and integrate customer service touchpoints across all channels to make a more enjoyable experience for her. Are store signs designed to show her the way to specific products and service counters? Can you add an online chat service to your website? Are you advertising delivery options outside of traditional business hours, so she doesn’t have to take a day off work? Can she schedule an appointment immediately without waiting to be called or emailed back? How easy is it for her to find what she needs from you on her mobile phone, in three minutes or less?

2. Pass the Buchanan Test

When targeting women ‘pink’ is not a marketing strategy, nor is motherhood. Try to avoid pigeonholing women into stereotypical groups. The Buchanan Test (inspired by The Bechdel Test) was designed to test stereotyping of women in advertising. Look at your most recent ads featuring women, whether they’re print or digital and see if you can answer “yes” to the following three questions:

  1. Do you feature a woman outside of the home?
  2. Do you feature a woman in a role other than “mother”?
  3. Is she NOT doing yoga?

You’d be surprised by how many ads fail this simple test but when you can break away from the stereotypes that’s when women feel inspired, like in this ad from Under Armour:

 ’Protect this house. I WILL’ / Under Armour

 3. Choose imagery that resonates

Think about how your business can break away from stereotypical images in your ads, brochures and website design. Did you know that most women-owned businesses are run out of a home office and employ fewer than five people? If you’re targeting female business owners it makes you think twice about choosing that stock image of the “business woman” wearing a skirt suit, stiletto heels and crossing her arms, doesn’t it? Luckily, Getty Images and Sheryl Sandberg’s organization, Lean In, have joined forces to release a fantastic new stock photo collection with 2,500 images breaking down stereotypes about gender roles, called the “Lean In Collection.”

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Tara Moore / Getty Images

4. Offer women incentives not discounts

Women are savvy shoppers and will look for the best offer, which may not always be price orientated. Providing a memorable experience will ensure women become loyal brand advocates. Take price out of the equation and focus on other benefits you can offer her; then communicate those incentives to her with sophisticated graphics that go straight to her inbox or Facebook feed. 

Can you provide a complementary service or partner with another business for mutual benefit?

Tootsies Boutique in California has 3 pedicure stations right in the middle of it and regularly offers pedicure specials as incentives to come shop for shoes. Take that online shopping! (Tootsies Boutique)

tootsies

5. Address her ‘Invisible Others’

The real reason women buy more is actually not very exciting. In reality it’s because they purchase for others. In virtually every society around the world, women have primary-caregiving roles and as a result they are constantly evaluating how their shopping decisions will impact those they care about. Bridget Brennan author of Why She Buys says, “women are multiple markets in one. They are the gateway to everybody else.” When selling to a woman try to find out who else might be using the product, be it a new refrigerator, a television or a car; in doing so you will be able to point out specific features of the product that might appeal to their ‘invisible others’ and as a result remove hidden barriers to the sale.

If the product is specific to her, such as lingerie or shoes, create a dedicated entertainment zone in the store for her husband or child so she can shop at her leisure without guilt. Communicate these messages visually in your product brochures and in-store.

6. Surprise and delight her

When it comes to building a reputation for excellent customer service a key element is ‘surprise’. In their study (2001) on anticipation and emotion, Mellers and McGraw found that “surprising outcomes have greater intensity than expected outcomes. Surprise amplifies the emotional experience.” Women in particular are looking for extra, emotional reasons why they should care about a brand based on it caring about them.

Ritz-Carlton are the masters of ‘surprise and delight’. In an approach they call “Radar On – Antenna Up”, Ritz-Carlton employees are trained to anticipate the unexpressed needs of their guests and are empowered to act on them.

For example: “A couple arrives at the hotel, wife is six months pregnant. Normal service would be to observe and do nothing – at best help with the bags. But at Ritz Carlton, antenna up means they get a special pillow for sleeping and alcohol free sparkling cider instead of champagne.”

Empower your sales staff to respond and act on unspoken cues. Have beautiful stationery designed for personal handwritten notes to be sent to customers when a special occasion arises. After all it’s the little things that matter.

ritz-carlton-service

 

Ritz-Carlton – The Employee Promise

 

Article by Jennifer Crehan, Eloquence World Design
If you would like help designing professional communications and brand marketing for your female audience contact Jennifer at Eloquence World Design:

www.eloquence.co.nz
jennifer@eloquence.co.nz
027 493 1986
Level 1, 14 Blair St, Wellington

 

How To Create The Perfect Brochure Design

Often a brochure is the first impression a customer has of your business. When designed well a brochure can make a huge impact on your sales. When designed badly they can push potential customers into the arms of your competitors. 

If you’re looking to create a professional marketing brochure for your business, here are five tips that will help you create a brochure with a big impact.

