Financially independent women who are active purchase decision makers are quite a highlight of this decade. This may sound clichéd by now, but the economic power of women is revolutionary and represents the largest market opportunity in the world. This is corroborated by World Bank, which predicts that the earning power of women will hover around $18 trillion by 2014, and will be more than double the estimated GDP for growing economic forces such as India and China combined.
In spite of the significant economic progress, women across the globe continue to juggle multiple roles – be it in office or at home. They have to attend to myriad demands of life in less time. In fact, Neilsen’s Women of Tomorrow report of 2011 said that 87% of Indian women claim feeling stressed most of the time.
Then, does this lack of time influence their purchasing decision? Yes, and this may vary in line with the cultural and social background. The finer traits of women consumers are however, universal.
Marti Barletta, author of Marketing to Women, says that women are loyal customers, they are more likely to continue to buy a brand if they like it, and above all more likely than men to spread information about products they like through word of mouth and social networking sites.
Evolution of advertising
It is true that advertising and cinema in any society are like a kaleidoscope when it comes to depicting the culture, beliefs, role of individuals in a social structure. Same is with advertising targeting women!
Two of the most iconic women centric campaigns of all times in India include brands Surf and Liril. The Surf ad focused on a woman making a smart choice by choosing value over cost. The Liril ad was way ahead of time showcasing a woman bathing in a waterfall and enjoying herself. It made a bold attempt to take away housewives to their world of dreams, to enjoy their own space, during their only personal time – bathing time.
Titan has evolved in its advertising, starting from an ad featuring Aishwarya Rai being gifted a Titan watch by her husband, to 2009 when they launched the Titan Raga Flora with communication showing the playful bond between a couple. Cut to 2012, where the set-up has moved from a married couple to Katrina Kaif and her mother, enjoying a road trip. Titan Raga now personifies women of today, who stand for their own individuality and are independent and confident.
A classic example of how advertising has started talking to women even in the context of a product, which she primarily chooses as a part of her household chores is Nirma. From Deepikaji demanding Nirma to the latest advertisement showing four women dragging an ambulance out of a muddy pothole on the road, while a bunch of men watch in a corner. The brand is still a detergent powder, but with the evolution of their buyer, they have ensured that they appeal to a modern woman’s sensibilities and celebrate her new stronger persona.
In 2008, we targeted young adults with our Tulika Sharma ad, wherein the protagonist – the daughter – finances the replacement of her father’s old car. We wanted to give the youth reasons to buy insurance to encourage proactive financial planning. This ad made its entry as a case study into several business and communications institutes of India.
What do women want?
Apart from communication, offerings have also evolved over time to cater to women. From anti-aging creams, special foods and beverages to financial products such as credit cards, savings accounts and life insurance plans are specially designed keeping women in mind. Women interact with brands very differently. There was a time when marketers could just segment women as a separate category irrespective of their lifestyles, age and needs. However, the same cannot be said as of today.
Go beyond pink
Women across the globe have never had it easy. They are taking on roles and confidently breaking into perceived ‘male bastions’. A trend like this has cut across industries. In this scenario, she expects that brands don’t treat her just like her male counterparts. Brands that make an attempt to differentiate her and recognize needs that aren’t obvious to the common eye will stand out in her life and hold special significance. A survey conducted by HDFC Life along with ValueNotes in 11 Tier 1 and 2 Indian cities, revealed that accidents and illness topped the list of most important unexpected event in financial planning and management among urban women. Post child education, health expenses, family holidays, and house rent/EMIs matter to women during financial planning. These findings were critical during designing of our Smart Woman plan with several unique features such as protection against critical illness with waiver of premium, periodic cash payouts.
Engagement and relationship
Women rely more on personal trust, experience of their friends and relatives. Our internal research indicates that almost 50% of urban women chalk out their financial plans with the help of their friends and relatives. They take advantage of social media tools to learn opinions, ask questions and garner support. Neilsen’s Women of Tomorrow report states that women in emerging markets are highly influenced by web advertisements shown on social media sites than those in developed countries.
