3 Tips Backed By Science To Engage Women

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Did you know that because of our brain structure humans are story junkies?  Our brain reacts differently when presented with a story than when it’s offered facts.  Stories that we read, hear and watch affect us naturally. Because of our brain’s neural coupling, stories activate parts of our brain that help us to integrate stories into our own experiences.  Since women’s brains have more interconnectivity than men’s brains, this process happens more frequently.  When a woman hears a story, she’ll search for relevance to her life experiences.  If she doesn’t find any, she’ll forget the story!

Share Emotional Stories — Our brain also releases dopamine when presented with an emotional story . . . this helps us to remember the story longer and with greater accuracy than when faced with a non-emotional story.  When women hear or read an emotional story, we’re more likely to tell other women.  It’s because women have more emotional outposts in our brain than men . . . 36, compared to 4.  And, our emotional outposts are located closer to the area of the brain that is responsible for speech.

Women Storytellers

Blog4Photo2Because of genetic memory, women evolved to be storytellers.  Our ancient female ancestors were responsible for raising children in the tribe until they were old enough to have kids of their own. To keep children safe, women shared warnings and instructions within a story . . . which resulted in children following the warning, remembering it and passing it along.  This was a big “Aha!” moment for women. Women also enjoy telling and hearing stories because it’s a way for us to interact while reducing the possibility of having a conversation that might lead to conflict. Because of hereditary influences, women enjoy interaction and collaboration, but attempt to avoid conflict.  Since our past female relatives had to raise children, they  needed to collaborate with other women in the tribe.  Today, this collaborative nature continues to motivate women’s behaviors. So, what do these social science insights mean to your brand?  To engage women, you must be a creative storyteller.

3 Behavioral Tips to Engage Women

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1.  Women are people-powered.  Women consider people to be the most important and interesting aspects of life.  This is because a woman’s highest personal value is establishing and nurturing relationships.  And, let’s face it, how can we establish and nurture relationships with your brand if you don’t provide us with the opportunity to interact with people?  What is your brand doing on social media to engage in conversations with women?

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2.  Women are driven by empathy.    The operative emotion with women is empathy.  We want to belong and be understood.  We relate to stories that have people and situations we recognize.   When we hear idealized scenarios, we don’t identify with them.  We’re looking for the “that’s me!” moments.  But, be careful!  Although we don’t want to hear stories about the “perfect” woman, we also don’t appreciate continually hearing stories about the “harried” woman.  Keep it real.

Blog4Photo53.  Women need women.  Behaviorists refer to this as the “girlfriend factor.”  Having girlfriends keeps us healthy, happy and sane.  When faced with a stressful situation, we don’t exhibit the same “fight or flight” behavior as men.  We’ll huddle with girlfriends . . . which biologically decreases our stress level.  How is your brand helping us to bond with women?

Your Brand Needs Women — We control $7 trillion in U.S. spending.  But, we need your brand to respect us by sharing stories that are relevant.  Show us you respect us by embracing female-specific behavior and share content that we want to hear!

Fran P4W copyFran Lytle is a behaviorist, brand strategist, author & co-founder of Brand Champs.  Fran develops brand strategy, emotional brand storytelling, content marketing & social media programs that engage people by applying psychology & human and gender-specific behavior.  She specializes in developing & implementing marketing-to-women programs. Contact her at fran@brandchamps.com connect with Fran on LinkedIn, Google+ and Twitter.

5 Tips To Engage Moms With Content

Blog2Photo1 Your Brand Needs Moms – Moms are powerful consumers responsible for $2.5 trillion in annual U.S.  spending.  And, the mom market is continually self-renewing.  According to eMarketer, approximately 4  million babies are born in the U.S. each year . . . 40% are to first-time mothers.

Moms Want Brands To Understand –  Yet, only 20% of moms feel advertisers are doing a good job connecting with them.  Another 70% indicate marketers aren’t focused on moms in their advertising and 30% report seeing ads that offend them.

Moms Want To Be “Connected With” . . . Not “Sold To” –  So, it’s no surprise that a recent study, conducted by ContentPlus, indicates 70% of moms prefer to get to know a company or brand through original articles rather than ads.  And, according to the Custom Content Council, 61% of moms indicate they feel better about a company or brand that offers relevant content . . . and, are more likely to purchase from them!

