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Guys, When Marketing to the Female, Don’t Dumb it Down for Women, Man Up For Men


Kathy Oneto, Vice President of Brand Strategy at Anthem Worldwide will be speaking at the M2W (Marketing to Women) Conference in Chicago in late April. You do not want to miss it. She will be presenting findings from a study recently conducted by Anthem about:

Marketing to the True Motivations of 3 Genrations of Women

Below is one of the thought provoking papers she has drafted from the findings, titled “Who’s ‘Manning’ the House: Bridging the Gender Divide,” that she was willing to share exclusivly with us. In it Kathy explores the possibility that to solve the problem of marketing to women, just might require “reframing” the problem.  That is, marketers must understand what actually motivates the female purchaser. The study revealed:

  • 86% of women believe that women should be able to pursue their own personal motivations and be able to make their own choices and not be judged by them.
  • 60% of women believe that marketers don’t accurately represent women of today.

In speaking with Kathy, she suggested, “To market to women could mean including men. Instead of dumbing products and messages down for women – man up for men. Make housework a man’s job”

I love her direction here.  Read on for more insight. You just might be surprised to find what does motivate women.

Who’s ‘Manning’ the House: Bridging the Gender Divide

by Kathy Oneto, Vice President, Brand Strategy at Anthem Worldwide

It’s often debated who does more in the household, the woman or the man, but it’s not often reported why that is the case. Plus, most marketers simply focus on women because they control the majority of household spending. That says something in and of itself, but I wanted to know more – what might be causing the gender divide at home and what does it mean for marketers?

Despite news over the years that men have taken a more significant role in the household, women still do the majority of the work.

In 2008, Lisa Belkin reported in The New York Times that couples rarely shared housework work, regardless if they both worked or not. She interviewed Sampson Lee Blair an associate professor of sociology at the University at Buffalo who studies the division of labor in families who found that the workload remained at two-to-one, women to men, regardless of income.

Finally, The Shriver Report in 2009 found that 55% of women and 28% of men strongly agreed that women take on more responsibilities for the home and family when both work.

And why is that? A key factor is socialization.

A February 2011 study by Oxford University studied women and men’s household roles across multiple countries, including the United States, and showed that men are unlikely to fully share the work until 2050, nearly 40 years from now. Why this view? Because household chores are still broken into “women and men’s work.” Cultural attitudes, social policies, and social teaching still emphasize women’s role in the household.

But, come on ladies, we have to admit that those aren’t the only reasons for this continued inequality. There are some of us who actually enjoy cleaning, cooking, and taking care of the kids and value our role in the household. We actually want to exhibit some traditional ideals of the mom we grew up with. Plus, how many of us sigh and simply do the job ourselves because others just can’t meet our high standards and do it the way we want?

That’s what we discovered in a survey we conducted. We found:

  • 74% of women (and 80% of Generation X women) are actually motivated to make sure the household runs smoothly
  • 40% of these women also said that they found it hard to give up their standards for housework
  • 57% of women with children said they found it hard to accept how others care for their children when it differs from how they’d do it.

Belkin, along with other experts in the field such as Gail Collins who wrote, “When Everything Changed: The Amazing Journey of American Women from 1960 to the Present,” have reported similar findings.

That is, that women find it hard to compromise their standards.

In Advertising Age’s report, “The Realities of the Working Woman,” they also reported that women want acknowledgement of traditional values and being a mother and homemaker. Paco Underhill in his famous, “Why We Buy,” describes a wonderfully hilarious scenario in which after multiple attempts of having her husband pick out a selection of meat, the wife simply gave up and made her own choice.

To be fair, men have taken on a more prominent role in households and today have deeper relationships with their children than past generations. At the same time, the facts show that women’s role in the household has not shifted quite as much, even though more of them have taken on roles outside the home over the last four decades. Women could potentially resolve this by lowering their standards or delegating more, but that’s easier said than done. While it’s possible, it’s more likely that women will continue the juggling act of balancing demands on her time, while meeting her own standards and fulfilling her own motivations.

So, what does this mean for women and marketers?

