Learn What Women Want

No, I’m not writing a porn post. I’m talking about a great new book called Influence: How Women’s Soaring Economic Power Will Transform Our World for the Better (amazon affiliate link) sent to me by my friend, Love Streams. The book gives us a lot to think about with regards to how women’s income is on the rise, how women and men are gaining opportunities to choose who stays home, and many more interesting points and ideas. If you need to understand women as a business person, this book has a lot of interesting data points and ideas to consider. Here’s my quick video review (shot by Kat):

You can get the book here:

People always ask which camera I used to shoot my video. I use the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3 (that’s a review of the camera).

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  • http://www.trainwithshane.com Deborah Shane

    Chris, Thanks for posting this. There have been enormous data in the past two years about how women ARE. not becoming a majority, sub demo and major 'influencer' (big idea of yours) on global consumer spending. This book and Maddy's research continues to confirm the future truly belongs to women, if they want it. Women have an opportunity to “change things now”, they must though earn their way into leveraging and maximizing this position. I am excited Maddy is booked on my radio show, The Metropolis on June 14! Keep doing good!

  • http://www.ArrowLightHaulage.co.uk/ Sarah Arrow

    The huge spending power of women would make any marketer sit up and take notice. We also reviewed the book (Thanks Love) at the end there are suggestions that talk about you can make a difference and how a woman can use her influence.

    What I did find interesting was the fact that women only banking (or women focused banking) came about when the banks realized they were losing them as clients and that they wielded far more financial power than they thought. In other words, it had to belt them in the pocket before they would change their revenue model.

    It is a very good book to read, and we enjoyed reading it.

  • http://www.looble.com/ deceth

    The future will be run by machines. But I agree, women cyborgs will definitely run the show.

  • http://www.looble.com/ deceth

    When I conquer the world, I promise to enslave both men and women equally. I am however open to enslaving men more-so if that helps my political position.

    Also, I'm against nukes. If we hope to survive the battle against machines, we need weapons like EMP's that can take them out, not nukes that they can use on us. Robots tend to have a high tolerance for radiation.

    Lastly, if you vote for me I will save the oranges from extinction.

  • http://bettercloser.com Bill Rice

    You beat me to it–I was going to point out Tom Peters' comment on this long ago as the key to successful marketing. I know the wonderful woman in my house makes the majority of our consumer buying choices.

    I'll have to give it a look. I really believe this is important to winning in consumer (and maybe business too) marketing and sales.

  • http://www.cridon.de Jürgen Stäudtner

    Chris, thanks for the hint.

    In fact I think that women are one of the main drivers of the next years, not only concerning sales and marketing, but also in terms of new product development.

    Some of this thoughts I have collected in a white paper at: http://www.cridon.de/white-paper/area/

  • Heather P.

    Chris,
    Another great author on the topic is Lisa Witter – co-author of “The She Spot.” She's a great resource.

  • http://www.ivanwalsh.com Ivan Walsh

    Hi Sarah,

    as a guy … what other areas are getting over-looked? You flagged banking as one. What others need to be addressed? I develop online products so I have a vested interest in this area.

  • http://osnatbresler.wordpress.com/ osnatbresler

    Thank you Chris!

    This subject touches me deeply, and will be glad to read the books you mentioned.
    I spent most of my adult years in the corporate world as a working mom, and now that I have embarked upon entrepreneurial options, I`m passionate about helping the next generation of women find their way independently to become what they are capable of becoming.

    A while back, Eric Worre interviewed Lisa Grossman who also shed light on the subject. You can see the interview on my blog:
    http://osnatbresler.wordpress.com/2009/08/10/th

  • http://www.birdsontheblog.co.uk/ Sarah Arrow

    Hi Ivan
    I don't know if I am allowed to post a link to my review, my apologies if I am not – http://www.birdsontheblog.co.uk/3221/book-revie

    The banking sector jumped out at me, and also the Automobile sector and how they are adapting to the women influenced market place. The book also mentions about Dell and their Della site that was aimed at women computing and took them to a site that spoke about using their PCs for counting calories. Needless to say it was revamped and then closed pretty swiftly.

    Retail is spoke about too, and the results from specific female friendly tech stores were better as what the women wanted, the men also used. The stores (I think they were 'Buy' stores) were also more profitable.

    Ivan, I think you have to ask women what they want. Then ask again. Then ask again. Then compare the data.

    Personally as a woman I don't like to be treated like an idiot (even if I am one) and any product that talks to people as human beings rather than as idiots will do well, regardless of gender.

