Just when I begin to think the whole marketing to women thing is dying out - and that my good friend and colleague Andrea Learned has it right (no marketing to genders - just good marketing to the right people), something happens that convinces me we still have a long way to go in this area.
Let me take a second to bring you up to date on my medical condition - for those who are regular readers, you know that I dislocated my left shoulder (and I'm left-handed) almost three weeks ago, now. I also chipped a bone. To say it was excruciating is putting it mildly. But, as with all things, healing does take place and I am doing well. It still hurts to type, even with two hands, and I cannot sleep on my left side, which is a bummer...but that's the worst of it. I feel lucky that this injury wasn't worse. It could have been. Believe me...I've heard stories! (the link above goes to a podcast on the petblog where we have pics of my x-rays - enjoy!)
Now, back to the discussion.
Last week I took myself to a NAWBO book club meeting because they were discussing my book. That's always a joy - and a surprise. Dickless Marketing is still out there, helping folks understand what women want online. During the NAWBO discussion, one woman said, "Isn't all of this old news by now? Marketing to women is a major topic everywhere. So..." she went on, thowing her hands in the air in frustration, "WHY is it that car dealerships still use bikini-clad babes to try and sell cars???"
The word "bimbo" might have come up, also. I can't remember. Point is - not everyone "gets it." In fact, the majority of folks in the marketing arena, don't get it. It isn't so much marketing TO women, as not marketing to men... exclusively. It's marketing to your buyer. In most cases, a woman will be involved, so be careful how you craft your message.
Ask Patty! will tell you that women are big car buyers and that we know our way around a dealership. If you're using bikini clad babes to sell your cars, well...it's pretty clear that women are not going to buy. AND...if that's your tactic to sell to men...you'd better think again. Those men will likely be accompanied by a woman (usually a significant other) and guess what - she's not going to approve of dealerships who use sex to sell.
In the end, the battle of the sexes continues - on the marketing field. Market to men using those old Dick and Jane methods that say men are the ones with the bucks and women should walk two steps behind, and offend women. Market to women by opening the door to relationship building and...offend men? Not usually. Look at the way Cadillac is using both men and women to get their message across - they've obviously considered both genders, and created campaigns that can appeal to both, without insulting either.
Women and men are different. If you want to appeal to both, find the middle ground, choose your words carefully, make sure you're featuring the best of your product or service, and be respectful. How hard can that be?