The Secret of Marketing With Women - From The 19th To The 21st Century


Last week Kelley Connors invited me to join a few smart people:  Rob PetersonTom Andersen and Cassie Holm on her popular BlogTalkRadio show Real Women on Health for a chat about How To Gain Women's Trust and Advocacy With Social Media.  FACEBOOK AD  

Pre show Kelley & I were talking and we agreed the emphasis should be Marketing With not Marketing To Women. One world changes the entire concept and impacts strategy.

The culture of social media along with those funny tech tools like blogs, Twitter, social networks, etc., gives us an amazing opportunity to create a collaborative environment where marketers and customers can together create the brand experience.

Our podcast conversation explored a lot of issues, however, at the end of the day, we agreed women want to know that they/we matter. Savvy marketers are trying to build emotional connections by:

1. Listening to what is important to each customer segment.  

2. Realizing that women relate through not only information but stories that speak to their/our personal experiences.  

3. Understanding that the segment "women" is comprised of many niches and what captures one women's attention or heart may not work for another. 

In our world we encounter thousands of marketing messages every day. We are bombarded with traditional advertising to new media ads on Facebook fan pages and Tweet messages to logos on t-shirts and even on our own bodies e.g., tattoos. Women (and men!) pay attention to what is relevant to them. Stories are a powerful element that can create emotional connections, that in turn, help a target market relate to the brand/product.

Not to crush any brand marketer's ego .. but, although many in the social media marketing world would claim it as their own, telling stories that resonate with a specific niche is not a new idea.  Shh .. believe it or not savvy marketers have known the secret for over a 100 years .. probably longer. 

Take a look at the ad for Mellie's Food which came from Scribner's Magazine December, 1897. It is a mom's story about how this brand of baby food helped her daughter to be a healthy, happy, little girl. The photo of  a "real baby" adds credibility and solicits an additional emotional response. An added bonus from Mellie is their offer of a free sample. 

Ad merlins food scribners 12_1897 Copy: 

Rhea Elizabeth Dobbrow. 

A Melli's Food Girl

I am pleased to send you a picture of our baby girl, Rhea Elizabeth Dobbrow. She was nine months old when this was taken and a fine healthy baby. She's had Mellin's Food since she was six weeks old, which I can recommend very highly as being an excellent food for babies. - Mrs. Augustus A. Dobbrow. Alton, R.I. 

Write to us (a postal will do) and we will send you a sample of Mellin's Food free of expense. Doliber-Goodale Company, Boston, MA.

So girlfriend, perhaps we should be taking our learnings not from 21st century brand marketers but those from the 19th century! Combining those lessons with the tools of the social web we can create exciting environments where where people come together in supportive communities to share experiences, information and of course their stories. 

Read More

Tom made available a primary research study on marketing to women through social networks

Note: Borden's print ad is from The Saturday Evening Post Septemeber 11, 1949. Cost of the publication: 15 cents. Yup .. we've come a long way Girlfriend!


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i really like your blog but wish you would make it easier to share articles. I wanted to share this as its got some great tips for some of my clients who actively market to women but its not easily shared on your site. Have you thought of adding ShareThis?

Thanks and keep up the great work!

Posted by: Scott on Mar 16, 2010 10:38:13 AM

@scott - appreciate your kind words. there is a share tool on each post. if you click on the icon that says book mark you have lots of options!

Posted by: Toby on Mar 16, 2010 10:55:06 AM

ah i see it...i saw the bookmark but wasnt apparent about sharing. check out what Social Media Examiner uses...super cool and super easy.

Posted by: Scott on Mar 16, 2010 10:56:25 AM

forgot to mention.posted your article here - We work with plastic surgeons across the country who market almost exclusively to women. Thanks for the great post.

Posted by: Scott on Mar 16, 2010 10:58:17 AM

@scott -
Appreciate the pass along and your suggestions!

Posted by: Toby on Mar 16, 2010 11:06:31 AM

phhueew well it was a tough job to define marketing with women still the post contain many important points

Posted by: Nikhil on Mar 17, 2010 5:12:57 AM

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