Mobile as a medium to connect and communicate is taking precedence over other relatively immobile forms. A complete engagement with the use of diverse marketing tools is essential to build a relationship with her.
HDFC Life has recently launched a digital campaign 'Smart Is You' to drive financial independence among women with a threefold objective — educate, engage, and purchase. An exclusive microsite http://www.smartisyou.com highlights women-specific plans and offers online buying; a dedicated FB page facebook.com/smartisyou offers tips and advice to women on managing money, polls, contests and other interactive activities; and a mobile app, especially designed for women, offers guidance on managing expenses, savings and investments.
Women by nature are conscious buyers. They want to keep track of all their activities in order to ensure that no aspect of their life suffers or is ignored because of another. This provides tremendous opportunity for brands to introduce offerings with discounts, value adds, engagement ideas which make her life simpler, make her believe that usage of this additional product or service during the day or week will help her do more and do better with her life and time.
In fact, marketing to women doesn't end after the sale. Women want the perfect answer, and they will cycle back to earlier stages if they don’t find it the first time.
Attention to details
Even though women have started taking up unconventional roles and multitasking it does not mean she is not paying attention to detail. She would have become more practical and result oriented but an emotional appeal may still strike a chord. She is selective in the content and the communication she consumes. It therefore becomes imperative for a brand to communicate its product benefit in a clear and concise manner, making sure she is made aware of exactly how the brand adds value to her life. The game is no longer easy, where brands could just generate emotional appeal and leave the communication open ended. Rather they need to build relevance by showing her real life examples, putting her in the nucleus of their communication. Use of just traditional media channels thus becomes insufficient, since she is quickly adopting newer technologies and communication, which gives brands ample opportunities to stand out and penetrate her senses.
With socio economic changes, psychographic changes are imminent. In India, we still have a long way to go in understanding what women want because of the vast and complex socio fabric of the society. Significant investment in research to truly understand this segment would pave the way ahead for robust marketing strategies.
Mr. Tripathy joined HDFC Life in 2004 and has been responsible for Marketing Strategy, Brand Planning, Advertising, Communication & Media, Customer Insights, New Product Development, Product Life Cycle Management, Online and Digital Strategy, E-Commerce, Customer Analytics, & Corporate communication. He started his career with GCMMF Ltd. in 1992. Since then he has worked with various reputed organizations like Frito-Lay (PepsiCo), Mattel and Reliance Infocomm before moving on to his current role at HDFC Life.View Complete Profile
A critical aspect of a retirement plan is how and where to invest. The assets you choose to invest will vary depending on several factors, which include your risk tolerance and investment time horizon.
According to a study by the Insured Retirement Institute, only a few women consider becoming financial planners because they deem the job stressful and uninteresting. The time has come to stop relying on someone else for financial security. Financial planning is nothing but determining short and long-term financial goals, and creating a balance to meet these goals.
Swabhimaan Careers is one of HDFC Life’s strategic initiatives to build long-term customer relationships. The overall objective of insurance is to compensate the financial loss caused due to untimely death of a bread winner.
The Vision and the Mission continue to be relevant and set out aspirations for an organization. But the question that an organization needs to ask is how do they get there? Is it possible to define a 'decision architecture' that guides actions of each employee?
For millions of people in India, the concept of life insurance still remains a mystery. Thanks to the new media channels, more and more people are becoming aware of the significance of life insurance. For those, who wish to develop fundamental understanding of the concept of life insurance, here is a quick snapshot.
Consumer is king. With the shifting of focus on the goods and services reaching out to the consumer rather than the other way round, Mobile learning embodies just that, by taking training not just to the doorstep but also to the learner in person. Just as an individual is empowered to carry his office with him at all times, M Learning empowers him to carry his training program with him, shattering the barriers of space and time.
Reinsurance is an insurance that is purchased by an Insurance company from one or more other insurance companies to manage the risk. Reinsurance helps in transfer of risk from one insurance company to another. It is also called “insurance for insurers” or “stop-loss insurance”.Read More