First, instead of continuing to debate the matter on who’s doing more at home, consider how to help women meet their standards and deliver on their motivations to help the household run smoothly.

At the same time, with women busier than ever, convenience is paramount; efficacy delivered conveniently is the winning formula. Even better, perhaps marketers could actually resolve this for both men and women, bridging the gender divide.

Marketers could find that efficacious, convenient solutions work with men, as well, helping them easily do the work and deliver the results his partner desires.

Swiffer®

Take Swiffer®. They seem to have the right winning combination – efficacious solutions that are fast, fun, and easy to use. Plus, they offer technology and “tool-like” components that can appeal to men’s “Tim the tool-man”-side and look nothing like what his mom might have used. Solutions that bring all that together just might make men more apt to help out around the house.

Oxo

Another example, this time in the kitchen, is Oxo kitchen “tools you hold on to.” They also bring this winning trifecta – products that work really well, are easy to use, and have a tool-like industrial design that is gender-neutral and fits into any kitchen.

Dyson

Finally, consider Dyson, the “never loses suction” vacuum cleaner, that brings innovative design and efficacy to a household job that can cause unnecessary conflict in the home.

Household solutions that give her what she wants and also helps him do his part might actually bring some harmony to the home.

Could be a lot for a brand to deliver, but if brands can claim to offer happiness, why not a bit of couple’s therapy through the help of household solutions that help them balance all the demands while also meeting her goal of having the household run smoothly?

For marketers, the answer may just reside in resolving this conflict for both parties.

Again, to hear more findings from this astute study, Oneto will be speaking at the M2W Conference in Chicago, April 24-25.

Kathy Oneto is Vice President of Brand Strategy at Anthem Worldwide where she leads client and brand engagements across a range of industries from consumer packaged goods to retail to technology. Kathy frequently writes on the topic of women, having recently published a white paper, “Today’s Women: Newfound Power, Persistent Expectations.” Kathy graduated from the University of Virginia with a BS in Commerce and has an MBA from UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business.
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Marketers, 80 Percent of Pinterest Users Are Female. Is Your Brand There?

Pinterest, the incredibly popular online bulletin board/scrapbook/inspiration organizer now has more than 11 million unique monthly users. And according to recent numbers from Internet-monitoring firm comScore, it has more than doubled its audience over the past six months.

So, who’s using it? You guessed it. WOMEN. Eighty percent of Pinterest users are female and they are spending more time on there than Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ combined.

The rapid growth can certainly be attributed somewhat to a higher acceptance of social networks now. But keep in mind, there are thousands of new startups in the social arena. What makes Pinterest different? As noted in an article on Mashable, CEO and co-founder of Pinterest, Ben Silbermann said, “the growth has been organic: People would join, become proud of their collections and show it to their friends.” (what women want)

And according to CNN Tech, Silberman said the site will soon roll out new profile pages that have been redesigned to look “more beautiful” and to display users’ influencers more prominently.

Women are flocking to Pinterest and the infographic below reveals just how powerful it is, but more importantly, the opportunities it offers brands. 

80% Pinterest Users are Women

Stephanie Holland is President and Executive Creative Director for 
Holland + Holland Advertising,Birmingham, AL. Working in an industry that is dominated by men, she is one of only 3% of the female creative directors in the country. Stephanie works mostly with male advertisers, helping them successfully market to women. Subscribe to She-conomy by Email

Guys, Knowing That Women Are Your Market Is Only Half The Battle. Now, The Race Is On To Figure Out How To Connect With Her Effectively.


Video excerpt: Holland+Holland partnered with Porsche® to discuss marketing to women

Female car buyers are making up a larger customer base for some of the top domestic auto brands, but none approach the gains that Porsche has made with women this past year.

Of all automakers Porsche® has made the largest relative market share gains among women nationwide over the past year, according to an analysis from Edmunds.com, the premier online resource for automotive information. From January through August 2011 23 percent of Porsche buyers were female, compared to 19 percent during the same period last year. The growth accounts for a 21.1 percent proportional change, year over year.

Knowing that the female is your market is only half the battle and Porsche® Cars of America understands that.

