Today's women have a lot on their minds. A whole lot.
In Too Busy To Shop, author Kelley Skoloda calls them "multi-minding" women.
Women 25-54 report that on average they think about 9.5 things in any given five-minute period. Furthermore, almost 6 in 10 women say they have much more on their minds now, compared with five years ago. That is 18 percent higher than the total public polled, 20 percent higher than men ages 25-54, and 35 percent higher than men in general.
More things are competing for women's attention, they are easily distracted, and they are not just thinking about themselves. Three-fourths agree they spend more time thinking about the needs of others than their own.
The question for brands and advertisers, is how do you market to this time-starved, multi-minding female? Too Busy To Shop has some terrific answers.
One suggestion is to provide her with bite-size information:
Look at the formats of iVillage or USA Today for example. The stories are in bite-size pieces that can quickly be scanned, which is perfect for a busy multi-minding woman.
Skoloda also includes examples of bite-size workouts. Not 30 minutes, but 7-10 minutes. Moms love it.
"I can make room in my day for 10-minute workout and the kids usually do it along with me."
Skoloda has this important advice for businesses everywhere:
Every brand or business should be able to add a time-saving element that benefits female consumers.
"What Really Matters" Credibility Index
A major theme throughout the book is that getting information from credible sources is key for women.
Experts, friends and family and media reports are the three most credible sources for women and friends and family are cited as the most credible sources of information when making a purchasing decision.
To some extent, "girls' nights out" are really product research sessions. And, all those poolside chats during he heat of summer are actually preparation for back-to-school buying. Daily phone calls from your sister or mom? They are the single biggest influences in what you will buy next.
Word of mouth from trusted sources comes not just from offline, but is now switching to online as well. (No surprise to my readers). Skoloda's research shows that:
Women view trusted online communities and sites as "friends and family.
CROPing to save time
Women CROP before they shop to save time. CROP is a CRedible OPinions Shortcut. Besides turning to bite-sized messages, women look to credible trusted sources to help narrow down their purchase decisions. But beware - because she's looking for ways to make decisions quicker and easier, don't mistake that to mean she doesn't want a lot of information.
I should add an important caveat - Quick-Connect Messaging, Multi-tasking, and multi-minding are driving women to demand messages that are relevant and quickly communicated. These same women do, however, want and need to research their product purchases before buying.
It's critical to provide tools to enable that research.Web sites are one of the most common, cost-effective and frequently accessed vehicles for information gathering.
I found one of the most important insights in the book to be Skoloda's point that women consumers need Constant Confirmation.
In the final phase, post-program activities reinforce purchasing decisions and drive word-of-mouth endorsements.
After that big launch, many brands ad companies are out of budget, so they do nothing, or relatively little to sustain the relationship with the customer.
I see this as a big problem as well. It's like you've spent all this time and money to create a relationship, then, like a bad boyfriend, you just disappear.
Kelley Skoloda has some great ideas on how to maintain that relationship and help it flourish - but I'm going to make you read the book to find that out.
Another great marketing to women book
Pick up your copy today. Too Busy To Shop by Kelley Skoloda, partner/director of Ketchum's Global Brand Marketing Practice.
I always know it's a good book when I've marked it all to hell with highlights and asterisks and notations. Considering my copy looks like it was vandalized by a group of overzealous graffiti artists - I feel confident saying there's some really good stuff here.