Including Women in Your Marketing

How do you get more female market share into your beers? Be sure to include the words “women”, “females”, “woman” in your written words – online, offline, and in person.

Here’s an example that totally excludes women:

What about women skiing? This is a perfect example of a sexist saying and leaves out that 50.9% of the population that helps your business survive, make it or break it.

It’s never been appropriate to use catchy sayings that exclude, however intentional or humor oriented. You’re still being exclusive. And exclusivity will never gather more interest because being exclusive inherently leaves someone out of the conversation. On purpose.

Are you really interested in exclusion to the detriment of you business? Especially when you are hit in the face with the fact that 80% of purchases are made by women.

This company ad is doing a great job at alienating women. Is that what they wanted to do? Is this what you want to do – exclude women beer enthusiasm?

Then don’t use exclusive language. Think. Ask. Act in an educated fashion.

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What Women Want Series: Part 8 – Attention to Titles and Labels

Pay attention to titles, labels, and identifiers.

How you address female consumers matters

It’s important.  Women in focus groups all over America indicate they prefer no titles – no Mrs., no Ms., no Miss. Woman say to simply use their names.

If you don’t know their names or choose to mind your p’s and q’s and need to group them, call them ‘females’ and ‘women.’ ‘Ladies’ is okay, although it’s split input here – some are fine with it and some are not. What you don’t want to do with ‘ladies’ is have a ‘ladies night.’

Why not? Think sleazy ladies nights events of days gone by, bad bars in college that had ladies night. What did those nights have a lot of? Trolling men the women didn’t want hitting on them. If you’re going to do a women’s/females/ladies event, do it only of that one gender. The dynamic of a single gender event is remarkable in its own right, whether it be for only women or only men.

What matters is how the consumer wants to be addressed; not what you think is clever, what you’re comfortable with or what other people put on them. Those in the industry and those who are raving fans of using ‘girls’, ‘chicks’ or other slang aren’t pushing progress. Yes, it’s fine to call a female friend a girl in private. What you have to be aware and cognizant and thoughtful of is the perception of others and how they interpret the title you choose.

Women will give you a stamp of approval when you address them properly

If you choose Women or Females, you can be safely respectful and still be on target, not offending anyone. And that’s part of the import here.

Anyone in any industry needs to always keep in mind: they are not their consumer and therefore it does matter what you call your customers or fans, regardless of what you – the one in the industry – think. Let the jargon and personal feelings go, and ask and respect what women want.

While we’re at it, are women males? Then don’t call them ‘guys’ either. Yes, it’s casual mostly accepted slang. Just because we’re used to it doesn’t make it right. At one time in this country we had separate entrances for blacks and whites. That was accepted and still wasn’t right either.

And no, we’re not being over dramatic. Is pay equal for women and men in this country? No – and until you can connect the dots that it ALL matters, titles and labels and we address one another will make a difference. It’s up to you to decide which kind of difference you are going to make and the progress or stagnation you are going to foster.

Set the pace. Call women what they want to be called, with respect and do it all the time.

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Response and Clarification

I love lively conversation and there’s room for all of it. It’s one thing I love about WEB and the reactions and talk it generates. Conversation makes the wheels of progress move, whichever way they will…In that vein…

Instead of a lengthy and sometimes edited response, I wanted to offer up some clarity to this post on my own blog.

Refresher: Women Enjoying Beer is about just that – enjoying. It’s also about learning, education, the experience, the why, the voice of the every woman represented and so much more. Focus groups, events, knowledge sharing, on site research. It’s about opportunity and enlightenment. It just happens to encompass 50.9% of the population segmented by gender.

Cicerone = another great education format

What WEB is not about: Drinking. Please get your facts straight when you publish material. Per the cited post, Jennifer and I have never spoken, and had one email exchange which occurred June of 2009. Since then I have not heard anything from her or had her contact me requesting accurate information. Here’s her mistake: “And while Women Drinking Beer’s Ginger Johnson is…”

Part of the post: “A couple of months ago, female-facing beer marketing consultant and Women Enjoying Beer blog author Ginger Johnson took our group to task for the use of the word “Girl” in our name. “Women are not ‘Girls,’” she admonished in a post on “dos” and “don’ts” of marketing to women. But while this pretty traditional feminist line surely resonates for some ladies, for people in my group, it’s just way too serious and PC of a consideration.”

