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Marian Salzman presentation given in May 2012 on how to market to women around the globe.
Marian SalzmanMAY 2012
•To identify the forces driving the future and plan forlong-term success.
•To identify the forces driving the future and plan for long-term success.
•To discover unexpected opportunities that helptransform brands and businesses.
•To identify the forces driving the future and plan for long-term success.
•To discover unexpected opportunities that help transformbrands and businesses.
•And for us here today: To understand what trends aregoing to make a difference to the women’s market notonly in the Gulf but also worldwide.
learning�to�Spot�TrendsIt means tracking
•Who needs invisibility cloaks à la Harry Potter? Plenty ofwomen get the feeling that they become invisible as they getinto their 40s, as confirmed by a recent poll from Clarivu TotalVision Correction.
Our own poll of more than 7,200 people in 19 countriesfound widespread agreement that society has become tooyouth-obsessed: Globally, 70 percent of men and 75 percentof women think so.
•Where is the youth obsession felt by most women? 77 percentin Brazil and the U.K.; 78 percent in Australia, the U.S.,Canada and Poland; 89 percent in South Africa; and 91 percentin Colombia.
•Two-thirds (68 percent) of women worldwide give a thumbs-down to cosmetic surgery—they think people should be moreaccepting of how they look at every age. (This still leaves plentyof customers for plastic surgeons in Brazil and Lebanon.)
•In parallel separate polls, the youth obsession was felt by 57 percent of women and men in the UAE, 46 percent in theKSA and 55 percent in Lebanon; dislike of cosmetic surgerywas noted by 45 percent in the UAE, 38 percent in the KSAand 39 percent in Lebanon.
•In most developed markets, growing numbers of women aremoving into their 40s and beyond. The median age of women inCanada is 42, and it’s 41 in the U.K., 40 in Poland and 38 inthe U.S.
•It’s time for marketers to develop better ways of addressingthis important demographic—ways that feel genuine, noteuphemistic; celebratory, not consoling; mainstream, not nichey.
Among the younger demographics of the Middle East, it’seven more important to find better ways of connectingappropriately with maturing women as they find theirplace between traditional and 21st-century roles.
In any country where women get fair access to education,they perform more impressively than men.
•In the U.S., 1.2 million more women than men hold at least abachelor’s degree, and women account for half of all Americanswith a post-graduate degree.
•Across the EU, 59 percent of graduating students are women.
•In China, women account for 49 percent of tertiary educationgraduates, 35 percent of students and 63 percent of studentstaking the GMAT (graduate management admission test).
•In the KSA, women comprise 58 percent of the nation’s studybody; the Kingdom recently opened the world’s largestuniversity for women.
•Middle Eastern women scientists have recently made headlines:Dr. Ghadeer Ibrahim Omar from Nablus, Dr. Ghada Al Haboubfrom Yemen and Reem Hamdan of Jordan.
•How far has the culture and the thinking of marketers takenon the notion that women consumers are at least as smart andeducated as men?
•Cultures tend to change slowly, only when they have to, andfrom the edges.
•Many Middle Eastern women look to France, where women ofME origin have become business icons.
Marketing teams need to make sure they have strongcomplements of smart, educated women with the powerto implement their ideas and connect with the growingnumbers of smarter female consumers.
“Women who seek to be equalwith men lack ambition.”—Mastin Kipp, founder, TheDailyLove.com
•In much of the economically developed world, the oldsocial/marketing stereotypes of young women married withkids are about as relevant as the square-jawed young man in abusiness suit and tie.
With longer education and access to better work, morewomen around the world are staying single longer—andeven choosing to join the growing ranks of singletons.
•In the 27 EU countries, 17 percent of households are singlewomen living alone and 4 percent are single women withchildren. In the U.K., 51 percent of women under 50 havenever married and only one-third of those are co-habiting.
•In South Korea, 20 percent of women in their 30s are single.Also, Japan has a higher proportion of single women aged 20to 40 than the U.S.
