Inspired by the celebration of women. I thought it right to write about targeting women in business. One might initially think that women are no different to sell to but they are. Being a woman myself I will tap into my experience as well.
1) Detail matters
Women have aspects about them that are only unique to them. Like we all carry hand bags, some of us have long nails etc. When a business owner is buying furniture for the shop things like hand bag hooks are so valued by the female customers. Another example is that offering to open drinks helps in avoiding nail damage – true.
Details is important regardless of gender difference but it becomes even more important when your core customers are women. There are restaurants business who don’t pay attention to cleaning toilets, for women this is a huge no-no!
2) Conversation matters
Psychology teaches us that women have more words to speak per day more than man. This little insight manifests daily. Notice how women love to talk about the stuff they are buying or about life in general. Business whose core customer is women need to consider this and teams must be trained on how to be conversational. At my salon we do this daily. We make sure that we remember the last conversations when our customers return because this way they feel like we know them.
3) Emotions matter
Please don’t think I’m being ridiculous :). Emotions really do matter. Music triggers emotions, warm thank you and how are you. Exchanging complements also trigger emotions. When your regular customer has lost a loved one – send a message of support (women value this).
Emotions also tap into how good we feel if we are in your establishment because we are able to be ourselves (as women).
4) Security matters
Again this applies to all human beings but I’m just calling it out because women are more vulnerable. I remember when I worked on a brand that did a lot of events we had to make sure that all the key parts of the venue were well lit in that evening. We also had to make sure that we had safe toilets and placed security guards in visible spots. There are venues that lose business because women don’t feel safe (even from the parking lot).  This issue has to be considered thoroughly because it affects how your business is experienced.
5) Children matter

Kids love spending time with their moms,even when the outing is to the hair salon, the kids will beg their moms to take them with. I know this because my 4 year old son swore that he would behave if I let him come to the shops with me recently.

This +1 patronage requires that business make provision that would matter to kids too. At my salon I had to ask for magazines and drawing paper because my 4 year old was bored. I’ve also observed how moms with prems struggle to find space for the pram. When the kids are restless, the experience for the mom is ruined, this might reduce the spend that would have been achieved had the kid been looked after. I know this may be challenging for some businesses but it really can be an easy fix where possible.
I hope this helps as you think about making your female target market feel understood and catered for in your business.



Nontokozo is the founder of SPA88, a high-end boutique spa based in Parkhurst Johannesburg. Nontokozo is an accomplished marketer with a BCom in Marketing and Business Administration from the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal. She has worked in various marketing incarnations at four of the largest South African multi-nationals Standard Bank, BAT, Coca-Cola, South African Breweries and now Hollard Insurance.


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