“Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus” from John Gray is definitely one of my favorite books. It helped me understand myself in a much deeper way and improved my relationships with women in general. The same way it is vital to understand one another, it is even more important for professionals in the creative industry to understand their target audience. Consequently, marketers are more and more adapting to women by designing campaigns free of stereotypes that fits their mindsets : it’s called “marketing to women” or as I call it marketing “made in venus”.
Why a marketing to women’s concept ?
From a financial point of view the creative industry is more and more interested to focus their messages towards women because “more than 80% of purchasing decisions are made by them”. The ad below shows that in the 60s marketing to women was very chauvinist reflecting the mindset of that time. However, over the past 50 years, women have worked in all industries reaching an activity rate of 79,5%, hence their expectations of marketing messages have changed.
On top of that, social media helped pave the way to a lot of positive changes. For instance, thanks to social networks and the internet, people are empowered and can express their dissatisfaction directly to the brand : they are no more alone; they are part of a community. Hence, professionals of the creative industry cannot produce irrelevant, tasteless or sexist ads risking to be criticised damaging therefore their reputation.
With that in mind, stalwarts marketers are adjusting to that fact by creating more and more campaigns that are designed to women, not only as an end user but also as an intermediary.
Initiatives to adjust
Numerous agencies have already been created in the USA dedicated only to marketing to women such as Frank About Women and Female Factor. These agencies specialised in truly listening to women and understanding them. And based on that understanding and research, they create campaigns that speaks their language.
Since 2004 Dove have started an amazing work with their “Campaign for Real Beauty” simply by portraying women the way they are. This has paid off by an award last year for their successful “Real Beauty Sketches” campaign by Ogilvy & Mather.
In 2005, Nike realised that only 20% of their revenue came from women. As a result of that, they adjusted their marketing and their communication to women by understanding that women are entitled to have the body they have and it is for Nike to adapt their clothing standard to them and not the other way around. They launch a campaign that proudly represents every day women describing poetically some parts of their body. In accordance with that, Nike designed a new fashionable line of clothing that are adapted to their body shapes and movements.
In conclusion, more and more brands such as Nike and Dove are making the effort to understand women and are creating relevant advertising campaigns and products that generates positive interactions. However, this is not the case for all the brands as 90% of women said, in a recent survey, that advertisers don’t understand them. This lead me to understand that marketing “made in Venus” is sill in the formative stages and there are still plenty of facts to get right to establish a healthy dialogue between brands and the people from “Venus”.