    Go on, buy the book – it's an eye opening read.

    • http://www.ivanwalsh.com Ivan Walsh

      Hi Sarah,
      Thanks for the pointing out the book. I’ll get it for sure when we get back to Europe. We’re in China this year.
      <I don't like to be treated like an idiot (even if I am one) and any product that talks to people as human beings rather than as idiots will do well, regardless of gender.

      I'm sure you not.

      It’s the approach we take is v different, e.g. we’re moving from China to Europe.

      My approach is to hire someone NOW and get it done. Off my to-do list.

      My wife’s approach is to ask around, get recommendations etc. It takes longer but may be a smarter way to do things.

      • Joan Kelly

        Hi Ivan,

        If you’re interested in the women’s market, also check out the book Women Want More: How to Capture Your Share of the World’s Largest, Fastest-Growing Market – it’s on Amazon. A quote about the book is below. Identifying how to make life easier for women, particularly if you have an online site, will be key – translate their unmet needs into products/services. As for focus areas, Healthcare is a big one, as is managing life: kids, home, family, career and finding time for themselves, usually last if at all. That means everything from food to exercise and organizations. Women over 40 are the fastest growing market in gaming – so take that concept into your website in a new way that allows them to make connections with others – similar to your wife’s way of operating. The trend also is moving toward experiences that expand people’s lives over more “things.” Good luck. Cheers.

        “Women Want More tells the incredible story how companies can capture the emerging $5 trillion in real income growth for women, who feel undervalued in the marketplace; underestimated in the work place and underappreciated in the social arena.” (Michael Gould, Chairman and CEO, Bloomingdale’s )

        • http://www.ivanwalsh.com Ivan Walsh

          Thanks Joan,
          ‘The trend also is moving toward experiences that expand people’s lives over more “things.’

          I can see that in our lives, e.g. as 40+ with kids. The money is no longer a priority, rather it’s using it to give meaning to gives to our lives. Work to live, not live to work!

    • http://www.ivanwalsh.com Ivan Walsh

      Hi Sarah,
      Thanks for the pointing out the book. I’ll get it for sure when we get back to Europe. We’re in China this year.
      <I don't like to be treated like an idiot (even if I am one) and any product that talks to people as human beings rather than as idiots will do well, regardless of gender.

      I'm sure you not.

      It’s the approach we take is v different, e.g. we’re moving from China to Europe.

      My approach is to hire someone NOW and get it done. Off my to-do list.

      My wife’s approach is to ask around, get recommendations etc. It takes longer but may be a smarter way to do things.

  • susangiurleo

    Pew Internet Research Foundation just released study that says women are main drivers of health care purchases and do much of their health care research online. Combined with their increasing earning power and soon more people with access to health care…there are many opportunities. However, most health care providers are NOT online (much to my dismay)….so take that as you will and run, all of you innovators and entrepreneurial-minded types.

  • http://impulsemagazine.net Impulse Magazine

    Most of the time women don't even know what they want. They think they know, but really don't

  • http://www.looble.com/ deceth

    Not knowing exactly what you want… that's a problem affecting everybody. I see it all the time as a software engineer when I try to gather requirements.

    If you haven't already seen it (swing on a tree requirements), check out the picture in this post. http://www.looble.com/even-evil-overlords-want-

    It's a funny picture showing how easily requirements get confused and misunderstood.

  • bkjrecruiter

    Thanks Chris! Women are more nurturing and less aggressive than men (in general) which plays right into the hand regarding how to use/convert/monetize using Social Media… All the research I am seeing completing supports your comments/review…. Best, Brian-

  • http://garybloomer.com/ GaryBloomer

    Chris,

    Proof again that where there's a niche there are gains to be made on the parts of smart, swift-acting, keyed-in marketers.

    ATTENTION! Marketers that want to appeal to the spending power of women over the next five years, the time to plan is NOW. Here's why: http://garybloomer.com/2010/05/how-will-you-cat

  • Michael

    Good post, Chris.

    Marketing to Women Online, a blog by Holly Buchanan, has taught me much in the way of altering my marketing methods.

