Originally, Jane titled this post, "Jane muses on snow." The snow is piling up outside our window like huge mounds of whipped creme. On the deck out back, it fills up the chairs and drapes over the seats like a clean white comforter. There is a soothing effect to watching snow glide slowly to the ground, almost as if each flake is a ballerina, twirling in an invisible breeze, performing pirouettes to the delight of those watching.
But, this post is not about snow. While the snow is inspiring in its ability to mesmerize us, allowing our mind to wander...and lead us to our story about marketing to women online, it's also a reminder of the bone-chilling cold beyond our window. Cold we must venture out into today...cold that has frosted our windows with interesting artwork...cold that is relative to January in Rochester.
Back to our focus...marketing to women online. (then an announcement)
Jane took some time this morning, after musing on the snow for a time, to catch up on our blog reading. We found comments on the differences between men and women posted at two of our favorite blogs. Over at Kirsten Osolind's re:inventin blog, (great graphic, Kirsten) she writes:
RE: It's All Right There in Grey and White
Oh how the Harvard President's comment attributing achievement by gender to biology has sparked public water cooler and cocktail hour controversy. Last night the story popped up again at an office party for Zorch (a fabulous woman-led firm).
News this morning? A new research study reveals that men and women do really think differently. Men think more with the grey matter in their brains, and women think more with the white matter in their brains. READ MORE.
This, of course, was not news to Jane...nor, we think, to Kirsten. We know this is true because our good friend Michele Miller at WonderBranding (we love the apple, Michele) has been studying men's and women's brains for some time. To the idea that men use grey matter more, and women use white matter more, she said,
"Same coginitive abilities, same levels of intelligence - very different neural pathways. Each new study points in the direction of heightened language skills for the female brain.
Power of the Message = the difference between a mediocre marketing campaign and a wildly successful one.
What marketing language are you speaking to your female customers... gray matter or white matter?"
Jane wrote to Michele-- asking for a deeper understanding of that last question... because in our world, marketing to women -- at least online -- is a tricky task. Online, it's often difficult to tell if you're dealing with a woman, or a man. In fact, our research shows that one reason women like shopping online is because they can keep their gender secret. Why? No talking down to them at electronic stores, or home supply stores, or car dealerships... which is what they still get in the real world.
While we understand that some products are universal to women... some health products, some hygiene products, and even certain apparell, we think that in today's world, the Carly Fiorina's, the Meg Whitman's, the Anne Mulcahy's, and even the Average Jane's, are complex creatures who are often partnered with other complex creatures, of the other gender...and, therefore, cannot be marketed to by relying on white matter thinking, or grey matter thinking.
We are willing to bend in either direction, depending on circumstances-- and we think understanding, or at least acknowledging, the differences is imperative-- yet, we are not sure where a focus on white matter or grey matter fits in the marketing to women world--online, or offline. We think Michele is saying it's in the language... and that makes sense to us. But, once again, if marketing online, not really knowing if Jane is your reader, how can you create an effective message that reaches her brain?
Jane is going to go out on a limb and say... when marketing online, just expect it's Jane that you're talking to. Market to Jane knowing that she values respect, friendship, and information, qualities her partner, Dick, has always valued. Speak to her in words that reflect how your product or service is going to improve her life, in some way.
Remember, whatever you're selling...if Jane doesn't need it, she knows someone who does. Someone of either gender. Someone she will be eager to introduce to you, if...you are thoughtful and transparent. Which is exactly what Kirsten and Michele are...two reasons this Jane follows their blogs on a regular basis.
What's not to like about that?
Now, on to our excellent and exciting announcement:
Jane (aka Yvonne DiVita) is mighty proud to announce that she has been elected to the Board of Directors at the Pro-Bloggers Association. What a fine honor! We encourage all to visit the newly created Website to learn more. And watch this blog for more information-- following the Blog Business Summit and the NewComm Forum (Jane will be at the latter.) Pro-blogging is a service that we predict will grow exponentially, over the next 12 months. Being a member of the FIRST organization to embrace this concept makes us...tickled pink.