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Why you want them on your side, how to get them there, and what valuing women actually looks like.

By: Leslie Bailey

As someone in business, you’ve likely spent countless hours thinking about your customers and clients—who they are, what their problems and needs are, and how you can help.

As the co-founder and CEO Indy Maven, a lifestyle media company for women in Central Indiana, I spend a lot of time examining those questions for my business and our advertisers.

Did you know that 91% of women feel that advertisers don’t understand them? Yet, women account for 85% of consumer purchases. That means they control $31.8 trillion in worldwide spending. That’s trillion—with a “T”. We’re talking consumer purchases for new homes, food, electronics, vacations, and pharmaceuticals, to name a few.

The conversation about women’s spending power isn’t new but in light of the last year, it’s more important than ever to consider your businesses’ relationship with women. Not just as consumers, but as business owners, founders, employees, and colleagues. Are you asking for their money but not considering their wants and needs? Are you engaging in conversations about diversity in your workplace and leadership and then taking action? Are you paying them fairly for their work and valuing their contributions?

There are myriad reasons we created Indy Maven, but one of them was our frustration as journalists in a newsroom that was fully aware of women’s spending power and that wanted to connect to them as an audience, but that didn’t make meaningful efforts to create a product that served women—of all kinds, not just those within a certain age, race, or socio-economic status. With a combined 30+ years of experience as media professionals across our entirely women-led Indy Maven team, we know first-hand the power of women as not just consumers, but as engaged citizens. We talk to them about what they want and need and the best way to reach them. And, when it comes to valuing women, we put our money where our mouth is—every person who works for us is paid for their time. As we like to say, “The utility company isn’t going to let you pay your bill with ‘exposure.’”

You can do the same by not only compensating women appropriately for their work, but also taking action  to uplift and support women’s voices by funding, sponsoring, donating, and putting your influence behind women-owned businesses, nonprofits, and other organizations that hold those values.

With the landscape for women shifting in the workforce and at home as a result of COVID, consider where your ideal customer is “hanging out.” What are the causes that are important to her? How does she spend her time?

It used to take seven impressions or “touchpoints” to get someone to remember your brand. Experts now say that number has more than doubled. At Indy Maven, we use a high-touchpoint model to ensure that we’re reaching women where they are. Our brand assets include:

  • Well-written and relevant website content
  • Website ads, sponsorships, and campaigns
  • Multiple active social media accounts
  • Weekly e-newsletter and useful email updates
  • A paid membership group with special perks
  • Events – virtual and in person

As you continue to stay nimble with your 2021 marketing and advertising plans and look forward to planning for 2022, it’s imperative your brand considers women from a holistic perspective. Spend time getting to know and understand them—not only because it’s helpful for your reputation and your bottom line, but because it’s the right thing to do.

Sources: Catalyst.org/research/buying power, 2020), Forbes 2019, Yankelovich Monitor and Greenfield Online via Girlpower Marketing.

Leslie Bailey is the co-founder and CEO of Indy Maven.

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