Embrace Behavioral Insights To “Connect With” Moms — You’ve probably noticed a lot of advice being bantered around about how to develop engaging content.  However, to engage women and moms, your brand needs to embrace behavioral science.

5 Behavioral Tips To Engage Moms

By embracing female gender-specific behavior, your brand will pre-cognitively engage moms.  This list of 5 tips are “must haves” to develop a motivating and engaging content marketing program for moms.

1.  People First.  Tap into moms’ orientation toward people as the most important aspect of their lives.  Let moms see, hear and read stories about people and situations from people she’d like to have relationships with.

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Dove’s Sisterhood campaign on Facebook engages moms because it taps into women’s and mom’s highest personal value of establishing and nurturing relationships.

2.  Help Others.  Moms want to help other people.  If your brand shows her you help others, she’ll bond with you and tell her friends.  Make it real.  Make it honest.  Don’t do it just for publicity . . . she’ll sense phoniness, (women’s intuition), and walk away from your brand.

According to a Cone Cause Evolution study, 92% of moms want to buy a product or use a service supporting a cause and 93% are likely to switch brands to support a cause they care about.  

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P&G continues to develop strong relationships with moms by helping children around the world through their Children’s Safe Drinking Water program.

 3.  Respect Her.   Moms want your brand to listen to them and respond to what they’re saying.  Remember when you were younger and your mom told you to respect other people?  Well, today’s moms are demanding that brands respect them.  Respect moms by understanding them and their needs.

This can only be accomplished by listening to moms!  Conduct research and listen to their conversations on social media to hear what moms are talking about.

Target listens, and responds with respectful programs.  Through the Blogger Project, Target discovered that moms want to use more natural products.  The Result?  Target curated a collection of brand name products that are cleaner, fresher, safer & smarter . . . Made to Matter – Handpicked by Target.
Target listens, and responds with respectful programs. Through the Blogger Project, Target discovered that moms want to use more natural products. The Result? Target curated a collection of brand name products that are cleaner, fresher, safer & smarter . . . Made to Matter – Handpicked by Target.

4.  The “Girlfriend Factor.”  Moms enjoy being with other moms – their girlfriends.  It keeps them healthy, happy and sane.  Did you know that when women are faced with a stressful situation, they don’t experience the same “fight or flight” behavior as men?  Women will huddle with girlfriends, which biologically decreases stress levels.

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Moms like to hear from other moms. Disney knows this . . . that’s why they’ve created the Disney Parks Moms Panel.

5.  Make Her Laugh.  Doctors agree that laughter can reduce stress, lower blood pressure and even help improve memory. Funny videos account for some of the most watched videos on YouTube. Parenting comedy has risen in popularity with countless blogs, videos, books and TV shows all aiming to provide some humor on the subject.

Moms, in particular, are stressed and at times feel overwhelmed about their role as a parent. Use laughter to connect with mom and give her a quick break in her day.

Here are a few tips for taking the comedic plunge . . .

Know your brandIs your brand all about making mom’s life easier? Or, maybe your products allow her to make healthier choices for her family? Bringing out the humor in everyday situations is a great way to connect with mom. Know your audience to make it meaningful, and keep on par with your brand to stay relevant.

Provide support — Comedy helps a mom realize she’s not alone out there and it’s OK to make mistakes. Motherhood is a journey with never ending lessons along the way.

Keep it tastefulDon’t go overboard with anything too extreme or raunchy – you don’t want to risk alienating moms over a joke gone wrong.

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Check out the American Express Tina Fey “Yogurt Facial Rejuvenation” spot in their #EveryDayMoments campaign — a great example of how to make moms laugh!

Mom, Mom, Watch This!   All moms have heard their kids shout this phrase repeatedly when they’re trying to get mom’s attention.  If your brand yells, “Mom, mom, watch this!” it will alienate moms.  Instead, get mom’s attention by embracing these 5 behavioral content marketing tips.

Fran P4W copyFran Lytle is a behaviorist, brand strategist, author & co-founder of Brand Champs.  Fran develops brand strategy, emotional brand storytelling, content marketing & social media programs that engage people by applying psychology & human and gender-specific behavior.  She specializes in developing & implementing marketing-to-women programs. Contact her at fran@brandchamps.com connect with Fran on LinkedIn, Google+ and Twitter.