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Marketing Matters: Understanding the Power of G2G

By: Alisa Marie Beyer
Posted: October 14, 2008, from the May 2006 issue of GCI Magazine.

One of the most interesting things about working in the field of marketing beauty products to women is how often daily life interweaves with what’s learned on the job. This is most evident when it comes to the role of women as word-of-mouth product ambassadors. Understanding the power of women listening to recommendations from girlfriends and also making their own recommendations is gaining importance for all beauty marketers.

The Most Important Question

Recent research shows that 64% of women recommend beauty brands to girlfriends on a regular basis, and 17% of women get beauty advice from their girlfriends. Yes, women talk and listen to each other. The relationship a woman forms with a brand is essential to its success because, by her very nature, she evaluates information and shares it with her peers and colleagues. All beauty marketers should work on understanding this concept and getting their beauty products into such “magical” influencers’ hands; then they can watch the word spread.

Girlfriend-to-girlfriend (G2G) communications are exerting an increasingly powerful influence on what is purchased. One reason is that women crave a sense of belonging; today, they identify themselves less with traditional demographics than they do with peers in their workplace, neighborhoods or communities—both real and virtual—and their group of girlfriends.

Women are talking, so the most important question a beauty marketer can ask is what a customer tells her girlfriends about you.

Why Women Talk

There are many motivations that drive women to shop, such as meeting a specific need or for the sake of the experience and relaxation. And there are very specific reasons a woman calls up her girlfriend to tell her about the latest lipstick color, perfume or skin care product that she has discovered. Women tell each other about what products they find and love at rates much higher than expected.