Marketing to women: books we recommend
If you're a business owner or executive interested in learning more about marketing to women, you're both smart and savvy. Today women are responsible for 85% of all consumer purchases, including 94% of home furnishings, 91% of houses, 89% of new bank accounts, and 80% of healthcare spending. Women buy not only for themselves but for their families and their businesses.
We've listed a recommended reading list below. We've read each of the books included, some many times; we also know several of these authors and can attest to their currency in the marketing to women field. To read customer reviews of any of these books, click on its image and you'll be taken to its page on Amazon.
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Marketing to women
Marketing to Women: How to Increase Your Share of the World's Largest Market
In this classic book, Marti Barletta tells you why corporations are spending more to capture the multi-trillion dollar women's market. Updated success stories, original strategies and applications, and gender-effective advertising "best practices" make this a comprehensive resource to help professionals create and execute a marketing plan that targets women. An eye-opening new chapter highlights the convergence of the two most significant consumer marketing trends today: the aging of America and the growing financial power of women.
In Marketing to Women, Barletta reveals how and why women reach different brand purchase decisions than men; how to use her gender-based marketing model to create strategies and tactics that will win women’s brand loyalty; how to hook women consumers with relevant communications and the right marketing strategies; and why smart marketers will tap into the profitable market of women 50 years and older.
Don't Think Pink: What Really Makes Women Buy—and How to Increase Your Share of This Crucial Market
Purchases by women total trillions of dollars annually, accounting for 85% of all consumer expenditures... so reaching women should be considered the number one priority for most businesses. Don't Think Pink will help marketers see their brands through a woman's eyes, unlocking the secrets to developing products, services, and marketing strategies that truly resonate with female buyers.
Based on painstaking research into women's experiences and perceptions, this book reveals how generational history, culture, life stages, and daily realities influence a woman's buying mind; how the manner in which women buy is more critical than what's being sold; how listening to women earlier and more often leads to more powerful strategies; how to use the Internet and other technology both in market research and during the buying process to gain a greater understanding of female consumers; and how to gain a bigger share of the awesome purchasing power of women. There's no question that women buy. Don't Think Pink explains what drives their buying decisions, and how businesses can capitalize on this enormous and evergreen market.
The Soccer Mom Myth: Today's Female Consumer—Who She Really Is, Why She Really Buys
The room was a marketer's dream, filled with educated, savvy women with money and the urge to spend it. Holly asked a pointed question:"How many of you in the room consider yourself a Soccer Mom?" The silence reached a crescendo and nary a hand rose. ... Normally, only one to two percent of the crowd identifies themselves as a soccer mom. If you listen to marketers and politicians, there are millions of soccer moms out there, yet the authors of this book, experts in marketing to women, have found only about seven.
If women don't consider themselves soccer moms, what does that say about the effectiveness (or ineffectiveness) of billions of dollars of advertising aimed at this group? It's time for a wake-up call about who today's female consumer really is, how she really thinks, and why she really buys both online and offline. Prepare to kick the soccer mom myth to the sidelines, and learn how to market to women in a way that translates into more customers and bigger profit.
Why She Buys: The New Strategy for Reaching the World's Most Powerful Consumers
Women are the engine of the global economy, driving 80% of consumer spending in the US alone. They hold the purse strings, and companies must be shrewder than ever to win them over. Just when executives have mastered becoming technology literate, they find there’s another skill they need: becoming female literate. This isn’t always easy.
Gender is the most powerful determinant of how a person views the world and everything in it; it's stronger than age, income, or race. While there are mountains of research done every year segmenting consumers and analyzing why they buy, more often than not it doesn't factor in the one piece of information that trumps them all: the gender of the buyer. Why She Buys shows decision makers how to bridge this divide and capture the business of the world's most powerful consumers.
What Women Want: The Global Market Turns Female Friendly
Paco Underhill, author of Why We Buy, reports on the growing importance of women in today's marketplace, as well as what makes a package, product, space, or service "female friendly."
