At the core of everything I do, from brushing my teeth (while I gaze at my early morning face and wonder when THAT age spot appeared?) to driving a car (no, I do not care to inch my way into the far left lane just to turn left, and yes, that makes me a scaredy-cat, I guess), to watching television (I LIKE the commercials - many of them are better than the shows!), I am a woman. I am female. Hear me roar.
Hear me roar should remind some readers of that old Helen Reddy song, "I am woman, hear me roar, in numbers too big to ignore..." from the 1970s. Yes, dear friends, the 70s did exist and they are responsible for a lot of what's going on today. But, let's not discuss my college days...
Let's understand something - something very powerful - when it comes to marketing to women, online or offline - most retail establishments and merchants don't get it. Most marketing managers don't get it. Even other women, don't get it.
I wrote about this in my book, Dickless Marketing, and you can read Michele Miller talk about it, or Andrea Learned, and we're all saying the same thing about this particular slice of marketing to women: The people in charge of marketing to the women's market (ok, your female customer) don't get it!!!
Our books and blogs were started three and four years ago and that's a long time in the Internet-world. With all of the female voices shouting at the top of our lungs, you'd think our "roar" would finally be heard. But, no...just a month and a half ago, over at Online Spin, Seana Mulcahy wrote, "...the economic power of women is a whopping $3.7trillion (USD) representing the greatest economic force the world has seen in the last decade." And, "It's ironic, but despite these numbers marketers have pretty much ignored the women's market until now." She goes on to tell us what doesn't work - girly pics, pink fonts, things like that... but the underlying message is astonishing: WHY are we still being treated as second-class citizens? (btw, second class citizens are the one without the $$ - because $$ brings clout)
Here's the thing: we ladies are well aware of our power. Susan B. Anthony was aware of the power of a woman's purse, back in the days before women could even vote! How can major marketing powers be so clueless?
Here's my answer: it doesn't matter. Why? Because if women do not receive the attention and respect they deserve, from the likes of the Dir. of Marketing of whatever company you'd like to cite, then... we won't shop there.
The marketing world has been warned. Not here, not now...the warning came years ago, when women discovered social media and banded together to achieve results their way. Now, we can roar our pleasure or displeasure to the whole world, with one little click of our mouse. And, we do. According to a study by Meredith Corporation, titled "The Gamma Factor", women have never been more in charge.
"The report forecasts that, as the social and technological environment in which they exist becomes more and more suited to their communication and interaction styles, Gammas’ influence in the marketplace will continue to increase."
And even though some Alpha Women disagree with the Meredith report, one can't help but notice that these, too, are take-charge women, full of the vigor and confidence women the country over are expressing, online, every day.
So, what does it matter? Gamma or Alpha or just...woman. Mom or not Mom. Sis or not Sis. Married or unmarried. Working or not working. Women are turning away from the "bad" advertising that tries to fit a square peg into a round hole - we're embracing the world of connectedness...where we can talk to each other about the issues that concern us, and we can recommend products and services, and we can roar at the top of our lungs, "It's not about gender, it's about issues!" when deciding whom to elect as president.
Go ahead, all of you male marketing managers who are confident you get it (because you have a few women on staff, and you ask their opinion now and then)...keep spending money on commercials and ads without an ounce of a chance of getting to your female customers. We like a good laugh.
And, go ahead, all of you female marketing managers who are so confident you know the territory because you believe you are the territory...keep defending your insipid commercials and ads that pander to the Leave it to Beaver crowd (hint: even they know better, today)... we ladies will look and sigh and share - "Did you see that ugly/stupid/astonishing/vapid/creepy/PINK ad in such and such mag, last month? Whatever!"
When all is said and done - we'll get online, we'll blog or Twitter or use Facebook or LinkedIn, or we'll email, and we'll get what we want. We know where it is - it's with our trusted friends and social circle.
It sure isn't with you.