Make Marketing History

The views of a marketing deviant.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Jobs For The Girls.

In the US, women account for 80 percent of household spending, are responsible for 70 percent of travel decisions, 57 percent of consumer electronics purchases, and buy 50 percent of all new vehicles while influencing 80 percent of overall automobile sales. In the business arena, 51 percent of purchasing managers and agents are women. Moreover, Marti Barletta suggests that women are enthusiastic product evangelists who will share innovative solutions that excite them with twice as many people (26) as will men.

It’s a no-brainer for marketers to take this into account and that doesn’t mean defaulting to stereotypes or "thinking pink" as Lisa Johnson puts it. Rather, as with any good marketing, it's about tailoring the product to resonate with the customers' needs and shopping habits and to realise that women are no more generic than men (thank goodness). To do so, it seems logical to include more women in the creative process and yet this article highlights a failure in many industries so to do.

It doesn’t matter what nominal business function you perform. Whatever you do, you’re marketing. The way recruiters deal with candidates and the type of people they employ ripples a message to the world. That’s quite well accepted, but more than that recruitment shapes a corporate culture which, in turn, impacts how you create your products and services.

Mary Sipes, the General Motors executive fetaured in the article, had to force her engineers to get in touch with their feminine side because although (they don’t)“try to ignore women's needs," she says, "it's just that they're different than us." Wouldn’t it have been easier if the human resource department had supplied her with a group of engineers who better reflected her customer constituency?

If you are to encapsulate passion within your business and reflect it out into the world, that process must start with your people. The good news is that regardless of whether it is physical or attitudinal discrimination that need to be overcome, there is one force that proves very efficient at breaking down such barriers. Its name is financial survival. Is your business alert to the threat?

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