Posted by Brian Berg Google+
Women represent a huge opportunity for the automotive industry. Targeting women through an automobile mailing list is a lucrative venture for any auto dealership. In the US alone, 500,000 women are "in the market" to buy a car within a one to three month window. We know that women heavily influence car purchases (up to 85%) and yet 74% of women feel misunderstood by auto manufacturers. Additionally, women are becoming primary breadwinners in American households and make more buying decisions.
The changing market and growing prominence of women in leadership positions, including some at the top of the auto dealerships and manufacturers have transformed attitudes in an industry that historically catered to the most macho men. Dealers have responded to the changing demographic by softening their sales approach and simplifying pricing. Advertising campaigns are focused squarely on women buyers. Dealerships have emphasized messages of trust and comfort, often delivered by women, even as they diversify their workforce and simplify pricing to make the experience more inviting to women. The representation of women as a consumer group is making organizations pay attention.
Last year, women accounted for 4.8 million new vehicle registrations, or 40 percent of the market, according to registration data collected by IHS Automotive. That was up from 2.8 million, or 37 percent of the market, five years earlier. The growth of women drivers is leading to changes in advertising pitches; fewer bikini blondes appealing to male drivers and more female executives, to whom female buyers can relate and trust.
The Great Recession and near collapse of the American auto industry spurred manufacturers and dealers to broaden their perspective. Successful car dealerships are crafting their messages to women buyers. Developing a comfortable atmosphere based on respect and trust is key. And women trust other women. Customer testimonials and reviews written by women are important. So is featuring women in advertisements. But if you look across the entire automotive supply chain, what you're starting to see is more women across the board, from the manufacturing side to the distribution and sales side.
Last year, 27.4 percent of employees in auto manufacturing were women, up from 25.6 percent in 2004, according to the Labor Department. Mary Barra became the first woman to run a major auto manufacturer when she was promoted to chief executive officer at General Motors last year. Only a small proportion of dealerships, less than 3 percent, are owned by women in the United States.
Being accessible goes beyond advertising and extends to the sales floor. Women tend to do more research than men before walking into the dealership and know what they want. They are less interested in negotiating the sale than driving off with the car they want. So, a big challenge is diversifying sales floors. One in five dealership employees in the United States is female, but they tend to be concentrated in back-office positions or reception.
With more women making the key buying decisions in their households, failing to market to this robust group of consumers could mean your auto dealership is missing out on multitudes of sales. Targeting females auto dealers through automobile mailing list campaigns will get your message in the hands of a target group that is ready to listen!