As large numbers of women become steadily wealthier, more powerful, and more independent, their choices and preferences are transforming our commercial environment in a variety of important ways, from the cars we drive to the food we eat; from how we buy and furnish our homes to how we gamble, play, and use the Internet—in short, how we spend our time and money. Underhill examines how a woman’s role as homemaker has evolved into homeowner and what women look for in a home, how the home gym and home office are linked to the women’s health movement and home-based businesses, how every major hotel chain in the world has redesigned rooms and services for the female business traveler, what women look for online and why some retail websites, like Amazon, attract women while other sites turn them off, and more.
Our note: this book contains less practical advice about how to market to women, but as with Why We Buy, it's an interesting read and provides real insight into the mind of the woman consumer. Don't skip it.
Too Busy to Shop: Marketing to Multi-Minding Women
Research indicates that most women do it at least ten times every five minutes. What is it? Multi-minding—mentally juggling a complex mix of family, career, and self-care decisions at any given moment, with little time for commercial messages to seep into the mix. How do marketers reach women, who make 85% of all consumer purchasing decisions? This book, based on research, interviews, and Kelley Skoloda's twenty years of work in brand marketing, explains how to connect with multi-minding women, gain their trust, and tap into their purchasing power.
Multi-minding is a cultural phenomenon that is here to stay. ...[O]ne study shows women feel they are packing 38 hours of activity into a 24-hour period. But studies also show that most women feel marketers are ignoring their needs. That's a big mistake considering women spend $3.3 trillion annually on consumer products. Too Busy to Shop explains what marketers need to know about multi-minding... and its implications for companies seeking to speak to women buyers. Besides theory and insight, readers get how-tos and action items designed to ensure women view their brands favorably and hear the marketing message. The book also contains insiders' views of some of the most successful marketing-to-women campaigns of recent times. In short, Too Busy to Shop helps marketers understand multi-minding in depth—an essential task if they want to reach today's overloaded female consumer.
Gender, Design and Marketing: How Gender Drives Our Perception of Design and Marketing
Product and service designers place increasing emphasis on the color, form and appearance of what their organization offers and the language with which they describe it. Gloria Moss guides the reader to an understanding of the way gender influences our visual perception, exploring design, visual aesthetics, language and communication by drawing on an exhaustive range of primary sources of research from psychology, design, branding and communication. The lessons that emerge offer challenges to organizations both in the way in which their design and marketing is perceived by men and women, as well as how the makeup of their workforce may limit their ability to appreciate and address the diversity of customers' preferences. Gender, Design and Marketing offers researchers, designers, brand and marketing specialists an enhanced understanding of gender; the ways in which an organization's actions can engage or dissuade the men and women that make up its market, and how to increase the breadth and depth of appeal for all products.
Our note: this is fairly academic reading, with an associated price tag. Much of the research is anecdotal and drawn from very small samples; the larger studies tend to report on the visual preferences of females during childhood, on the assumption that visual preferences change little with age. Despite this, it's one of very few books available where the primary focus is on visual design elements that appeal to women. Recommended only for serious students of marketing to women.
Marketing to affluent women
Women Want More: How to Capture Your Share of the World's Largest, Fastest-Growing Market
In our current economic crisis, companies everywhere will begin reexamining their strategies for finding new ways to target customers. WHAT WOMEN WANT is a timely book based on the findings of a groundbreaking study (The Boston Consulting Group's Global Inquiry into Women and Consumerism, which polled 12,000 women in 21 countries) that gets to the heart of women's deepest desires, frustrations, and goals. The authors describe how this "invisible market" has grown in size, influence, and buying power, and they reveal the countless opportunities for companies that understand meeting women's needs is the key to repowering our economy.
Our note: of special note to us—and our client companies focused on marketing to mass affluent and affluent women—is the data on Fast Trackers, Successful Multitaskers, and Fulfilled Empty Nesters, affluent women with the most discretionary income.