  • http://www.thinktankmen.com Michael Van Osch

    Thanks Chris, will pick it up. The issue of knowing how to market to women just continues to grow in importance (as it has been for years) when you consider how much more engaged women tend to be on social media sites such as facebook. In our experience, it's getting easier to talk to them; it's the men who are a harder nut to crack.(so to speak).
    cheers

  • http://www.cuny.edu Angel Quiles

    The fact that women are on the verge of changing the landscape of american culture is threatening as a man. However, women have been struggling to attain equal value in the workforce, and if they are outworking men they deserve the perks that come along with it. Publicly women should continue to fight, and make books about their struggles to get noticed for their hard work. As a man I want to work with the best, and I feel the best should gt paid like the best regardless of gender. I think that correct payment would establish a foundation of harder workers, and lead to a greater talent pool to lead society into the following decades. Work hard ladies because I want to work harder.

  • http://www.wildwomannetwork.com SandraLeeSchubert

    What? I am surprised when I hear people are surprised about the influence women have in the marketplace. Try being a woman of a certain age who has to deal with marketing that would put me in a nursing home now. Ummm… I don't need Depends now. I am really not that OLD. The women I know are tech savvy, early adopters, passionate about life, interested in art and politics. We like things that are soft and fuzzy, as well as, cool machines that purr when driven. Dismiss us and you and your brand will be ignored. I hear a song coming on… I am woman-hear me roar…

  • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

    The coolest thing I found through reading the book was in chapter 8 (I think it was) about how this all impacts men. It was basically about how men now have the choice to be the stay home part of the couple. (And this all presumes male-female coupling, so let me get that out there so I don't get beat up by the same-sex couples.)

    It's interesting for lots of parts, but I found that one really interesting.

  • http://twitter.com/lstreams Love Streams

    Chris, Thanks so much for posting this! Maddy thanks you too. What I found so fantastic about this book was besides that fact that it is so informative with all of the facts and statistics about how women are changing society as we know it, it was so inspiring. It is really a call to action, a kick in the pants, if you will to we women who are thinking maybe we should just rest on the laurel of the work done by our mothers and grandmothers and begin to depend again on the white nights to come save us financially. She talks about the financial personalities of women and allows us to diagnose ourselves. It made me take a hard look at how I viewed money in relationship to how I want to live my life and the legacy I want to leave. Was it going to be a personal legacy of influence on my children and family or for a greater good. How was I going to plan for any of these goals if I had know education about finances. These are questions we can all address, male or female. It's the beginning of a conversation about money and our relationships with it that is a healthy discussion for all of us. This is the softer side of the book I enjoyed!

  • http://twitter.com/lstreams Love Streams

    Chris, I completely agree with you. The book takes this a bit further in that men not only have the choice, but women are influencing society to make the statement that this “choice” is more socially acceptable. There is less of a stigma than their used to be in the 80's with the “Mr. Mom” generation. Now, more men want to stay home and feel more comfortable doing so, because more people, men and women are stepping up and saying that they want to live their lives this way.

  • http://www.maddydychtwald.com maddy dychtwald

    Thanks for posting this, Chris. I really appreciate your review and all the comments that are coming in, which demonstrates that this is a subject that's on both women and men's minds. I also think it's important to remember that this is good news for business and the world economy. One interesting stat is that when companies put women on their board, profitability increases. (The magic number is 3: you need to have at least 3 women on a board to impact profitabliity. Developing countries have learned that when they educate young girls and women, it increases GDP, so now more women have the chance to get educated. A win for women is a win for everyone!

  • http://mydarabell.com/ Dara Bell

    Think it is was Carly Fiorina who as CEO of Hewlett Packard introduced laptop cases that looked nice. Think before they were just drab numbers in black and blue. Can only be good for the consumers. Our cultures does not celibrate these women just leaves it out of the news. Then you get a Brenda French on TV all the time with something ultra femminine.

    What about Mitch Mathews at Microsoft. Thinks she is in Outlier category. Or the people I just mentioned. I think it harms the consumer, our choice and connection to brand products.

  • http://twitter.com/MarkBrimm Mark Brimm

    Interesting review! I'll have to check it out.

  • http://twitter.com/lizscherer Liz Scherer

    Thanks for this post. I would love your comment on this – do you feel that women need a 'toolkit' to negotiate their salaries?
    http://flashfree.wordpress.com/2010/05/17/that-

  • http://twitter.com/lstreams Love Streams

    Great post Liz.

  • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

    I think Carly and Mitch and Meg Whitman and whatshername over at Yahoo! now are definitely showing that things are changing. 40% of private businesses in the US are now women-owned. All those folks work at publicly held businesses, but the numbers are racing up. I'm thinking it might not be SOLVED, but that it's definitely getting a bit better.

