No ‘cookie cutter’ approach for talking to women warns Deborah Thomas

womenMarketers need to understand that there isn’t a “cookie cutter” approach when it comes to talking to women and must evolve their content to suit its environment, according to a panel at today’s Mumbrella360 conference.

Bauer Media’s director of public affairs Deborah  Thomas told the audience this afternoon: “I think a big part of speaking to women is life stage and cultural reference points.

“You cannot have a cookie cutter approach, you do have to have different creatives and different ways of speaking to different age groups on all the different platforms.”

She was speaking on the topic of How to Talk to Women on a panel where she was joined by Helen McCabe, editor-in-chief The Australian Women’s Weekly, Amanda Connors, former marketing director API Priceline, Monique Macleod, general manager consumer marketing Commonwealth Bank and Katie Rigg-Smith, CEO Mindshare Australasia.

Conners said: “You can’t be all things to all people. Whether it be beauty or health, you can’t treat a 30-year-old woman who’s wanting to start a family the same as a 65-year-old. It’s not just demographics, it’s also what motivates you”

Thomas added: “We do that every day because if we’re talking to a Cleo reader we’re talking to a different age group, if we’re talking to a Dolly reader it’s a different age group. And Yours is a success for us. As a magazine aimed at women 55+ it’s immediately gone to a 75,000 circulation and women writing into us going ‘Thank God, someone is actually thinking about this’.”

Mindshare’s Rigg-Smith defended marketers struggle to target different women differently, highlighting the constraint of budgets.

“Marketing budgets aren’t getting a lot bigger. We’ve got opportunities to speak to women really targeted, which unfortunately means that when you place advertising that’s not suited to how well the magazine’s content has evolved it makes it more obvious that you’re not targeting a woman in the right way.

“But in the defence of marketers, their budgets can’t split to target 10 different types of women plus men if its a broad conversation which is why I think cars and finance get quite a hard stick on that.

“Because how do you get a broadcast message about a product that’s for both genders but then make it specific enough for men and specific enough for women and now with channels that evolved so well that you open a specific magazine and see different personalities coming through, how do you actually add to do that?”

Miranda Ward


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