What women want, when it comes to mobile marketing

What women want, when it comes to mobile marketing

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Op-ed by Tracy Kunzi, Director of Creative and Client Services, Outspoken

Mobile marketing

It’s no secret that the purchasing power of women is significant, with 80 percent of women in the U.S. controlling the household budget and estimates of women’s spending power ranging from $5-$15 trillion annually. According to Nielsen, women are the dominant shoppers in every retail category aside from convenience stores and typically outspend men on every shopping trip.

Despite these long-standing realities of how U.S. households shop, research from DDB reported last year that men actually make more purchases on their mobile phones than women. But this isolated study should not lead marketers to thinking that mobile isn’t a good channel to reach female shoppers, as women spend significantly more time on their mobile phones at every other stage of the shopping journey.

For example, during the discovery stage of shopping, 32 percent of women use their smartphones to create shopping wish lists compared with 26 percent of men. During the planning stage, 23 percent of women collect mobile discount coupons, compared to just 14 percent of men. And this stands to reason when you consider that 57 percent of women view shopping as a form of entertainment.

So, what are the secrets of giving women what they want when it comes to mobile marketing?


Text message marketing is an optimal choice for retail marketers looking for an immediate, direct communication. As with all demographics, marketers should get to know their audiences and test out different times and frequencies to see what resonates best with each audience. For instance moms would prefer sometime in the late morning after they’ve gotten the kids off to school, while teenage girls might respond best right after school lets out.


Text message marketing is also perfect for those one-day only summer shopping sprees because it can have a deadline. If retailers want shoppers lining up outside their storefronts or waiting online the morning of their summer semi-annual sale, they could text out a quick “to expire” offer a few days before. The immediacy will drive sales and interest.

Rich Media

With social platforms like Pinterest, and Instagram on the rise, there is a rising demand for rich media that is visually stimulating and easy to consume. Mobile marketing is best when combined with rich media, and MMS messaging technology enables messages full of rich content – be that pictures, videos or audio – for the same price as sending a regular SMS message.

When fashion retailer Charlotte Russe launched its MMS video campaign targeting teenage and young adult females, it increased its in-store traffic by four times compared with results of email or other digital tactics. Its MMS messages were also opened more than 98 percent of the time compared with email, which only had a 10 percent open rate. Overall, MMS drove 10 times the ROI than email for redemptions and purchases in store. Now that’s a good reason to choose rich media.

So what type of rich media resonates best with women? Retailers could try sending a lookbook of summer fashion line, a video clip of their runway model or a certain seasonal trend that is on sale.

Special Offersmobile coupon

Since women are more interested in mobile coupons than men, give the women what they want. Twenty-three percent of women, versus 16 percent of men, use their phones to collect mobile coupons and more than 32 percent of women say  they redeem those mobile coupons in-store. Women not only enjoy shopping, but are considered smart shoppers. When combined with previous tips on timing and rich media, coupons’ response rates will sky rocket.


While mobile phones are used for shopping both at home and on the go, it is the in-store device of choice for most women. From locating the store, to checking prices, making lists and researching products, women rely on their mobile phones to enhance the shopping experience, and part of that means receiving special offers at the right place and time. Leverage location-based mobile marketing technology in tandem with text messaging to meet this demand. For instance, 47 percent of women would share their location information in return for a $5 store credit. Bump that up to a $25 store credit and 83 percent of women would give out their location.

Call to Action

As with any marketing tactic, it all comes down to a call to action. When targeting females, mobile marketers should use language that resonates best with that audience. For instance, female party dress retailer Camille La Ville signs off every text message with “XO, Camille,” and Charlotte Russe uses text abbreviations that resonate with their teenage female audience.

Especially with text message campaigns, retailers should ensure the call to action is clear and direct. In Bloomingdale’s MMS campaign leveraging wedding magazine The Knot, the retailer placed a QR code and distinct call to action to “Text MONIQUE to 21534,” so as to entice readers to learn more about a new product line. Readers had clear instructions on what they would receive – a video with more information on the product – and the process.

As retailers incorporate these tips this summer, they will better engage with female shoppers – their biggest shopping demographic – and ultimately increase ROI.

Main image credit: imageenvision.com

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