Rural Tourism Marketing Tip: Know What Women Want

by Joanne Steele on July 6, 2010

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Paco Underhill, noted marketing expert spoke on Tuesday’s Talk of the Nation on NPR about his new book, What Women Want: The Global Marketplace Turns Female Friendly.

Rural tourism businesses need to take note. Anyone who has read this blog, signed up for my e-book, Marketing For Free in 2010 or heard me speak knows that I constantly stress that our ideal customer is a 42 year old woman. NOTE: Sign up for my e-book in the big orange box next to this post.

  • She researches and books travel for her family and herself.
  • She goes on trips with her friends or books getaways for herself and her husband.
  • She is looking for renewal, time to connect, safety, new experiences, education and discovery and authenticity. Things that small towns and rural areas excel at.

According to Underhill’s research, for the first time in the history of the world, the earning power of women under 30 exceeds men of the same age in urban American centers!  That’s getting pretty close to the age of our 42 year old travel decision maker.

What should you be doing to attract women to your business and your rural tourism town?

1. Stress the things about your town and business that are important to women – safety, hygiene, connection, control, discovery.

2. Realize that a pink version of what you do isn’t going to make the sale. If you listen to the NPR segment with Paco Underhill you’ll hear examples of women’s frustrations with being talked down to, having to make due with tools and equipment sized for bigger, heavier users, and being insulted by equipment and services that are painted and packaged for women that doesn’t enhance their skill and success.

3. Understand that marketing to women is selling to a whole group – her friends, her family and her spouse or significant other. She is a primary travel decision maker these days, and your ability to speak to her needs gives you access to her whole extended circle for friends and family.

Learn how Idaho, US is marketing their state to decisionmaking women:

What Idaho Can Teach Rural Tourism Businesses About Focusing On Your Ideal Customer.

Here are some ideas for crafting your marketing message to speak to your ideal women customers:

Is Your Rural Tourism Business Website a Marketing Asset or Liability?

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