When your target leads are women business decision-makers, it’s not a huge stretch to try and consider workplace gender issues, especially when you think tackling these can help you better understand and engage your leads. Be warned, though, that dwelling too much on things like these can backfire on your campaigns.
The most powerful person in the world right now is actually a woman. Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen heads an institution that sets policies affecting not only American’s pocketbooks but everyone else on the planet. This, however, isn’t a sign of the times for women in the workplace, many of whom are still being held back in their careers, and many of whom are probably your prospects as well.
It’s in building buyer profiles that issues like workplace gender disparities come into view. A good buyer persona oftentimes calls for finding out such traits about your target buyers as their career goals, professional concerns, and personal motivation. Although gender issues may not be what keep your prospects up at night, these factors do tend to affect their decisions.
But don’t get excited. A hot-button topic like workplace gender inequality is a very tricky thing to touch in B2B marketing. It’s very easy to overdo it and make a mistake like…
Unless you’re selling something gender-oriented like coaching for women executives or workplace diversity consulting, it makes little sense to directly emphasize gender gap issues as felt pain points. Yes, personal and professional concerns do form a big part of your buyers’ values, but it’s a real business need that’s going to shape their buying decision. Even if you only consider this as a branding tactic, overemphasis is likely going to cause mistrust.
Every time you interact with a prospect, both of you know there’s a thin line you should avoid crossing at all costs. With a sensitive topic like workplace gender inequality, it gets harder not to overstep this line. Prospects are naturally going to ask about your motives for bringing this up, so you better have a good reason for doing so. Keep in mind it’s not what you say that matters in marketing; it’s what they hear that counts.
When marketing to women, many B2C marketers unfortunately still rely on the ‘pink it and shrink it‘ approach. This is based on the flawed stereotype that women buy things solely based on color and size. However, this line of thinking isn’t limited only in the B2C realm. Some B2B marketers are guilty of falling back on stereotypes when pitching to women decision-makers as well. With an issue as complicated as workplace gender gaps, the tendency to oversimplify things isn’t all that remote.
Let’s flip number 3 upside-down and think about what happens when talk of gender issues actually complicates your marketing message. That’s also a real possibility to watch out for since it could affect both you and your prospects. Some people enter a state of analysis paralysis when faced with an overwhelming amount of things to consider all at once. You don’t want prospects to get bogged down in decision-making limbo while, at the same time, you want to be able to respond to opportunities without fear of alienating them in the process.
So, in your marketing campaigns, the best way to address a prospect concern like workplace gender gap is to really be subtle about it. Don’t turn it into an obvious attempt to please your female prospects because that’s never going to work — unless you’re pitching a solution to that problem. Think of knowing the issues that your leads experience as a way to know them better — as a person. At the end of the day, it’s the person that counts, not the demographic.
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