I will be the first to admit that not all of the findings, conclusions, and recommendations that I include in the reports that I write are brilliant, earth-shattering insights (OK, maybe not the first to admit, but, if pressed, I will own up to the fact). But I’d like to think that I try to add something new to my clients’ understanding of the world.
George Colony of Forrester has a acronym he used to use to describe this: SIDK. It means “something I don’t know”, and the idea is that when providing recommendations to a client, tell them something they don’t already know.
Unfortunately, it seems that not everybody is trying to live up to that bar.
The results of a recent study about how women are different, and how to market to them, is a shining example. Here are a few gems from the study, as reported in Marketing Charts:
1. Women are people. You think I’m making this up? According to the article, the firm that released the study said that marketers should be aware that “women are people and have personal feelings and social intentions.”
2. Women have the ability to perceive more than the metric of a product attribute or an instance in time. Apparently, women “appreciate the underlying pattern (idea) that gives rise to the fleeting moment.” Unfortunately, I’m a guy so I have no idea what this means.
3. For women, bigger is not necessarily better. This is a huge relief to me, personally. ‘Nuff said.
Not only are these some of the most ridiculous “findings” I’ve seen in a while, there’s something else about this that bugs me: They’re not actionable. The worst recommendations are those that tell marketers to “remember” something, or to “be aware” of something. What does that mean?
Preaching is not prescription. (This, by the way, is what really separates the pros from the amateurs. Amateurs preach crap like “firms need to be more innovative” or “firms need to experiment with social media”, while the pros provide specifics).
Things that keep folks up at night. And to think that somebody probably made some big $$ for doing such a study.
I should know better than to read your writings (be they on Twitter or your blog) when I’m drinking something. Computer narrowly missed getting sprayed with coffee.
Hence: “appreciate the underlying pattern (idea) that gives rise to the fleeting moment.”
Funny you should mention that: Finding #4 from the study was that women have a propensity to spew liquids from their mouths and noses when laughing. Damn, you just proved them right. I’m going to have to take this blog post down.
Add this to the “No Duh” category:
“Gen-Y is vital to the future of financial institutions.”
Ron, I always appreciate your approach! You are my favorite “debunker of marketing myths in statistical clothing” – and like Sonya, this mornings offering has me cleaning up on and around my laptop!
Another enlightening thing I’ve read about women lately is that we aren’t all the same. Apparently we have different interests, personalities and values. As a marketer, this is discouraging news because it means I can’t just create one campaign (VerityMom) to appeal to all women across the board.
Marketing is hard.
While I agree with you 100% that marketing is hard, I’m afraid that the study in question said nothing about women not all being the same. Therefore, I have to question to conclusions of what you read.
Of course, this is all very confusing for me. As a guy, I’m unable to appreciate the underlying pattern that gives rise to this fleeting moment, and so, therefore, I have no clue what to say next. 🙂
Said one male social media geek to another: “What’s a woman?”
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