Advertising dollars targeting women consumers break down by media. Television advertisers spend a different percentage of their marketing dollars on women buyers than newspapers and magazines. Small businesses that haven't considered marketing specifically to woman might want to think about a target strategy: Women buy more than 80 percent of all U.S. goods and services.

Advertising Dollars

The percentage of advertising dollars used to attract female consumers varies by company. The annual New York Women's Expo is an example of how an organization spends its advertising dollars targeting woman. Radio ads make up the bulk of the organization's $75,000 advertising budget, at 40 percent. Local radio stations in the Albany, NY, area run the ads, which target 18- to 64-year-olds. Television ads on local stations come in second, at 25 percent. Billboard's make up 15 percent of the organization's budget. Ten percent of the budget goes to print ads in local newspapers. Internet advertising with Google Adwords, Facebook and email blasts accounts for 5 percent of the budget. The Expo spends another 5 percent of its budget pitching to vendors through the Internet, posters and ticket giveaways.

Buying Power

Globally, women account for $20 trillion in annual consumer spending. Most of the income growth in the U.S. during the past 15 to 20 years is attributed to women, according to the consumer specialist firm Nielsen. Women are earning more as they become better educated, and are expected to make more than men by 2028. Young women already have surpassed young men in earnings. Women also can be invaluable customers; 92 percent tell others about deals and items they find.

Buying Preferences

Buying preferences set women and men apart. In a 2009 online interview with "Advertising Age" magazine, Bridget Brennan, author of "Why She Buys," said that women don't just shop for themselves, they also shop for others. Ms. Brennan said that women want the items they buy for others to be useful and have value. Women also look for practicality. They might consider whether an HDTV can comfortably fit into their living room or whether it has enough remote controls for others in the household. Since ambiance is important to their buying experience, women pay attention to details such as how well shelves are stocked, light displays and how restrooms are maintained.

Marketing Mistakes

Ads aimed at women often pander to stereotypes. Using the color pink to market goods to woman is one example, according to Ms. Brennan. Pitching high-tech products to only men is another. Women not only buy high-tech goods, they buy more than men. Half of the traditional "men's commodities," such as cars, computers and electronics, are women's purchases. Ads featuring women as nude or scantily attired sexual beings or as objects of violence don't play well with female consumers.

Marketing Strategies

The Internet has given small businesses, including brick-and-mortar enterprises, a chance to compete globally with large companies. The Internet also is where small businesses can find women consumers. Ads with general appeal to women and men work best when they connect with peoples' identities and interests, such as investing or horseback riding. Ads targeting women should work similarly by offering reliable, useful information. Seventy-five percent of women use the Internet to help them become informed consumers. Women aren't simply a "niche" or "specialty" market segment; they're more than half the population and therefore offer a fair rate of return on businesses' advertising dollars.