By Laura Gurasich
The way consumers plug into different marketing programs is changing and there are more options than ever. We are hearing some whispers out in the field that women appreciate the choices offered to them but don’t like being funneled towards any particular option. They want to be able to do what works best for them in whatever situation they happen to be in.
Marketers, particularly in the digital arena, often expect and encourage their customers to migrate to new technology formats. The more advanced option is usually positioned as the best – digital is better than paper, mobile technology is better than digital. For many women, technological advances are not a “wow,” they are one more thing to manage. Therefore, they look at these advances as a new option but rarely want a current choice taken away, at least initially. Women pick and choose what works for them and react negatively when they feel “herded” into one point of connection.
When ecommerce was first gaining traction, some believed that paper catalogs would no longer be necessary in the new digital shopping world. Online-only catalogs have increased significantly in the past five years but the number of catalogs in both print and online formats has also increased nearly 30% in the same time period, according to mediafinder .com. This makes sense because blending the two options — shopping the paper catalog then making the actual purchase online – is often the preferred combination for her life and shopping style.
At On Your Mark, we have seen different situations in our work (coupon usage, redeeming loyalty program points) where women view mobile technology as ONE option but not THE option to help make her life easier and more efficient. Marketers must remember to stay closely in touch with the realities of women’s lifestyles as more tools are introduced. One woman may like mobile apps that tell her about great deals because of the immediacy and then she may manage her loyalty points online because she checks other things on the site when she logs on. The key is to allow each woman to navigate these different connection points in the way that works best for her.