Responding with effective product and marketing changes is what places them at the top. They get that all women are not alike.

Porsche® has not only added the Cayenne SUV and Panamera 4-door sedan models, they know that some women love their sports cars, too.

I was very fortunate for the opportunity to participate in creating one of the sales training modules titled, “Demystifying the Female Market,”  for the launch of the 2012 911 Carrera S. With more than 200 dealers across the nation on board to better understand the female consumer, Porsche® is most likely going to continue to speed past the competition when connecting with women.

And, since “Cars” ranked 2nd highest of product categories in which women are most dissatisfied, (according to to a 2009 study published in the book Women Want More by Michael J. Silverstein and Kate Sayre,) the automotive industry has vast opportunity to drive revenues up by marketing to women.

 But beware. It is not simply knowing that the female is your market that counts. You must listen to her before you can meet her needs.

______________________________________________________________________

Stephanie Holland is President and Executive Creative Director for Holland + Holland Advertising,Birmingham, Alabama. Working in an industry that is dominated by men, she is one of only 3% of the female creative directors in the country. Stephanie works mostly with male advertisers, helping them successfully market to women. Subscribe to She-conomy by Email

John Carter Goes to Mars. But Don’t Tell The Women

Below is an excerpt from an article in Newsweek & The Daily Beast titled, “Disney’s Quarter-Billion-Dollar Movie Fiasco.” In it, Chris Lee, examines marketing missteps for the not yet released movie, JOHN CARTER – originally titled, John Carter of Mars™.

“Although the character has been known as “John Carter of Mars” and was envisioned as a movie trilogy under that name, Disney marketers dropped the “of Mars” part because of industry-think holding that female movie fans are more likely to be turned off by such overtly sci-fi elements.” 

Right…… and I’m sure I won’t even notice the crater-like topography or the elusive Martians running around by the thousands, either.

According to an article by Nikki Finke in yesterday’s issue of DEADLINE:

Hollywood is in a tizzy over the early tracking which just came online this morning for Walt Disney Studios’ John Carter opening March 9th. “Not good. 2 unaided, 53 aware, 27 definitely interested, 3 first choice,” per an email from a senior exec at a rival studio.

This of course has led to plenty of finger pointing, talk of heads rolling and reportedly jobs already lost. But, the negativity has not been aimed at the movie itself.
 

The movie is actually getting rave reviews.

As a matter of fact, an early viewing for the press held in Arizona this past weekend has revealed accolades for the movie on Twitter. Disney had initially placed an embargo on tweets (SERIOUSLY?!) by the press attending the screening, but they lifted it yesterday–most likely in hopes of offsetting the lack of enthusiasm generated by poor advertising. (we can chat about the Twitter faux pas another day)
 

So, why the low tracking numbers?

Disney has revamped the marketing of the film from the name of the movie to the promotional trailer in a quest to appeal to the female audience – and failed. You might ask why they are chasing women with this sci-fi, comic book, super-hero, action-packed motion picture film in the first place. Because they need to sell lots of tickets.

And they know that women purchased 55% of movie tickets in 2009 and 49% in 2010. The also know that the number of tickets that “moms” control or influnce, increases that percentage substantially.

What they obviously do not know is how to connect with “her.”

According to Finke, another source revealed,

“It just came out. Women of all ages have flat out rejected the film.”

Of course what they mean is that women have rejected the advertising and trailer for the film. But if the trailer doesn’t sell, it means the same thing.

This is a text book case of marketers looking at women through stereotypical lenses. Which, as we have discussed, can be even more dangerous than not targeting them at all. In a botched attempt to engage women, Disney marketers have abandoned the fundamental significance of the creative concept of the movie, further alienating even the most loyal of fans.

They claim that women do not like “overtly sci-fi elements.” So, they solve this by taking the words “of Mars” out of the title? Okay, to begin with: It’s. A. Martian. Movie. Not to mention, it’s considered one of the landmarks of science fiction. Yet, they have decided to “hide” this to dumb-it-down for women? Taking “of Mars” out of the title degrades the creative genius of Edgar Rice Burroughs and the rich history of the John Carter of Mars™ series. Facts that would actually make it even more interesting to women by the way. A former Disney executive summed it up well when speaking with Lee:

“You take out ‘of Mars,’ you don’t tell where he came from? That’s what makes it unique!” a former Disney executive said. “They choose to ignore that, and the whole campaign ends up meaning nothing. It’s boiled down to something no one wants to see.”

