Marketing for women is generally perceived as a hard job. Major Companies act like "if we can't know what women want how we can market anything for them؟" and they neglect the plain truth that women are just normal human beings.
They don't need extra extraordinary features and the claims that they are difficult to please is not anything but a lack of research and needs analysis. All humans have problems, needs and desires and if your products can't meet those then you shouldn't be blaming it on their gender.
Since our childhood we are taught that pink is the girls' color and blue is the boys', however, researches showed that not all women find pink feminine or favorable.
In Japan pink can be used as a masculine color too. It symbolizes the famous Japanese tree that with its falling leaves in winter represents the brave Japanese warriors.
So it's generally not true to use pink for women only, when researching we also found that the term pink marketing doesn't represent the whole science and marketing for women can be a more reliable term so using a color to represent an entire marketing field is not a sound practice.
And in order to reach women, you don't need to pink everything and write " women only" or ' girly stuff". Research showed that some women perceive that as an insult because the products doing that are not addressing their needs and instead treating them as if they're machines programmed on buying everything that is painted pink.
And trust us, insulting the 80% of the purchasing power in the world is not a good marketing strategy.
We are not saying that there isn't a marketing strategy for women, we admit that they're a different category of buyers and they have different needs.
But generalizing the whole gender is like assuming that all the people in the world love Justin Bieber and will definitely buy his concert tickets including your grandparents. Women have different ages and interests.
Unless you dive deep and shape your marketing personas around that, success is not guaranteed. We are not saying that you shouldn't use pink but the reason behind using it shouldn't be the fact that you're marketing for women.
Your research is the key, and as any other marketing project, your need to cover the main aspects of the industry, service provided and your target audience personas. So first of all you need to get rid of the chains of stereotyping and start looking at what needs to be done to communicate better.
As we worked on a mobile application project that provides a service for Saudi Arabian women to connect with photographers and makeup artists, we developed three different personas because it connects the service providers from photographers and makeup artists with those who are in need for the service.
Since the application is working in the crowd sourcing industry and targeting Saudi Arabia, we analyzed the industry in the region; we figured out that most of the Saudi Arabians working in the crowd sourcing industry are women as the percentage came out to be 2:1. This made us realize how important is it for us to target those women.
And since people working in the crowd sourcing in general are using it as another source of income and mainly millennial gen, we had to consider this fact while doing our marketing strategy.
While studying the competition for the sake of getting familiar with the service we are providing, knowing more about the trends and highlights we found out that most applications in the field use words like glam in naming their service. We also found out that there is no application combining these two services in Saudi Arabia or any other country.
This gave us another strength point over our competitors for specializing in only two categories. We also found that the service can be requested by both men and women equally but since our targeted audience from the beginning was women we chose to stick with the planned first thoughts.
Moving to the most important part of the research which is studying what women want and what are their problems and needs. Women present X% often total Saudi Arabia population and 2.261.946 females are still single. By knowing that we estimated our market opportunity is fruitful enough and that we can expand even further than beauty salons who can't reach all districts and provide higher prices.
By reading many wedding problems and girls concerns we realized that money comes last when compared to security and safety, Saudi Arabian women have a lot of stuff to do prior to the wedding day just like any bride which makes her in a rush and ready to pay for the sake of quality and guaranteed services.
Going through all the statics we verified our business model and unique value proposition as it's based on providing lower prices for the same or even better quality. The app mission was shaped as " To help people enjoy their special moments without much effort, and help makeup professionals and photographers establish their successful career". The lean business model was created and everything was framed for the brand infrastructure to be ready.
As we consider brands to be humans we needed to create a brand that is capable of communicating with women in their own language and show compassion. The personality was selected to be a female to give the impression of more understanding.
During our research stage we noticed that most brands are using soft voices that are clear through their visuals and written style, like Vaniday, but we cared more about having a trustworthy brand so after reaching further keywords for the brand personality we selected: simple, reliable and customer focused.
For any brand whether its targeting females or males, a brand strategy is the road map that guides marketing, makes it easier for the sales force to sell more and provides clarity, context and inspiration to employees. And as we are working with females, building a brand name was not optional as females engage more with brand names and experiences.
Without a brand strategy, formulating an experience or name will be based upon guesses and any marketing effort, even if strategized, will be in vain as it's not according to the brand identity system.
For instance, what makes brands what they are is keeping a consistent message across all channels. As our target audience are females ranging from 15- 60 we had to customize a brand that talks to them directly. The strategy had to outline how we are concerned about what they go through and tackle their needs. The following parts were identified through the process:
Not difficult, all easy communication and simple to get service.
Professional and reliable in service delivery and connecting people together
Has a responsibility and cares about customer satisfaction.
If you can't predict your brand reaction to every sentence said, you don't have a mature brand yet. This is why we used the communication guide to outline the brand voice and tone and its variation.
As we believe that the brand voice is the consistent part of the brand that represents its identity while tone can vary from one situation to the other.
Think of it with the clothes concept in mind, every one of us has their own unique style of dressing up. This is his voice. While in some occasions like weddings and funerals we dress differently according to the situation. That's the tone. And it varies according to situations and audiences.
After getting those right, we started working on social media posts samples to make everything perfectly fall in place.
The design was driven by the strategy as well and because statistics showed that women are more detail-oriented than men the strategy directed us into creating custom made illustrations, icons and where details are holy. From polishing the nails to doing different hair styles, the art was extremely driven by branding.
After having a mature brand and a solid marketing strategy, we started thinking of how we can better interpret the message through our marketing channels, since we are in Saudi Arabia we realized the importance of activating channels like Twitter and SnapChat in our marketing strategy.
When designing a campaign for women, you need to keep in mind that coloring your old designs in pink and putting flowers everywhere is not going to make you nail it. You need real valuable content to engage with women.
Truths are always better, so fooling your target audience with promises could lead to a brand attack, and since women take a lot of time to take a decision, ask a lot and gather experiences from everywhere, we had to follow a compelling marketing strategy that excites them to try our app.
Luckily, statistics shows that women are more willing to buy if you gave them a cause as 90% of their income into their families and communities, compared to men, who reinvest only 30 to 40 percent, so cause marketing could be a suitable strategy for marketing to women.
And merging it with evidence and real cases not just throwing facts and statics can strengthen the engagement power. Statistics also showed that video content is the viral thing and a huge percentage of Saudi Arabians are watching videos; women especially. This is why we built our launching campaign around videos and real images.
The campaign was tailored around presenting a solution and showing women how the app can help make their life easier. The content format agreed upon for the campaign was supporting this message as videos came in handy with better visualization.
While working on the video scripts we started with ideating the possible problems brides, photographers and makeup artists face in general. We did ask many Saudi Arabian girls who are interested in makeup and other beauty related things in order to better communicate with the audience and we tested the written script more than once coming up with different slogans each time.