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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.

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

Guys, Be Wary Of Blaming Your Declining Sales Solely On The Recession.

Nearly a year ago, I was chatting with the owner of a retail flooring store. He shared that one of the national flooring industry associations had conducted research which revealed “women were their market.” He went on to say that the findings suggested flooring retailers need to better understand and cater to the female audience.

I thought to myself, “This guy gets it.”

I questioned how he planned to appeal to women. “Simple,” he answered. He would require all of his salesmen (yes, his sales staff is all male) to wear a shirt and tie – preferably a suit.

Why, you ask? So did I. And the answer? “To show who’s in charge.” (His wife feels like a man is in control when he is dressed in a suit.)

Ummmm….. what!?!

Fast forward to now and sales have continued to drop. Probably the economy, right? Possibly. But I am guessing there is an even better chance that the female audience is inadvertently telling him who is in charge.

Guys, be careful not to blame all of your poor sales on the economy. If your competitor is thinking like this store owner, you have an opportunity to steal market share now more than ever. But, if your competitor not only realizes he must target the female, but decides to understand her as well – watch out. You could find yourself all dressed up with no where to go.


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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