Trading Up: Why Consumers Want New Luxury Goods—and How Companies Create Them
Middle-market consumers have more discretionary income than ever before and are willing to pay extra for "new luxury" goods and services-items that deliver higher quality, technical advantages, and superior performance to conventional products. Above all, consumers are looking for emotional engagement—they look to products to help them manage the stresses of everyday life and to help them realize their aspirations. A new luxury good may be as simple as a shampoo ($9 from Aveda versus $3 from Suave) that brings moments of comfort and sensual pleasure, or as complex as a car ($26,000 for a bottom-of-the-line Mercedes versus $20,000 for a Pontiac) that delivers feelings of safety and excitement.
Clothing, cars, beer, coffee, kitchen appliances, lingerie, personal care, pet food, restaurants—in dozens of categories, new luxury goods occupy a sweet spot in the market, because they can sell in much higher unit volumes than "old luxury" goods but command much higher profit margins than ordinary products. But new luxury leaders—such as Callaway Golf, Victoria's Secret, Panera Bread, Belvedere vodka, Whirlpool Duet, and Williams-Sonoma—create and market their goods very differently than do conventional companies. Trading Up explores what's driving this move to premium goods, tells the inside stories of many New Luxury companies and their leaders, and offers insights and methods that can help the reader take advantage of this phenomenon.
Our note: though the poor economy of the past few years dampened the prospects of some of the companies highlighted in this book, the economy is cyclical, and "new luxury" consumer behavior is likely to return in force. In every turn of the economy, experts appear in the media and declare that we've entered a "new normal"—remember how the experts declared that profitless .com firms had "rewritten" the rules of the economy forever? When the internet bubble burst, those kinds of statements were strangely hard to find. Don't fall for the latest "new normal" argument. This book remains one of our favorites. Its principles are true... and mass affluent women are still frequenting Starbucks.
Let Them Eat Cake: Marketing Luxury to the Masses - As Well As The Classes
Let Them Eat Cake covers one of the first research-based study of America's 15 million affluent households. Author Pamela Danziger conducted a two-year research study of luxury consumers with incomes of $75,000 and above and discovered a totally new type of luxury consumer. She notes that the affluent consumer has changed radically from the "conspicuous consumption" habits of the 1990s to take a far more democratic view: that luxury is for everyone.
Danziger outlines the purchase behavior and preferences in the nine categories of home luxury products like furniture, and interior design services, personal luxuries like automobiles and fashion, and experiential luxuries including travel and spa treatments. Along the way, she divides the affluent consumer market into four useful archetypes.
The Middle-Class Millionaire: The Rise of the New Rich and How They Are Changing America
The authors offer a compelling look at a new class of the affluent whose attitudes and values are influencing and reshaping American life. Examining the working affluent who enjoy net worths between $1-10 million and household incomes over $80,000, the authors profile their purchasing behavior and motivations in several product and service industries, from destination clubs to concierge healthcare. One finding: in terms of values, these "working rich" are more similar to the middle class than the uber-wealthy. Highly readable.
The Affluent Consumer: Marketing and Selling the Luxury Lifestyle
The growing affluent segment of America is growing exponentially and is far more diverse than any time in the past, offering lucrative opportunies for companies that understand how these customers think, act, and make purchasing decisions. Applying primary research, including demographic and economic data, and expertise developed from decades of studying, teaching, and consulting in marketing and consumer behavior, Ronald Michman and Edward Mazze present a comprehensive approach to understanding and reaching out to the affluent consumer.
Our note: Though the authors' writing is a bit choppy and random, broad statements are scattered throughout the book without research to back them up (e.g. "Baby boomers love high-tech items"), the data in books like Let Them Eat Cake is more detailed than what's covered here, and the male authors seem bemused by the entrance of businesswomen into the affluent households (randomly mentioning that such a businesswoman might want to carry a "small leather handbag" and other such gems), this book offers a thorough overview of the affluent market and offers some traditional marketing wisdom in the mix, something that many other books written about female or affluent consumers lack.
