Chick Magnet

Know Your Customers

Despite their similarities, it's a mistake to look at female customers as a single, monolithic group. Whether they're entrepreneurs, employees or stay-at-home moms, women make buying decisions based on vastly different criteria. Motivating your women customers depends largely on understanding who they are and what they want. For example, women business owners are less likely to shop at malls, are more likely to shop from catalogs and prefer to get in and out of stores more quickly when compared to women employees, according to data from the Center for Women's Business Research. Women business owners are also more than twice as likely as women employees to contract for house-cleaning and lawn-care services-a critical piece of information for those who market cleaning franchises or landscape maintenance services.

To ensure your marketing messages resonate with your best female customers, continually refine your target audience profile and keep up-to-date on their buying preferences and needs. If you sell multiple products, for example, you should know which products your customers buy, their preferred method of purchase, where they learned about you and so on. You can facilitate two-way communication on your Web site and through a customer relationship management program. In all your customer-service activities, soliciting customer feedback is essential to building loyalty among your customer base.

To find out more about marketing to women, read EVEolution: The 8 Truths of Marketing to Women (Hyperion) by Faith Popcorn and Lys Marigold. For more details about women entrepreneurs, log on to the Center for Women's Business Research Web site, found at www.womensbusinessresearch.org.

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Kim Gordon is the owner of National Marketing Federation and is a multifaceted marketing expert, speaker, author and media spokesperson. Her latest book is Maximum Marketing, Minimum Dollars.

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This article was originally published in the March 2002 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Chick Magnet.

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