If you’ve spent any time at all around the
tech industry in recent years, there’s a good chance that you’ve heard the
recent buzz around FemTech. Despite the fact that the popularity of the FemTech
sector has skyrocketed in the past few years, though, you might still be a bit
unclear as to what the hype is all about.
This article explores what the FemTech
industry is, the reasons for its recent ascension, and strategies for
penetrating this booming market.
What Is FemTech?
Simply put, FemTech refers to a vast and
growing constellation of online technologies designed to address and support
the unique health needs of women. These technologies include but are by no
means limited to health devices, wearables, apps, and websites that are geared
specifically to women’s physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
Health issues targeted by FemTech range from
fertility and maternity concerns to sexual health, menstruation, and menopause.
These technologies also support other aspects of women’s healthcare, including cancer
screening and prevention, mental healthcare, and women-focused support groups.
The Ascension of FemTech
It is not difficult to understand the immense
and rapid growth of the FemTech industry if one considers the long-standing
need the technologies have been designed to meet. Historically, women have been
a profoundly underserved segment of the medical community.
Healthcare practices have largely been
designed by and for men. This means that physical, mental, and emotional health
needs that pertain exclusively to women have been widely overlooked, devalued,
FemTech is designed to address the
marginalization that women have for too long experienced in the medical
industry by providing health technologies that women truly need, want, and care
about. For instance, the Natural Cycles mobile app was created to help
women track their cycles using algorithms based on the unique biorhythms of
each individual user. This gives women more effective tools for managing their
own reproductive health than traditional ovulation trackers. For women seeking
a more natural alternative to hormone-based oral contraceptives, FemTech such
as this can be an effective and empowering solution.
Penetrating the Market
Though the FemTech industry continues to grow
apace, that does not mean that success in the sector is assured. Indeed, if you
want to penetrate this promising market, you’re going to need a bit of
This includes ensuring that you deeply
understand the particular needs, wants, and expectations of your target market.
You also need to know where to find them and how to communicate effectively
with them once you do.
All of this, fundamentally, means that you
will be tasked with building awareness around a brand that FemTech
users will respond to. Social media can be an especially effective tool in this
regard. In fact, social media conversations surrounding FemTech
are prolific, as consumers use social media platforms to research, discuss, and
share information on new technologies.
The Opportunities and Obstacles
of Social Media
If you are looking to introduce a new product
or raise brand awareness for your startup, there are few more effective or
affordable ways than through social media posts. Best of all, if you find that
you’re getting a sluggish response on social platforms, you can leverage the
power of your internal network. Emailing post URLs to your internal team, for
example, can be a great way to boost the visibility of your content marketing efforts
and increase the number of likes, clicks, and shares your posts generate.
Image and video-focused platforms, such as Instagram, can be especially effective in reaching female
audiences and, thus, can be particularly advantageous for growth in the FemTech
market. The challenge, however, is that content restrictions on these platforms
can have a devastating impact on FemTech companies. Algorithms may block or
remove essential content on the grounds that it is “sensitive” or even
“offensive.” Terms that may be necessary to build the brand, describe the
product, or attract an audience may trigger the de-platforming of your company.
Images and videos used for product reviews or
demos may face a similar fate. Thus, until content moderators and industry
regulators find viable alternatives, FemTech entrepreneurs can find themselves
hamstrung in their efforts to leverage the most powerful channel for reaching
their target market. This also means that marketers and entrepreneurs will have
to be informed, strategic, and highly creative in determining what can be
promoted online and how.
The popularity and the promise of the FemTech
industry are immense. These ubiquitous and innovative technologies are at last
serving the needs of a population that has been grossly underserved by the
medical industry. FemTech is empowering women to take control of all aspects of
their physical, mental, and emotional well-being, including reproductive,
sexual, and gynecological health. This means that savvy marketers and tech
entrepreneurs ignore the industry at their peril. Succeeding in this market,
however, takes knowledge, commitment, and strategy, particularly in the era of
often intrusive and misguided content restrictions on social media.