Updated: Wed, 11/28/2012 - 01:01

Targeted female consumer power means big dollars for business

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The 2012 Women, Power & Money Study, a partnership between Hearst Magazines and Fleishman-Hillard, reveals female consumers are more powerful than ever.

Women serve as consumers, broadcasters and amplifiers of ideas in the marketplace. Their purchasing decisions and word-of-mouth recommendations have wide-ranging implications for local, regional and national businesses that simply cannot be ignored.

If you’re trying to attract visitors, remember that women have most of the decision-making power when it comes to planning family vacations. For women, vacation decisions tend to be research-focused, both online and offline. According to the study, women make strategic decisions based on information and collaboration, carefully considering a wide range of data including price, value, expert and consumer reviews, spousal considerations and family preferences.

“Women are definitely the primary decision-makers when it comes to planning vacations on Tybee Island,” said Lindsay Fruchtl, the marketing director for the Tybee Island Tourism Council. “From accommodations to dining, women tend to make major decisions for family vacations and to share their recommendations with others.”

The Women, Power & Money Study reports women tend to share positive recommendations far more than negative critiques. More than 33 percent of women surveyed recommended a product or service in the past six months, compared to 19 percent who recommended that someone not buy a specific product or service. Similarly, 16 percent of women surveyed praised about a product or service on an online social networking site, compared to only 11 percent who used the forum to vent their frustrations about bad products or services.

In most American households, women are the agenda setters and family visionaries. Their leadership style is constantly evolving, becoming more powerful than ever in today’s marketplace.

“In the final analysis, today’s American woman has changed the game,” the report concludes. “She calls the shots and makes the decisions. Her leadership is expanding, not diminishing. Any marketer or advertiser who continues to pretend otherwise does so at their own peril.”

Greg Parker, president and CEO of Parker’s, has built his successful brand around the marketing preferences of the female consumer, which inform everything from store lighting to landscape design at Parker’s.

“Attracting more female shoppers has been key to our success,” Parker explained. “The working mother is the lens through which we view everything we do because she’s the most time-starved and the most demanding customer. If you create retail environments that please women, you get everyone else in the process.”

 

Jennifer Abshire is the founder and chief creative officer at Abshire Public Relations. She can be reached at jennifer@abshirepr.com or 912-695-7881.

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