And, what’s the deal with the trailer(s?)

Well, there are actually three trailers now, all listed and explained below. I would love for you to take a peek at them all and vote below on which one would entice YOU to go see the movie, John Carter (of Mars.)

1) The original Disney trailer released in July of 2011 

I understood it. It was engaging. The opening scene in the streets of Virginia, obviously in the early 1900’s, made the characters feel real. You discover John Carter has died. Or has he? No, he’s been transported into another time, an unknown place. Or is it? No, it’s Mars. You know, one of those little planets you learned about in grade school (even the girls.) He takes you on a journey, sometimes whimsical, often times dangerous but obviously heart-felt. A tired story of good vs. evil brought to life with imaginative characters, packed with action and adventure, love and fighting, winning and losing – all illuminated with spectacular special effects.

2) The new Disney trailer released in December, 2011

 This is the stripped down version of the original trailer that shows a lot and says very little. One can only assume so women wouldn’t know they were going to a sci-fi movie.

3) The trailer created by a fan posted February 2012

This trailer is fan-made in hopes of helping Disney sell the movie. It was tweeted by Andrew Stanton, John Carter’s Director and is now my personal favorite.

 

My advice to marketers? Take heed.

Transparency and authenticity are a must when marketing to women. To to dumb-it-down or to attempt  to trick her will most likely backfire in more ways than one.

 

My advice to Disney? Change the trailer. Today.

To get to Mars just might require taking a step back to go by way of Venus.

Stephanie Holland is President and Executive Creative Director for Holland + Holland Advertising,Birmingham, Alabama. Working in an industry that is dominated by men, she is one of only 3% of the female creative directors in the country. Stephanie works mostly with male advertisers, helping them successfully market to women. Subscribe to She-conomy by Email


Marketing To Women Is About Providing GOOD Content And Google Is Making Sure Of It

Good content continues to rule and there simply are no short cuts. Not only does it make sense to provide content relevant and helpful to your female audience, Google is actually rewarding you for doing so.

According to their press release an update to Google’s algorithms, will provide better rankings for high-quality sites—sites with original content and information such as research, in-depth reports, thoughtful analysis and so on.

Google depends on the high-quality content created by wonderful websites around the world, and we do have a responsibility to encourage a healthy web ecosystem. Therefore, it is important for high-quality sites to be rewarded, and that’s exactly what this change does.

So, be weary of SEO “experts” saying they can “get you to the top.” Although it may be tempting to take short cuts, Google is committed to giving their audience the most relevant answers to their queries as quickly as possible. This means constant monitoring and severe penalties for those trying to take the easy way out. Just ask JC Penny and Overstock.com.

When marketing to women, good content means understanding what they want and what they are looking for. Do you?


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Stephanie Holland is President and Executive Creative Director for Holland + Holland Advertising, Birmingham, Alabama. Working in an industry that is dominated by men, she is one of only 3% of the female creative directors in the country. Stephanie works mostly with male advertisers, helping them successfully market to women. Subscribe to She-conomy by Email

When Marketing to Women, Remember: Moms Are Not JUST Moms

We talk a good bit about how all women are not moms. But it would also be wise for marketers to remember that moms are not just moms. They have other interests, and that is true for mom bloggers as well as mom blog readers.

Yes, moms who blog are very influential and according to eMarketer, that trend is expected to steadily increase from 3.9 million today to 4.4 million in 2014. And yes, moms who blog have become important partners for many companies selling their products and services to the nearly 33 million moms who go online in the US.

But marketers should not assume that moms who blog only share motherhood issues, nor that the mom readers only want to read about motherhood topics.

Moms share a diversity of interests including travel, automobiles and personal technology.

