Women are continuing to flood to the online social networks. But some of you continue to ask: how does this affect her purchases? I believe for companies that not only participate in social media marketing, but strategically listen and respond, it means increased revenue even during recessionary times.
Let’s take a look at three factors individually and then how they effectively converge to perpetually market your brand.
- Women’s Wants and Needs
- Online Social Channels
- The Buying Process
Women’s Wants and Needs
Women are responsible for 85% of all brand purchases. So what does this mean during tough economic and recessionary times? According to Women Want More, even though they are incredibly stressed, overburdened, out of balance and dissatisfied, they still want more. But more of what? Your products and services? No, not really.
What gets her attention is family, health, security, friends and lovers; learning and education; work and career; helping others and giving back. This translates to needs for:
Online Social Channels
Women are going online daily via channels to have a voice, attain advice, research, check on friends and family, make connections, collaborate and share.
And today she is meeting her needs and wants that are mentioned above through online social channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, YouTube, MySpace, Female Forum, wikis, etc. The chart below, appropriately titled The Conversation Prism by Brian Solis and Jesse Thomas, displays many of the channels available as of just a few months ago and the applications continue to grow rapidly.
Are you beginning to see the how nicely women’s needs interface with the benefits of online social networks? This is why they are spending more and more time online. Unlike men who mainly use the Internet to just make a transaction, women are there to make connections. But do not be misled by thinking this has nothing to do with the buying process.
The Buying Process
So, let’s look at the stages of the buying process, according to Marti Barletta, CEO of Trendsight. When men and women buy as partners, women control at least four out of five stages of the purchasing process.
1. Kick-off – women 2. Research – women 3. Purchase – men
4. Ownership – women 5. Word-of-mouth – women
And further, even though men are present and appear in control during the purchasing stage when they pull out the credit card or sign the contract, they are not really in control of that stage either – they just think they are. A lot happens way before then that actually determines the decision of what is bought.
So what happens? The other four stages. The decision to buy something, gathering of information, considering past purchases and collaborating with others.
Do these stages sound familiar? They mirror a woman’s basic needs, what she’s doing online, and how she conducts her life. This is how she thinks–Everyday. All day.
Women, networks and buying converge to create perpetual marketing
Participating in online social networks allows you to communicate, connect and build relationships throughout ALL of the stages of the buying process continuously.
If you are trying to capture her attention simply during the purchase stage, your competition will not only be getting in front of women way before you do, they will be building relationships with her. This is especially true today as everyone is so focused on price. But keep in mind, price is an obstacle, not a solution. Unless you are willing to give up your profit, you’d be wise to have a better strategy than price alone.
So, understand her needs, connect with her online as she is fulfilling them and you will be there for her when she is ready to buy. You will not only build your brand perpetually, but organically as well. You will constantly build her trust so when she is ready to buy, she will buy from you.