Women's History Month: Marketing Panel Discussion
How Is Your Business Connecting With The Female Consumer?
Over 200 business owners came to San Francisco on March 5th, and March 6th to San Jose, to hear our amazing panelists share their insights on how they have successfully marketed their business to not only everyone, but specifically women. Given that women influence over 83% of all consumer spending in the United States, it’s an important discussion to have. We kicked off Women’s History Month by opening up a dialogue about connecting with and marketing to women.
The conversation has come a long way. We’ve started to replace “or” with “and.” So, knowing that the conversation has shifted and grown, we learned some different strategies for marketing to women.
Some of the “Do’s” our panelists shared
Lisa Nourse from Lisa Nourse PR , explains how it’s important to connect with different demographics on multiple platforms depending on your audience. There isn’t a, “one size fits all” when it comes to marketing. Be on Instagram (for the younger generation), create a Facebook page (for the older generation), and claim your Yelp page for the 80 million users that are out there looking for a great local business. On these different platforms you want to share your story and build your brand. Whether it’s through pictures, tweets, and short videos. Show what makes your business stand out. Your business and your brand are what keep those loyal customers coming back. People like to buy from people, and they want to know the story behind the business.
Teresa Rodriguez, the owner of BodyRok shared some tips on how she makes female consumers feel comfortable, and relates on a personal level as a mother and a woman. Body issues and starting the journey of losing weight can be a tough road. She says that creating a welcoming environment and focusing on your customer service is key.
The owners of Snake and Butterfly, a chocolate, coffee, and gelato shop in Campbell, shared that sometimes if things are slow, you may need to take a step back and possibly think about rebranding. Months after opening they were urged by a friend to step outside their business, take a look at it from across the street, and see how customers reacted as they walked by. They noticed some confusion from those who passed by as to what the business actually was. People weren’t sure if it was just a chocolate shop, a place to stop for a cup of coffee, etc. By taking time to step outside their business and see what their target customer thought. They were able to understand how they needed to change from their logo, to the storefront.
Some “don’ts” that were shared
It may be 2019 and not 1919, but there are many businesses that get it wrong when it comes to marketing to female consumers. Slapping on a pink bow or a few flowers on a product does not make it female friendly. When I asked some of our panelists where they’ve seen businesses get it wrong, they had some pretty shocking stories.
Michelle, who co-owns multiple Uforia Studios , a fitness studio located around the Bay Area, states that too many fitness places only highlight skinny/muscular people. So many women are intimidated by the fitness industry in that it often perpetuates a narrative that you must look a certain way to “join the club”. Teresa, from BodyRok, another fitness studio spoke on how she had been in a class where the instructor only challenged the men to up the weights that they were using.
Carlos, from Mr. Roofing, our only male business owner from the panel, had some great insights on how he runs his home services business. He has also seen ways that home services that are usually male driven, get it wrong. If you are going to install a new roof, build a deck, or replace the plumbing, it’s not the best idea to only ask if there’s “a man of the house” that you can talk to. Many women are single mothers or just plain single, don’t assume that you can only talk to a man about home services.
The most shocking story of, “How they got it wrong”, was from Lisa Nourse. She noticed an interesting Valentines Day menu from a restaurant (which we won’t name) that had a “His” and “Hers” menu for their patrons to choose from. For the “His” menu, they had a steak dish, bacon wrapped scallops, and garlic mashed potatoes. For the “Hers” menu, it was a fish plate, scallops with beat juice (that made them pink), and a vegetable dish.
What’s next on the menu?
This two day event had a great turnout and many businesses had a chance to learn from amazing professionals. Whether it was regarding your Yelp page or how to use social media platforms like Instagram or Facebook, to grow your business and connect with various types consumers. Many more awesome events like this will be happening the rest of the year. So be on the lookout for future events happening around the North and South Bay area.
Special thanks to:
Celeste and Mara: Snake & Butterfly
Carlos: Mr. Roofing
Lisa: Lisa Nourse PR
Michelle: Uforia Studios
Alyx: Yelp Elite 2019
Stephanie: Yelp Elite 2019