It's Wednesday and a lot has been happening out there in the foot-world that will influence your ability to market to Jane online. Here are some news items worth looking into:
At USAToday we learned that 1.6 million women are suing Wal-Mart in an Historic Class Action Suit:
"A sex-discrimination lawsuit against Wal-Mart Stores that was certified as a class action Tuesday could have ramifications in an industry where Wal-Mart is viewed as a leader."
"The lawsuit, the largest private civil rights case ever, could prompt some companies to analyze their own pay and promotions practices to be sure they're not vulnerable to similar claims."
How does this news flow with Wal-Mart's homey, folksy commercials where actual (?) employees talk about their positive experiences working at Wal-Mart? Jane thinks this bears scrutiny because she is into "equal treatment under the law" but the truth is, the Internet is opening up more avenues for her to browse when she shops, and Wal-Mart is just one of many places she may visit when she's in the mood.
From Presentations.com comes this illuminating article by Dave Zielinski; "From the Playground to the Podium," about gender stereotypes and the differences between men and women who speak in public:
"Not so long ago...if you were a man, you got instant credibility points. If you were a woman, what you wore supposedly mattered a great deal, and you had to overcome the lingering suspicion that because you were a woman, your credibility and authority had to be proven."
Jane won't argue with this statement from paragraph two:
"A woman's style of communicating--consistent eye contact, taking the emotioal temperature of a room, the use of more-inclusive language, sensitivity to the audience's needs and putting those needs before one's own ego, etc. -- [is] the model to which we should all aspire."
In a recent post I encouraged companies to break out of the business mold of holding content to a strict, This is what we do, format. In fact, I suggested posting recipies on one's website, to attract Jane and Jill and even Sally. This report from The Center for Media Research has some good stats on Food and Cooking Sites, as well as Demographics on which gender frequents food and cooking sites:
From Nielsen/Netratings NetView we learn that for the week ending June 6, 2004, the demographics for the food and cooking category lay out as follows:
Men: 6, 478
Women: 11, 709
The highest numbers come from the 25-49 year old age group. However, respondents who answered the age question as 45+ or 55+ total 11,994, an overlap of the 25-49 year olds, but still impressive. Guess folks like food. Guess Jane, especially, likes food. Get your Mom's or Grandmom's favorite recipe for potato salad, or shrimp salad, or fruit salad up today! Mmmm! Mmmm! Good! (all due respect to Campbell's Soup.)
Women on the Razor's Edge: from this article "Cannes reflects women's journey in marketing" at USA Today we learn that women are moving out of the personal hygiene space, out of the toys and flowers space (all respectable and exciting places to be, by the way) and into the world of marketing male products. Traitors? I should say not! Jane is excited by learning more about the male mind. These women are trailblazers in much the same way the boomers were--they're not willing to settle for stereotypical appearances. The article states that "women marketers say they have an edge because they listen to consumers and craft a message that speaks to both men and women." Where have we heard that before? I think it was in the Presentation quote above.
Here are some smart women making a go of it in the inner sanctum, formerly open only to men:
Marketing Chief for Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep brands: Julie Roehm
Senior VP of Global Communications at Hewlett Packard: Allison Johnson
Executive VP, marketing, at ESPN: Lee Ann Daly
First woman VP of marketing for Mercedes-Benz, USA: Michelle Cervantez
President of the personal care, global business unit at Gillette: Mary Ann Pesce
Senior VP, marketing and advertising, Major League Baseball: Jacqueline Parkes (Hey, how about them Yankees! Sorry, couldn't help myself *)
President of Lowe NY, overseeing the ad agency's work for GMC trucks: Susan Cantor
General Director for advertising and sales promotions at Chevrolet: Kim Kosak.
(thanks to Kirsten at re:inventioninc for bringing this article to my attention.)
(* I know absolutely nothing about baseball except everyone always talks about the Yankees. Are they any good?)
There you have it. Smart words, smart advice, to help you understand Jane and get her to shop at your website!!! With a dynamic list of smart ladies such as those here, and a phone call to your Mom, you can post great stuff all summer long.
What's not to like about that?
(Kudos to my buddy Matt Hollmann over at the [non]billable hour for reaching a whopping 15,000 visitors to his blog, as of yesterday. Way to go, Matt! )