Lorna Stevens is a marketing professor at the University of Ulster. She is known for her expertise in marketing strategies and gender marketing
What is your definition of Gender Marketing?
Marketing that takes gender as a variable and gender issues into account in relation to marketing. It is a term that encompasses both theory and practice.
What are, in your opinion, the main consumer behaviour differences between men and Women?
There are many differences, most of which can be understood in terms of social and cultural conditioning. The most frequently cited one is probably shopping behaviour, but increasingly gender dichotomies are less valid as greater attention is paid to the complexities of human behaviour – there are many shades of grey – it is no longer seen as a black and white issue. For example, men can also engage in hedonistic, browsing shopping behaviour – it just depends on the product category!
A recent survey of over 1300 women, by Netmums, has highlighted some interesting insights into what girls and women in the UK think about feminism in 2012.
Only 1 in 7 of the 1300 women questioned considered themselves a feminist. Age played a significant role in the likelihood of this; 25% of women aged 45 to 50 considered themselves feminists opposed to just 8% aged 20-24. Over half of the mums with teenage daughters (51%) said their child was not aware of the Feminist movement – while 36% said their daughters could not imagine a time when men and women were not regarded as equal.
Marie-Christine Maheas and Dana Allen, co – presidents of European PWN - Paris
Interview with co – presidents Dana Allen and Marie-Christine Maheas
The European PWN – Paris
August 28th 2012
Could you tell us a bit about the European Professional Women’s Network that you run?
The European PWN network is a network of Professional, European Women, which makes it unique. Its’ goal is to provide coaching opportunities for women where they can participate in events that give them networking opportunities and access to role models. For example, we recently hosted Anne Lauvergeon, Claudie Haigneré and Sylvie Kauffmann (Le Monde.)
The idea is to bring together women who, each in their own way, inspire our members on issues such as business and many others. Our partners (Orange, Schneider Electric, Royal Bank of Scotland, Mercer, OECD, HEC, INSEAD, Coca Cola, ESCP etc) are all great groups that have specific policies to help women, and men, work on male / female diversity.
More than one in three French women uses organic cosmetics. At the same time as being friendly to both your health and the environment, these trendy products are also easily found in store. Let’s have a look at this fast-developing market.
Without toxic chemical.
Concentrated with natural ingredients, without dye, conservative and perfume, an organic cosmetic nor is there any more substances that are proven to be detrimental to health like paraben or phenoxyethanol. The organic certification guarantees the organic quality of products, GM-free and without chemical treatment, but also they were manufactured in accordance with ecological criteria. Moreover, these products are not tested on animals. These arguments have been able to attract a consumer more in more vigilant about product quality and who both wants to do a good environmental choice.
On the 15th of July 2011, an impressive statue was unveiled in Chicago: with her white dress twirling around her, an 8-metre (26 foot) high Marilyn Monroe greets passers-by with an alluring smile. Half a century after her death, admiration for one of the film world’s greatest hasn’t waned.
Marilyn is a myth of femininity, a femininity displayed through curves (the actress was a size 12, far bigger than today’s size 4 models), sensuality and mischievous glances. By installing this giant statue in the streets of the city for a year, Chicago pays tribute to a woman who left her mark on the world of cinema.
Created by the sculptor Seward Johnson and entitled “Forever Marilyn”, the statue reveals to surprised onlookers the actress’ legs… all the way up to her lace underwear. Naturally, cameras don’t stop clicking around this piece of art which imitates the pose that made the actress famous in 1955’s The Seven Year Itch.
From the 24th of May to the 25th of September 2011, the Jeu de Paume museum is organising a retrospective dedicated to Claude Cahun, a writer, artist and photographer from the first half of the 20th century who was one of the first people to consider the issues of gender.
Claude Cahun, née Lucy Schwob (1894-1954), was therefore one of the first artists to appreciate the mixture of femininity and masculinity that characterises each human being. She depicted this discovery in her self-portraits, which were extremely daring for the time, where she sometimes made herself up as a woman and sometimes as a man, going as far as to shave her head to perfect the look. She wanted to portray a “third gender”, at the boundary between androgyny and bisexuality, as shown by this quote from the artist which is displayed at the entrance to the exhibition: “Confuse people. Masculine? Feminine? But that depends on the case. Neutral is the only gender which always suits me.”
Juliann Sivulka’s 2008 book “Ad Women: How they impact on what we need, want, and buy” seems reminiscent of something straight out of Mad Men. Just like in the show, there are lots of things to find out about how women have shaped product design and the advertising industry.
Three key lessons emerge: first, women who run the household are the most targeted demographic in all of marketing – after the advent of World War II, they began to make exponentially more buying decisions and thus gained the attention of advertisers.
Second, women didn’t start gaining influence in the actual industry until a quarter of the way through the 20th century, though we do have the famous example of Mathilde Veil who in 1880 started her own feminine ad agency.
Finally, despite the progress that has been made, the gender gap still exists when we examine ads geared to women—whether it’s 1880 or 2011, the same ads with women smiling near washing machines and cleaning products are still around.
With marketing to women becoming a growing and significant phenomenon, there are now several agencies in the U.S. specializing in it: Frank About Women, Female Factor, Vibrant Nation, and even the Red Bean Society which specializes in marketing to Latina Women.
While every agency has its specific specialties, there are some more common offers in this market.
Notably, helping brands adapt to a female clientele in all areas is important: from the product design to the packaging to the communication strategy, agencies can help tailor a brand’s image to fit a holistic message they are trying to convey. Other than consulting, agencies also offer training and educational materials, sponsor and organize conferences, and do market research and analyses to gain further insight on the ways clientele’s opinions are shifting.
Content targeted to women is growing at an enormous rate, especially on the internet, so it seems that these companies will be growing a lot in size and in importance in the years to come.