Michael J. Silverstein and Kate Sayre interviewed thousands of women for their book, "Women Want More". They came to a conclusion you may find startling: women don't really care about goods and services.
"Yes, they pay careful attention to what they buy", the authors wrote. "They know in detail the good points and bad points of all the products they purchase. There are certain brands they love and respect. But products, services, companies and brands take a very distant backseat to what truly demand women's attention, care, and love."
So what do women really care about? Here are the four top findings and the percentage of the women interviewed:
Emotional well-being, 48%
Now you clearly see what every good marketing and advertising person knows. Products and services are not ends in themselves, but rather means to more fundamental ends.
To understand this fully, you have to know that the women you're talking to are challenged. They're challenged by time. Too many demands, too many conflicting priorities, and not enough space for themselves. They spend much of their days at work. In Silverstein and Sayre's research, 38% of the women said their husbands or live-in partners do virtually no household chores. It's a battle of balance.
The survey also showed that women are highly educated, love learning, and apply their skills to spending. You'd better listen to them, talk with them, and satisfy their priorities. More than that, you have to respect their intelligence. If anybody has the intelligence of a 12-year-old, as the cliche goes, it's those people who are doing all those insipid ads and commercials that talk down to their audiences.
Today, women are the name of the game. If you want to play the game, pay attention to deeper values.