•In ME countries, marriage continues to be the norm for youngwomen, although the number of women married by age 18 hasdecreased by 49 percent.
•The media in many countries are fascinated by the singletonphenomenon and tend to treat it as a problem for the singlewomen and for society.
•Yet singledom is increasingly a deliberate choice made bywomen well equipped with education, a job and the confidenceto make their way without rushing into anything. (Expect tosee growing numbers of women staying longer in education andwaiting to get married in the Middle East, too.)
•Compared with their married or co-habiting peers, the risinggenerations of singletons tend to have more disposable incomeand more time to enjoy it.
Marketers need to recognize that singletons don’tperceive themselves as wannabe or failed marrieds, noras rebellious feminists nor as go-for-it hedonists.
•Is it women’s nature to worry more than men do, or maybejust to express their anxieties more?
•Healthcare professionals report that both generalized anxietyand anxiety disorders are increasing and are more commonamong women.
•In all the surveys I’ve commissioned over more than a decade,women consistently show higher levels of worry than men.
In our 2011 survey, every one of 35 named issues ofconcern worried more women than men, including:
– Crime and random violence (62 percent vs. 52 percent)
– Environmental destruction/climate change (58 percent vs. 49percent)
– Loss of respect for elders (54 percent vs. 45 percent)
– The health impact of our sedentary lifestyles (39 percent vs.32 percent)
•Marketers can’t fail to acknowledge and address all thatanxiety—it’s part of the zeitgeist.
•Some of the anxiety out there is clinical and has to be handledby healthcare professionals (marketers aren’t therapists).
•Some of the anxiety is due to stress caused by the prevailingculture of striving to “have it all”—and some marketingcertainly plays a role in fueling that.
•Some of the anxiety is due to realistic perceptions of realproblems (e.g., sedentary lifestyles).
Marketers can help consumers think more clearly aboutwhich problems they can realistically address and offer ahelping hand to address them.
“Women are socialized tobelieve that they are in chargeof emotional affairs. When theycan’t meet expectations, theybecome stressed.”—Stephanie Coontz, co-chair and director of public
education at the Council on Contemporary Families
•Since 2007-08, consumer culture has had a rougher ride thanin the heady years of the long boom.
•Developed economies have been in the grips of the ongoingeconomic crisis, while developing and (former) communistcountries have been more exposed to full-on market economics.
A large majority of women globally (70 percent vs. 65 percent of men) think society has become too shallow,focusing too much on things that don’t really matter. Thegender gap is widest in Poland (72 percent vs. 58 percent),South Africa (87 percent vs. 74 percent) and China (65 percent vs. 50 percent).
•Worldwide, many women (62 percent vs. 59 percent of men)think society is moving in the wrong direction, especially inLatin America (Brazil, 69 percent vs. 66 percent; Mexico, 63 percent vs. 62 percent; Argentina, 62 percent vs. 55 percent;and Colombia, 76 percent vs. 71 percent).
•When times are tough and turbulent, and things are changingfast, people tend to ask more probing questions in everydomain (think Arab Spring and the Occupy Movement).
•Consumers mostly don’t expect brands to save the world, butincreasingly they do expect brands to be genuinely interestedin more than making money and creating shareholder value.
Smart marketers will ensure that brands embody valuesthat matter to consumers, that they live those values intheir actions and that they communicate thempersuasively.
“[A Coca-Cola campaign in the Middle Eastthat reflected a change in strategy after theArab Spring], says the Brand Union’s creativedirector, Paul Cardwell, highlights the fact thatthere is no alternative but for brands to worktowards integrating awareness and considertheir accountability for the social impact ofcampaign messages and ensure the brand isperceived to be authentic. His advice? ‘Don’ttry to ride the wave, be in the wave.’”—Gulf Marketing Review, November 2011
•Conventional wisdom has it that women make more sociallyoriented choices while men make more individually orientedchoices. In other words, men are more selfish than women.
•Maybe that was the case when women were stuck at home, butdoes it still hold true in the era of career women and singletons?
