Have you ever wondered what would happen if you put two experts on your favorite topic together and let them discuss the topic? Would you have Robert Allen and Carlton Sheets exploring nothing down techniques? Or would you prefer Milton Friedman and Steven D. Levitt hashing out the social repercussions of school vouchers?
Me? I’d have Holly Buchanan and Michele Miller talk about marketing to women.
Michele’s Wonderbranding and Holly’s Marketing to Women Online are required reading on the subject. They’ve been sharing the stage in speaking engagements for a couple of years. I’ve been looking forward to their co-authored book, The Soccer Mom Myth, for most of the last year. Its been worth the wait.
Buchanan and Miller use examples we’ve all observed in real life to illustrate their points. They tell a story, for example, of a disagreement between their friend Heather and Heather’s financé. “From his perspective, the argument was not a big deal. In his male communication style, conflict is a normal part of how couples communicate. Heather, in her more female communication style, came away with a totally different interpretation of the argument. She looked at it as a breakup of the relationship.”
Then they apply this observation to business: “Believe it or not, this same scene plays out with companies and brands, not just fiancés. She has a bad experience with your company or product. You think, “It was just a customer service call, she couldn’t get her questions answered and had to wait ten minutes to get a live person, that’s just a blip.” But to her, it’s a relationship ender. What to you may seem like small things can be huge to her.”
Men and women communicate differently. No surprise there. But Buchanan and Miller note that there are times when one gender’s communication style is actually more effective with all customers. (Think men’s instructions and naming preferences with women’s categorization and navigation). By picking and choosing between gender specific tendencies, both genders will have a better shopping experience.
And thats a critical point The Soccer Mom Myth makes: improving the purchasing experience for women automatically makes the experience better for men, as well.
There are companies who are thinking they should market to women. This book will help them make giant strides in that direction.
Other companies recognize that the phrase “marketing to women” is already redundant. They simply call what they do “marketing.” The Soccer Mom Myth will help them refine their technique and establish a major head start over their competitors.
The Soccer Mom Myth, $19.95, 232 page hardcover, ships March 10. This book should be a part of every marketer’s library.