Don’t pinkwash your fintech marketing: why you need to attract women in a more considered way

Lina Lukosiunaite, CRM manager at Block Earner, writes that fintechs need to market to women in a genuine way, not just with a dash of pink.

These days, it’s probably fair to say that most fintechs take either a gender-neutral or male-oriented approach to their marketing.

But female customer behaviours, needs and priorities are different to men’s. You only have to look at the results of a gender-neutral fintech sales funnel to see why. According to the Financial Alliance for Women, women are 27.6 per cent less likely to access fintech products and services than men. And so here begins the cycle — as these fintech companies target male customers who they believe are more likely to convert sales, fintechs are stuck in the habit of leaving women out of their algorithms entirely.

To turn the dial and work towards that 70 per cent revenue increase, we need to start by understanding the nuances of women as a customer base. It’s a fact that women are equally as likely as men to be early adopters, if marketing speaks to them — so time to ditch the urban male vibe for something that speaks to your greatest lost market.

Recognising diversity across the female demographic

As brands expand their outreach to women, they often consider them to be a homogeneous group, expecting one message to resonate with women all around the world. There’s a stark difference between the early-20s young professional from Melbourne and the conservative single mother in Perth, and they’re likely motivated to use your service for different reasons.

Rather, one’s desire to optimise their cash flow is less about gender and more about being human. You need to dig deeper to find out what motivates your target market. Narrow your marketing demographics before considering the requirements, desires, and triggers of the target audience. Attempting to sell to them solely as “women” is not an advisable long-term targeting strategy.

Part of this means dodging the greatest possible faux-pas: pinkwashing. Curvy shapes and florals aren’t necessary. This dated and lazy marketing tactic is most likely to create backlash rather than appeal, and looks especially patronising coming from a male-dominated industry. Instead, drive your campaign through messaging that recognises real issues women face. Female consumers want to be understood and offered genuine solutions that speak to their needs.

Authentically integrate women’s stories

How can you show that your brand supports women’s issues? By authentically talking about women’s stories. Nivea tugged on heartstrings with its social initiative titled “Mom’s Touch”, which told stories of extraordinary mothers. Rather than slapping a floral decal on their latest bottle, the campaign allowed Nivea to establish an emotional connection with their customers.

It’s just as easy to have this effect on your fintech’s clientele. For instance, it’s a much-overlooked fact that the majority of women are in charge of household finances, accoridng to HerMoney. Rather than prioritising visuals of young men in suits, your next advert could show a confident mother finalising her bills for the month, smiling as her children head to school books in hand. Not only do you champion authentic representation through your product here, you establish an emotional connection with women, showing a chance to nurture their families through financial empowerment. After all, The Clinton Global initiative uncovered that worldwide, women reinvest 90 per cent of their income into their families and communities, compared to men, who reinvest only 30-40 per cent. Don’t fight the trend — work with it.

Understand what drives women to buy

Women are relationship builders, so it’s no surprise that trust is one of the biggest factors influencing their buying decisions. Word of mouth recommendations, reviews, product information and social media are invaluable currency. In a recent study by Bustle, 81 per cent of female millennials said that social media was the best way for brands to reach them. In fact, more and more women are using social media’s online
marketplace features, while influencers are taking on a critical role in influencing purchasing decisions. And when navigating a highly male dominated market, they’re an indispensable means to cut-through and conversion.

Women also dominate the influencer marketing space. In fact, women accounted for 83.9 per cent of all ad posts in 2017. Naturally, women attract audiences of other women — though you don’t need a celebrity with 20 million followers to make your campaign fly. Often, micro-influencers and everyday brand customers are your best point of call. 76 per cent of individuals say that they’re more likely to trust content shared by “normal” people than content shared by brands.

Creating compelling content

According to a NewsCred study, 30 per cent per cent of women refuse to read content that doesn’t either entertain or inform, 60% of women will only share content that is thought-provoking and intelligent and 70 per cent of women will share content that makes them laugh.

Great, now you’ve captured her attention; but the journey doesn’t end there. With women being far more loyal customers than men, it’s necessary to drive sustained engagement to prevent leakage at further stages of the sales process — your tailored narratives cannot fizzle out after you’ve got her foot in the door.

It’s pretty simple; if your content isn’t entertaining or educational, don’t bother with it. Go beyond strictly product-focused content to include relatable spokespeople, authentic messaging and humour — and make your content an experience.

Unlocking the loyalty stage

Harking back to the principle of engaging content, consider gamification strategies. Think points-based loyalty programs, where women (and all customers, for that matter) feel your appreciation through VIP treatment, special offers and other benefits.

And finally, keep doing what you’re doing. Ensure your re-worked branding stays consistent; keep design principles and tone of voice uniform across your website, products and social media. Over time, people will develop a strong sense of what your brand looks, feels, and sounds like — building a concrete reputation that you can use to reach more women further down the line.

Lina Lukosiunaite is the CRM manager at Block Earner. 


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