What Ticks for Indian Consumers/ Women- Sandhya Sadananda and Jaideep Shergill

22 Oct,2014

Continuing with our extracts from the second edition of the MxMIndia Annual, we present contributions by Sandhya Sadananda and Jaideep Shergill


Reaching out to women is an imperative goal for brands


By Sandhya Sadananda


Whether you’re trying to market a product or service, reaching out to women is an imperative goal for a brand’s social media team. With an increasing number of women with reliable internet connectivity, marketers cannot afford to rely on one-way messages to build purchase intent and brand loyalty.


As social media’s use has shifted from broadcasting a brand’s message to engaging with potential and current women consumers, a social media company needs to employ tools to target the right women. These could range from influencers to current users to maturing audiences who are likely to connect with the brand.


The ways in which a social media company can target these women audiences are:


1. Facebook plug-ins

2. Twitter plug-ins

3. Site registrations

4. Email registrations

5. OpenID plug-in




PR and women consumers in India


By Jaideep Shergill


Marketers have a sense that women are a make-or-break audience, not only as consumers but also as influencers. And the data backs this instinct. A report by private equity firm Everstone Capital last year said that women consumers will make India richer by 12 per cent by 2015 and 25 per cent by 2025. Over the next 30 years, the report added, the number of women workers will grow 38 per cent, outstripping the 33 per cent growth of the male workforce. Women’s incomes too are rising, enabling them to purchase products and services that were once out of reach.


An IMRB survey last year said urban women’s average monthly income rose from Rs 4,492 in 2001 to Rs 9,457 in 2010. By now, that number would have crossed five figures. Globally, said a study last year by Boston Consulting Group (BCG), women controlled more than $20 trillion in consumer spending in 2011.That was higher than the total consumer spending of China and India combined. By 2016, that amount could expand to $28 trillion.


The BCG study found that women are dissatisfied with many product categories, led by investment, cars, banking, life insurance, physicians, car insurance and work clothes. It’s clear, then, that marketers don’t always get it right. When reaching out to women, BCG felt that marketers ignore factors like emotional appeal and the need for products that save time. Not surprisingly, brands across the spectrum are now thinking hard about how to change their marketing mindsets.


The above methods can be employed for women who have already landed on your website/ social media page or are repeat customers.


For the ones that are not in the above mentioned groups, search ads, sign up ads, interactive social media posts and blogger outreach can be employed.


The points a social media company or brand must always remember while trying to engage women are:

1. Be to the point, because of shortening attention spans and multitudes of content

2. Employ graphic content wherever possible

3. Be interactive. Never ignore a query or comment.

4. Be creative and engaging.

5. Provide value instead of rushing to update three posts a day per platform.

6. Direct the women to other resources (e.g. alternate social media platforms, microsites, etc. to ensure they have a choice of responding wherever they are comfortable).

7. Ensure privacy in correspondence, wherever possible.




New products are being introduced exclusively for women. For instance, banks are launching credit cards and investment products that cater specifically to women’s needs. Automobile companies have introduced two-wheelers for women commuters, especially teenagers. At least one insurance company offers cover for illnesses that are specific to women. The public relations (PR) scope will grow as the market for women’s products and services grows, and the opportunity lies in brand storytelling.


That’s because women respond better to emotional stimuli. PR is the art of telling the brand’s story in a manner that is relevant to various stakeholders, such as women. It is up to the industry to recognise this opportunity and build the requisite capabilities. It helps that the industry is staffed in such large numbers by women — simply because they are better communicators than men. Lastly, there is a great digital PR opportunity.


A recent report by Google said that 60 million of India’s 150 million internet users are women, who use the online medium to manage their day-to-day lives. The connected women are more affluent and younger, and the top categories they searched for were apparel and accessories, followed by food, baby care, haircare and skincare. Digital communications are growing to be PRled in India. The industry, wisely, invested early in digital competencies and has tasted great success in this area. If digital is the storytelling medium of the future, PR is the storyteller-in-chief.



Tomorrow: Monday, October 27: Teens – Dr Subho Ray and Sanjay Shah


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