Smart Woman Online: Elisa Camahort
Jane Begs Your Pardon

Jane Limps Along

Jane would just like to go on record saying that...gray hair is caused by children and bad weather during college graduations...not from loss of melatonin, as reported by medical professionals.

Now, on with our post. It's Monday afternoon, much later than we wish it was, but...nonetheless, still time to jot down a few relevant comments and news items generated over the weekend. Yes, we were at another graduation -- and a fine graduation it was, with Ben Stein speaking--instructing the Ithaca graduates to take care of their parents and grandparents (what a novel idea!)-- so we had plenty of time to catch up on reading, and oh! what tidbits we did discover!

First of all, the Zeno Group -- a marketing firm which is invisible to the Google spiders (Jane spent more than ten minutes searching for it before finding the link provided here -- just behind a splash opening page where we clicked the 'skip intro' just as any sensible girl would)...has a section devoted to women.

"Speaking Female is the women's marketing practice of marketing communications firm Zeno Group... devoted to "gender intelligent marketing" designed to help clients tap their share of the $5 trillion women's market."

So says the email Jane received last week from one of our newsletters. The interesting part of this 'speaking female' section of Zeno is -- the advice given by the managing director who shall remain nameless...since her (or 'his') name is not included in the newsletter's story.

Here is a smattering of said advice:

Why should marketers direct their efforts to reaching women specifically?
Women are where the money is - they buy 85% of all consumer goods. 

What are the biggest mistakes people make in marketing to women?
The biggest mistake people make is to paint something pink or put a shiny ribbon around it in an attempt to say, "See, ladies, we're for you!" Women are suspect of messages that try to reach them in a way that plays to female stereotypes.

Which industries can benefit from learning how to market to women?
The biggest opportunities are in consumer electronics, consumer durables and financial institutions; though the vast majority of "gender-neutral" industries would benefit from more sophisticated programming.

Jane would like to ask, dear reader...where have you heard that before? Why yes, in our very own book...Dickless Marketing: Smart Marketing to Women Who Shop Online. Which means...Zeno is getting it right, we do applaud them for that...but, they aren't revealing anything new and exciting.

Truth is...hardly anyone is reporting anything new and exciting on the women's front. Except...blogs and Chick Lit.

For blogs, we look to Michele Miller...and her post of May 9th, where she quoted "from the Rocky Mountain News " information "that should have all business owners sitting up and paying attention.

As Mary Winter, author of the article, points out, "Eighty percent of people in newspaper stories are men. Seventy percent of photo subjects are men.  In other words, newspapers devote only 20 percent to 30 percent of their space to women."

Hello??? Looks like newspapers have some rethinking to do!

For Chick Lit, we go to the female authors of romance novels...and learn some secrets about how women feel, no really feel, about the way the world treats them.

To quote Sarah Salway, one author, in response to the question, "Do you think the term Chick Lit is condescending?" :Chicklit

Sarah Salway: "That depends on how it's used and who is using it. Personally, I think most labels are limiting because they're often taken as a kind of shorthand and can deny the skills employed in writing these books or the enjoyment in reading them."

Jane says, hear, hear!

Tomorrow, dear readers, in our Fit by Five, we're going to explore Chick Lit in more detail, and talk about ways it can help YOU market YOUR products and services.

So, what's not to like about that?


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Yvonne DiVita

Great note, Deb. Terrific site! We will talk further about this...thanks for stopping by.

Deb Nyberg

Jane, taling about marketing to women

....and lots of people laughed at me in 1997 when I developed the theme for women in business community around the baseball - first base, second base, homerun male stereotype - a woman's cyberspace field of dreams ...and many more women enjoy baseball than men would like to admit ... 'cept on our playing field you don't have to chew or spit to make business happen! Can't remember the last time I felt a need to think pink. Deb Nyberg

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