Copywriters must get better at marketing to women
A ground-breaking survey from National Geographic, IPG and Refinery 29 has established that a more representative approach towards marketing to women is urgently required.
The survey featured a sample of over 4,000 women from five global markets.
It found a whole range of insights. Most fell under a single theme: understanding.
These were some of the key findings concerning marketing to women:
- 54% of women think there are too many stereotypes in the marketing they see
- 51% see too many portrayals of womanhood that aren’t relevant on a personal level
- 53% think that brands don’t care about their personal experience
- 57% believe the world would be a better place if brands cared about who they were targeting
This suggests that marketers – including copywriters – have boxed women into over-simplified consumer categories for too long.
Jill Cress, the National Geographic representative who presented the findings, commented: “As marketers we must recognize this complexity and move beyond a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach, becoming more cognisant of the images and words we are using in order to truly connect with our audiences,”
Women, quite rightly, want to be recognised as more than a broad-brush customer persona.
But, un-tangling identity is often easier said than done. The study also showed just how layered identity tends to be. For instance, women in the UK were more likely to cite class as something else that defined their identity. Women in the US were more likely to cite ethnicity.
To paraphrase Refinery29’s Brooke Hinton, it’s about balancing the differences with the common threads.
The good news: consumers now have more power to govern the direction of marketing channels. The bad news: marketers have been some way off the mark with targeting content for some time.
So, whether you’re marketing to women, men or anyone else, open up a dialogue. Take the time to understand how intensely complex and layered identities can be.
Construction industry embraces content marketing
In a recent interview with BUILDER – a leading construction industry publication – Travis Selcer explained why he feels content marketing is now a more effective proposition than traditional ads.
The group is currently overseeing the construction of 15,000 new homes in Fort Worth, Texas.
So confident is Selcer in content marketing, the company will attempt to sell off all these homes with a princely advertising budget of $0.
Selcer described how: “We’re taking a content-first approach with our website and distributing through email and social media marketing … There are more effective ways to hit people digitally these days, and as a result we don’t see high value in doing any traditional media placements.“
Even a cursory glance at their website shows they practice what they preach. Rather than transactional, salesy copy, RPG have opted for a range of lifestyle-related posts.
This includes articles on the ‘Maker’ (DIY) culture, local high-school football teams and the importance of nature. All content is hosted on-site, as well as pushed out using email newsletters and social media.
Karen Becker, vice president of marketing Benchmark Communities, is another construction industry content marketing evangelist. She has a penchant for blogs and social networks. We’ll leave the last word to her:
“The market is way too smart to be advertised to … Colour TV and radio and print isn’t necessarily a bad investment per se, but it doesn’t build the brand loyalty and advocacy that results in your audience becoming influencers for you, and I believe that is where we have to be.”
“Content marketing is really where the value is, and that means we are media companies as much as home builders … At the end of the day, our buyers are smart people who are online looking for information, so our job as marketers is to give them information that is engaging and helpful.”
Spotted in the news…
Wikipedia have decided to ban the Daily Mail as an information source in all but exceptional circumstances following a vote by editors.
Representatives have labelled the publication a “generally unreliable” news source. They described the ban as “centred on the Daily Mail’s reputation for poor fact checking, sensationalism and flat-out fabrication”.
This just shows how inaccuracy and/or a lack of authenticity can undermine your authority as a credible source of information in your field.