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Campaigns 'should be gender neutral'

News, 10 April 2015

LONDON: One of the worst mistakes a brand can make when marketing to women is to fall into the trap of stereotyping while overlooking evidence that they are tech-savvy and often the main purchase decision-maker.

These are a couple of key takeaways from a recent webinar, entitled "The Rising Power of the Female Consumer", that was hosted by Media Eghbal, the head of countries' analysis at research firm Euromonitor.

In a Q&A session that followed the webinar, Eghbal explained that there are a growing number of single person households in the world, which means more and more women are interested in all sectors, including DIY and electronics.

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Brand advertisers would be advised to ensure that their campaigns are gender neutral, she said, while being aware that women are also keen readers of peer reviews before making big purchases.

So, brands should devise social media campaigns to encourage women to talk about the brand and make recommendations.

Another important consideration for brands, Eghbal added, is that women are becoming increasingly interested in brands that are associated with ethical behaviour and transparency. This, she said, applies to women in both developed and emerging markets.

On the pay gap, Eghbal said the average global male disposable income per capita will remain higher than for women until at least 2030, but brands should be aware that much of the actual purchase decision-making comes from women.

They are already the main decision-maker at home, on account of still having to do more housework then their men, and this makes them particularly open to goods and services that save time and provide convenience.

Although these are both matters of importance for men too, of course, Eghbal remarked that "solutions for a work-life balance will strike a particular chord with women".

Finally, she cited US retail chain Nordstrom, Coca-Cola and Gucci, the Italian fashion brand, as good examples of companies that focus on the needs of female consumers.

Coca-Cola, for example, has a global initiative that seeks economic empowerment for five million entrepreneurs across its value chain by 2020.

Data sourced from Euromonitor; additional content by Warc staff