“Women are from Nordstrom, men are from Sears.”
It’s a bit of a cliché but like most clichés, it also contains a large kernel of truth: The sexes shop differently and that’s as true online as it is in the store. For doctors engaging in online marketing, the significance of that difference can be summed up in three statistics:
- Women accounted for 91% of all cosmetic surgery procedures in the U.S. last year
- Women make 85% of the branded purchases in the country
- 86% of American women engage in social media, with 72% logging on at least once a day
Put it all together and you can see why Kathi Kruse, a social media consultant, says:
Women’s behavior online is less transactional and more relationship-driven. They spend more time on social networks building relationships, communicating with friends, and making new friends. They use social networks to be social so a dollar spent marketing to acquire a female user goes a lot further than on a male user.
The problem is that too many marketers spend too much time talking at those users and not enough time listening to them — and doctors are no exception. In fact, She-conomy.com recently reported that women ranked physicians No. 5 of 58 categories in terms of their dissatisfaction in not having their needs met.
Clearly, no one who hopes to engage with the millions of women who comprise the online aesthetic community wants to be on a list like that. But, as Kruse notes, simply knowing that women are your market isn’t enough. To succeed, you must know how to connect with them effectively.
To accomplish that, she offers the following 10 tips:
- Listen. Empathize with the female buyer’s challenges and make sure she’s heard.
- Stop interpreting female needs from a male perspective. Your struggles are not hers. Listen with an open ear and mind.
- Steer clear of telling women what they want. Your content on social media needs to connect with them. Broadcasting messages about your brand turns them off.
- Always connect and engage before you start selling.
- Success can take time. Don’t expect immediate results.
- Clearly address valid expectations. It’s your business to know what your customer expects. Discuss expectations openly and authentically.
- Don’t waste time looking for ways around the time required to build relationships.
- Learn how to engage the female buyer. Ask questions. Paint a picture of your local community and look at it from a female perspective.
- Never open a social media channel with little or no strategy. Define where your customer is and take each platform one at a time. Always have an objective and set goals.
- Work from a multi-layered sales process, not from a linear mindset. Today’s customer, male or female, does not buy from you simply because your ads say they should. There’s a lot of behind the scenes investigations that happen. Make sure you’re in each one of those scenes, conversing and engaging.