As Melinda Gates once told Forbes, empowered women transform societies. And while women are making a comeback after the you transfer, we still have a lot to do when it comes to portraying and targeting women in marketing.
In fact, recent research shows that only 37% of Americans believe that women are properly represented in advertising (that number is even lower for women – it drops to 29%).
Why is that important? Because representation counts – and marketing is one of the greatest means of communication today and is seen as a mirror of our society. So if a marketing plan doesn’t accurately represent the community it is trying to serve, it could be stifling progress, and not just wasting a company’s ad dollars.
Of course, we are encouraged by the many brands advocating change and creating a fairer society. And to help these committed companies, we’ve identified five upgrades that you can make to your marketing strategy. Use these insights to help your brand connect with and empower female customers.
Five female colleagues at a work meeting smiling at the camera
Use content to nurture community and build trust
Would you like women to target and champion your brand? Invite them. As you nurture a community and build trust, your audience’s loyalty will grow. That’s why companies like Chief are so successful at bringing women together, and Deloitte’s research is encouraging brands to create a more trusting and inclusive culture in the future. It is also why 38% of mothers are more likely to buy from brands that other women “like” and why Whitney Wolfe Herd is so successful in empowering women to take the first step. Community and trust create lifelong customers. Or, as ForbesWomen employee Stephanie Burns puts it: “Trust is the most powerful component of any form of marketing or business transaction.”
Expand what it means to be inclusive
Inclusivity doesn’t just mean marketing for women, and marketing for women doesn’t just mean marketing for a specific type of woman. Effective marketing is about embracing all of those who identify as women. After all, women who identify come from all backgrounds, ages and sizes. The days of a one-dimensional representation of women in marketing are over. If you really want to reach out to more women, it is important to consider the entire female experience, even on sensitive topics. Sure, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach, but it’s your responsibility as a brand to be as inclusive as possible and to encourage belonging.
To market women, work with women
While this finding may seem obvious, we have seen many instances in advertisements where this has not been the case. It’s also one of the reasons Ruth Bernstein, Co-Founder and CEO of YARD NYC, started an agency to challenge the norm in the advertising industry. Bernstein said, “Agencies were a real boys’ club back then, very male dominated at all levels,” and she and her husband set out to get more women into the room. The lesson: if you want to reach out to women, make sure they are in the room with your brainstorming.
Don’t be afraid to question female taboos
Marketing is known to shy away from feminine issues such as periods, aging, menopause, breastfeeding – the list goes on. Take it from Sally Mueller and Michelle Jacobs, the founders of Womaness, a company once devoted to mysterious and embarrassing topics and focused on women’s wellbeing. To challenge and normalize taboos, they suggest that brands try methods like “focus on the positive and avoid the embarrassing” and “provide a safe and welcoming community”. In the meantime, many women entrepreneurs are questioning these taboos – from explosive tape to breast pumps to products for the period – and breaking through the glass ceiling in the process. If your brand doesn’t come on board, you’ll be missing out on marketing to a new generation of women who are leaving stigmas behind.
Reach women where they are – at the table
Between 2007 and 2019, women founded five times the national average, and women-run businesses had annual sales of $ 1.6 trillion. We know that many women were forced out of the job market during the global pandemic. Yet many women found a way to overcome adversity by starting their own business or expanding their existing empire, as shown by this year’s list of the richest self-made women in America. One explanation for this growth comes from Bethany Frankel, herself a self-made businesswoman, who told Forbes’ Moira Forbes that “a downturn is the ideal time to start a new business”.
Today’s consumers have more power than ever. But to continue to help women move forward, marketers need to work together to accurately and fairly represent female customers in advertising and marketing. For Moira Forbes it is said: “Power is parity”. So, let’s leave you with this question: does your marketing strategy empower women? And if not, what is stopping you?
Also read: Forbes ranking the country’s most successful entrepreneurs
Storyteller in the spotlight
The Forbes Power Women’s Summit explored how we can emerge from 2020 with actionable solutions for a more equitable future for all. Last year’s theme, Change & The Changemakers, highlighted female leaders at the forefront of progress who used their power and influence to solve society’s most pressing challenges.
One of these leaders was none other than Tara Rush, VP & CMO of Audi of America. Audi was of course an ideal partner for the summit, and we have teamed up to get Audi to inspire a new generation of changemakers.
From seamless branding throughout the Summit experience to a unique virtual activation “Put your face on the cover of Forbes Magazine” and a virtual VIP dining experience to the participation of Rush executives in the Changemaker Spotlight of the Summit, Audi has They weren’t just present at the 2020 summit – they had a megaphone.
“At Audi of America, one of our greatest commitments is to drive progress towards gender equality. One of the most important roles I can play as a leader is to demonstrate and exemplify this gender-neutral view of what power and leadership could look like. ”- Tara Rush, VP & CMO, Audi of America
Sure, the partnership exceeded benchmarks and delivered over a million brand impressions for the brand, but the real highlight? Perfect integration of Audi into the conversation about how women can use the power of this crucial moment to break new ground.
See also: Audis Content Hub on Forbes
What we read
Diversity, Justice and Inclusion
Virtual to-do list
Your content strategy
Improve your marketing strategy and reach more women by partnering with Forbes Content Studio. We help brands like yours share their perspective in a way that engages and engages the Forbes audience, while respecting inclusiveness.
Additionally, our award-winning reporters, designers, researchers and video / social content creators create stunning content that is uniquely tailored to each brand’s strategy. If you would like to see specific topics in our monthly summaries, please send us an email.
Did you enjoy it this month? Submit this link to encourage a friend or colleague to join!