Marketing To Women

By Christopher Zoukis

According to Forbes and CNN, women make up 50% of the population and control 80% of consumer purchasing decisions. More importantly, women now own 30% of all businesses in the United States, and this number is growing. Women directly control over $7 trillion dollars. By the year 2010, it is predicted that women will control private wealth in the amount of $13 trillion. This fantastic growth in income is changing the face of marketing. Women are being targeted. Charles Schwab, Citibank and Merrill Lynch now have marketing aimed specifically at women.  Image courtesy realestatetheband.com

Although married couples lead the way in home buying, the number two-position is held by single women.  Women buy homes. Women invest their money. Women take luxury vacations.  Women buy investment properties. Ignoring the affluent female customer is a mistake that no seller can afford to make.

The psychology of affluent female customers is different than that of affluent male customers. Now do not interpret that statement to mean anything more than what it says. For ultimately, affluent men and women purchase luxury goods and services for the same reasons, which will be discussed later. What is different between men and women is the way their brains actually function. Newsweek reported that brain-imaging technology has demonstrated definite distinctions between the functioning of male and female brains. Here are some of the distinctions:

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Marketing: The Quest For Status

By Christopher Zoukis

Selling to affluent men means using language they can relate to psychologically. This translates into talking in the language of the customer. If this is accomplished, the affluent male feels comfortable.

For example, if an affluent male customer enters a jewelry store saying, “May I help you?” is a mistake. Why? Because most men do not enter a store to shop, they enter to buy. They know what they want to buy or at least think they do. Therefore, they do not require help. A more appropriate approach, psychologically speaking, would be to wait until the customer stops to look at something. Then say, “You certainly have excellent taste. This is our highest quality.” This approach opens the door to communication. By listening to verbal cues, the salesperson can then guide the customer in making a purchase.  Photo courtesy motorstown.com

When selling to affluent men, it is important to know the product. Men are impressed with someone who knows what they are talking about. Since men like to get right to the point, it is necessary to ask questions to provide excellent service. Be direct and specific. Only ask for the facts. Then proceed to the bottom line. Affluent male customers tend to tune-out if too much background information is given.

Most men are interested in business, money and sports. Therefore, using analogies and terminology from those areas provides psychological comfort. A confident tone appeals to the male psychology. For it establishes a business-like atmosphere, a zone with which affluent men are familiar.

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Marketing: The Male Factor

By Christopher Zoukis

Affluent men are status conscious. So are affluent women. According to American Demographics, men and women perceive status and status enhancement in different ways. Men compete with other men for status. It is a competition based on pure comparison. The comparison takes place at every level. Cars, houses, watches, clothes, yachts, cigars and yes, athletics. When an affluent male sees another affluent male, who appears to have more status, the game is on. It is not about the game, it is about winning the game. Which explains why Larry Ellison ordered a new yacht to replace his old one. While cruising the Mediterranean, Ellison pulled into Monaco for the night. To his dismay, his yacht was the second longest in the harbor. The longest yacht belonged to Paul Allen, who founded Micro-Soft along with Bill Gates. Larry Ellison had to have the biggest yacht in the harbor. And his yacht had to have the finest and most luxurious appointments. So Larry Ellison immediately ordered a new yacht to be custom-built for him. It would be fifty feet longer than Paul Allen’s yacht.  Image courtesy itbusinessimage.com

For affluent men, status is a “gut” reaction and involves what they perceive as a “winning image.” This winning image is established by marketing in popular media outlets: magazines, the internet, television. Affluent men see what other affluent men are buying, so they buy too. In other words, they buy what they see everyday, because what they see everyday is what they come to desire. To validate themselves and their status, affluent men want what their peers have and, if possible, something a little bit better.

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Sensation Transference and Marketing

Christopher Zoukis

What does all of the aforementioned information reveal about the affluent self-made customer? For one, they are pretty much the same, regardless of age or gender. All are strong personality types, who have struggled and worked hard for everything they have achieved. Extreme independence sums up their psychological profile. They do not believe in luck, and the words “cannot” and “no” are not in their vocabulary. Whereas when a seller of luxury goods or services says “yes” to them, regarding a request, they keep coming back, because they like and approve of the sellers “can do” attitude.  It reminds them of themselves.  Image courtesy parfumo.net

The affluent self-made like doing business with people who have common sense, specialized knowledge, self-confidence, creativity, leadership ability, and who are self-reliant and get things done. And because they are self-made, they look for value. This means they will negotiate over price, and like to think they’re getting a good deal.

The psychological factor to remember when marketing to the self-made affluent customer is this: they need to “feel right” about a luxury purchase. If they “feel right” about it, they will part with their hard-earned money.  “Feeling right” about a luxury purchase involves a concept called “sensation transference.” Defined by a man named Louis Cheskin, sensation transference is when a customer unconsciously transfers his perception of the way a product is packaged over to the actual product. To put it another way, most customers do not distinguish the package from the product. To most customers, the two concepts – the packaging and the product – are one and the same. Which explains the old adage, “Packaging is everything.”

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Marketing: Online Packaging Is Everything

By Christopher Zoukis

Affluent customers are eager to spend their money on luxury goods and services. Yet as eager as they are, they do not simply spend their money willy-nilly. They do research, read reviews and recommendations, and seek advice. The advice they accept and trust the most comes from two sources: word-of-mouth referrals, and suggestions presented by the media. In other words, affluent customers are influenced in making luxury purchases.

