Perhaps you’ve heard this joke: Married women spend 85 cents out of every family dollar, children spend 15 cents, and men spend the rest. According to Martha Barletta, author of Marketing to Women, women are the primary decision-makers for consumer goods in 85% of households. They make 75% of decisions about buying new homes, and make 81% of the decisions about groceries. They influence at least 80% of all household spending. In most cases that woman is usually a mom. Mothers are therefore the gateway to sales, she is not just buying for herself; she’s also buying for the baby, the toddler, the teenager, her spouse or partner and the house. Women run their households, and are usually the decision-makers in their households and control the family budget. Their purchases are not limited to just toiletries, food and clothes, they buy the furniture, final decision-makers on homes, cars, schools etc. According to business guru, Tom Peters, women are the number one business opportunity: “They buy lots of stuff”.

The purchase decision process of women is very different to that of a man. Women are usually more detailed, spend a lot more time second guessing and researching and are more emotional and feelings based shoppers. According to a study conducted at the University of California, Irvine, men and women’s brains are very different. Men’s brains have approximately 6.5 times more gray matter than women’s, and women’s brains have nearly 10 times more white matter than men’s. Gray matter characterizes information processing centres and white matter facilitates the connections among those centres, hence why women excel at tasks that call for assimilating and integrating disparate pieces of information. The typical man, in other words, is mission and task-oriented.  Shopping is specific, straight-forward and speedy. The typical woman, on the other hand, is a discovery-oriented shopper. Women are open-minded, and adjust their initial shop based on price or alternatives and doesn’t mind taking a little longer. Men are thus more brand loyal and stick to what works, while women are more open to trying alternatives if the marketing, price and quality is right.

Interesting things to note when marketing to women:

Moms love e-commerce, not only do they buy online, they also browse, compare and read customer reviews. American moms made almost 90% of their overall purchases online in 2015. The primary reason is the time and convenience of online shopping. Moms today are busy juggling jobs, children and household chores, so being able to buy products online really helps. Online retailers also offer better deals than you would normally get in store.

A moms preferred device are their mobile phones. Moms are constantly on the run between work, schools, shops and home so mobile is more convenient.  A recent surveys suggest that American moms spend an average of 2.3 hours per day on mobile devices, compared to just 1.4 hours a day watching TV and 1.4 hours a day using desktop computers.

More than 70% of women own smartphones. According to a Brand Watch Blog: Men vs. Women: Who Is More Active on Social Media?, By Iris Vermeren, women use social media to share more personal information than men, they are more vocal, expressive and willing to share. More than half of women use social media to show support and access deals or promotions from brands, compared to just 36% of the men online. Moms are active on FaceBook, Twitter, Instagram and enjoy Blogging. Facebook is still  the main social media channel and captures a mainstream audience, while Twitter targets more affluent, tech-savvy moms.

Women talk, read up and comment on topics of interest, they value the opinion of other women and moms more than that of brands. They follow, trust and value comment from . Women sign up, follow and get involved in blogs.

Women and moms also enjoy rewards programmes. They collect coupons, discount vouchers, free gifts, collectables and shopping points. Reward-programmes linked to social sharing work very well with moms, think of Checkers tiny products for tiny people.

Lastly moms spend a lot of time with their kids, and therefore adverts targeted at moms should be kid friendly. Moms enjoy sentimental adverts that relate to their lives and that of their children. Moms get nostalgic and get very emotional and involved.

At Prana we are not only an organisation that understand marketing, but we also understand women. Our mantra is that people don’t buy what you do, but why you do it. People buy much more than just a product or brand, they buy a feeling an experience.

Prana is a Marketing Outsource Company, run by women in the Baby, Beauty, Health and Wellness Industries. Our business principles strongly relate to the Harvard Business Review principles of the “Think. Feel. Do.” Principles. This highlights the concepts of working to individuals strengths, be it strategy, creative concepts or executions – and we strive to work in this manner.

Your marketing plan needs to speak to women, it needs to not only what women want, but how women think. Successful marketing plans will make women the center of the campaigns and ensure their marketing message is evolved around women. If you get women to buy into your brand/ product or idea its already sold to men.

Transparency is vital, women want to know everything there is to know about what they are buying. They will not only research your product, but will ask difficult questions, read up on customer reviews and compare prices.


Remember an unhappy women will tell 10 more women.  But so will a happy woman!