How to successfully sell to women

Why do so many new product launches flop? Because the companies do not meet the needs of those who decide on private consumption – and who are nearly always women.

A new survey by the market research company Nielsen shows that more than 80 per cent of all private buying decisions are made by women – and that many companies still do not market their consumer goods to women properly.

But what does this big unknown “women” want from companies? Women, who are under fourfold pressures by children, job, husband and beauty care, have very little time nowadays and therefore look for products that make their lives easier. This is a finding which is universal. But there are also national differences: For instance women in all parts of the world get their information about new products from television – according to the new survey – but women in Germany and in Spain rely primarily on recommendations from friends.

And how does a product make a woman’s life easier? Nielsen’s deputy boss,  Susan Whiting, recommends on the German business news portal Handelsblatt  to make handling, packaging and transport of products as easy as possible. And even makers of products that are traditionally marketed to women, such as electronic devices, cars, financial investments or insurances have to change their way of thinking: according to the Nielsen survey even they face women as the majority of decision makers.

Incidentally women like to spend more time in social networks than men – but marketing managers need to come up with better ideas than simply placíng adverts there. Women ignore those adverts. They prefer a dialogue – and it should be relevant to them – after all, they don’t have much time.

(Nearly 6,500 women in 21 countries were interviewed for the survey, source: report on Handelsblatt online, July 3,2011)

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