The female consumer – Marketers still missing a trick

As it’s International Women’s Day, I thought I would share with you excerpts from a poster of the Girls’ Day School Trust. It highlights how a girl’s life, opportunities and expectations have changed in the last 125 years:


In addition to making great strides in education and public life, women have also emerged as powerful consumers and decision makers. According  to some sources (for instance, this one), women account for 85% of all consumer purchases, from cars to health care.

Yet, many marketers still assume that women do not make purchase decisions for large ticket items. While others present women with products that are, simply, pink and/or small versions of their core products.

In this interview, Professor Moira Clark discusses some of the ways many firms fail to cater to the female market, including:

– The online retail environment – does not offer opportunities for social interactions;

Product design – products adapted for women (e.g., pink versions) rather then developed with them in mind;

Communication – relying on stereotypes and rather patronising

As if to prove Moira’s point, just as I was about to hit the publish button, I saw this picture on twitter (via @diane1859):


Is it me, or is marketing still in the dark ages, as far as female consumers are concerned?

3 thoughts on “The female consumer – Marketers still missing a trick

  1. Interesting to read that. I thought marketeers were more data- and research driven than that. I guess I was wrong. It’s sad that marketeers are so badly managed or badly managing themselves.
    And this Microsoft ad… WOW. I’m sure they have the best intentions, but the image, especially in the context of this post, is almost sickening.


    1. Yes, there are data and complex algorithms. But, at the end of the day, somebody needs to look at that number or correlation and interpret it. And it’s in that interpretation that the stereotypes come through.


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