If you’re reading this, I assume you are or want to be in the difficult business of marketing divorce. This is a beginners guide, but some of you veterans out there obviously need a refresher in the basics. For those new to the topic, I’ll point out that this is specifically about selling divorce to women. No one sells divorce to men; that would be in poor taste.
Many of you are no doubt aware of the troubling trend line above. As divorce sellers we have our work cut out for us. We are being squeezed between two negative trends. Not only is the rate of divorce declining, but our target market is shrinking as well. Try as hard as we might, we can’t sell divorce to women who aren’t married:
Step 1 for all of us needs to be to invest in creating the future crop of divorcées. I know this isn’t as glamourous as selling divorce itself, but if we fail to keep up the pressure here eventually there will be no married women left to sell divorce to. This is generally outside the scope of this guide, but you can find some excellent examples here, here, and here.
As I said above, many of you need a refresher on the basics. Too often those selling divorce get caught up thinking only about the selling points:
- The feeling of power which divorcées initially experience.
- The near universal assurance of child custody. (Summary, Full Analysis).
- Divorce Fantasy.
- Feeding choice addiction.
- Financial gain.
- Her friends egging her on.
The above is a pretty compelling package. When it comes to divorce, all of the legal and social incentives line up in favor of the wife. So why then is the rate of divorce per 1,000 married women declining? If anything, the incentives over the last 20 years have been increasing. We have no one to blame but ourselves. Our message has been slowly losing its effectiveness. This is proven by the fact that the percentage of divorces initiated by women has been slowly declining over time, as the chart below from the NCHS Monthly Vital Statistics Report shows:
As you can see, while we are still overall quite successful at selling divorce to women, over time we have been slipping. Why is this? The answer is that over time more and more women have become aware of the full effects of divorce and the harm this causes themselves and their children. Like many other marketers, we find ourselves trying to sell something which the target audience all too often already knows is the wrong thing to do. Fortunately for us, our target market is one of the most gullible in existence. The key to success is to understand the valid objections married women have to divorcing, and assisting them in rationalizing these objections away. Here is a list of the most common concerns women have about divorce, in no particular order:
- They will likely lose the best friend they ever had.
- They will cause great harm to their kids.
- Morality (they made a promise in front of friends, family and God).
- Loss of financial security, especially in retirement.
- The bleak dating/remarriage market for divorcées and older women in general.
- The risk that they will experience health problems and not have a partner to assist them.
- The physical vulnerability experienced by single women.
- The likelihood that she will be happier if she remains married.
This has been part 1 of a 2 part course on selling divorce. See also: