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How to Market to People Not Like You: "Know It or Blow It" Rules for Reaching Diverse Customers by KELLY McDONALD

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Chapter 9. Women: Singles, Heads of Household, Working Moms and Stay-at-Home Moms, Home-Schooling, and More

Women comprise about half the population in the world. And women make up about half of the workforce in many countries. Yet it's said that women make 80 percent of the buying decisions in all homes. 80 percent! Combine that decision-making power with earning power, and you have an absolutely irresistible target consumer. It's no wonder so many companies are waking up to the fact that women can make or break their sales and even their brands.

But reaching women is not easy. Women—all over the world—are busy. Really busy! They juggle a lot: homes, children, marriages, jobs, cooking, cleaning, and more. Although in many households, men help out and chores and responsibilities are shared, in many other homes, women carry a heavier load of responsibilities than men. Women are busy and stretched thin. One article I read recently put it this way: the female consumer has a complex "web of duties" that makes her less than readily available.

But it's worth it to try to reach her. The female consumer has become the "chief purchasing agent" in today's household, and she can be a very, very loyal customer. That's why companies, from retailers like Home Depot and Target to financial investment firms like Citibank and Merrill Lynch to electronics retailers like Best Buy, are taking targeted approaches to marketing to women. It's good for business.

Now, obviously, women are not "one size fits ...

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