Recently, there has been an increasing amount of discourse centered around whether it’s necessary – and indeed appropriate – to specifically market financial services to women. In my opinion, you are missing a significant opportunity if you are ignoring the purchasing power of women.
The majority of household financial decisions are made by women, as are the majority of all brand purchases. In addition, with an increasing number of young people remaining single, there is a growing number of successful and financially independent single women looking to ensure their financial security long term. Females have a huge amount of financial decision-making power, and the question is: are financial services firms adequately taking this into account?
Visiting the websites and looking at the marketing materials for a number of financial institutions, it appears that female-specific financial services marketing is a niche that remains largely unexplored. However, understanding how different segments take advantage of financial services and products goes deeper than observing the gender divide – despite the importance of recognizing the differences in how men and women make decisions. Women comprise an extremely large and diverse group in terms of both demographics and psychographics, which I would argue is simply too unwieldy without further segmentation.
Indeed, if you choose to put together a marketing campaign with the aim of reaching out to women in particular, it’s important to have several subcategories to also draw upon – age, for instance. As women (and indeed men) get older, the way they think and feel about money is likely to change, along with their motivations for purchasing financial products and services. Disregarding this very important influential component may result in your campaign falling flat. Other factors include channel preferences and income.
This should all sound fairly familiar to marketers, and with good reason. I would say that, provided you are able to zero-in on the real needs, preferences and motivations driving your female clients and prospects, you don’t need to include gender in your marketing strategy at all.
Is there a noticeable gender disparity among your client base? Do you make an effort to market to one gender specifically, or do you prefer to focus on other factors? Do you recognize the influence that the imagery you select may have on your clientele?