Marketing to Women

by Jan Yuill

I was just talking with Cristi Cooke of We met at the Women’s Business Connections meeting on Tuesday, July 18th, here in Ottawa, Canada. She was the guest speaker for the event.

She had followed up with me today, as she said she would, on a commitment I had made to myself, and we found ourselves talking about marketing to women, which is the focus of her business.

She does not work with women only, but rather with businesses that want to communicate effectively with over half of the population they could serve – i.e. women.

Over half of the population they could serve. That’s quite a number for any business. And yet how many businesses actually think about whether or not their marketing and advertising strategies appeal to women, … as opposed to what they think appeals to people in general.

I began to reflect on the ‘sex sells’ mantra. Is this mantra just a marketing strategy for a marketing strategy? Oh, I digress …

I wonder how many women actually find messages with a sexual tone effective or appealing. Unconsciously, they can be very powerful, but I think that women who are offended or feel manipulated or deminished by such approaches, often decide to spend their money elsewhere, if they have a choice.

Is this common knowledge in the business world? Does it matter if they overlook half of their potential customers? What would change if it did matter to them?

In the Organizations Alive! terminology, this understanding comes from really focusing on the wants and needs of customers; really listening to what matters to them; really giving the customer a voice in the direction of the business. It is Customer Service impacting the Stategic Vision of the organization – the Fifth Interface.

Why not invest some of your resources in listening to your customer more closely, in order to grow your business? It does not have to be a complicated or scary process. In fact, it would probably boost your revenues and simplify your life considerably!