•A growing body of scientific research confirms that regardlessof the changing culture, there are consistent and fundamentaldifferences between male and female brains. Women tend toperceive and think in terms of “we” rather than “me.”
Gender-determined differences in brain structure makeswomen more inclined to consider the impact of theiractions on others.
•How much of marketing thinking is driven by stereotypes ofhow women respond rather than by well-founded insights?
Marketers who want to address global women moreeffectively need to dig much deeper into women’s thoughtprocesses on purchase decisions.
•In particular, “we” awareness often makes purchasing a lot morecomplex; women tend to consider numerous goals and criteria.
•There’s a bigger prize than just the huge female market. The“More We than Me” paradigm is increasingly visible in therising generation of millennials, both males and females.
“If Lehman Brothers had beena bit more Lehman Sisters ... wewould not have had the degreeof tragedy that we had as aresult of what happened.”—International Monetary Fund Chief Christine Lagarde
•Forget pinks and mauves—green is the color that makes womenfeel good.
Globally, 72 percent of women say that makingenvironmentally friendly choices gets them feeling good,compared with 57 percent of men.
•The widest green gender gaps are in the U.K. (74 percentwomen vs. 56 percent men), Canada (75 percent vs. 63 percent)and France (74 percent vs. 67 percent).
•It’s a similar picture with trash: One-third (66 percent) ofwomen worldwide say they feel good about reducing the amountof waste they create, compared with 56 percent of men. Thewidest gender gaps are in English-speaking countries: the U.S.(69 percent vs. 59 percent), Australia (78 percent vs. 64 percent)and the U.K. (71 percent vs. 55 percent).
•Eco awareness jibes with other important female concerns ofour times: worrying more, questioning values and consideringimpact on others.
•Exactly how much weight eco credentials carry with womendepends on a bunch of variables: the product category, thedemographic and cultural profile of the consumers, otherproduct attributes and more.
Eco credentials might not be a dealbreaker on mostoccasions, but for any marketer aiming to win overwomen consumers, it makes sense to include a good greenfeeling as part of the deal.
•There’s growing evidence from many sources that women usesocial media more actively than men.
We found the same in our global study: In manycountries, many more women than men say socialnetworking sites are one of the main ways they stayconnected with friends.
•There’s a clear gender gap in the U.S. (70 percent vs. 64 percent),Canada (73 percent vs. 66 percent) and the U.K. (64 percentvs. 57 percent), but it’s widest in Australia (76 percent vs. 66 percent), France (65 percent vs. 52 percent) and Brazil (85 percent vs. 75 percent).
•There’s a temptation to see the term “social media” and think“Facebook” and maybe “Twitter” as well, but they’re just acouple of the most visible platforms. Social media is a lot more:It’s all forms of media that enable users to participate andengage in dialogue.
•Social media covers tens of thousands of online forums anddiscussion sites around every imaginable area of interest:music, sports, healthcare, parenting, dating, gadgets, lifestyleand much more.
•With all the SoMe platforms out there, marketers have a goldenopportunity to connect and engage with millions of women,provided … they remember that the opportunity is tolisten, connect, learn, converse and build relationships—not tell and sell.
“Marketing needs to become moremeaningful and real, warns SMGDubai’s Mohit Lodha. ‘Consumers aretaking control of the marketingconversation and becoming increasinglyactive and participative. Marketersneed to acknowledge this and embraceco-creation.’”—Gulf Marketing Review, November 2011
•Men are more inclined to broadcast their opinions and “status”over social media; their online communication tends to be morelinear and competitive.
•Men are more likely to take a dominant stance and act ascollectors, creators and critics.
•Women tend more to participate in online communities, shareinformation and engage in conversation.
Women are more likely to follow brands and watch outfor discounts and offers, tapping social media to seek outgood deals.
•Despite impressions to the contrary, interactive and socialmedia have not been around forever—they are young andconstantly evolving, so any playback soon gets overtaken bynew developments.
