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Marketing vs advertising to women car buyers and owners

Women are significant vehicle owners and drivers in North America, and their participation in the automotive market has been steadily increasing over the years. According to a 2021 report by the Women’s Bureau of the U.S. Department of Labor, 75,699,000, or 56% of women aged 16  in the United States participated in the labor force, with many of them commuting to work or driving for other reasons. Additionally, women account for almost half of all new car purchases in the U.S.

Overall, women are a significant demographic in the automotive industry, and their influence as vehicle owners and buyers is expected to continue to grow in the coming years.

Marketing vs advertising to women

Marketing and advertising are two closely related terms, but they have different meanings and functions.

Marketing is the overall process of identifying, anticipating, and satisfying customer needs and wants through a variety of activities, such as market research, product development, pricing, promotion, and distribution. It is a broad term that encompasses all the activities involved in creating, communicating, and delivering value to customers.

Advertising, on the other hand, is a specific component of marketing that focuses on creating and delivering messages to potential customers through various media channels, such as television, radio, print, online, and outdoor. Advertising is a means of promoting a product, service, or brand to a target audience with the aim of generating awareness, interest, and sales.

In essence, marketing is a strategic approach to understanding and satisfying customer needs, while advertising is a tactical tool for promoting products or services to customers. While marketing involves a range of activities that drive customer behavior, advertising is a specific way of communicating a message to a target audience.

Marketing to women for automotive industry businesses requires an understanding of the unique needs and preferences of female consumers.

Here are some strategies that can be used to effectively market to women:

Empower Women: The automotive industry can empower women by offering educational resources on car maintenance and repair. Creating online resources and guides specifically tailored to women can also be helpful. Women want to feel confident and capable when dealing with car issues, and offering such resources can help build trust and loyalty.

Personalization: Personalization is a key element in marketing to women. Women want to feel heard and understood, and offering personalized recommendations can go a long way in building a strong relationship with them. Car dealerships can offer personalized test drives based on a woman’s preferences, such as a certain car model or a particular feature.

Safety: Women often prioritize safety when it comes to buying a car. Highlighting safety features and providing clear information on safety ratings can be a powerful way to appeal to female consumers.

Community Building: Building a community of women drivers can be an effective way to engage with female consumers. Creating online forums or social media groups where women can connect with each other and share their experiences can help build brand loyalty.

Diversity and Inclusion: Marketing to women should not be a one-size-fits-all approach. The industry should strive for diversity and inclusivity by featuring women of different ages, races, and backgrounds in advertising and marketing campaigns.

Overall, the key to marketing to women in the automotive industry is to understand their unique needs and preferences and to offer personalized, empowering, and inclusive experiences.

Advertising strategies that work with women:

Still mage of a commercial shot for Peters Honda of Nashua

Tailor the message to women: Women tend to approach car buying differently than men, focusing more on practicality, safety, and reliability. Advertisements that emphasize these aspects, as well as features that make driving easier and more convenient, can resonate well with women.

Use female spokespeople: Using women in your advertisements, whether as actors or brand ambassadors, can help build trust and make women feel like the brand understands their needs and values.

Highlight diversity and inclusivity: Women come from all walks of life and have diverse needs and interests. By showcasing different women and their experiences with the brand, the advertisement can convey that it is inclusive and welcoming to all.

Use digital channels: Women are more likely to research and compare car options online before making a purchase. Therefore, having a strong online presence and creating targeted digital campaigns that resonate with women can be effective in reaching them.

Partner with women-oriented events: The automotive industry can partner with events and organizations that cater to women, such as women’s conferences, charities, or local women’s clubs. Sponsoring these events or providing a fleet of cars for use can help raise brand awareness and generate positive associations with the brand.

Utilize social media influencers: Collaborating with female social media influencers with a large following can help to reach a wider audience of women and create authentic engagement and interest in the brand.

By utilizing these strategies, automotive industry marketers and advertisers can better reach and connect with women, a vital demographic in the car-buying and car-owner market.

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Jody DeVere
Jody DeVere
Jody DeVere is an internationally recognized speaker, trainer, spokesperson for the automotive industry, and CEO of Ask Patty, a publication that offers training, education, and marketing support on how dealerships and other automotive retailers can more effectively target women consumers.

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