« Just Say No to Crap | Main | Social Media Workshop: Ranching Butterflies »

March 05, 2008


Ontario Emperor

Whether you're talking about women or aged Celtic sheepherding men, the key is to know your audience.

Out of curiosity, who else has discussed the relative ineffectiveness of traditional marketing for adult women? I haven't run across that particular theory before (which may just show my ignorance).

I can truthfully say that you are, as of now, my favorite female marketing guru. If that gets you into more good guru parties, more power to you.

Sonia Simone

It starts with one! Thank you!

I completely agree with you about the key.

Peters was the one who turned me on to the idea that traditional marketing was working wretchedly for adult women, and he has a wealth of painful examples. A lot of which, frankly, are actually just examples of bad traditional marketing -- pitching features instead of benefits -- or just a gross lack of common sense/thoughtfulness/respect.

His examples about the kinds of marketing that don't work for women -- for example single transation "one night stands" or barren charts & rankings -- struck me, in many cases, as marketing that wouldn't work optimally for men either. But it may be working just well enough not to ditch ... for now.

Caroline Middlebrook

Lol this post made me laugh! I'm a bit of a computer games geek and that industry is sooo backwards when it comes to the female market. I was in a games shop the other day and saw a book about games for women and the whole thing was literally bright pink. Surely only a man would think that all women are about the pink?!

Sally J. (The Practical Archivist)

Sonia, you are so right on!

I've been thinking about gender and marketing a lot lately, but from the other direction. Marketing *by* women as opposed to marketing *to* women, especially when it comes to 2.0 stuff. I think us chicks have an advantage in the new marketing landscape. Not that men can't do relationship marketing (Godin is a perfect example) but they have to go against their gender training to do it.

Here's what I mean....Girls and women in our society are expected to be relationship builders. Who sends out birthday cards? Who creates and mails the annual December greetings? I remember reading that after a divorce, men often suffer alone because most of their social ties were maintained by their wives.

And here's a perfect example: Naomi of Itty Biz recently gave a shoutout to her new favorite Etsy artist. Because the artist was her client? Nope. Because she got a free item for review? Nuh uh. Because she loves, loves, loves her work and wants to share that love. This is the New Marketing, and I for one am delighted. I don't think I could force myself to do traditional interruption marketing.

Sonia Simone

That's funny, Sally, I was thinking the same thing this morning on the old ellipse machine ... about marketing *from* women rather than just *to*.

A friendly wave to you, and to Caro as well! C, glad to make you laugh. :)


What, you mean women don't want a pink car, with matching hand bag?

Layne (aka Reward Rebel)

I have no idea who Peters is or what interruption marketing is either for that fact. But I'm gonna toddle off now and check out both.

You definitely get my vote for Queen Guru, Sonia;-D

Zoe Zuniga

Humph! no major female marketing gurus my arse! he just isn't looking in the right places. oprah and other TV celebs are doing pretty well with marketing and as far as online marketing goes Holly Mann is only 24 and beating out lots of the males. there is affiliate marketing queen Rosalind Gardner and there plenty of others who are too busy working to show off how great they are.



All too true! Tom Peters' argument about female thought-leaders is one I've made myself (see the footnote on my Recommended Reading page, http://visionpoints.net/tipsfreestuff/reading.html ), but I think it is slowly changing.

So many of us hate being pigeonholed as pink purchasers, but it still works on some levels. I think the point you make is key: as "push" marketing fades in importance, marketers are finally grabbing on to marketing personally, to people, not "targets."

The aha! moment comes in discovering that "relationship" marketing IS NOT NEW. "Connection. Community. Communication. Sincerity. Permission." New buzzwords for the ways women always decided on products/services to be loyal to... in everything from my favorite brand of flour ('cause Mom loved it) to my favorite mechanic ('cause they get it done quickly, let me wait in comfort, and give my daughter stuffed animals on the way out for being so patient).

Now companies are starting to incorporate these ideas consciously, instead of as near-accidental byproducts. That news is long overdue.

Great post! Glad Caroline pointed to it on her blog... my "connection" with Caroline got me here!



Sonia Simone

Hi Kelly! It's funny, isn't it? None of this is remotely new, but it's treated that way. I think it's new to a lot of C-level execs. Peters is funny, he's often clumsy and ham-fisted, but his core message on this--that it's inexcusable to get this as wrong as companies do--is, IMO, right on.

Zoe, thanks for coming by! My sense was that he meant more the "name brand" gurus, but it's a good point. Oprah is a very interesting example, though. Martha Stewart, unlikeable though she may be at times, is another. They're maybe not known primarily as "marketing gurus," but they both have a very smart approach that bears looking at.

Michael Martine, Blog Consultant

Tom Peters' rants were a real wake-up call for me, too. I find it interesting how blogs really facilitate this relationship-building. Most of my clients are women, and I market my blog consulting services through my blog (what else, right?). So I think that blogs are one terrific way of marketing to women online. Thanks for such a great post!

Sonia Simone

And thanks for coming by, Michael!


Wow, just found this site. Who would have thought that a woman could teach me anything? Well, apart from my mum, sister, daughters etc! Excellent work. I'll be returning to this site.


Seems like all advertising is targeted towards young males, but we do all of the purchasing. wtf

The comments to this entry are closed.

New Blog URL

Updates | RSS or Email

My Photo
Blog powered by Typepad