Mass Affluence: Seven New Rules of Marketing to Today's Consumer
Forget mass customization and microsegmentation. Winning in today's business world requires a return to an approach abandoned by marketing experts decades ago. Mass marketing is back, say Paul Nunes and Brian Johnson-but with a new target and a fresh approach that companies ignore at their peril.
While the mass-marketing concepts of the 1950s consisted of lowest-common-denominator strategies aimed at the "middle class," Nunes and Johnson argue that the rules of mass marketing must be rewritten to appeal to today's burgeoning mass of different-and far more affluent-consumers. The "moneyed masses" have more disposable income than ever, and research shows the richest among them are not spending up to their potential-thus creating a windfall of opportunity for marketers. Based on extensive consumer research, Mass Affluence outlines seven new rules for capturing this largely ignored market, and reveals how innovative companies are already employing them to launch billion-dollar industries in categories from oral care to homebuilding to exotic automobiles.
Marketing to baby boomer women
PrimeTime Women: How to Win the Hearts, Minds, and Business of Boomer Big Spenders
Baby boomers are the largest and wealthiest demographic and at the peak of their spending power.... but what marketing professionals might not realize is that the majority of this spending power is wielded by women ages 50–75. They are the healthiest, wealthiest, most educated, active, and influential generation of women in history.
In this book, Marti Barletta, a premier expert on marketing to women, provides a comprehensive resource on the market for those searching for practical ways to get into the minds, souls, hearts, and wallets of this influential demographic. Barletta delivers strategic thinking and tactical ideas geared toward understanding and leveraging this enormously influential market.
Our note: if you're just starting to learn about marketing to women baby boomers, we recommend PrimeTime Women as as an excellent starting point. It's already a classic, and it covers ground not trod by other marketing books.
Vibrant Nation: What Boomer Women 50+ Know, Think, Do and Buy
Vibrant Nation: What Boomer Women 50+ Know, Think, Do and Buy provides a definitive description of women in the lifestage the authors aptly describe as "post minivan and pre-retirement." Call them post-menopausal, empty nest, or midlife, women who have passed beyond the mommy stage and into mature adulthood are reaching new peaks as breadwinners, influencers and chief decision-makers for their extended families. Through original research, case histories and the voices of the women themselves, Vibrant Nation provides information and tips helpful to those seeking to build campaigns that will appeal to this critically important consumer.
Our note: The authors of this book are highly regarded among industries marketing to women and boomers. And they know whereof they speak: VibrantNation.com, the online community for baby boomer women Stephen Reily founded and leads with the assistance of a management team including senior strategist Carol Orsborn, enjoys a large, well-educated membership of women boomers with an average household income of $100,000. This book is a delightful read as well, as lively as the women boomers that make up the Vibrant Nation community.
Boom: Marketing to the Ultimate Power Consumer, the Baby Boomer Woman
With Baby Boomer women spending well over a trillion dollars a year on goods and services, the days of women 40+ being ignored by marketers are numbered.
Boom is a comprehensive guide to identifying, reaching and influencing baby boomer women. The book features insights and case histories from 40 top marketers, including executives from Intel, Ford, Seabourn Cruises, Citigroup, Wellpoint, Mary Kay, and others. The authors, experts in marketing to this demographic, present insider intelligence that includes proprietary research that will give a competitive edge to companies seeking expanded consumer markets, a new motivational assessment tool to help identify what makes Baby Boomer women tick, easy-to-use charts correlating ages to life stages and generational influences, and the eight things you may not know about boomer women but should. Boom reveals an essential truth about baby boomer women: they're more than just a niche market.
