Pink drills, cars with make-up mirrors, advertising campaigns in squeaky colors and with lots of glitter – this is what is supposed to appeal to women. Companies have long recognized that women are an important target group. In many cases, it is the woman who decides which house, car or sofa to buy. So women are being courted heavily, but unfortunately often in the wrong way.
"More than 90 percent of women do not feel addressed by advertising", says munich marketing expert gabi luck. "It's too blatant, not subtle enough. Women don't want to be cut off", says luck.
No object of desire
And above all, they didn't want to be reduced to an object of desire, as is often the case in lingerie advertisements. "This is advertising for manner," says, says the managing director of the advertising and marketing agency thinknewgroup, which specializes in the female target group.
According to marketing professor marion halfmann, products that clichedly cater to women's needs and advertising that shows women in stereotypical roles are still widespread. "This is an expression of helplessness", says the economist from the university of the lower rhine in monchengladbach. Stevie schmiedel from the women's rights organization pinkstinks has another explanation: women consumed more when they were told that they were not good enough and that they could become more appealing with a certain product. "Particularly when they are shown unattainable ideals of beauty, with which they would like to identify, in addition to the possible product to be consumed." The question is whether women in 2020 still want to be portrayed as decorative, passive creatures. "Or are they simply used to being addressed in this way through advertising and the media??", schmiedel points out.
Preferences for cars
Gender marketing is when companies specifically target women or men. "But the top management is still mainly made up of "men", says marketing professor halfmann. These people then decide what a product supposedly tailored to women and the advertising campaign for it should look like, but often don't know their needs. "There is a need to catch up on the market research side", says halfmann. As an example, she cites preferences for cars. There is a prejudice that women prefer small, agile, colorful cars, says halfmann. A study showed, however, that businesswomen who earned a lot of money had similar preferences to similarly well-off males. "The decisive factor is therefore not gender, but the economic situation and the circumstances of life", the expert explains. In addition, the target group woman does not exist at all, as the austrian economy trainer ulrike aichhorn says. She advises companies on how to attract female customers. "The group is very diverse. Women dance at several weddings at the same time, she emphasizes. There, companies had to pick up the women instead of addressing them only in one of their roles, i.E. Only as mothers, wives or professionals.
According to aichhorn, this can only be achieved if companies start with their own corporate culture. "Otherwise it is not credible. Female consumers realize that there is nothing behind them", says aichhorn. She gives an example of what this means in practice: a car repair shop sends a customer a text message if the pickup time for her car is delayed by half an hour, so that she can do her shopping or make an important phone call in the meantime. "Women continue to pay dividends. This word of mouth is priceless", says aichhorn.