Stop Calling Women A “Niche” Market

August 16, 2016

by Beverly Flaxington

Beverly Flaxington is a practice management consultant. She answers questions from advisors facing human resource issues. To submit yours, email us here.

Advisor Perspectives welcomes guest contributions. The views presented here do not necessarily represent those of Advisor Perspectives.

Stop Calling Women A Niche Market
Photo by ThePixelman (Pixabay)

Dear Bev,

It is clear that the growth areas are minorities and women for our industry. We are embarking on a very aggressive effort to go after women as our newly created niche. We believe that the divorced, never-married and widowed segment is best for us because these are women with no men attached and they can be marketed to directly. Do you have any ideas for language we could use in our advertising or marketing copy to attract more women to our firm?

Nat P.

Dear Nat,

At over 50% of the population and holding over half of all American wealth, women are not a niche market. In a short time, we will be the market. Brain science may now show that — even more than being from Mars or Venus – men’s and women’s brains are wired and work very differently. (For more on this, read this research published in 2014.) But to say that women, especially those “without men” can be categorized and spoken to as a niche is vastly undervaluing the many, many differences that exist between and among the different categories of women.

A divorced women with children will have different “sleep at night” issues than the never-married corporate executive. The widowed woman who was not part of the financial decisions made by her husband is going to have different fears and worries than the widowed woman who was a partner in financial decision-making and may have a very lucrative job of her own. (The number of married women making more than their husbands jumped from 6.4% in 1960 to 24.3% in 2011, according to Pew Research Center).

Women have different styles, just as men do. Some women are hard charging and quick to make decisions. They want results and data. Others are more relational, quiet and thoughtful and are slower to action. Some show a combination of these traits. Some are more educated than others, and some understand financial concepts more than others.

I could go on and on illustrating the differences. Suffice it to say, I believe it is past the time we call women, as a stand-alone group, a niche market. Instead get to know the women you are targeting. The divorced woman with children under 18 will have things in common with other women like her, and the never-married corporate executive will likely have common concerns to other women like her. There are certainly themes within each of these categories, but rather than having a “calling all women” attitude, I suggest you research the different stages, life transitions and experiences a woman could have. Segregate on this basis, and then write your marketing copy or advertising talking to these women in their individual segments. Your branding should also be appealing to women – perhaps less financial blue and more colors and lively pictures. Make your writing interesting and informative, but make it targeted to the type of woman you are trying to attract.

The more granular you can be in your target marketing, the easier it becomes to “talk the talk” of the people you are trying to reach. This applies to anyone whose attention you want to capture.

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