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Pink Don't Mean Chick

07 March 2011

Last month, I introduced womenomics, the powerful influence women have on the global marketplace as employees, consumers, leaders, business owners and investors. Our influence, it is suggested, extends to 80% of all buying decisions 1.

Kara Wise, Innovation Consultant with Australia Post and CEO of myDirection, believes that women have 'double punch' - a double knockout of purchasing power and decision making authority. Kara encourages us to understand womenomics, the massive buying power and influence we have over purchase decisions. Her classic line is that simply dipping your product or marketing in the colour pink doesn't mean women will buy it.

Ok, I get it ... Pink don't mean chick! Womenomics doesn't mean dressing your business up in pink, with frills and frou-frou, Doris Day all singing and dancing with cup-cakes and ribbons [however, that may work for you ...]. Women as consumers, business owners and investors are smart, savvy and selective. Womenomics demands that business acquire their own counter double punch, knowing how products and services will deliver an exceptional return on expectations and investment to women.

Every year we take a look at our business through a womenomic lens to discover how women interact, engage, support and purchase from us. We want to know how much womenomics contributes to our bottomline.

Research tells us that around 70% of women learn the most about products and services from other women. When making a purchase decision, women aged 25 - 54 trust experts (27%), family and friends (26%) and media reports (23%) the most 2.

How do women hear about us? Our marketing strategy is a mix of 50% social media [SoMe], 40% networking and give back, 10% print media.

In assessing our SoMe strategy, women account for 41% of our LinkedIn connections, 37% of our followers on Twitter and 48% Facebook friends. Can I tell you a secret? We anticipated these results to be higher based on two factors - that women have a natural propensity to engage in SoMe and that women account for 50% of the population.

Yet, we know that women are keeping a keen eye on us ...

While women may not be activity engaged in our SoMe activities, women do drive around 75% of referrals, guiding well qualified individuals and organisations towards us. Referrals typically fall into two categories: they have been informed that \"Corven will know\" [meaning we have access to information or can help facilitate an introduction] or the referral has an immediate purchasing need.

Here's another secret for you ... Our proposals are written with womenomics in mind. The usual Proposal 101 factors are included in our proposals - a clear articulation of their situation, a possible solution, features and benefits of the solution, milestones, guarantees and investment. Blah! Boring.

We know that women \"...spend more time thinking about other's needs than their own. You need to show them how your products and services can help them take even better care of others, and themselves\"2. So, we ramp up our womenomic influenced proposals by demonstrating how will the solution will inform, influence and incite action [this is Corven's iTrilogy]. We include research, case study examples and stories in our proposals.

The result of all of this? We consistently have a near perfect conversion rate with our proposals, which is phenomenal given we are a super-niche research consulting firm. ? ?It's the colour purple [that's the colour of Corven's feather] rather than the colour pink that drives womenomics in our business. What we do and how we do it ... and keeping those messages out there ... attract women who know what they want from us. \\

How do you women with purchasing power and decision making authority engage with your business?

How are you helping women make informed decisions?

How do you measure womenomics in your business?

And finally, for those of you who are wondering ... womenomics account for 65% of our turnover.

Julia Camm of Corven writes exclusively for the Ruby Connection on womenomics, without the boring academic bits.

References and further reading:

1. The Economist (2006) 'A Guide to Womenomics' Vol 378, Issue 8473

2. Kara Wise (2007) 'A few reasons why you can't ignore women ...' The Franchise Review, May 2007