By 2030, the FemTech market value will cross $48.5B; the evaluation reflects the currently unmet needs for products and services that contribute to women’s health and wellness. FemTech refers to end-to-end technical solutions that exclusively address female health needs, including diagnostic tools, software, mobile apps, and wearables.
Unfortunately, the promise of FemTech meets digital marketing challenges. For example, Facebook red flags SexTech products due to taboo pleasure associations without acknowledging that SexTech is an integral part of the healing process for many women who have had traumatic sexual experiences. ..who have had traumatic sexual experiences. But it’s not just SexTech ads that get rejected, so do vaginal hygiene, breastfeeding, and post-vaginal birth recovery. These ads do not encompass content related to sex but are perceived as inappropriate based on the over-sexualization of women’s bodies. Misconceptions of taboo subject matters and steep product education curves mean that companies’ ability to marketing on Big Tech platforms is sometimes limited.
We’re alive in a time where FemTech entrepreneurs are owning the conversation and destigmatizing what was previously prohibited. Where? Clubhouse, a new audio-chat platform with 1.3 million app installs worldwide and a $1B evaluation on its own.
The popularity of Clubhouse, an invite-exclusive audio-chat social platform, is the newest microphone and stage for health innovators. In Clubhouse rooms, FemTech entrepreneurs and groups, including FemTech Focus, meet from all over the globe. The unique environment of Clubhouse is a prime place for FemTech companies to market, develop tech, and shape the conversation themselves.
After launching a company and aggressively fundraising, entrepreneurs aim to grow, scale and market to their customers. With traditional digital marketing channels, FemTech collectively faces limitations due to censorship and restrictions in marketing anything to do with sexual wellness. In a space where “the more you spend, the more you get,” business owners are regulated to growing organically and risk censorship.
When Colette Courtion, Founder and CEO of Joylux, attempted to advertise on Facebook and the ads stopped. She received the rejections after advertising products for vaginal atrophy. The product helps women with incontinence, vaginal dryness, and other conditions related to aging and giving birth. The Joylux product resembles a vibrator, and Facebook mistook the product as a vibrator. Despite changing the ad’s content, Facebook disapproved some ads but not all ads.
The Joylux ad’s descriptive copy read as, “VFit was designed by an OB/GYNS and a team of women who, together, intimately understand the importance of pelvic floor wellness. #getvFit” The ad campaign never ran. Unfortunately, the assumptions and learning curve are continually common in FemTech marketing.
Uqora‘s Founder and CEO, Jenna Ryan faced similar strife when advertising on Facebook. Her company, which targets women with urinary tract infections (UTIs), faced rejection when attempting to post about bacterial vaginosis. The post in question asked, “Can BV (bacterial vaginosis) be the cause of your recurring UTIs?” with featured a photo of a man and woman’s feet in bed. The revised post, featuring more subtle imagery, was subsequently flagged by Facebook and taken down.
A common thread between Joylux and Uqora is the misconception of the product and the limited ability to explain in more than the limited advertising space. A notorious learning curve exists in FemTech. Brands must explain the product with the added hurdle of dispelling myths surrounding the product solves’ problem.
Enter Clubhouse. The platform is built and structured to encourage conversation–which works to FemTech’s advantage. It’s easy to switch from room to room, taking part in discussions on the virtual stage once allowed by moderators.
At the time of this writing, four FemTech groups exist on Clubhouse, including FemTech Focus. FemTech companies capitalize on the environment by making professional relationships, culling together resources for worldwide supply-chain distribution, vetting venture capital options, influencer programming, and connecting with others in FemTech.
With Clubhouse, FemTech entrepreneurs and innovators market beyond 280 character limits. The platform is a content-first forum where people generate content by only speaking, the simplest and most productive method of talking to the crowd.
Every week, FemTech entrepreneurs record podcast sessions, venture capitalists host FemTech-specific pitch competitions, serial entrepreneurs host office hours, and medical practitioners in women’s health host clinics (including Dr. Julie Hakim). Why? The lack of walls facilitates a two-way dialogue, bypassing a hollow product description and a subsequent dismissal. Conversations occur in rooms without time limits, providing plenty of time to work past the education curve and make a beeline towards the product promotion.
On Clubhouse, FemTech companies–descending in rooms from folks all over the world–are showing that the slice of the Venn diagram where SexTech, FemTech, health, and wellness overlap. These innovators understand that, for marketing and communication, this is the place for cultural conversation. Conversations allow for women’s products and services to have a bigger platform than a year ago. It’s opening new ways for customers, patients, brands, companies, investors, and entrepreneurs to discuss menopause, vaginal hygiene, uterine health, breast health, and sexuality.
The megaphone of standing on-stage, or the power of sitting in the audience absorbing information, mainstreams the narrative around women and health. In open rooms, for anyone to join, audience members leaving FemTech rooms are talking about Clubhouse as a space to meet, learn, and get shit done. Women, and allies, are creating a space on Clubhouse instead of working around rejection in digital marketing.
Femfans who have been given access already feel like being exclusive and therefore like to share the experience with the FemTech community, allowing other users to join the app as they too want to gain social value.
Given the promise of growth in FemTech and the advancement on Clubhouse, we all need to pay attention. Women’s health and wellness is everyone’s health and wellness.
With $50 billion on the table, you’d be smart to tap in.
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