Lubin Professor Paul Kurnit on how direct marketing influences the spending of women, whether the product is doing itself a disservice by targeting women differently than men and the importance of reaching female spending power.
Despite the good dollars and sense it makes to create a direct marketing campaign aimed at women, getting it right can be a challenge — considering marketers do not want to stereotype or offend.
Avoid One Big Basket
“In general, I think businesses get too sloppy and greedy by trying to be all things to all people,” says Paul Kurnit, clinical professor of marketing at Pace University. “Brands that do this run the risk of being nothing to anyone.”
Kurnit points out in Deliver, a magazine for marketers from the United States Postal Service, that even the biggest brands clearly understand the need to customize their communications, messaging and media for different market segments.
For example, a prominent women’s organization and one of the global leaders in the breast cancer movement doesn’t send the same information out to all women, but creates personalized direct mail based on demographics.
Make it Relational, Not Transactional
Segmenting women into various groups is a critical step in direct marketing, but choosing what to send to those women is just as essential.
Paul Kurnit of Pace University cites the luxury travel market as a perfect example. Today’s travel operators are targeting women with brochures that feature photos not just of glamorous destinations but of couples being together and having a good time in those places. “By focusing on the relationship, not just the destination, they are speaking to their female customers,” says Kurnit.
Think Beyond the Bedroom
As for the future of direct marketing, the real winners will be the companies that take an integrated approach and combine direct mail marketing with online activities, like the new Cards app. The application allows users to design the card online, but then it gets printed out by the third party, put in an envelope and sent by regular mail to the recipient.
“Today’s woman is online, but her lifestyle still demands a personal touch,” says Kurnit.