People that take time and take more than a superficial look find that the info that WEB shares and offers is based on hundreds of women speaking up across America when given the opportunity. Women aged 21 to over 80 years old, of all kinds of demographic and psychographic slices of the American pie. It’s not about me, personally. It’s the voice of the women.

Also know – I did indeed comment to the GPO post and got a welcome response from Magen Peters specifically, inviting her to talk about it and providing my phone number so she could call me. I neither got an email reply nor a phone call. Your court. We can only swing at the ball when it’s returned.

From that email from Magen: “I don’t think our name has stopped women from coming to our events or learning about craft beer.” Hmmm….I’m confused. Why use ‘women’ here and ‘girls’ there? Which way do you want it?

And I’d still ask – is using an even slightly questionable label for a group that (a large majority) doesn’t want worth it? There are lots of ways to be creative, appropriate and clever without any ‘backlash’. Is the group about women or about you personally?

“Admonished” – fine. Use whatever word you want even though it’s inaccurate – it’s your right to freedom of speech. I simply brought up the fact that 100’s of women have universally and unanimously told WEB that a girl is under 12. If you don’t want to hear part of the conversation, don’t eavesdrop or ask what they’re talking about. P.S. – most women don’t like being called “ladies” either – but you obviously don’t want to hear it.

Feminist – as defined by Dictionary.com =

fem·i·nism

/ˈfɛməˌnɪzəm/  Show Spelled[fem-uh-niz-uhm]  Show IPA –noun

1. the doctrine advocating social, political, and all other rights of women equal to those of men.
Last time I checked then, feminism is a good word. Labels based in uneducated stereotypes or inflammatory definition are never useful. Leave labels for packages.
Next, look at market segments as just that – segments. Women, men, red heads, dog lovers, Jeep drivers. Step out of the gender and into the segmentation – a reality of marketing.

WEB is about bringing beer to life

And next – this snippet: “Johnson asserts that her own focus groups have shown the word to trend badly. But I have evidence to the contrary: The term resonates, especially in the foodservice industry. The Melting Pot, for example, ran a smashingly successful “Girls Night Out” promo in 2009, a time when most casual-priced restaurants like it were suffering. It resulted in a sales uptick that gave the brand a little reprieve from dropping numbers.”

Great and so be it. Good for the Melting Pot. It may resonate, but so does an out of tune violin. Was it a sustainable uptick or a one time deal? Did the “girls” come back? Was it a 1% uptick or a 25% uptick? Did they do a “Boys Night Out” too? Do you work for melting Pot – is that how you know this and what is the specific number to this evidence please? Do you carefully chart and track this information or is it casually handed off by a source? I’m not saying it’s incredible, I’m saying back it up. Tell the women of the world this is what they should expect and be happy with it – to be called an underaged girl and to be happy with it.
Is the supposed food industry support of the implied uneducated sexism the reason why so many restaurants and bars have the women wear low cut shirts, push up bras and the men are allowed to have pants that hang to the knees and shirts all buttoned to the top of their throat? (Why is there a Hooters but no ‘Dick’s’ or ‘Woody’s with himbo’s? Is that the equality you want?) Is that success? Just because of one successful event, does that make the whole picture painted with the same brush? Why don’t you ask the women.
You can call yourself a girl all you want. What women tell Women Enjoying Beer is that they don’t want that kind of label given to them by others. There is a clear difference. It matters not what you think of your title; what matters to the greater whole of global society is the impression the chosen titles and labels (!) are perceived by everyone else. Get out of yourself and your own thinking to that of the population of which you speak – in this case, women.
Up next, this snippet: “But I can bet Johnson would have some choice criticism.” How much do you in fact want to bet? This smells like rotten bait. Don’t assume you know what I or the hundreds of women who answer the call to speak up think. That’s arrogant. And arrogance is never attractive. If you’d ask me, I’d tell you. WEB is not about my personal feelings (again I’ll repeat

Turn your own ideas around and listen to others

this), it’s about 100’s of women being invited to converse and sharing what they think.

