November 24, 2018
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5 TEDTalks That Will Change the Way You Think About Marketing to Women

For years, female-focused marketing was characterized by “The Three Ps”: Pink, Patronizing, Passive.

My, how times have changed.

More and more brands are realizing that women are a powerful force, not to be overlooked. Women have historically held the position of gatekeeper for what products and brands enter the home. And now, with continued cultural shifts only increasing their buying power, the female consumer offers an opportunity that’s bigger than ever for brands looking to make an impact with their business.


As a male marketer, I realized I needed to be more connected to this mega demographic. Because if you want to understand how someone ticks as a consumer… you have to understand what defines them as an individual.

So where did I turn? To my good friend, TED, of course…

After engrossing myself in feminist theory, gender bias, conscious consumerism and a few other subjects that typically fly under my “dude-radar,” I found 5 TED Talks that I think will help any marketer who wants to stand out in today’s “female-centric” economy.


1. The Surprising Neuroscience of Gender Inequality

Founder of the “Women and Innovation Lab,” Janet Crawford, explores how unconscious gender biases affect our society at every level, often perpetuating inequality.


2. The Dangerous Ways Ads See Women

Jean Kilbourne, activist and cultural theorist, looks at how advertising has consistently reinforced unhealthy gender archetypes over the past 40 years—and how we’ve become numb to it.


3. Conscious Consumerism

A recognized expert on marketing to women, Diane Ridgway-Cross tells us why “conscious consumerism”—and brand ethics—matter to women… often more so than men.


4. Teach Girls Bravery, Not Perfection

Reshma Saujani, founder of “Girls Who Code,” discusses the “psychology of perfection” and its (often negative) psychological and behavioral implications for women today.


5. Paula Stone Williams (I’ve lived as a man & a woman—here’s what I’ve learned)

Interesting insight from a transgender woman who has the unique ability to contextualize the differences in how men and women experience everyday life—because she’s lived life on both sides of the spectrum.

Interested in learning more about how these principles can inform, enrich and enlighten your brand’s presence in the hearts and minds of women? Contact Cherri Prince or Lauren Selman to learn about The SheQ™ Test. This new women-focused insight and growth strategy initiative empowers marketers to better understand what matters most to women—and more importantly, how specific categories, brands and consumer experiences address (or don’t address) their needs.

Matt Donahue is not a woman, nor does he play one on TV (or at work). However, he is a creative writer with a keen interest in product innovation and marketing theory. Matt is a graduate of Seton Hill University’s “Popular Fiction” master’s program and writes whenever he can.

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