Marketing Building Products: Women represent half the customer base of Home Depot and Lowes

women marketing building productsWith women spending 85 cents of every dollar in the marketplace, building product manufacturers cannot ignore the new realities of marketing to “her.”

It’s long been known that women serve as Chief Purchasing Officers when it comes to their households, whether it’s related to healthcare, the next family automobile or home improvement products.

91% of the women purchasing new homes do not feel that advertisers don’t understand them. – Greenfield Online for Arnold’s Women’s Insight Team,

In order to harness women’s spending power, you have to understand their values and motives. A Wharton study, Men Buy, Women Shop, found that women are more invested in the shopping experience on many dimensions while men’s concerns are more utilitarian, such as the availability of parking. The companies who are creating rich brand experiences based on an understanding of how they can improve women’s lives will be the ones expanding their loyal following and increasing market share.

Home Depot and Lowe’s both recognize that women represent half of their customer base and a recent Lowe’s study found that women initiate 80% of all home improvement projects.

I’ve distilled some of the pitfalls many marketers make when trying to tailor their marketing to women into five salient points:

  1.  Communicating features instead of value. Do you know what features your female customers think are most important and why they think it? Gaining this type of insight from your female customers can lead to product improvements that will result in gained allegiances from this powerful demographic.
  2. Thinking women are a “niche” market. Women are now the primary consumer, accounting for 85% of all consumer purchases. Enough said.
  3. Creating his and her versions of your brand. Many companies confuse marketing to women with thinking they need to create a softer version of their brand – or by making it pink. The reality is that you don’t have to feminize your brand in order to appeal to women.
  4. Segmenting women by their age. In today’s world, women are not so linearly focused as they’ve been in the past. They move through their lives in terms of stages. As a marketer, you need to understand that for women, age is more a mindset than a demographic.
  5. Failing to recognize that women think differently than men. Women are  programmed to gather information. They are also hardwired into the right side of their brain where emotional memory, experience and intuition live. What does this mean to you? You need to emotionally connect with her heart, which is smack dab in the middle of her brain.

photo credit: La Shola y EL Gringo? via photopin cc

Bob Vila, Dr. Phil and Marketing Building Products to Women

women home improvement

Sears study: 3 out of 5 women would rather receive an hour of advice from Bob Vila (Sears spokesperson)  than Dr. Phil.

That is because women make or influence 85% of all building product purchases and 91% of new home purchases.

In a women homeowner survey commissioned by Sears, respondents said that it was important for them to learn more about home maintenance and repair. They are motivated building product buyers because they have a vested interest in their home. They crave information that will guide good home owner buying decisions and they are looking for trusted sources for content, like you.

According to the research, while women may not have the depth of knowledge or skills in home maintenance and repair, two-thirds of them consider themselves “somewhat handy” and 61% say they enjoy home maintenance.

The survey found that women also enjoy watching home improvement programming featuring women do-it-yourselfers, designers and contractors. The shows stimulate interest and make women feel like they could do what’s being demonstrated or they could get an idea for a project and hire someone do it.

According to the study, a gap between what women and men knew about home maintenance, their skills to get things done, and their approach toward improvements. Women need different information to get comfortable with buying building products than men do.

Building product manufacturers need to tell their story in a way that women can relate to it and understand it. At stake is the largest and most influential buying group, women.

In their lifetime, more than 8 in 10 women will be solely responsible for maintaining a home whether by choice, by divorce, or survival of a spouse.

Providing information that helps them understand what choices are available to them and what they need to know about owning, maintaining and improving a home is monumental.

Inspire a can-do confidence. Women need a go-to-resource for home improvement projects that answers their questions, conquers their fears and increases their overall understanding of project scope and pricing. Women prefer digital information so provide easy access to help, rich content and very visual tools that will give them that can-do confidence.  And, if you create these resources for women, you’ll be building engagement with your brand and your fastest growing buying segment, women.

photo credit: Victor L Antunez via photopin cc