Marketing to moms
Mom 3.0: Marketing with Today's Mothers by Leveraging New Media and Technology
Meet Mom 3.0. She's a powerful consumer who not only purchases products, but influences the decision-making process of her peers through the use of new media, technology and content that is relevant, intuitive and delivers her and her peers ecosystems of solutions. Marketers must market with today’s $2.1 trillion Mom Market to capture her spending. In Mom 3.0, readers will learn how to effectively engage Mom Mavens to generate brand buzz, develop partnerships with Mommy Bloggers to maximize Word of Mom marketing, prepare for the MobiMom by developing mobile marketing today that's ready for tomorrow, and more.
Trillion Dollar Moms: Marketing to a New Generation of Mothers
Mothers are the most powerful consumers in the US today. But to obtain a portion of the $17 trillion+ spent by moms, authors Maria Bailey and Bonnie Ulman say marketers must recognize the power of mothers, appreciate the time they put into selecting a product, and understand what it means to be a mom today.
It’s a far cry from years past. Recent US Census results indicate the mom market has dramatically changed. In Trillion-Dollar Moms, Bailey and Ulman provide background information and analysis of today’s multigenerational moms, revealing original research findings on how the differences between them affect purchasing behavior. Drawing on proprietary research, their experiential insights, and case studies of successful marketing initiatives, the pair will empower you to secure the spending of moms with strategies and tactics that include initiating publicity campaigns that resonate with mothers, developing powerful sampling programs with doctors and pediatricians, creating advertising campaigns with relevant messaging, incorporating women business owners into your vendor list, designing web sites with time-saving features for busy moms, and more.
For women business owners and companies marketing to them
Our note: the books below include recommended reading for women business owners themselves... but if your company markets to female business owners, these books are essential reading for you, too. To successfully reach and serve your target market, you'll need to both understand and respect them. These books will open a window for you into the needs, desires, and challenges of women business owners.
Secrets of Six Figure Women: Surprising Strategies to Up Your Earnings and Change Your Life
According to the Department of Labor, the average woman in 1998 was bringing home less than $25,000 a year. For every dollar that a man makes, a woman makes between 50 and 75 cents, and that is hardly news.
But what you may not know is that, quietly and steadily, the number of women making six figures or more is rapidly increasing. Currently, over fifteen million women make $100,000 or more, and the number continues to rise at a rate faster then for men. And these women come from every industry—psychologists, dot com founders, consultants, freelance writers, and even part-timers. What makes these particular women able to do so well in the workplace? Fueled by curiosity, Barbara Stanny set out to research this phenomenon, and discovered that though the high-earning women she interviewed came from different backgrounds and had had greatly different work experiences, they all had certain characteristics in common. This can be a ground-breaking book for high earners who want to ensure their wealth, enhance their success, and learn from others who are in the same boat. It also offers inspiration, guidance, and motivation to those who aspire to make more.
Our note: though the statistics may be older, the psychology isn't. Secrets of Six Figure Women is a classic... and potentially a life-changer for women business owners and other working women. In our view, this is Barbara Stanny's masterpiece)
The Girls' Guide to Building a Million-Dollar Business
We've all been told that nice girls don't get the corner office. And they certainly don't strike out on their own to start a million-dollar company. . .
Fortunately, we all know better. As the head of SBTV.com (Small Business Television), author Susan Wilson Solovic is an authority on making money and building a thriving business. Here she shows women how to gain the confidence and knowledge they need to become successful entrepreneurs. Featuring interviews with powerhouse women like Gayle Martz, President and CEO of Sherpa's Pet Trading Company and Taryn Rose of Taryn Rose International, Solovic offers frank advice and hard-won lessons, including thinking big and bold, managing for growth, boosting profits by taking financial risks, and more.
We help companies actually do the marketing to women.
We're one of the very few marketing and design firms in the nation that specializes in marketing specifically to mass affluent women—one of the most profitable markets in the United States—and the only one offering both marketing strategy consulting and design implementation. Interested in more effectively marketing to America's most influential consumer? Contact us today.
For some quick tips on marketing to women, start on our marketing to women page and follow the links to our marketing to women baby boomers page, marketing to new moms page, and other resources. Or visit our design portfolio or read what our customers have to say about working with us.