  • http://www.r4ds.co.uk/ iedge card

    Wow, first of all i want to say Very nice title, actually had not read this book yet. After reading this great review i love to read this book. When it comes to attitudes towards money it is clear young women will never moving backwards. Interesting review, I'll have to check it out. Women are chafing at corporate constraints, growing their businesses, reinventing family roles, gaining voice through social media, and flexing their financial muscles. The world is at the very beginning of women's shift to true influence.

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  • http://www.archercom.com ArcherCom – Paulina

    I love this surge of new spins of economics with the growing popularity of books like freakonomics and womenomics. I haven't yet read the book, so I don't really have any personal opinions of it. Yet, it's definitely going on my To Read list!

    Great book review video!

  • http://www.netplusalliance.com industrialmom

    Last night I watched the movie, “What Women Want” with Mel Gibson and Y2K-it-girl, Helen Hunt. I haven't seen it in a long time, but that movie hits home. Every scene is right out of the female playbook; every women-type is represented: lonely suicidal girl, killer lady-boss, ldr Ivy-League under-appreciated assistant, sexy/crazy coffee shop girl (love Marisa Tomei) & hormonal teen daughter. The scene when Darcy and Nick are working through the ad pitch for Nike, he says women worry too much, they worry all the time. They try to do everything, try to fit it all in.

    It's all about the (unbelievably high) expectations that women put on themselves. If I read to my kids and played Mozart when they were babies, will they grow into sensitive, intelligent people? If I work really hard at my job, volunteer, read blogs about social media, print out the white papers, tweet, get a run in, drive kids to activities, do the homework, make dinner and maybe read a little bit before I go to sleep at 10PM, have I gotten there? Have I reached that threshold that I have put (way) up there for myself? And more importantly, has anyone noticed?

    Here's what women want: we want to be noticed, even if that means, as a salesman at Best Buy, you have to take it down a (tech) notch and maybe ask us a few questions to be interested or even fein interest in our purpose for being there. If you really want to go for it, tell us you like our shoes. It means, paying someone a compliment, whether that's posting on their blog or remembering how they take their coffee.

    We also need to know the payoff. In simple terms tell us: what this will do to help me get closer to my expectation level, and how easy are you going to make it for me to get there? Will you choose accessory items for me that go with the dress in my shopping cart? I love when websites know me, help me choose. Beauty products, services? Show me. Testimonials work wonders with women. With everyone, in every industry. Show me someone that is just like me, that they did it, tried it, and it worked, got them to where they needed to be. I'm sold.

  • http://www.twitter.com/cynallover Cynthia Frisina Gray

    Great recommendation, Chris. Already downloaded it onto my Kindle. Fascinating and key for marketers to understand how flexing gender roles, life choices, power and financial influence are intersecting in our shifting economic landscape.

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  • http://www.universalgiving.org pamelahawley

    Chris, thank you for sharing this book with us, and for opening this discussion about women in the workplace. It reminds me of an amazing conference I attended earlier this year. It was called “Dynamic Women in Business,” the 19th annual conference of its sort held at Harvard Business School.

    It was compelling, inspiring, engaging.

    It was honest and tough.

    It was practical.

    It was hopeful.

    It was frank.

    One woman there spoke that she was uncomfortable at certain major Fortune 500 company because she was gay. Now, she has an opportunity where she is leading the gay/lesbian channel at MTV. Another woman led $1 billion in revenue for General Mills; another the CEO of Lululemon. There are positive examples of women in leadership roles, and yes, we do need to increase them.

    As with any business, you have to build value to succeed. Let’s build value in our conversations so that we are building towards a positive solution. It's inspiring to see progress made…and exciting to think of what the future will show.

    Sincerely,
    Pamela Hawley
    Founder and CEO
    UniversalGivingâ„¢

    phawley@universalgiving.org
    http://www.universalgiving.org

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    http://www.pamelahawley.wordpress.com

  • http://www.yuregininsesi.com yuregininsesi

    Chris, Thanks for posting this. There have been enormous data in the past two years about how women ARE. not becoming a majority, sub demo and major 'influencer' (big idea of yours) on global consumer spending. This book and Maddy's research continues to confirm the future truly belongs to women, if they want it.

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  • http://www.tutuneson.web.tr tütüne son

    Great recommendation, Chris. Already downloaded it onto my Kindle. Fascinating and key for marketers to understand how flexing gender roles, life choices, power and financial influence are intersecting in our shifting economic landscape.