According to a recent report, women are more averse to advertising than ever before.
Even though gender is one of the most sensitive topics around today, there are still countless brands that are not keeping up with important social changes such as gender equality. On the other side of the spectrum, some brands aren’t adapting to these changes out of a fear of getting it wrong, which ironically, will end up backfiring on them anyway.
According to Kantar, 76% of female consumers are unhappy with how they are portrayed in the media and advertising. Brands just don’t seem to be creating ads that are relatable to the 21st-century woman because they’re not an accurate representation of how today’s women think and act.
Additional research by JWT/Geena Davis Institute indicated that men tend to speak up to 7x more than women do in an advertisement, which further emphasizes that a large percentage of modern ads are still based on old gender norms – naturally, this is deterring women from wanting to support certain brands.
Overall, women feel that brands could be doing a better job of evaluating their approach to advertising from concept to execution by rethinking what it means to be a woman in today’s day and age.
In an effort not to lose a large percentage of their female target audience, brands need to start challenging their thinking as well as their overall approach to marketing.
For one, females tend to be over targeted in categories such as household, toiletries and food, and are left at the wayside in categories such as finance and automotive. The reality is that today’s households function very differently and both men and women fulfil multiple roles, which means they are both decision makers.
It’s unusual to think that so many brands still forget that women make just as many important decisions and purchases as men do – from purchasing a new car to buying insurance and investing in shares – yet men are still the primary target audience for many categories.
The below graph outlines the percentage of males versus females that make decisions in specific categories.
The status quo is changing and if brands want to survive in an evolving consumer landscape, they need to start making a few changes. BrandZ, the world’s largest brand equity database, recently reported that gender-balanced brands perform better than those that skew male or female.
Adopting a gender-balanced approach is the next logical step for brands everywhere.
So, what are some of the ways that brands can start making changes to their marketing in an effort to appeal to female consumers in a way that empowers them and appeals to their personal and professional roles?
You may think that your brand is doing a good job of connecting with women online but there is always room for improvement. Consumer preferences and gender roles as we know them are evolving and the minute you decide that you’ve nailed it is the moment you fall behind. Keep finding ways to inspire and empower your female audience if you want to stand out and boost your bottom line in the coming year and beyond.