By Shawn Kelly

Through my years in radio advertising, one thing has been constant. Women are in control. They make the final call of what, when and where to buy. They constantly shop for bargains. She is the one you must win over. Before you read any further you must remember that when an advertiser wants to target women, he or she is not just talking about soccer moms. As you know, women are single, married, divorced, widowed, homemakers, single moms and so on. They are different, yet the same. But where do you begin? As always, ask. Ask if your client's target is a married woman between the ages of 25 and 54. Is she on a tight budget? Is she in the upper, middle or lower range of income? You must ask questions before you start. Just as your station depends on demographics, so does the successful spot you are about to design. Find out who she is and what she does. This is very easy to do. If your commercial is targeting a single woman who works days and attends school at night, find one and do an investigation of the message your client wants to convey. I’m sure that whichever demo your client wants to target, you have that demo in your building or you know a woman who fits that demo. Get her views on the product. Ask why she would or would not purchase the product. Ask what the product would do for her. Will it save her time? Save her money? Is it worth the drive to the client's store to get the product if the same thing is offered a block from her house? (Remember, not every person in the city lives next door to your client’s store. Ninety-nine percent of your listeners will have to drive to get to your client's place of business.) Find out everything you can about the female you are designing the commercial for.

Now comes the tough part. How do you know what a woman wants? Listen. For years women have been telling men that we never listen. It’s true. We must listen and pay attention. JC Penny, Sears and Foley’s department stores do a good job at listening. The next time you hear one of their spots, listen to it. Who does it target? Women. Pay attention to how they do it. They target her needs. They sell the results of the product. They find out how their product would make her feel and roll with it. Ah! But the majority of their spots always deal with women, and their stores are always full of women. Why is that so? WOMEN SHOP! Sears is greatly known for tools. But they advertise around certain times of the year for the male, year round for women. Here are a few tips on writing for women.

1: Results: What can the product do for her now? What could it have done for her yesterday or last week?

2: Emotion: How is she going to feel when she hears the spot? Hit on one emotion to get her thinking about the results of the product.

3: Tell a Story: Make the spot interesting. A boring commercial will never get her thinking about the product.

4: Focus: Think of her and not the client. The client is not part of the story. Your listener is the star.

5: Time: How does this product save her time?

6: Voice: Do not scream at her. Get away from the high powerful booming voice. Regardless of what you think, yelling at her will not work. This is not a drag racing spot. Be kind. Talk nice and caring. Talk normal. Don’t put on your radio or announcer voice. Speak in the same voice that you use out of the studio. (I’ll speak about that in detail another time.)

If you want to know more about how a woman thinks and feels watch the cable network Oxygen or Lifetime. They are geared toward the female and quite entertaining. Pick up a copy of Women’s Day and browse through it. Ask questions. And ask a woman. Face it. If not for a woman, where would this world be?

I’ll leave the answer up to you.

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