Over at The Moderate Voice I discovered this great interview with Paco Underhill, best-selling author of Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping, as well as other related books. He's also the CEO of Envirosell - a company that looks at people and behavior, mostly as it relates to shopping.
The interview was conducted earlier this month by reporter Bill Steigerwald and contains a lot of useful information for those of us with an interest in connecting with the women's market. Notice I didn't say "reach" the women's market. I'm tired of that old phrase. It doesn't work anymore. You can "reach" us in a myriad of ways - it's connecting with us that counts.
Steigerwald's interview is well worth a read. I'll quote a couple of parts to peak your interest, but you would do well to hop over and read it yourself. Paco unveils some excellent points on the future of shopping as a whole, and how women fit in the mix. Here's the pivital point, IMHO, and I quote:
Q: How has the consumer changed most dramatically in the last 25 years?
A: I think one of the most seminal issues of our time is the changing status of women, that we as a culture — and not making any moral judgments — have stepped away from biology. I thought it was very interesting that in a recent study … that if you took a working 25-year-old woman and a working 25-year-old man living and working in New York City, the woman makes more money than the man does. Women are the majority of graduates from almost all institutions of learning, whether it’s undergraduate or graduate school, from medicine to law — women are there. And while there are glass ceilings in terms of what they make later in their career, women are being better educated and getting better jobs than their male counterparts are.
Hmmm... information pointed out on this blog and in my book, but still getting press - that young women today are taking the lead in college education and better jobs. I'd really like to know if that's because of their baby boomer Moms pushing them to succeed, or if it's because young men today don't feel the need to dominate their women? Or, something entirely different.
The interview's next question and answer really hits home, making a vital point that we should all take into consideration when marketing to women, online or off:
Q: If women weren’t such an important part of the consumer economy, would everything be different about the way we shop and consume?
A: We live in a world that is owned by men, designed by men, managed by men, and yet we expect women to shop in it. Now while that’s certainly changing, and isn’t as bad as it used to be, that’s still the fundamental underlying truth.
How does this help you market to women in the coming year? I hope it opens your eyes to the value of women shoppers and to the fact that though the world is designed and managed by men, according to Paco, women have a whole lot of influence. Here and abroad.
Since we're moving that influence to the online market, shouldn't you be thoughtful in how you talk to us, how you approach us, and how you view our movement through your website? And, don't forget to find out who we hang out with - word of mouth is still the most powerful way to get attention.
Tomorrow I'll share the Top 10 Things You Should Say To Your Women Customers - if you want them to come back for more.