Think BR: Celebrate female diversity
A view from Robert Alleyne

Think BR: Celebrate female diversity

With an increasing number of brands choosing to target marketing campaigns specifically at women, there are a few key factors that need to be considered, writes Robert Alleyne, associate director, Ipsos ASI.

Marketing to women, per se, is a sure-fire way to failure. Not all women are independent high-flying executives. Not all women are home-making heroines.

For every woman who wants a peach bellini to start their evening, there’ll be another who fancies a bottle of beer. Dove’s famous and very successful campaign for real beauty struck the perfect chord with many women. 

However, even during this campaign, many women still wanted designer beauty products sold with super-seductive models and celebrities.

When deciding on your strategy, you must first understand where your product and/or service sits and what kind of woman, or aspect of a woman’s life, it appeals to.

Different women will desire different things, so understanding your target is the most important stage in developing your marketing strategy. Solid insights into your core target will reap rewards later on. 

Decisions such as the colour of the packaging will be determined by which group(s) of women you are targeting. Remember - there are just as many women who love pink as loathe it. 

Knowing your audience is vital, and will help you avoid the potential social media backlash that can come with making the wrong decision.

It will also be good to know which women outside of your target may come in contact with your messages so you are ready to defend against any negative noise they whip-up - FemFresh recently experienced a tide of abuse in response to the language used in their advertising.

The real world v social media

Once you have established who your target audience is, reaching them will be the next challenge.  Given the high online engagement some brands experience, it may be tempting to put a significant chunk of the marketing budget into a social media campaign. 

However, insight in to your audience will determine whether or not this will bear the fruits of engagement you desire. 

If you do decide to embrace social media, remember to make women feel special. Taking the time to really engage with your target audience will pay dividends as those people share within their social circles. 

Bloggers and vloggers can be extremely influential, so don’t forget these well connected individuals when deciding where to send promos. 

The XX’s recent experiment with releasing their album online and watching it go viral without the knowledge of the mainstream press may serve as a good strategy when marketing to women - choose the right woman and they may take your brands places an ATL campaign cannot, by reaching exactly the right people as it is shared through the relevant friendship circles.

However, not all women will appreciate an online campaign, and for every social media queen there is another who should be reached in another manner. 

Making sure your strategy is integrated in a way which is meaningful to your target audience is key. There is no ‘one size fits all’ when marketing to women, and lazy communications will expose this.


Once you have established who your target audience is, and how best to reach them, it is important to build a lasting relationship. As with love, some brands will just be a flirtatious one night stand, while others will be part of a life-long relationship. 

If you understand and respect your target audience you will be rewarded with loyalty. As your consumer grows and develops, make sure your brand also changes and adapts. 

Developing a lasting relationship will ensure that your brand is recommended and passed on to friends, family and children when the time is right. 

Relationships are hard work, but as the old saying goes ‘it’s easier to keep a customer than it is to acquire a new one’. Invest and understand your customer and how your brand/service can help them throughout their different life stages.

No one said marketing to women was easy. But with strong insights, a willingness to understand and a desire to wholly respect your audience, you may just be able to build that lasting relationship.

Robert Alleyne, associate director, Ipsos ASI