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Lenka Istvanova

How to Target a Female Audience in your Marketing Campaigns

18th Feb 2013 Brand 5 minutes to read

businesswomanBelieve it or not, women play an important role in the buying process, as we make up a majority of overall home and business expenditure. In fact, we are no longer a niche market that you can simply target by adding some pink and red colours to the campaign. In other words, your campaigns must be made and designed for women.A recent study called Beyond Pink: Marketing To Women has revealed some interesting facts about the female market and their purchasing power.

So did you know that…

  • Women account for 85% of all consumer purchases, including everything from cars to health care
  • 75% of women are responsible for shopping in their households
  • By 2014, nearly 21 million of all mums online will check blogs
  • 68% of QR code users are female
  • Mums are online (via computer or mobile) for about 6 hours a day
  • Women spend 40% more time on social networks than men

Take a look through the slides in the Beyond Pink: Marketing To Women presentation:

Beyond Pink: Marketing to Women 2012

from Jack Morton Worldwide

This study inspired me to write this post; looking at methods that could be used to effectively target a female audience. I have enlisted the help of some well-known advertising campaigns to show you some real-life examples.

Three Golden Rules – How to Effectively Target Women

Is your target market women, or are you thinking of re-marketing and focusing towards a female audience? In this instance, you should spend some time researching before launching the campaign. I would actually apply a well-known Pareto law here, 80/20; where research and insights into the target market should account for 80% of your time and 20% for the execution. Yes, you’re reading that correctly! For example, the sports brand Salomon spent nearly two years just to identify their exact female audience.

Here are three golden rules you need to follow if you want your lady-centered campaigns to work.

Rule No. 1: Get to Know Us!

You really need to know us if you want to market to us. Is your target audience Generation Y or Baby Boomers? Or both? Having an in-depth knowledge of demographic, as well as life stages is the key. For instance, it’s been reported that women over the age of 40 prefer to check their computer and/or watch TV first-thing in the morning. Go the extra mile and research the interests, needs, habits, personal identities, and affinities of your target female audience.

Know your audience like the back of your hand and you will reach them more effectively.

Rule No. 2: Talk With Us, Not At Us!

For us women, building relationships is the Holy Grail, and we expect you to treat us like we are your friends.  

Tesco rule the world here, and set a perfect example on how is can be done with their Social Media campaign. They proved that having a conversation with their target market is far more beneficial than just focusing on monologue. The feedback gained through dialogues on Facebook helped, not only in the product development stage, but also from a sales perspective too; the conversations turned into sales. So, listen and talk to us and we might end up buying something from you.

Rule No. 3 Learn And Speak Our Language

This really is a no-brainer. If you target young women, let’s say under 25 for example, then employ someone who is in their shoes and who can talk their language. For example, you shouldn’t expect that teenage girls will listen to someone who is 50 years old and who doesn’t use the right words or phrases.

Check out forums, blogs, reviews, set up focus groups, meetings and learn the language and words we use by heart. You may well end up finding some great keywords that we regularly type into Google.

For example, if you target mums, you can have a look at Twitter Mums or Mum Logic; these are the places where you can meet mums online.

Unwritten Rule (no. 4) – Add a Hot Guy to Your Campaign

There is also one unwritten rule that we have seen work time and time again when it comes to marketing. Oh boy, we do like to watch a video starring hot males; in fact we are 88% more likely to do so if you appoint a really hot guy. If you don’t believe this, take a look at the below companies which took the risk and featured males in their campaigns.

Example Marketing Campaigns

Old Spice – Isaiah Mustafa

I’m sure everyone remembers a TV advert that featured former NFL player, Isaiah Mustafa who was “the man, your man could smell like”. As females accounted for over half of the Old Spice purchases, this is a good indicator that Old Spice, together with the Wiener + Kennedy agency, came up with a campaign that was highly targeted for women. This video-centered campaign went viral and increased the sales figures by over 100%; not a bad result indeed.

Moonpig – Messy Joey

Moonpig, the personalised card seller got it right when they featured a man in their TV advert. This eye-catching and attention-grabbing TV advert was made for the female audience. Again, a well-played video advert featuring a half-naked messy Joey.


There are no sales figures reported, but the advert went viral on Twitter within seconds:

Moonpig Tweets

Rethink Breast Cancer and Your Man Reminder App

This is another female-orientated advert that features men, who are not trying to sell anything, but convince ladies to run regular checks for breast cancer. The Rethink Breast Cancer campaign encourages females to download the free mobile app called Your Man Reminder. 


Once you have download it (I did it straightway), you can choose your favorite guy who will remind you to make the necessary checks. What an excellent use of video and female attraction for an important cause.

Your Man Reminder App

So, do you have any experience with targeting a female audience in your marketing campaigns, or has there been something extraordinary that worked really well for you? I would love to hear your thoughts and experiences in the comments section below.

Image Credits:

Businesswoman with dart and target image from BigStock


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