Review of Marketing to Women Conference in Chicago

M2Wby Tony Fannin, BE Branded  |

I had the pleasure of attending the 10th year of the Marketing to Women Conference in Chicago, May 5-May 7, 2014. Overall it was great to hear wonderful speakers, gain some insights and meet people who understand where the real power of business is – U.S. women. In attendance were national and global brand managers (McDonald’s, Harley-Davidson, Red Robin, Samsung Electronics, WebMD, GM, Hilton Worldwide, Yahoo!, A&E, Hershey Corp., and many others) as well as very successful up-and-coming brands (Keen – inventors of Veggie Straws and Pasta Chips, Vixen Vodka, World Kitchen, CBL Properties).

As you see, it is a wide and impressive list, but more importantly, these brands, small and large, all understood where the market is and where it is heading. There was a trove of data to back up the claims (something guys need in order to even consider that women are THE market) and prove this is not a fad, but the present and future. Here are a few highlights:

• Marti Barletta* – One of the main keynote speakers and one of the leading authorities in the Marketing to Women space. Here are just a few of her points:
– Next 5 years, women will create 70% of global growth in household income
– Single women between 22-30 earn between 12-21% more than their men counterparts. And the gap is only going to grow in the next 10-15 years
– Gender Culture: learn the cultural differences just as you would various countries’ culture. The more you understand them, the more effective you are at connecting with them.
– 88% of shoppers will add u to their list if they experience your brand
– Women will control over 72% of all spending by 2028
– Empty nesters buy more cars than anytime in their previous years. 13 cars over the lifetime. 7 of these are purchased as empty nesters.

• Julie Wenger, Tania Haigh – McDonald’s
– Women, not moms, are the dominate force involved in raising kids
– Moms are women FIRST. Women are our psycodemographic first, even though moms are important
– Business opportunity: how to win back women (not just moms)
– Rules of engagement with women:
1. Honesty and authentic
2. Continuous engagement (not just when you want to sell me)
3. Rich variety of experiences
4. Admit flaws

• Jen Drexler – Insight Strategy Group (focused on the auto industry)
– 80% influence buying decision
– 60% have veto power
– $5 billion spent on car advertising, only 5% are targeted to women (how stupid is that?)
– Show all sides of her (woman, mother, wife, working woman, etc.)
– Don’t talk about specs, but show how is the car going to work in her life

• Claudia Garber – Harley-Davidson
– You don’t empower women, they empower themselves. Help them to see themselves with your brand
– Sexy is about independence and confidence (same for men)
– Answer two questions to win her: Why should I? How can I?
– It’s not about “shrink it and pink it”.

Of course, there was so much more, but it would take way too much space. If you are involved in branding and marketing your companies to be competitive in the future, then you should seriously consider taking a strategic (not just a tactical one-off) approach to marketing to women. They are, and will be, the future of  your business.

To close, here are some points gleaned from Bridget Brennan, CEO Female Factor:
– The “Mini Me” effect: daughters of all ages are sharing with mom’s experiences (mom gets pedicure, so does the 6yr old daughter)
– Wellness is not about food, it is about “what is good for my family?”
– Design is now expected, not as an option. It is now the Visual Web, everything is a photo opp. The way to be shared on social media is to look good.
– Woman is the breadwinner in 40% of households. Predicted this will increase in the next 10 years
– Women currently earn: 57% of college degrees, 59% of graduate degrees, 51% of doctoral degrees. This will increase dramatically in the next 10 years. This means, they will control the best, and high paying, jobs.

*Marti Barletta is a good friend and inspiring colleague.



About Be Branded

Tony Fannin is of President of BE Branded, an integrated marketing firm who helps clients BE Somebody to their customers. If you aren't somebody, then you are commodity.

2 Responses to “Review of Marketing to Women Conference in Chicago”

  1. Marti Barletta is an amazing speaker, no doubt!

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