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What your women customers want

Sept. 18, 2017
Women influence $5 trillion in consumer and business spending. This spending is 85% of all consumer purchases.

Women influence $5 trillion in consumer and business spending. This spending is 85% of all consumer purchases and includes:

·       91% of New Homes

·       66% Consumer electronics, $90 billion in 2007

·       92% Vacations

·       80% Healthcare

·       65% New Cars

·       89% Bank Accounts

·       93% Food

·       93 % OTC Pharmaceuticals

According to the Marketing to Women Conference, over the next decade, women will control two thirds of consumer wealth in the United States and be the beneficiaries of the largest transference of wealth in our country’s history.

Baby-Boomer women, born between 1946 and 1964, represent a portion of the buying public no marketer can afford to ignore. With successful careers, investments made during the “boom” years, and inheritances, they are more financially empowered than any previous generation. The MassMutual Financial Group said that age 50-plus American women are the healthiest, wealthiest and most active generation of women in history, and combined they control a net worth of $19 trillion.

And that’s reflected in how women are managing their money. Financial services companies admit that, historically, they haven’t done a great job of attracting women as customers, but with women rising fast on the income and managerial ranks, they’re now paying more attention. The number of women-owned firms increased by 54% between 1997 and 2012 – that’s a rate 1-1/2 times the national average.

In the five-year period between 2006 and 2011, the number of women in the US earning a greater share of income than their husbands rose from 13 percent to 16 percent. Following the Great Recession, women’s earning power recovered more quickly than men’s. Women have always made the majority of household spending decisions, but they are starting to have even more purchasing power as they contribute more money to their households.

It's a fact, women influence family plumbing and HVAC decisions.  So why wouldn’t we work on marketing to this amazingly valuable group?

Key to that effort has to be attuning your message to the female mind-set. For example, recent research by Vanguard Group’s Asset Management & Advice Services Division found that women differ substantially from men in how they relate to investing. They don’t want to hear about the growth or comparative performance of different funds, they want information about reaching their long-term goals.

Most service companies operate on the “spray and pray” method of marketing.  Meaning there is not a lot of thought behind creating vertical marketing platforms and planning a strategy behind the vertical. We tend to find a marketing segment that works (PPC, SEO, email marketing, SEM, remarketing, direct mail, print, video, TV, etc.) that goes out to all markets and is not specific to a vertical. If you were to undergo an analysis of your current customer base, I’m sure you would start to see a pattern: Women. Women contractors and property managers, women-run home owners’ associations, and women serving at all levels of government.

After some time in business, everyone tend to find a “niche” that fits her company culture like a glove and after than tends to specialize. The sooner you can identify your niche, the better, the more effective and the more cost efficient your marketing will become.

At Sunshine, we realized early on that our niche was the women customer. We are, after all, 51% women owned which helped. We’re also one of the Top 100 Women Owned companies in Colorado. We also have an incredibly high touch customer service strategy involving: welcome emails (including a technician photo and biography), background checks, drop cloths, shoe covers, thank you notes, brownies for thank you gifts, flowers if we make a mistake, gift baskets for larger purchases, and even hotel stays if we cannot get your system working on the day that it is promised. We also belong to almost every women’s group or chamber in Colorado, and make ourselves visible and distinct from the other 900 plumbing companies in the Denver metro area.

We have close to 2,000 positive online reviews, and statistics tell us most women customers will read an online review, a blog or a referral post when choosing a contractor or service provider.

We have been able to create a safe, reliable company that blows our customer’s minds when it comes to service. Your company doesn’t need to be women-owned to market to women, it just has to be awesome!

Susan Frew is president of Sunshine Plumbing Heating & Air, President of the Colorado PHCC and Zone 4 Director for the PHCC – National Association. Susan holds the trademark and patent on the revolutionary VideoPlumber. She is also a speaker for the PHCC Educational Foundation and can be booked through its organization for your local convention, meeting or event.