Further, according to Debra Williamson, eMarketer senior analyst and author of the new report “Moms Who Blog: A Marketing Powerhouse,” moms are not interested only in being flooded with coupons and giveaways.

“Marketing via moms who blog requires regular participation,” said Williamson. “Successful marketers create real relationships with blogging moms and work hard to make it easy for moms to support their marketing initiatives. This means understanding that moms have different points of view and don’t always focus on the same topics.

Such outreach programs can reach millions of moms as the trends for mom readers continue to increase as well. Viewing moms for more than being a mom can add to your bottomline.


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Stephanie Holland is President and Executive Creative Director for Holland + Holland Advertising, Birmingham, Alabama. Working in an industry that is dominated by men, she is one of only 3% of the female creative directors in the country. Stephanie works mostly with male advertisers, helping them successfully market to women. Subscribe to She-conomy by Email

Guys, Women Are Not Inspired by Bathroom Humor

Yes… that “is” a shot of a rhinoceros peeing.

But wait, there’s more! For everyone to watch, Mohawk® Flooring subjected a piece of their carpet to two weeks of being walked on, peed on and yes… crapped on by Ricko, a 2,800 lb. African rhinoceros. All in an effort to prove how stain resistant and durable their new SmartStrand® product actually is. Seriously?

I saw this campaign for the first time last week. Even though it is about a year old, I think it’s a great example of taking a boyish obsession with bathroom humor to the next unfortunate level. Guys, women are responsible for more than 80% (some stats say 90%) of all flooring purchases and they simply are not as enamored with bodily excretions as you are. They for sure do not want to watch as animal feces pile up on carpet.

But I believe it is also an even deeper illustration of how men and women differ in retaining their thoughts. For men, simply cleaning it up also wipes the thoughts of dung and pee from their memory and all is good again. Yet, women will most likely retain the association as they process things on a multi-dimensional level. I am confident I will now always think of rhino dung when I think of Mohawk’s®SmartStrand® carpet. I cannot imagine how I would feel had I actually participated in viewing it for two straight weeks. As a matter of fact, after watching the final video I am not even impressed with how well they were able to clean the carpet, much less able to get the images out of my brain.

But I would like to hear your thoughts. I have included the four stages of the campaign that I found, below.

1) The teaser trailer
A video that reveals peoples’ reactions when they were told what Mohawk® planned to do with the carpet. Such as:

You are gonna what?!
That’s nasty!
Wouldn’t it be kinda messy?
eeeeeewwwwwwwww!!!!!
That is actually really gross.

Not exactly how I would want to leave my brand association hanging until the next update.

2) Introduction to the SmartStrand Challenge
Next, there’s an introductory video where Chip Wade from HGTV explains the SmartStrand® Rhino Challenge.

“We’re about to cover the entire enclosure with SmartsStrand® carpet and for 2 solid weeks, Ricko here is going to do “whatever it is that rhinos do,” on SmartStrand® carpet. Something tells me it won’t be pretty.”

Hmmmm… I wonder what rhinos do? Again… not really the image you want your brand to conjure up.

3) The best moments of Ricko on SmartsStrand® carpet
For two weeks you could go online and watch Ricko “do his business.” Here are the highlights and you get to see more than just peeing. I assume the sounds effects are a just a bonus in case you “miss” it.

Okay…as of now all all I can think about is how nasty that SmartStrand®  carpet has to be.

4) SmartStrand® Survived
Really? I must have missed it. Or survived for what? To be pulled up and thrown into the dumpster… yes. To be installed in my house? I don’t think so.

If at the end there had been a shot of pristine white carpet covering the entire floor, it just might have delivered the pay off.  I can only assume, that was not possible. As it is, there is nothing in this video that convinces me that all of the stains came up. It raises more doubt than confidence. At the end of the day I now connect SmartStrand® carpet and rhino excretions. Yuck!

But, again, I’d like to know what you think.


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Stephanie Holland is President and Executive Creative Director for Holland + Holland Advertising, Birmingham, Alabama. Working in an industry that is dominated by men, she is one of only 3% of the female creative directors in the country. Stephanie works mostly with male advertisers, helping them successfully market to women. Subscribe to She-conomy by Email