This past week, AdWeek released a series of articles on women and how marketers can better embrace the inner goddess of all those consumer-crazy girls out there. The collection of articles include demographic profiles, statistics and stories on brands that embrace women in their natural habitat i.e., sports, blogging, etc.
OK, is it just me, or did they just put all women into three categories? Which one are you? The Indie? The Mom? Or the Goddess? What about secret answer number four: the “I have no idea what these crazy people are talking about, I just want to buy my damn 99 cent peanut butter without being defined as a ‘savvy-saver’?” Or the other popular secret choice #5: “I have no clue who I am, but I sure do love Ryan Gosling.”
“Hey girl, wanna buy my product or service?”
My point is that this article, while ambitious in its focus, feels…limited and short-sighted.
Case in point: “…across generations, women have earned unprecedented control of their finances, their careers and their bodies.” Oh okay. So the feminist movement was all about getting better data so marketing could make me feel like I made the decision to choose Oil of Olay over L’Oreal? I HAVE CONTROL! I’M WORTH IT!
Marketing should be authentic. Yes, you need to know your audience. But also understand the nuances that exist within each audience. Women cannot be put into three categories, no matter who is dividing them. I, as a young adult from the South, newly married and a dog owner who likes Cheetos — will be very different from you — teenage girl with her first crush, living in Salt Lake City who likes Cheetos. We both like Cheetos, but our lives are severely different. How do you make Cheetos desirable to us both? By this article’s definition, we don’t even exist because we’re not at the magical 28 age group.
Marketing sometimes needs assumptions, but I think a more valuable tool would be a women’s continuum rather than a trichotomy of description. Women can move up and down that continuum through life stages, make different product choices, and feel free to change her mind. THAT would be a more helpful targeting tool than rigid categories. It could even allow more freedom in creative design and media placement.
What do you think? Do you fit in these categories? Or do you just want to ogle Ryan Gosling?