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Marketing to the Female “CFO”

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Women have long been considered the CFOs of most households. Often, they are the financial decision makers and managers for their families. As such, experts have weighed in on the female mindset as it relates financial marketing:

Women are more receptive to “relationship” banking
Unlike men, women are far more likely to prefer banking with a single institution. That’s good news if you want to hold onto a banking relationship under the decision-making eye of a woman and helpful news about setting realistic expectations if you set out to steal share from competitors.

Media Logic’s own research and experience in marketing financial services to women indicates women – particularly affluent women – are open to conversations about shifting a banking relationship. The way in, therefore, is persuasive messaging with a call-to-action that asks for a conversation. That approach may be more effective than offering bounty – incentives, bonus points, discounts and offers – for a specific action.

Women want to feel rewarded for their loyalty
Start with acknowledging the duration and depth of the banking relationship you have. Keep in mind that the factors influencing female loyalty are less dependent on price and more dependent on quality of service, rewards and bank actions that communicate their value as a customer to you.

Female CFOs want excellent online budget/management tools
It simply makes sense that with the responsibility of fiscal management comes a need and expectation. Look to emulate tools and services the segment will appreciate and customize your marketing to this audience. Both PNC (targeting young families with female CFOs) and Citi (targeting professional women with relationship-focused efforts) are doing this well.

Women are sensitive to visuals used in marketing
And those sensitivities vary based on age. Discussions on images used to portray women are very much the zeitgeist. One initiative to improve upon the current lackluster choice of imagery is the newly created Getty “LeanIn.org” stock photography collection in partnership with Sheryl Sandberg’s organization.  There’s been much press on this initiative and an interesting back story via the New York Times.

If you have any bit of an interest in marketing to women, consider following the work of  Holly Buchanan – expert, author and blogger via Marketing and Selling to Women. She has conducted research specifically on imagery used in financial services marketing featuring actual in-market examples.  Here’s an example: test your own knowledge and weigh in.  Which images below did better with women in general, women under 50 and women over 50?

images of couples in financial services marketing to women

images of groups in financial services marketing to womenWhat were Holly Buchanan’s findings?

  • Women under 50 did not have as negative a reaction to the subservient couple images  shown above – where the female is positioned below or behind the male figure – as did the over 50 group.
  • Mutli-generational images/family  were the most preferred by both segments.
  • Multi-generational group of three women ranked second.
  • Professional women (not shown) images ranked third.   
  • Couple images ranked fourth but only when positioned as equals.

To read more about these findings and imagery in financial services advertising targeting women, visit Holly’s “Women and Finance Survey: What Marketing Images Do Women Prefer?

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