1. Get your content right

spa-break

Copywriting is one of the most essential elements of any effective marketing campaign. Brochures typically offer a larger canvas on which to pitch your case to prospective customers but selecting the right words that get people to take some form of action can be tricky. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to focus on information instead of persuasion. Brochure copy should begin with your customer not your product. Sell benefits, not features and show them how your product or service makes their life better, easier, or more profitable.

2. Keep it simple

Don’t try to oversell. Keep your content clear and concise. You don’t want to overwhelm your customers with information overload that leaves them unsure of the action they should take. When planning your brochure design work out a simple and clear structure and stick to it! It’s absolutely vital to plan what you want your brochure to do. Is it too inform people of a new service? To increase brand awareness? To showcase your products? Write down your objective and make sure you don’t get sidetracked into including information that isn’t relevant to that goal. Always include a call to action which tells your customers what you want them to do and how they can do it.

3. Be true to your brand

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Spielplan Oper Graz 2013/14 season brochure design

As well as the words you use, the look and feel of your brochure needs to promote your company image and communicate who you are. Whether you’re a slick, cloud-based tech venture or an eco-friendly range of skincare products, the images, colours and typefaces you use need to be on brand and consistent with your other marketing collateral. If all of your print and web communications look like a family, you’re well on your way to making a cohesive brand which people can get excited about.

 

4. Use a clean design

Mareiner Holz Brochure

Brochure design for Mareiner Holz, leading wood processor in Central Europe

All companies are different and have different design aesthetics, but whether your businesses brand-style is crisp and white or bold and colourful your brochure design still needs to look fresh and be easy to read. Use empty space to it’s best, make sure headings are clear and images are relevant and pull out key features to make a big statement. Just because you have a lot of content doesn’t mean everything is of equal importance. Pick out your brochure’s key items and show them at their best.

 

5. Use pictures

The Norwegian Opticians'  Brochure

The Norwegian Opticians’ Association brochure design

Using pictures is a great way to add visual interest to your brochure design. No one wants to read a textbook! Inspire your customers with enticing photographs or illustrations and use them to draw attention to particular areas of text you want your customers to focus on. For example if using a photograph of a person you can have them looking in the direction of the text and your readers will look there too.

If you’re wanting to design a professional marketing brochure for your business we can help.

Email Eloquence World Design to ask for a FREE consultation

 

 

‘Fast’ vs ‘slow’ marketing

You may have heard of fast and slow food but have you heard of fast and slow marketing?  Here’s a quick breakdown of the concept as well and 6 proven marketing ideas you can use today.

Fast Marketing

fast-marketingIn business you are often faced with the pressure to get fast results from various marketing pursuits. You want to do things that will make new sales quickly, often within the space of mere days or just a few weeks. This is known as ‘fast’ marketing.

This type of marketing often has deadline dates, or an incentive that encourages your audience to do something right now or in the immediate future. It can prove very successful but you have to regularly come up with the next idea to continue the momentum.

Apart from the obvious benefit of generating quick revenue, fast marketing also allows you to better track what campaigns work and which ones don’t. If you don’t get the response you’re looking for learn from it and try something new.

Slow Marketing

Slow marketing on the other hand is when you’re not looking for an instant sale but instead building personal relationships with people. The relationship you create leads to future sales when that person has need you can fill, or when they personally recommend your business. We all know the power of word-of-mouth.

Slow marketing has longterm results and can be incredibly important in establishing your brand’s reputation. Without slow marketing in the mix you run the risk of your business being too focussed on sales and fads.

Which Type of Marketing is Better?

In reality both types of marketing need to be in the mix to build a successful business. You want to regularly be doing things that boost revenue quickly, as well as building lasting connections with people.

Ideas for Fast Marketing

  • Hold a competition with an incentive for customers to take action now. For a low cost solution advertise it on your website and Facebook page.
  • Email, phone or send mail outs to previous clients and give them a good reason to spend money with you now.
  • Hold a VIP night at your store. Supply some food and wine and let your guests and their friends be first to see and buy new products. Fashion and beauty stores might invite stylists or make-up artists to give personal advice to your guests. The more personal attention you give to your guests the more this promotion will also cross-over into slow marketing.
  • Take the “popcorn chicken” approach and advertise special products that are available for a limited time only.


Ideas for Slow Marketing

  • Introduce yourself to complimentary services in your industry. For example: a florist in the wedding industry might build a relationship with a wedding dress store, photographer or make-up artist who will then be inclined to recommend you to new brides.
  • Hold a free workshop. Holding an event without a focus on sales establishes you as a thought-leader. A well prepared and thoughtful presentation is a sure fire way to build reputation.


What To Do Now

Look at the sales activities you employ in your business and see where the balance of your marketing lies. If you’re relying too heavily on either ‘slow’ or ‘fast’ marketing come up with 5 new ideas to get the balance right.