This weekend, Melanie Spring of Sisarina asked me to be interviewed about how marketers reach out to women. It was such a broad topic, but one that myself and four other incredible women were able to dissect our favorite marketing campaigns and describe those advertising efforts that are so incredibly infuriating.
Women are generally the target of marketing research just because its difficult to figure out how we tick. I mean, Penn-Olson just released a new study about how women use social media, and sometimes the answers are just not cut and dry.
To be a great communicator, you have to be an even better listener.
The reason we were able to have an insightful conversation was because we took the time to truly understand what each person said about the topic. We spent time before the shoot at brunch, thinking through our thoughts on the issue of Marketing to Women 101 and talked through some of the pitfalls. When we arrived in front of the camera, we felt like we had known each other for years instead of hours.
Our interview also turned to the topic of listening to women when you’re trying to market to them – and I think the concept bears repeating. If you’re a communicator/marketer, start your campaign by listening what your audience is saying about you. Research your social media channels and monitor other media outlets to understand the general sentiment. Regardless of your product, ask your key audience what they would like to see first.
For women, we concluded that we wanted marketing attempts that were genuine and authentic, efforts that reached us in our stage of life. We also wanted marketers to know that when trying to sell products to women, your approach should not be one-size-fits-all. Above all, we just wanted to be listened to before we were sold anything.
As communicators, we are very quick to get our message out and not as eager to hear what others have to say. This lesson also became clear in the conversation-in-the-comments that resulted from DC Week not too long ago. I personally think Mike Schaffer did a wonderful job of actually listening and responding to what he learned. (Kudos, Mike! Teach us!).
So, public relations professionals and marketers alike, what can we do to step back and listen before we speak?
Photo credit:”Listen to ME!” by Flickr user Orange_Beard