Last week, The Motherhood CEO Cooper Munroe had the opportunity to speak at Innovation Works’ Marketing to Women Panel in our headquarters city of Pittsburgh. There, she discussed the challenges, trends and best practices for reaching the female consumer with a room full of brilliant, local small business entrepreneurs.

Cooper was joined on stage by moderator Vanessa Jameson, the co-founder and CEO of Covey, as well as panelist Kelley Skoloda, Director of Marketing to Women and Moms at Ketchum. Read on for a few takeaways from the discussion!

Trends in Marketing to Women

As Ketchum’s trend spotter, Skoloda is always in-the-know when it comes to current trends in the marketing industry. She gave a rundown of themes and tips from successful marketing campaigns she’s seen recently, especially when it comes to marketing to women:

  • Female empowerment. Women are inspired by campaigns that are emotionally resonant and empowering. See examples from brands like Dove Love Your Curls campaign, Under Armour for women and GoldieBlox. (Full disclosure, The Motherhood has previously executed influencer campaigns for Dove and GoldieBlox.)
  • Social good and purpose. No woman is an island. Women tend to appreciate the feeling of joining a cause and being part of something much larger than just themselves and their families.
  • Influencer marketing. Skoloda said she doesn’t see one marketing proposal or strategy come through her office without an influencer component. Whether it’s a celebrity or group of niche bloggers, influencers are being incorporated into overarching brand strategies. Skoloda predicted that the use of influencers in marketing will only increase in the future.
  • Dads and family. The idea of the “traditional” family is ever-evolving. Using dads and other family themes in your marketing is appealing to moms.

The panel also addressed the question: How can a young company execute strategies on a budget?

  • Social listening was the number one suggestion from the panel, because anyone can listen and analyze existing, organic conversation about their brand or industry online. The internet is a powerful consumer insights tool that brands with any budget can — and should — lean on. Take the time to listen (and respond!) to your online community before launching a campaign.
  • Story mapping is one of Skoloda’s top pieces of advice for creating marketing strategies on a budget. Map out what makes your brand different, how it started, who manages it, etc. Determining those core elements will help shape your brand’s campaigns.
  • Showcase the story behind your brand. Women connect to stories, so highlight your brand’s story on your website and social channels to resonate with female consumers in particular.
  • Feature the women behind your brand. Women also connect with female faces. When you have a woman-led advisory board or CEO, make sure they are featured on your brand’s website and/or social pages.
  • Influence your influencers. Engage bloggers to help tell your brand story, because you can’t reach everyone on your own!

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Finally, the room wanted to know: How can brands best structure campaigns? How can a brand get a pulse on how they are doing among women? 

  • Be very clear about where you want to go. Determine your goals before launching a campaign.
  • Listen to your reviews (even your dissenting ones) and respond to them! Consumers appreciate when brands are relatable and human.
  • Build an advisory board for your brand, so that you have a broader perspective when making big decisions. The “board” can be made up of trusted friends at non-competitive companies or even your influencer partners.
  • Send surveys and invite feedback. Consumers want to be seen as people, not numbers.
  • Use Facebook for Business to get detailed demographics on your audience. Test out the different audiences (different segmentations of female consumers) to determine the best types of themes and posts that work for your brand’s target audience.

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A huge thank you to Innovation Works for hosting the Marketing to Women Panel! We look forward to connecting with this amazing group of entrepreneurs again!