Welcome back to The SKM Report, a bi-monthly marketing conference in your inbox – without the $2,000 entry fee or lukewarm coffee. With each edition, we focus on a zeitgeisty topic women care about, and how brands can get involved. Today? Healthcare. Let’s dive in 🏊…
PS...forward this to your work pals so they can
sign up here.
Congress didn’t require the NIH to include women and minorities in clinical research until 1993, meaning a lot of current medical science and practice is based on men. This is just one factor contributing to what experts call the gender health gap, where women’s symptoms are often misunderstood, misdiagnosed, or not taken seriously. Our State of Women survey confirmed that women are feeling it: 59% of respondents said doctors have either not believed them or ignored their needs.
In the last few years, the private sector has stepped up to offer women what existing medical systems often haven't. We talked to two femtech executives about the growing industry and what marketers should know about it.
Q: What are the biggest trends in femtech right now?
Karina: There’s a lot going on in wearables (both hardware and software) with more companies designing features specifically around women’s health. It used to be taboo to talk about your period, but now there are dozens of tech companies marketing features dedicated just to our cycles.
Companies such as Pvolve (fitness) and Elektra Health (digital health services) are designing experiences for women with menopause, another formally taboo and very underserved area that femtech is proudly taking on.
Aagya: Men and women may have different symptoms, responses to treatments, and risk factors for many conditions. With this knowledge, femtech companies are tailoring healthcare interventions and improving outcomes for women. We are excited to see innovations in areas like cardiovascular disease, mental health, fertility and pregnancy, and ovarian hormone health. Ovarian hormones impact more than your period and fertility, and Aavia is building the first hormone health planner, so our members can plan their workouts, social life, and more around their hormone cycle.
Q: What are the largest challenges facing femtech today?
Karina: Funding. While there is certainly more money than ever flowing into femtech and female led companies, I think more can be done here. There’s a great interactive infographic on TechCrunch that allows you to click on various years and see changes in investment in femtech companies. It’s eye opening.
Aagya: Limited research and research dollars available for women’s health solutions. Plus: People who do not have ovaries are controlling decisions and dollars for women’s health companies, and the politicization and criminalization of women’s health is driving fear, stigma, and shame.
Q: How do you stay motivated to push for innovation in a long-ignored, patriarchal space?
Karina: I like to look for white space. The most exciting brands and products to market are the ones that are innovating in categories with a large total addressable market (TAM) but historically lackluster innovation. Those two dynamics are a recipe for a BIG opportunity.
Aagya: Our superpower is being the end user and consistently working with our members and potential members. I have my personal health story and half of the world’s population is going through the exact same thing. This gives me grit to keep pushing to ensure we have the greatest impact possible on as many people as possible.
Q: What are some innovative marketing strategies that have been successful for your brand, or other femtech brands?
Karina: I think partnerships are an incredibly powerful and often underleveraged tool for marketers to help advance awareness and tell your story. Bringing your brand’s resources together with other like-minded companies has the potential to reach more people than going it alone.
Aagya: We’re not afraid to talk about periods, hormones, discharge, and poop. Our highest-performing content on social media has all been about topics that many find taboo. And building community and product in public. We talk with our members every day in the Aavia community forum, in our DMs, and in user interviews so we can build a product that they need and love. This has allowed us to truly understand their pain points and build a brand that looks and speaks like them.
Let’s take femtech marketing for a spin. Earlier this year LetsGetChecked, an at-home female hormone test, tapped theSkimm for help driving awareness and sales. Here’s a bit about our approach (and why it worked).
Top of funnel tip: Don’t write copy, write a (familiar) story. To introduce this service to our audience, we joined the body of voices speaking out about the problem it solves: that many of us with real, explainable symptoms often go a long time without a diagnosis. So we profiled Arden, a woman who experienced this firsthand, found help through LetsGetChecked, and even went to work there! Her story validated what so many women already know: that they aren't getting the information and care they need. Through solidarity, the campaign created an authentic connection with the brand and its mission.
Bottom of funnel tip: Don’t sell a product, sell a solution. Once we primed our audience to understand LetsGetChecked as a brand that solves a real problem, we showed how the service works and broke down the tangible benefits. One of our secrets? We keep the adjectives to a minimum. No matter how groundbreaking, best-in-class, empowering, or innovative something is…people want real talk, not fluff.
Whether your “water cooler” is actually a snack closet or a craftily-named Slack channel, gathering with colleagues to share recs, swap links, and talk shop is one of the best parts of work. Here are a few things we’re chatting about these days.
The influencer trap. You’ve already heard about the Shein PR trip. This article gets into why it’s often the hired content creators, not the brand, that end up taking the real heat when sh*t hits the fan.
Our flats era. In 2023 we declare: no more climbing the ladder in uncomfortable shoes. So our commerce editors tested out Insta-famous flats to find out if they’re office-worthy.
Tween girl summer. If you want to know what’s trending next, ask someone younger than you. This article breaks down why you’re seeing tween style everywhere, and why this demo has more influence than ever before.
#ShowUsYourChildcare. In more serious (and very important) news, research shows that our country’s childcare crisis is pushing women out of the workforce and forcing them into debt. So theSkimm partnered with Moms First to launch an initiative calling on companies to speak up about how they support their employees and their families. Want your company to get involved? Find out how here, or get in touch with your Skimm account executive.
That’s all for now. May the rest of your summer be met with OOOs that allow you to circle back and jump on a Zoom when it’s t-shirt and jeans weather.
Copyright (c) 2023 theSkimm, All rights reserved.
Our mailing address is
theSkimm Inc. 53 W 23rd Street, Floor 8
New York, NY 10010, United States
Want to change how you receive these emails?
Update your preferences or unsubscribe from the SKM Report here.