Once Upon a Time in Marketing to Women Online
Anita Roddick - You Will Be Missed

Women are Readers - Talk to Them in Text

I've been visiting the NPR website (we may have an author appearing on NPR soon) and I came across this article about women and reading. "Why Women Read More Than Men," it says.

The story is focused on novels - which aren't really hard to give away, but in the end, it's revealed that women are avid readers, compared to men. So much so that Ian McEwan (who conducted an unscientific survey on this topic) says in the article, "When women stop reading, the novel will be dead."

Whoa! That's a pretty strong assumption. How true can it be?

Well, we know from Michele Miller that women are more connected right-and-left brainwise, and we know that women are more focused on the communication in a relationship (just has a conversation with a male family member who was complaining that his wife just wanted to 'talk it out' over and over, whenever they made changes in the household), and we know that women are more social. Woman_reading

How do we know those things? Studies done by psychologists tell us so. But, more than that, women tell us so. It's in our nature to talk things out, to want to see the words that go with the pictures, and to use words to understand the world around us. We twirl those words around in our mouths, feel them with our tongues, and let them come forth to influence or educate - whomever it is we're speaking with.

And, that's why the Internet is our playground. It's chock-full of the very things we love the most: words. Words that reveal emotions and feelings. Words that describe life and experiences. And words that connect us to everyone we love.

Use words in your marketing to women - especially online and you will see results. Just make sure they're the RIGHT words.

How do you know which words are the right ones? You have to ask.

Comments

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jordan shoes

Many people are working in this field … well, most of them will fail.

Angela

I'm not sure if this is pertinent blog worthy information or not but I ran across this site after purchasing three magazines at the grocery store just for my time off during the holidays; generally I stick to novels and autobiographies but "junk read" during holidays and vacations. I was reading Cosmo when I suddenly realized I was too old to be reading this magazine; don't they publish a Cosmo Girl now as well? I thought perhaps I was feeling ageism where there was none until I went to post a comment on their website about a particular article I had read. They want your birth date (for purposes unknown) and it only goes back to 1970! Yes that's right. I love Oprah magazine as well as Vogue but they're geared toward different things whereas Cosmo is just a fun read but obviously when you reach 40 you're not supposed to enjoy a fun read any longer. Oprah tends to be a fix yourself type mag whereas Vogue is all about clothing most of us wouldn’t wear nor could we afford. Where is the middle ground?

I found your website when I queried for magazines directed at 40+ women and none came up - well this page came up. I don't market a product but still find this a fascinating topic.

It would be fantastic to find a magazine that addresses dating and its silliness like Cosmo, finances such as Suze Orman does in Oprah on occasion and also bits of things to do with home and definitely fashion. We're over 40; we're not dead. We've a long way to go yet and it's as if being over 40 is like plus size clothing used to be and although I'm no longer a plus size I'm sure it hasn't gotten much better – there simply is no market in magazines comparable to Cosmopolitan for women over 35.

I've bookmarked your page, love the information here. I used to own a B & B and my husband and I used to sell handmade crafts so I understand what you're saying about marketing to men and women.

Angela Cunningham

Yvonne DiVita

Katie, great observation. I so agree with you. How can we get women more comfortable to commenting...? This blog gets a lot of women commentors (but, of course!) and so does my petblog. But, ... where are the women, otherwise?

Steve, thank you for stopping by and offering such great insight. It's interesting to note how similar women and men are, in many areas, but when it comes to the Internet - I think women prefer to read (even on a monitor) rather than depend on pictures or even video.

We need that clarification of what you're selling us. Men are often able to associate the image with the product, and during an online chat, ask the questions that need asking.

Women love online chat - when a description confuses them - because they can be anonymous... and not be talked down to.

Last note - isn't it interesting how all of us, men and women, boys and girls, download and PRINT quantities of content, rather than sit at the computer to read it? Print is alive and well, folks.

Steve Rucinski

Interesting Post!

Representing the male perspective I think we read just as much as women but what, where and how we read may be different.

I personally do NOT like to read on a monitor, I scan and will actually sometimes print out something lengthy that I want to read, e-documents are popular with me.

In addition I love having a backlog of books to read, it sort of serves as some sort of comfort to me to have that, why, I don't know. Give me a compelling story that interests me and I will do it non-stop until I am done.

I think focused reading may be an antidote to all of the online scanning, channel surfing, sports show flipping, radio station jumping that I do. I sometimes feel like most of the day is spent like an ADD information junkie.

I think writing online may appeal to men just as much as women but no one is doing it effectively for us to have a chance to consume it, most sites after male readers use images and video and not the written word.

What a rambling comment this is, probably because my brain is internet mode.

Katie Konrath

I've also noticed that some subject areas are dominated online by men. Obviously the tech and sport arenas, but also my area of creativity and innovation. And more men comment on my blog than women do.

But I don't think that more men are online than women are--I think that a lot of women are simply more hesitant to share our views online in a public forum. So, less women comment and many women bloggers are less aggressive at promoting their blogs than men are.

I think it's partly because we spend so much time learning to be nice and not pushy. We think that if people want to read our blogs, they'll find us.

But the women who do blog and comment are usually fabulous and do an amazing job at participating in the online conversation.

Yvonne DiVita

Interesting thought, Anita. I find it fascinating that women continue to be the readers - even if it is of novels.

I also think, but have no stats at this time, that women do read online more than men. My experience in blogging and website critiquing shows me that women want the written word to speak to them, personally. That's why Blogher exists and is so popular, and why the Magical W List exists, and is growing.

Women seem to FEEL the connection of the written word. Men merely process it. IMHO

BTW, most business books are written by men. We are working to get more titles by women at WME Books - because women really are eager to read business books written by women.

Anita Campbell

I wonder, Yvonne, about online reading compared with print reading. Are women as avid readers online as they are off, do you think? I'm just thinking about the fact that many men seem to be online compared with women.

Anita

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