According to Helen Leggatt, 43% of affluent Americans are influenced by the internet in their buying decisions. Another 30% are influenced by magazines, 29% by experts, and 19% by radio, television, and direct mail.  Image courtesy of dotcomsecrets.com

Ipsos Mendelsohn performed a survey of affluent customers in 2011. The results were summarized by e-Marketer:

Affluent customers who made more than $250,000 per year spent the most time online. In fact, the survey found that the higher the income level, the more time spent online. Those in the $250,000 category spent 27.4 hours per week on the internet, 17.8 hours per week watching television, and 10.9 hours per week listening to the radio.

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Old Luxe and New Luxe

By Christopher Zoukis

Why do affluent customers buy luxury items such as perfume, jewelry, and cars?

Because of the way the products make them feel, and the way they perceive other people will feel about them for having the product. This feeling is exclusivity. It is not about functionality per se, although functionality is part of the feeling of exclusivity. It is not about price and quality per se, although both price and quality also add to the feeling. It is about exclusivity.   Image courtesy fantasymomentsworld.info

Exclusivity commands admiration, respect and the acknowledgement of others when they notice the luxury product. This idea of exclusivity requires that marketing campaigns be carefully planned. Why? According to Simon Black, a director at Design Bridge, luxury has different meanings to different people. Black suggests there are at least two different views of luxury among the wealthy. He calls them New Luxe and Old Luxe. The New Luxe group desires exclusivity that is showy and status-driven. Old Luxers seek exclusivity through traditional luxury, and like to present themselves as “too posh to care.”

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Pampered Pooches

By Christopher Zoukis

People love their pets. In fact, more than 80% of U.S. pet owners refer to themselves as “pet parents,” and 31% of women say they spend more time with their pet than their husband or partner. Sixty-three percent of the U.S. population owns a pet. Those pet owners will spend an estimated $50 billion on their pets in 2010. Image courtesy epamperedpets.com

The rich have money to spend, and they do not hesitate to spend it on their pets. Dog country clubs and luxury kennels, which are now called “hotels,” cater to the pets of wealthy owners. These luxury facilities offer pedicures and parties for pets, charging $300 to $400 dollars per night. There’s a church in Chicago that offers special religious services for pets. They even offer “pet blessings,” where an ordained pet minister lays hands on one’s pet. And most luxury hotels now offer “pet packages” so the rich can vacation with their pets. Such packages provide dog and cat walkers, day care facilities, pet parties, play-dates, grooming at pet boutiques, and special counseling sessions, where pets meet with pet psychologists and trainers.

Marketing and selling luxury products to affluent pet owners is big business. Where to start is the question? Lisa Johnson, who is the author of Mind Your X’s and Y’s offers four tips on how to market luxury brands and products for pets.

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Razzle Dazzle

By Christopher Zoukis

There has been an explosion of wealth over the last twenty years. Not just in the United States, but throughout the world.  Millionaires are everywhere. They have lots of disposable income, and are looking for goods and services to purchase. The individuals and companies that identify, target, and market to these millionaires will profit handsomely. Indeed, they will become millionaires themselves. To be successful in this undertaking, these individuals and companies will have to position themselves correctly. Correct positioning equals attraction, and is similar to becoming a flower. Pretty flowers that smell sweet attract the bees. In the case at hand, the objective is not the most bees but the most prosperous bees. This book explains the ins and outs of becoming the flower that attracts the affluent bees. In other words, this book spells out how to attract and keep wealthy customers.  Image courtesy tumblr.com

This book has three goals.

The first goal is to tell you how to attract and appeal to affluent customers. Make no mistake attracting affluent customers is very different than attracting multitudes of customers, who regularly shop at malls and department stores.  Affluent customers rarely visit the average mall, and they don’t shop at Penney’s or Wal-Mart.  Thus attracting and appealing to the affluent involves a whole new way of thinking. This new paradigm means a whole new way of engaging customers, for affluent customers are a segment of the populace that is almost invisible, simply because they are such a small part of the populace. To appeal to this niche market means using a new way of selling and marketing.

The second goal of the book is provide insights into the psychology of the affluent customer. Wealthy customers purchase goods and services for different reasons than the average customer. Affluent people have a distinct attitude toward money. It is the attitude that comes from having money. This unique attitude is part of the affluent customer’s psychology, which explains why they buy, and what they want to buy. Knowing how they think, which in turn means knowing how they make the decision to buy also means knowing what they don’t want to buy, what prevents them from buying.

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Marketing Book: Introduction and Goals

By Christopher Zoukis

There has been an explosion of wealth over the last twenty years. Not just in the United States, but throughout the world.  Millionaires are everywhere. They have lots of disposable income, and are looking for goods and services to purchase. The individuals and companies that identify, target, and market to these millionaires will profit handsomely. Indeed, they will become millionaires themselves. To be successful in this undertaking, these individuals and companies will have to position themselves correctly. Correct positioning equals attraction, and is similar to becoming a flower. Pretty flowers that smell sweet attract the bees. In the case at hand, the objective is not the most bees but the most prosperous bees. This book explains the ins and outs of becoming the flower that attracts the affluent bees. In other words, this book spells out how to attract and keep wealthy customers.

This book has three goals.  Photo courtesy tower.com

The first goal is to tell you how to attract and appeal to affluent customers. Make no mistake attracting affluent customers is very different than attracting multitudes of customers, who regularly shop at malls and department stores.  Affluent customers rarely visit the average mall, and they don’t shop at Penney’s or Wal-Mart.  Thus attracting and appealing to the affluent involves a whole new way of thinking. Which means a whole new way of engaging customers. For affluent customers are a segment of the populace that is almost invisible, simply because they are such a small part of the populace. To appeal to this niche market means using a new way of selling and marketing.

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