Marketing GPS:
Navigating Your Marketing Options

Is your company "making the cut" for women's decision making process?
By Liz Harsch
of Tailor-Made Advertising
(Torrance, CA)

80% of vacation decisions are made by women.
Vacation Decisions
August 2010

Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines estimated that 80% of all trips are planned and booked by women.  However, they believe that in a two-person-plus household, travel is typically a joint decision.  Representative Mrs. O'Rourke says, "What we surmise is that she spends the time, she gathers the information, then she shares the information with her partner and together they make the joint decision."

I agree that joint decision making is an important factor facing many marketers today, however it is not really a 50-50 joint decision.  In reality, the partner does not see everything the woman has researched.  In fact, they only see the companies that impressed her and made the cut.
Boston Consulting Group, which conducted a study of women in 2008, estimated that women control $4.3 trillion of the $5.9 trillion in US consumer spending - or 73% of household spending.  Other studies estimate that figure to be closer to 83%.  Yet, in SheSpeaks research, 90% of women say advertisers don't advertise to them.

As a result of this type of marketing research regarding women's influence on family buying decisions, Royal Caribbean has rolled out a package plan to include children at no charge with adult fares.  They are making sure that she - the woman of the family - is aware of the entertainment and activity choices for her entire family.  They also included choices to get her the pampering that she really needs, from exercise classes and spa treatments to childcare.  This makes the decision even easier.

The key to marketing to team decision making is to consider her influence since she is the one gathering the information. The chart below demonstrates how both men's and women's purchasing influences change over time.
Click for larger image and more information.
Purchasing Influences Charts
So what about your company?  Is your firm speaking to her in your ads, marketing materials and your online persona? Is she likely to respond to your company with a purchase?  Are you emphasizing the information that is most important to her? Did you craft a tool that brings her back to your website or to encourage her to receive your emails?  Women are looking to purchase in numbers that are too big to ignore.  They are looking to purchase anything from their personal trainer to health and auto insurance. 

Companies today need to consider that the purchase of their products is being discussed at a meeting they cannot attend or control.  So provide a message and online persona that gives your company a competitive advantage.

My free advice to you - take a look at your company from a woman's point of view.  Ask women in your demographic to collect all the information they can, including online sources, on companies in your field (including your competition).  Then see how you compare.  This is the way that spouses and partners see your information.  If you are not well-represented, then it's time for a change.

For more information on improving your performance in these joint decisions, consider hiring a specialist to improve your image and efficiency.  There are many ways to not only get their attention, but to expedite an action online or on the phone that puts your company in the driver's seat.  For more information, contact us at (310) 791-6300 or visit our website and schedule a free consultation.

Tailor-Made Advertising
23670 Hawthorne Blvd., Suite 205
Torrance, CA 90505

Constant Contact All-Star Business Partner

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Liz Harsch
Liz Harsch has been a Market Consultant for retail and service companies in Greater LA since 1982.  To learn about her Torrance company visit
(310) 791-6300

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