Ad Age: Marketing to Women As Your Lead Consumer

Advertising Age
Marketing to women: If she’s happy, then everybody’s happy.
By Tiffany Meyers

Author’s Note: Women expect a lot from their products and services. So when marketers create offerings to meet women’s criteria first, they’re likely to have something that other demographics will go for, too. That’s the premise of this piece, the cover for Ad Age’s 2006 special report on marketing to women.

For all that blather about alpha males, adult men are a beta demo. There are 6 million more women aged 20 or older than males. What makes the 21st century woman a consumer phenomenon is her own deep pockets, born of greater education and clout in the workplace. The rise of the female consumer phenom–or she-nom–merits an overhaul in strategic thinking. Marketers must keep feminine preferences in mind not just for “women’s products,” but for items ranging from digital cameras to beer, that have traditionally been pitched aggressively to guys.

“The concept of marketing to women as your lead user is the way of the future,” says Bridget Brennan, founder of consultancy Female Factor Communications. In virtually every category, smart marketers will put women in the bull’s-eye, not on the periphery, she says.

Many marketers fear that direct appeals to women will alienate men, but the opposite is true, Ms. Brennan says. Products with a feminine veneer are apt to turn off not just men but women who suspect these are watered-down versions of the real deal, she says.

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Meet Barbara Turf, Ceo, Crate and Barrel

PINK Magazine
Crate Expectations: A profile of Barbara Turf
By Tiffany Meyers |  December 2008

If not for a few details – the cash registers, the sales associates – I’d swear I was a guest in Barbara Turf’s home getting a tour of the rooms she’s lovingly decorated.

Strolling through the Crate and Barrel home store adjacent to suburban Chicago’s Northbrook Court shopping mall, near the company’s headquarters, the new CEO and I stop intermittently to admire the things she loves most – textiles from India, a French table of solid oak. As in any home, her relationship to these pieces, many of which hold reminders of her family, is deeply personal. “My daughter just bought this sofa for herself,” Turf says as we sink into the Huntley, a couch with clouds instead of cushions. “You’ll have to tell me if you think it’s comfortable.”

Of course, in many ways, Crate and Barrel is Turf ’s home, one she helped build over the last 40 years. In one of the highest-profile succession stories of the year, Gordon Segal, who opened the first Crate and Barrel in 1962 with his wife, Carole, named Turf the company’s new CEO in May.

In one of the highest-profile succession stories of the year, Gordon Segal, who opened the first Crate and Barrel in 1962 with his wife, Carole, named Turf the company’s new CEO in May. With eight new Crate and Barrel home stores up and running this year, including the first international foray, Turf is leading with the same commitment to innovation that’s prompted Segal to describe his longtime No. 2, now the company’s No. 1, as nothing short of a “retail visionary.”

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The Rise of the She-M.O.

PINK Magazine
The Rise of the “She-M.O.”
By Tiffany Meyers

In a business of predominantly male pilots, mechanics and engineers, Joanne Smith has had to shout over more than the din of aircraft engines in the course of her marketing career. The vice president of marketing for Delta Air Lines recalls a meeting at another airline a short decade ago, when she tried to convince a roomful of men not to cut hot towel service on flights as a way to save money. When she added that, in fact, the hot towels should be scented, her former CEO tossed a quarter across the table and quipped, “Call someone who cares.”

Contemporary boardrooms are hardly free of chest-puffing antics like these, but Smith believes such an incident probably wouldn’t happen today. “Not so much because it’s rude behavior,” she says, “but because I think women [marketers] have forced the point that consumers do care about these kinds of things.”

At Delta, Smith often finds herself reminding colleagues that the concepts of “safe, clean and on time” are merely the price of entry. “In a male-dominated industry, I find that I sometimes have to be a very loud voice that says, ‘If operations is all we focus on, we’re going to lose an opportunity to engage customers in a brand connection beyond those things.'”

Such sensibilities among women in marketing are earning more respect in corporate America – and giving women execs a boost up the career ladder. A quick scan across the business vista shows that in marketing, women are thriving in the most senior roles – making the CMO into the “She-M.O.,” as it were.

