Marketing to Women


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Do You Repel Women with Your Copy?

Hint: If you’re writing to women the same way you write to men, the answer is YES!

You see, there’s a reason why books like “Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus,” “He Said, She Said,” and “Sperm Are from Men, Eggs Are from Women: The Real Reason Men And Women Are Different” hold such universal appeal across all age groups, cultures and genders.

Why? Because they speak to the inherent biological, psychological and emotional differences between men and women, despite what certain feministas claim.

So What Makes Male And Female Consumers So Different And How Does That Affect Your Marketing Results?

Let’s start by discussing just a few of the most basic differences between men and women. Then we’ll see how these characteristics account for radically different purchasing behavior.

Me vs. We

Man’s Motto: “It’s every man for himself.”
Woman’s Motto: “All for one and one for all.”

What does this mean? Simply that a man’s mental scripts often read like, “I can do it myself. I’ll make my own way. I don’t need advice. I don’t expect people to help me. I mind my own business and so should the other guy.”

A woman, however, tends to have these scripts running through her head, “How can I contribute? How can I increase our bond? How can I achieve greater life balance? How will my decision affect the people around me? How can we succeed together?”

Now, I’m not saying one is right and the other wrong. In fact both are critical for a balancing of the proverbial scales. But what accounts for the difference? A difference in core values. Whereas men tend to place a high degree of value on independence, freedom, autonomy, and self-sufficiency, women place a higher degree of value on people, connections, community and camaraderie. That doesn’t mean each sex ONLY values those things, just that given a choice that’s where they’re priorities generally lie.

And before you get up in arms about how you as an individual are different or your mother, father, brother, sister, wife, uncle, etc. is different, let me just say the thing about generalities is they’re GENERALLY true.

Masters vs. Students

As Marti Barletta says in her book, “Marketing to Women: How to Increase Your Share of the World’s Largest Market,” men prefer to see themselves as masters of a situation, while women are more likely to see themselves as students.

This is why men are less likely to ask for directions, less likely to request assistance at the office, and less likely to admit they don’t know something. Why? Because in the male culture, it makes a man look weak, less-than and inferior to admit these things in the face of other men who are bound and determined to seek out and jump on any opportunity to prove THEIR superiority. It’s not malicious. It’s not bad. It just is.

Women, however, see themselves as students. They share, they discuss, they encourage, and they relate to one another. This is what their hard wiring is programmed to do just as men are programmed to rib their buddies and engage in comical displays of what I affectionately call “peacocking.”

Prioritize vs. Maximize

Let’s say you gave a man and a women each a list of 10 things to do. A man’s inclination is to prioritize the list and accomplish that which he feels is most important first, then work his way down to the least important last.

And generally speaking, if a man accomplishes 3 or 4 of the most important things, but doesn’t get to the rest, he’s still happy. Why? Because he accomplished what was most important.

Women on the other hand are maximizers. Instead of ranking their lists according to importance, they rank their lists according to how many things they can check off before the allotted time is up. For example, if a woman goes to the grocery store, she’ll often ask her husband, “Is there anything you need while I’m out?” A man, however, rarely dares to ask such a question. And if he does, it’s usually because he’s been reprimanded for NOT doing it in the past.

Why the difference? For a woman, adding more tasks that she knows need to be done anyway makes the trip worthwhile. It justifies making the effort. It also appeals to her multi-tasking nature. Women call it being efficient. Men call it being complicated.

What’s The Moral Of This Marketing Story?

If you want women to pay attention to your message, you’ve got to write in a language they understand. Women don’t respond to single-focus ads and marketing based on competition, financial power, or one-upmanship.

Instead women respond to messages that reveal how a product or service will meet MULTIPLE needs, provides the PERFECT solution and incorporates values like teamwork, community, charitable contribution, family financial security, life balance and so on.

A woman doesn’t care how much horsepower a car has. She cares about crash-test safety and what that means to her children.

She doesn’t want to thumb her nose at the next door neighbor or her friends by making them jealous of her newest toy. She wants to be the glue that brings friends together by sharing her new toy.

She doesn’t want to shop at Target because it’s the cheapest place to buy laundry detergent. She wants to shop at Target because they donate 5% of their income to worthy causes and support environmental protection.

Winning with women means speaking to HER values, HER thoughts, HER feelings and HER needs. After all, with 80% of the country’s purchasing power in women’s hands…can you really afford not to?


About the Author:
Lina Penalosa, owner of The Write Solution LLC, is a marketing consultant, expert copywriter, published author and professional speaker who offers a marketing and copywriting coaching program for small and medium-sized businesses. For a Free Gift worth $80.00, go to

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2 had something to say.
  1. Megan from Australia

    Excellent article for those of us servicing the needs of the sisters worldwide. Thank you Lina.

  2. PYNTK

    I think she was clicking on all cylinders.


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