Since Montgomery Ward began their catalog sales in 1872, direct mail marketing has become one of the most powerful and lucrative ways to reach consumers. As digital marketing continues to expand, direct mail has taken on the classification of “traditional,” along with television and radio advertising.
During this discovery of new and faster ways to reach the buying public, the word “traditional” has somehow developed a negative connotation. In reality, no other marketing outlet provides the conversion rates you can experience with direct mail. The world is definitely changing, along with the very definition of traditional, but direct mail is still the best way to reach consumers—especially women, it seems.
Changing the Definition of Traditional
Epsilon’s 2012 study regarding consumers and their marketing channel preferences showed that women are more likely to trust direct mail—whether addressed or unaddressed—when gathering information. In a “traditional” atomic family, this information might not have changed much. Remember, though, that tradition doesn’t always apply.
Women have become the primary decision-makers for most household purchases, from healthcare to groceries to automobiles. In fact, women are responsible for 85% of household purchases, yet a staggering 91% of women feel that marketers don’t understand them.
Why Female Consumers Matter
The traditional family of the 1950s looked something like this: breadwinner father, stay-at-home mom, and 2.4 kids. The women were the ones checking the mail and reading the catalogs, but they weren’t the ones controlling the household budget. All of that has changed.
Today, 40% of households with children under the age of 18 have female breadwinners. The list of Fortune 500 and Fortune 1000 companies with female CEOs tops out at 51—for now. Do you think these women have relinquished the purchasing power within their households? Even those who don’t make the final decisions still influence purchase choices.
Where Women Really Rule
Believe it or not, women either purchase or influence the purchase of around 80% of vehicles in the United States and make over 65% of the service and maintenance requests for these vehicles. In total, women spend over $200 billion per year on their cars, whether fixing their current ones or buying a new vehicle. In spite of these facts, 75% of women say car marketers just don’t understand them.
The healthcare market is in a similar situation, with 80% of consumers controlling health care purchases and decisions. Regardless of the fact that women are the primary decision-makers when seeking healthcare for self and family, these women—66% of them, to be exact—feel that healthcare marketers miss the mark every time.
Drawing Your Conclusions
With so much spending at stake, can you take a chance on making a major marketing mistake? These same women who believe the healthcare and automotive industry don’t understand them have stated clearly that they still trust traditional marketing through direct mail. They have handed you one clear way to reach them. Are you ready to explore the power of direct mail marketing?