Thursday, March 13, 2008

Blog Book Tour with Authors of the Soccer Mom Myth

Today, I have the pleasure of participating in a blog tour featuring Holly Buchanan and Michele Miller, Authors of The Soccer Mom Myth. Blog book tours are very interesting, especially if you participate in the entire tour. You really get to know the authors and about their woork.

Here are three questions I asked them:

1) Why did you write The Soccer Mom Myth?

Holly: Michele came to a copywriting seminar I was teaching in NY. She was an expert in marketing to women, I was an expert in marketing online - we knew both were hot topics. So we decided to write a book together. I was really interested in marketing to women and thought doing the research would fun as well as insightful. The best part about writing the book really was working with Michele.

My other motivation was personal, not professional. I see so many negative images of women in advertising - everything from stereotypes to advertising that looks like ad porn ads. I can't stop advertising, but I can reach out to companies who truly do want to connect with women. I can help them craft more positive, relevant images that only truly speak and connect with potential women customers, but convey a more positive image of women to the public in general.

Michele: The timing was just right on all fronts - Holly and I were looking to write on the subject of marketing to women, we had complementary subjects (general vs. online), and there seemed to be a growing need for marketing to women knowledge. One of the core reasons I wanted to write it was because there are other marketing-to-women books out there, but none really give you "nuts and bolts" ideas that you can try in your business.

2) Please tell us about an experience that happened to you where a business WASN'T marketing to you as a women.

Holly: In the book, I talk about receiving a letter from a lawn irrigation company that started out "Dear Sir." It just so happened that I was actively looking for a new irrigation company. I was not happy with my current company. Because I'm a marketer, I went ahead and red the letter. This was exactly the type of company I was looking for. No contracts, affordable service, and they were going to be in my neighborhood the next week.

But that letter ended up in the trash. What that company conveyed to me with just two words, "Dear Sir" was that they did not value my business

Michele: Maybe it was the time I was looking to buy my first car and had my eye on a Honda CRX (shows how old I am!). I went into the dealership and the salesman didn't want to take me out for a test drive because he figured I didn't know how to drive a stick shift (he even called me "honey"). I had grown up on a farm driving manual shift since I could remember, but the guy wouldn't budge. I went across town and chose the same car and PAID MORE, because that dealership treated me with respect.

3) What's been the biggest surprise in your research about marketing to women?

Holly: For me, I think it's that creating better experiences for women also creates better experiences for men. Many companies have found that when they meet the demands of women, men have a better experience as well.

My other surprise is how little medical testing has been done on women. With their "female cycles" and pregnancy issues, they were often considered to risky to include in medical tests. With everything we are learning about how women and men are wired differently biologically, especially in the brain, it amazes me that more testing has not been done on women.
It was also very recently that the first female crash test dummy was created that actually mirrored a woman's real body. We've come so far, yet we have so far to go.

Michele: I think the biggest surprise for me was finding out how much women still feel that advertising and marketing just doesn't speak to her. There are such subtle things you can do to improve your business with women, yet most industries are either too ignorant or lazy to do anything about it. Nobody said it was going to be easy work... but the payoffs are enormous.

Note: You can learn more about The Soccer Mom Myth on Saturday at 2pm Eastern Time when I interview them during our Virtual Woman's Day celebration! Just sign up on above to receive your invitation!

1 comment:

Heidi Caswell said...

Shame more marketing "professionals" don't read the book. I've found several local businesses who treat me with respect because I'm a mom and a woman.

Making assumptions based on stereotypes is never a good thing. I've not run into the not letting me test drive because I'm a woman and thus can't drive a stick. The first car I bought was a VW bug, standard.

Who has more buying power? Makes the decision on the most purchases?