Here at AskPatty, we're well aware of the purchasing power we women
hold in our purses. With women controlling over 85% of all consumer
purchasing across every brand category, understanding why women buy is
vital to a brand's success. We know that women spend more than five
trillion dollars annually, that our input is integral to the purchase
of 65% of all cars, 92% of vacations, and 61% of all electronics sold,
and we know how passionate you can be about your cars and preferred
brands. In fact, one study showed the average woman spends nearly 400
hours shopping each year, which adds up to nearly nine years of retail
therapy over a lifetime.
We recently attended the 4th Annual M2W-The Marketing To Women Conference, where we spent two days learning more about how passionate women are about their favorite products. It was quite an eye-opening experience - here in AskPatty's automotive world, we're surrounded by men, and spend much of our time trying to convince them how we gals view cars (ad car buying) differently from the guys. At the M2W conference, we were surrounded by hundreds of women who already understood how they were different from men, in a wide variety of industries, from marketing, milk, and motorcycles, to social networking and nutrition, electronics and athletics.
As society continues to change and new consumer groups emerge, finding
the passions of women is not always easy for today's brand marketers.
The M2W conference brought together an amazing collection of savvy
women who shared their knowledge and perspective on this subject in a
fast-paced and extremely educational collection of seminars with topics
focused on global marketing, marketing to women in male-dominated
industries, multiculturalism, online publishing, change management,
luxury and passion brands, and even green marketing!
Some of the extraordinary presenters included Stephanie Ouyoumjian, SVP, Director of Strategy, Publicis; Fara Warner, Author of “The Power of the Purse”; Marti Barletta, Founder, The TrendSight Group, Author, “Marketing To Women” and “PrimeTime Women”; and Lyn St. James, Indy 500 Driver, Founder, Women in the Winner’s Circle Foundation.
Holly Jarrell, SVP, Director of Insight Creation for Manning Selvage & Lee, New York, presented information on learning how to how to leverage the new status symbols in women's daily and digital lives, saying the key to a brand's success lies both in the online and off-line worlds.
"The Millennial Woman may be a challenge for some brands," said Gigi Carroll, SVP, Group Creative Director for Draftfcb. "Her passions are not dictated by others, but set by her own expectations. She is not content with one label, but aspires to be many." Carroll presented an inside look at the exciting and often unconventional lives of today's twenty-somethings. If you haven’t done so yet, it’s time to start considering this powerful upcoming demographic.
Fara Warner’s presentation explored the economic and social changes that are affecting women around the world, explaining how these changes that are rapidly transforming the roles of women globally. Did you know that young women in Africa can’t attend school during their menstrual cycles because of the lack of proper sanitation products and facilities?
Former New York Congresswoman Susan Molinari was the first-day’s lunch speaker, and she shared information about how the women's vote is transforming the way candidates campaign and how they can use these insights to do better business with women. "The political landscape has changed with women having a much greater role in shaping our culture," said Molinari. Her presentation also focused on the WE Vote ’08 campaign, sharing how the WE television network has become instrumental in reaching women to register to vote, to educate women on issues of importance, and galvanizing them to get to the polls in November, 2008. Are you registered to vote, and will you?
We also saw an outstanding presentation on how Procter & Gamble changed its marketing game to win with black women by Najoh Tita-Reid, Associate Marketing Director, Multicultural Marketing, Procter & Gamble. Her segment on P&G’s breakthrough “My Black is Beautiful” campaign and her presentation of black vs. white was eye-opening and emotionally moving.
Beyond the incredibly informative sessions, M2W attendees were also provided periodic opportunities to connect with our peers in power-networking sessions. It’s hard to believe the list is so long, but over the course of two days, AskPatty managed to chat with the following amazing people: Marti Barletta (founder, The TrendSight Group); Lyn St. James (Indy 500 driver); Nan McCann and Mary Engvall (PME Enterprises); Genevieve Schmitt (WomenRidersNow.com); Aliza Freud (SheSpeaks.com); Erica Inella (Mars & Mars), Lisa Carlson and Virginia Sanches (Shell/Jiffy Lube); Tracey Benson (LMCZ); Christy Giera and Chris Templeton (Publicis); Diane MacEachern (Author, “Big Green Purse”); Laurel Lindsay (Toronto Blue Jays); Tricia Henrich (California Milk Board –the happy cows, not “got Milk”); Kathy Dragon (TravelDragon.com); Severine Zaslavski and Urvi Shahi (Motorola); Celeste Pietrusza (Snippies); Lynnette Morris (Davidoff); Margaret McAllister and Evelyn Olson Lamden (Red Kite); Kristin Petrick (SheHive); Julie Ford (realgirlsmedia.com); Paula Hansen (WNBA); Cyndy Tait (Strabo Pro); Shiva Scotti (Abbott Nutritionals); Elesha Kreinces (BeJane); Suzanne Horton; Ellizabeth Kuzmas (Nonpareil); Pamela Willis (Medelia); Dori Molitor (WomenWise); Mary Dean (Kickskirt Inc.); and Pepper Miller (The Hunter-Miller Group).
We even rubbed elbows with a few men! It was a pleasure to meet Mark Grindeland (She’s Connected); Doug Smith (SheHive); Tom Faley (Sargento Foods); Nicholas Eve (Ticket Network); Kent McBride (Make the Difference Network); and David Trocker (OPI Products).
This standing-room-only event is produced each year by PME Enterprises. The company will also be presenting a Marketing to Moms event in October. For information about attending their upcoming events, please visit www.m2w.biz for more details. When it was over, attendees left feeling enlightened and educated. It was really an amazing conference!