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How to Motivate Your Sales Team

PINK Magazine 
Sales force stuck in a rut?
Top women managers tell how attention to individuals builds a more productive team
By Tiffany Meyers | February 2008

When it comes to motivating talent, there’s no one-size-fits-all strategy. But in sales – which teems with naturally driven, highly independent professionals – the value of a customized approach redoubles. “Everything you do in terms of recognition and reinforcement needs to be meaningful to the individual,” says Jill Eichwald, sales effectiveness consultant at Maritz Inc., a sales and marketing services company.

When Maritz conducted a national study on employees’ favorite rewards, results showed that each of six employee types – described and organized according to what they find inspirational, from praise to bonuses – split rather evenly across gender lines. “We were amazed to learn that from a gender standpoint, there’s not a lot of difference,” says Jane Herod, president of Maritz Motivation, a division of Maritz Inc. It’s further proof, she adds, that recognition programs need to be individually customized.

While motivation incentives appear to be gender-neutral, many of the qualities of effective sales managers – who have to light a fire under each seller and cultivate collaboration among competitive types – seem to come more naturally to women. Experts point to the attributes of empathy, consensus-building and intuition more often exhibited by women managers – which are precisely the qualities that result in several best practices in sales motivation.

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Woman to Watch: Tara Walpert Levy

AdAge Special Report: Women to Watch
By Tiffany Meyers, May 30, 2008
TARA WALPERT LEVY
PRESIDENT, VISIBLE WORLD

Friends of Tara Walpert Levy said she was crazy to leave her associate partnership at McKinsey & Co. to become general manager of Visible World in 2005. She had a different perspective: It “leaped out because it was exactly what advertisers had been telling me they needed for the past decade.”

Visible World’s advanced video-advertising platform delivers intelligent advertising — or “IntelliSpots” — that can be swapped and edited on the fly automatically and from any location to reflect factors such as household profile, time of day, weather and programming.

For all the angst about the TV spot’s demise, she argues that consumers aren’t anti-commercial; they just don’t like irrelevant commercials. “The onus is on advertisers to keep commercials fresh, interesting and relevant. Our technology makes that possible, ” says Ms. Walpert Levy, who was promoted to president in 2006.

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Woman to Watch: Annette Stover

AdAge Special Report: Women to Watch
By Tiffany Meyers, May 30, 2008 

ANNETTE STOVER
CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER, EURO RSCG, NEW YORK

Growing up in France, where agency logos appear at the end of TV spots, Annette Stover devised a parlor game at age 10, guessing which shop produced each commercial before its logo appeared. Almost always, the petit advertising enthusiast got it right.

Though she investigated other avenues — including a stint in the West Berlin theater industry — Ms. Stover eventually hit New York in pursuit of advertising. “One well-known headhunter told me that because of my French accent, I’d never amount to anything in U.S. advertising,” recalls Ms. Stover, who’s also fluent in German and studied modern languages at the Sorbonne.

Clearly, that crystal ball was on the fritz. Ms. Stover’s first gig: the legendary Scali McCabe Sloves, followed by posts at JWT, Morgan Anderson Consulting and, in 1997, Euro RSCG Worldwide. In 2006, Ms. Stover rose from chief of staff to her current role as chief operating officer of Euro RSCG’s New York office.

In addition to fostering agency culture, Ms. Stover, 43, focuses on operations, communications and new business. In recent years, she was a key member of the teams that won the Charles Schwab, Reckitt Benckiser and Jaguar accounts.

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Woman to Watch: Lisa Caputo

AdAge Special Report: Women to Watch
By Tiffany Meyers, May 30, 2008

LISA CAPUTO
CHIEF MARKETING OFFICER, CITI
Most marketing executives know a thing or two about office politics. Lisa Caputo knows politics for real. She served as press secretary to Hillary Clinton during Bill Clinton’s first term as president. “Hillary Clinton taught me about grit,” Ms. Caputo says. “She taught me about work ethic and grace under fire.”

Last year, Ms. Caputo tapped those virtues, among others, in leading the strategy to unify Citigroup’s numerous brands into one master brand: Citi. Citigroup previously used Citi as a prefix in many of the company’s businesses — such as Citibank, CitiFinancial, CitiMortgage and Citi Smith Barney — but Citi now refers to the company overall.

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