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Automotive marketing to women

Here's an interesting statistic: it takes men an average of 13 weeks to buy a new car. It takes women on average 18,5 weeks. This longer decision-making cycle highlights the fact that women have a more complex decision-making process that has her gather more information and incorporates many more selection criteria than men do. USA research shows that women today influence more than 85% of all auto, tire and service buying purchases, and yet 74% of those surveyed feel misunderstood by automotive and tire marketers. One wonders why most automotive brands still don't make a bigger effort to understand and woo their female customers.

Show me her car and I will tell you who she is.
In a recent article on Tire Review, Insight Farms shared some interesting research about how women use and feel about their cars. "Women ‘wear’ their cars. The exterior is the face we show others. The interior is our ‘authentic self.’ The front seat is our workspace. The back seat is the kids area and garbage bag. The trunk is ‘where things go to die.’"

Other sound bites on marketing to women:
• Women are looking for substance – you have to stand for something. Seventy-eight percent of women say leading companies are driven by values.

• "Edgy," "excess," "too much fun" and "living life large" are being replaced by "giving back." Women want to know what you stand for.

• Instead of asking "do I want it?" she's asking "do I need it?" In the current climate, women are hoping for the best but preparing for the worst. Women right now are looking for value, but that doesn't necessarily mean they are looking for cheap.

• A woman's buying process is longer. Good enough isn't good enough – she's looking for the perfect answer.

• She is more expensive to acquire, but cheaper to keep. Because she's already invested more time in her decision, she's more confident in that decision. There's a higher psychological cost if she walks away.

• If she complains and you handle the complaint and satisfy her, she's even MORE likely to recommend you than if she had a good experience. Make it easy for her to complain. She is trying to communicate with you and solve the problem with you.

Good to know: women share a negative experience with a brand or product with an average of 23 people. A positive experience is shared with an average of 9 people (vs only 3 for men!).