•Example: Virtual scrapbooking site Pinterest came out of leftfield late in 2011 and scored big with a female-skeweddemographic, and it has become a must in marketing clothing,furnishings, fabrics, jewelry and travel.
With all the innovation, hype and churn, the smartstrategy for marketers is constant experimentation.
•The tools and channels will vary, but the objective is constant:give women good reasons to get interested in the brand andgive them good things from it to share with one another.
“I look after the big stuff like global politics, world peace and thePalestine conflict. My wife does the small stuff like taking care of thehome and buying food and clothes for the family.” —An Arab womanon BBC Radio recounting male café conversation
Women everywhere are looking after all the “small” stuffthat really adds up: Worldwide, they are now reckoned tocontrol $20 trillion, or about 70 percent of globalconsumer spending.
•A multicountry Boston Consulting Group study found womencalling the purchasing shots across a range of key consumerareas, on products such as financial services, insurance and healthcare.
•Despite all their decision-making power, women tend to feeltheir role and influence in important decisions is notacknowledged by brands and marketers.
•Whole swaths of marketers are stuck in a bind—intellectuallythey’ve heard all about female buying power and influence, butculturally they can’t help but treat it as a niche, a subset ofthe mainstream.
•Countries around the world, including the U.S., are still stuck inthe mindset that women’s growing economic power andinfluence is a blip, a deviation.
It’s not a blip. It’s the new norm.
•The sooner marketers tune in to the new reality of globalwomen consumers, the better they will be able to earn theirslice of that massive spending power.
More empty nests are full once again as Mom and Dadcome to the rescue of college grads burdened with debtsand bleak prospects in a dire job market. Suddenly, beinga mom has no expiration date in sight.
•According to Pew, more than one in five young American adults(age 25 to 34) live in multigenerational households—think “TheWaltons” rather than “Friends.”
•“Multigenerational” is increasingly likely to include seniors,too. Whether wanting to remain actively involved or to avoidthe cost of living in a senior center, silvers are finding goodreasons to move in with their grown children.
•Almost a third (60 percent) of women serve as caregivers toother family members or friends, which might mean leaving ajob or reducing hours.
•Companies need to be prepared to not only recognize thesituation but also to help those women be financially realisticabout what caregiving means and how they need to adjust theirfuture plans.
•Multigenerational homes can help alleviate the increasingpressure on women to be everything to everyone because of thebuilt-in babysitters (think Michelle Obama’s mother) who canalso help maintain order.
With 2.5 million grandparents responsible for the basic needs of a grandchild living with them,marketers need to pay more attention to Grandmawhen marketing supplies such as shampoo.
“Women are not an interestgroup. You shouldn’t be treatedthat way. Women are over half [of the United States] and itsworkforce—not to mention 80 percent of my household, if youcount my mother-in-law. And Ialways count my mother-in-law.”—U.S. President Barack Obama
•Even if we don’t like the name, we all love social media(especially women), in one form or another. But sometimes its paradoxes are just plain ridiculous—or tragic.
•People don’t smoke anymore when nervous in a social setting;they check their Facebook page or Twitter feed on their mobile device.
•Some people even do it while walking, shopping, fishing,jogging, cycling … oblivious to the people around them—untilthey bump into them.
The “new social” often interrupts physical interactionswith people as attention flits from face-to-faceconversation to the online action.
•Fifty-nine percent of online adults use at least one socialnetworking site. Are there benefits with connection?
•It’s a one-way trend of more technology. Another 10 years ofsmartphones and tablets (iPad 13?) will make it even morecompelling for consumers to interact socially through tech.
Because women love to connect, marketers need to focuson how technology and social media can foster connectionsthat bring women together in the flesh, so they don’t getout of practice.
•Men have traditionally dominated tech fields, where womenremain at a distinct disadvantage by any metric: averagesalary, top-management representation, board memberships.
•But that’s about to change, with new appointments such asVirginia Rometty as IBM’s first female CEO and Rachel Sterne(age 28) as Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s chief digital officer forNew York City.