And by the way, I know Cathy in Houston and talked with her recently about the success she is pushing for all beer enthusiasts (which is also a core of WEB).
Appropriate humor in good taste is genderless, clever is good. Sexism in any form for any gender is never appropriate in civilized society.
And lastly, I’d point you towards the well respected and highly knowledgeable marketing to women expert, Marti Barletta. We had a wonderful illuminating (for both of us) lunch just over a month ago. Get her book, read it, then get out of your selfish self and listen to what thousands of women have offered. Here’s a link to her book, Marketing To Women: How to Increase Your Share of the World’s Largest Market.
So, thanks Jennifer. I enjoyed the post and wish you all the best. Keep enjoying (not necessarily drinking) beer.

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It's "Women" & "Female", Not "Ladies"

One immediately recognizable constant in the work I do is that women tell me they do not like being called Ladies. It’s old fashioned (in a not so good

What not to do

What not to do

way), fuddy-duddy, feels like a cheezy bar is advertising to get men who’ll troll if they host a “ladies night”.

So don’t do it.

Use Women and/or Females. Not girls (underage, under 12, infantile, condescending), not broads (harsh, cheap), not babes (do I even have to say why??).

Women, Females is accurate – appropriate age connoted, respectful, universal, not insulting to anyone.

Simply relate it to the important females in your life – whether you’re a female or a male. Would you treat them with disrespect? If the answer is no, then turn it about when you advertise and market.

This is really important – pay attention.

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Can Can

styled-earrings-made-from-a-recycled-aluminum-beer-can1One Myth I’m out to bust with my research and work in women & beer (consumer angle) is that cans are bad for flavor.

I feel compelled many times to climb on the soap box, or barrel as it were, and say “No!” try it, you’ll like it…Drinking blindfolded would help.

This post is a great example of how you can help bust that myth.

The great thing to promote for canned beer is that the planet benefits more – recycled aluminum cans take 95% less energy to recycle, are lighter weight (good for shipping and transporting therefore reducing emissions), and are acceptable to pack in/pack out to outdoor enthusiasts.

Use these pieces of information to help promote canned beer. Women will respond.

Photo courtesy of Flickr by Urbandwoodswalker

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Nooze

Marketing to Women.

Marketing to Men.

Marketing to Martians.

Good heavens – if you can’t figure out that you first have to KNOW YOUR MARKET, then you shouldn’t be pursuing the share in the first place.

When you don’t know your market, of course, your efforts may be clumsy, off the mark, inaccurate, insulting. So – back to point A. KNOW YOUR MARKET (KYM).

Any market segment is no harder than another when you know the KYM rule first.

Booze News take note. (here are a few good ideas…not all applicable)

The answer is no because the industry has traditionally, not entirely though, seen marketing to women through a male lens. Of course that won’t work. Duh.

Stupidity is insulting.

Start with Marti Barletta‘s Book, Marketing to Women. That will start anyone wanting to authentically capture womens’ market share a good start.

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FeNomenon (!?)

Get your boots on, like Charlie is talking about in this article.

I’ve found doing my research with women who like beer that pink is already taken (Breast cancer, Barbie).  And most women don’t like to have the color pink splashed on or at a cause (and my research also clearly shows women who drink beer don’t like it either), I am all for (and a member of) the society of which he speaks. Teri’s on fire and rightly so.

Cheers!

gcj

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Why, You Ask?

Because:

I’ve been blogging for upwards of two years, thanks to my amazingly talented, insightful and fun blogging coach/friend, Mike Sansone (I speak Typepad – bear with me while I learn WordPress).

There’s a HUGE gap in craft beer being marketing to women.

Because the Women who like beer have been painfully, if not unintentionally neglected in being the focus of a market  ala craft beer.

Because there are a lot of women ‘out there’ who like beer, want to know more, want to know more around socializing with other women.

Because it’s a niche that has yet to be answered.

So here I am. Answering the call.

g

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