Leverage Prez Hopefuls’ Understanding Of Women To Increase Your Nonprofit Marketing Impact

Leverage Prez Hopefuls' Understanding Of Women To Increase Your Nonprofit Marketing ImpactThe current presidential campaign madness is serving up lots of insights into effective communications.

I found Linda Hirshman’s article in Sunday’s New York Times Magazine on how gender influences political choices intriguing, both as a citizen and as a nonprofit marketer. Hirshman’s frame, based on lots of poll data, is: Women, who vote in greater numbers than men do, are either voting for or against Hillary Clinton because she is a woman, and being able to appeal to female voters could be the key to her victory or loss.

Here are some outtakes on why that’s so, and how those insights can strengthen your nonprofit marketing to women:

  • Premise: Women vote to protect their interests (men vote because they enjoy politics)
    • How to work it: Noted psychologist Carol Gilligan says that women are powerfully motivated by their interests (“family, education, household, health care, war and peace, economic  opportunity”) and if you can engage them, you’re gold. Relate your issue to women’s interests, but make sure you know what you’re talking about. Test, test, test.
  • Premise: When a women holds office or runs for office, other women are more likely to be engaged in politics. Also, fewer women turn to media outlets with mainly male sources.
    • How to work it: Focus campaigns to women on women — org leaders, program participants, etc. You’ll be more likely to engage women audiences.
  • Premise: Women are more likely to have an open mind.
    • How to work it: Considering breaking multi-part marketing campaigns into more drops (via mail or email) to women. Keep trying to approach the same offering, issue or ask from different points of view.
  • Premise: Women network, organically, so already have a network (or two, or three) in place. That goes for candidates, but also for their constituencies/supporters.
    • How to work it: Pitch your “forward-to-a-friend” and other viral campaigns more specifically. Just saw a new novel marketed to women with a “buy one, get one for your best friend free” offer. These relationships count, so make use of them.

I’ll keep you posted on more presidential tips for engaging women, and other groups. Do you have any to share? Please email them to me today.

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Nancy Schwartz on February 7, 2008 in Campaign Marketing Models & Tips, Nonprofit Communications, Specific Audience Segments, Strategy | 2 comments
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  • Anita Schillhorn van veen

    “Women, who vote in greater numbers than men do, are either voting for or against Hillary Clinton because she is a woman.” – I don’t think this premise is true at all, nor necessarily the underlying premise of the article. The power of this primary season thus far is that women – and men – are not voting solely on identity politics, but are voting on issues, vision, and leadership. The idea that women are voting solely on gender is reductive, harmful, and is not what is playing out in the primary season thus far at all. The article, however, offers much more nuanced views of women as a voting bloc – views that illustrate women as intelligent, rational, and thoughtful voters rather than identity-driven voters whose votes are a referendum on Senator Clinton as a woman.

  • Joe Margolis

    I once read a book entitled EVEolution. One of the main ideas was that women make up somewhere in the range of 79% of the purchasing decisions in US households. Because of this fact, the book advocates marketing to women as more than a good idea but essential to success.
    EVEolution advised many strategies that are at least similar to the suggestions of your blog if not the same.
    One of the main takeaways from the book is that women like to join and become a part of things. Further, an apt marketer should harness this desire towards selling products and services. When I worked for the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer, we encouraged our participants, mostly women, by reminding that they would not be alone in their effort to meet the $1800.00 fundraising goal.
    Rather, they we’re joining a greater cause and thousands of others just like them who were committed to ending breast cancer. There was definitely a focus on nurturing a sense of camaraderie among the participants from the initial sign up all the way to closing ceremonies.
    I think as a marketing tactic honing in on the desire to be a part of something is very effective.
    Good blog on a very interesting compelling topic.
    From my experience, successful groups must definitely listen to women and hone in the specific needs of this vast majority demographic.

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