Maybe it’s because women excel at communications, butlook for them to succeed in everything from startups tomedia gigs as they continue to embrace tech.
•Girl Geek Dinners is a movement that has grown to 24 countriessince 2005, so look out for geekettes in your neighborhood.
•Middle Eastern women are extending their IT skills and knowledgewith partnership programs such as Women in Technology.
•Online forums and organizations offer a collaborative andsupportive ecosystem, enabling women from around the world to start their own companies and build sustainablebusiness ideas.
•Most young women are exposed to technology at a young age, with mobile phones, tablets, the Web or social media. They are much more tech-proficient than previous generationsbecause they use it for all their schoolwork, communication and entertainment.
•Today, learning on the job is becoming more valuable thanscience and technology degrees (of which women have onlyabout 20 percent), opening up more opportunities to women tobreak in.
In a field dominated by men, there’s huge scope forbrands, products and personalities that representwomen’s different needs on their own terms.
•Whose product reviews and recommendations really count thesedays? Increasingly, we (especially women) look to friends andsocial network contacts as our experts.
Social networks are natural hangouts for “high sharers”who like to air their opinions. They’re ideal for findingpeople whose circumstances and tastes are relevant toour own.
•Marketers are eager to target these high sharers and theirsway: Facebook has big pull when it comes to baby brands, forinstance; YouTube is handy for music marketers; review sitespack a punch for electronics.
•In this volatile environment where social media feeds broadcastmedia, and is fed by it, massive waves of comments can buildfast—both to positive and negative effect.
The yang is smart brand-forward initiatives; the yinmust be smart brand-defense systems to spot negativecurrents on social media and turn the tide.
•As more people carry more digital technology around withthem, the boundaries are blurring: work/life, online/offline,real/virtual, here/there, local/global, day/night, private/public,family/friends.
•No segment is more affected by these blurring lines thanwomen who struggle to maintain a work-life balance in a worldthat tells them they can do it all.
•Many ME women are experiencing a difficult transition fromthe hard work of traditional life to the easy conditions ofmodern living; TV, malls and mobiles make life moreconvenient—but also more boring.
Women in general feel more ambivalent about the 24/7,always-on blurring of life. On one hand, they expect totalconnectivity; on the other, they suspect it’s not totallygood for them.
•Having it all seems to come at a price as guilt over work-lifebalance rises (more calls coming from the office during familytime, for instance).
•This underscores the importance of focusing on the implicationsof gender and emotions for psychological health of working moms.
•Women make technology work for their lives as they strugglefor balance. Shortly after buying a tech product, they quicklyintegrate it into all aspects of their daily lives, taking advantageof all its applications (men more often don’t take the time tolearn their products’ full uses).
Consumer electronics companies should listen up andspend more time targeting women and giving thempractical reasons to buy specific devices, and let theusage patterns follow.
•Over the past decades, the world has been conducting massivereal-life experiments with different ways of arranging societies,especially with the roles of men and women.
•There are big differences even between “close” geographicneighbors such as Scandinavia and southern Europe, China andJapan, and across the Middle East.
•One global similarity is that wherever women have opportunitiesin education, business and civic organizations, they do well.
•Another is that engaging with global technology, business andmedia affects traditional patterns of life; life is never the sameafter TV, malls, cars and technology.
Brands and marketers in the Gulf have a delicate choiceto make: Position ahead of the curve of the changingsituations for women, or stick with the mainstream?
“When women thrive, all of societybenefits, and succeeding generationsare given a better start in life.”—Kofi Annan, former secretary-general of the United Nations
•Imagine the gender reverse of the current situation.
•Imagine the C-suites of corporations and upper tiers ofgovernments and institutions full of women, with a sprinklingof men.
•Imagine being able to pitch a gender-neutral product (car,computer) at women without turning off men.
•Imagine an industry conference where everybody is talkingabout how we need to understand the ways in which men aredifferent, and how we must learn to market better to men.
None of these scenarios is likely for a long time to come,but in the past few years they have stopped beingimpossible to imagine.