Tuesday, May 19, 2009

More about eliminating "Marketing To Women"

Want some more evidence as to why we might want to consider eliminating the term "Marketing To Women"? Check out this piece in the NYTimes--and especially the comments!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Time To Retire "Marketing To Women"?

I move that we respectfully begin to retire the phrase "marketing to women". Let's phase it out in the next 18 months! Do I hear a second?

It's time to realize that the phrase "marketing to women" can be a turn-off, even to those who "get it", with respect to a balanced gender approach. It can and does alienate both women and men. With men, the possibilities of "turn-off" are obvious, and we have seen time and time again that women also object to marketing strategies aimed specifically at them.

For well over a decade now, "marketing to women" has served it's purpose as a mandate for the acknowledgment that women are important decision makers. What started (I believe) with Deborah Tannen's groundbreaking book You Just Don't Understand: Women and Men in Conversation, has expanded into a large group of experts labeled "marketing to women". And the recent recession has launched a new focus on women consumers.

But it's time to formalize the often used statement "that when you successfully connect with women, you exceed the expectations of men" (thus connecting better with EVERYONE!). No one drives this point home better than Andrea Learned with her manifesto for "Change This"and take on the evolution of Marketing To Women posted on Womenomics. She contends that the changes in consumer behavior have to do more with “brain traits" and less with "gender"---that the relational right side of the human brain, rather than the linear, fact seeking left side is now guiding the purchasing decisions of both men and women.

Finally, I offer this piece of evidence to support my case. In his recent book, Re-Render The Gender - Why The Vast Majority Of Advertising Is Not Connecting With Women - And What We Can Do About It, Thomas Jordan attributes a great deal of the blame for the disconnect with women to the fact that over 70% of all advertising is created by men. In addition, he states that the judges at creative award shows are overwhelmingly male.

Jordan proposes solid research as a method for convincing that group that they need to change their view. Solid research is persuasive, but eliminating the term "marketing to women" would be a great start towards creating a climate of willingness for them to listen. Even the most savvy and understanding ad guy has got to be getting tired of having to buy into a movement that seemingly ignors his gender.

It's time to make marketing more inclusive and using the term "marketing to women" does just the opposite. I'm really not sure of what to label the new direction. Say...how about calling it "Gendergraphics"!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Gendergraphics: The Evolution of Marketing To Women!

It's about time we had a formal identity for a discipline that focuses on the motivations, mindsets, usage patterns and attitudes of gender. A google search finds 27,000,000 million items for Demographics, 133,000 for Psychographics and 173,000 for Technographics. I'd say it deserves it's own term...wouldn't you?

My Journey In Gendergraphics

I've always been drawn to niches...hate being part of the pack! And believe me, in 1998, marketing to women was barely on the radar---a niche, at the very most. Andrea Learned was still 6 years away from publishing her groundbreaking book, "Don't Think Pink" and marketing to women was not taken seriously. I had read Deborah Tannen's book, You Just Don't Understand--Women and Men In Conversation, and became hooked on Gendergraphics. Next, I uncovered Judy Tingley, who was about to publish a book called Gendersell. In 1998, I scheduled Judy to conduct seminars for one of the largest dealership groups in Houston---Sterling McCall Auto Group. That was followed by a presentation by Judy to a group of 20 Infinti dealers in Phoenix. Over the years, I've kept a close eye on "marketing to women". I've started this blog because I believe that "MTW" has come to a turning point. The recession has brought a great deal of focus to this once unappreciated marketing dynamic.