to women; love, marketers
To: Women of America
From: W.T.F. (We Target Females), a coalition of marketers dedicated to making complete fools of ourselves while trying to market to women
In case you haven’t read our recent press releases, we, the smart marketers of W.T. F., wanted to make sure you women of America know how cool our recent efforts to market to you are. You might recognize some of our latest work:
– Dell’s Della.com — a website for you ladies who might find it too difficult to navigate our manly Dell.com website
– Only In a Woman’s World website from Frito-Lay — modeled after Sex and the City since we know that your lives are just like Carrie and Samantha’s
We’ve been trying to make our appeals to you as obvious as possible, but in case it’s not clear, here’s a summary of our “strategy”:
- lump all women into a single target audience — we believe it’s enough that we’re actually targeting women (you wouldn’t believe how hard it was to convince management to channel dollars to you!!), so we aren’t going to bother with identifying sub-segments within the female market and understanding different purchase drivers — we’ll just target the entire female population and hope our message resonates with more of you than it alienates
- run advertising specifically targeted to women — we believe we must dedicate marketing dollars and develop campaigns completely separate from our historically male-targeted efforts — since we’re trying to get more female customers, it would be foolish of us to try to cast a wider net of appeal by identifying platforms that resonate with both men and women
- use creative approaches that are patronizing, offensive, and/or exclusionary — it’s much easier to reinforce gender stereotypes and rely on predictable hot buttons (you like cooking, dieting, and Manolo Blahniks, right?), so we don’t think we need to expend our energy on crafting truly creative and inspired communications
- issue press releases and try to generate lots of buzz — truth be told, we’re really just looking to be noticed and appreciated for going out of our way to target you — our high profile moves are as much for the props as they are for meeting your needs — after all, despite the case studies of successes that brands have experienced when word-of-mouth has generated organically among women, we’re taking matters into our own hands and trying to force you to pay attention
Although the W.T.F. coalition has plenty of members, we have our sights set on Liz Haesler and Mary Stoddart, the gals at Best Buy who have been tapped to head up the company’s Women’s Leadership Forum. The Forum is intended to drive profitable market share for BBY by increasing the brand’s appeal as a place to shop for female customers and a place to work for female employees. We’re hoping they will abandon the grass-roots, community-oriented approach that has been the hallmark of the program since its inception, and instead adopt a corporate, commercial stance that is light on nuance and heavy on PR.
Then we’ll go after the folks at hp and Sun Chips, because they’ve taken a more subtle but really smart approach to connecting with women and we can’t let them serve as examples for other marketers. After all, making a big splash is what we’re all about.
W.T.F. — names of coalition members and their companies have been omitted since we don’t care that women value transparency