There's more than one way to a woman's wallet. The endless array of intersecting routes that lead there are complex enough to confuse many marketers, according to Frank About Women, a marketing consultancy that specializes in targeting advertising messages to women.
The 3-year-old Winston-Salem, NC-based company recently ran a direct mail campaign with the goal of underscoring this point and raising awareness of Frank About Women.
“When we got started, we learned that women think retailers and marketers are really missing the mark” regarding what women look for in the shopping experience, said Jennifer Ganshirt, a co-founder of Frank About Women. She hopes Frank About Women can help retailers and marketers understand what women seek and, as a result, help brands develop more enduring relationships with their female audiences.
The campaign consisted of a poster featuring the familiar icon for a woman that adorns many bathroom doors. Inside the borders of the figure was a map with road names intended to whimsically make the point that women choose brands based on an in-depth decision-making process. Names included: “Is This Too Trendy St.,” “Ooh, Free Samples St.,” “Nanny or Day Care Dr.,” and “This Doesn't Taste Fat Freeway.”
At the bottom of the poster, the copy read: Need directions? Marketing to women is complex. Finding someone who gets it isn't. Go to www.frankaboutwomen.com.
Everyone in the Frank About Women office helped write the names of the streets on the map. A few lines that might be considered offensive to some were left out. But several that were used are likely to raise a few eyebrows.
“We wanted to keep a spark,” Ganshirt said. “If we watered down everything, we'd have nothing. The truth is, women are complicated, they're not all the same and we wanted to reflect that.”
Maintaining a spark also increases the likelihood that people actually will hang up the poster, which was one goal of the campaign “because it's hard to predict when the need for Frank About Women will arise,” she said.
The posters dropped Sept. 20 to 4,000 names in the company's database of prospects. They went to several individuals in the same company, including CEOs, senior vice presidents of marketing and personnel in sales and consumer research. The list of companies consisted mainly of consumer packaged goods, automotive, home improvement, healthcare and travel businesses.
By mid-October, the campaign had generated 20 business leads, Ganshirt said. The campaign cost less than $10,000.
The company's clients have included Procter & Gamble, Hallmark, Kimberly Clark and T.J. Maxx.
“These companies value that we're not on Madison Avenue,” because traditional advertising executives don't always have a good grasp of what American women want, Ganshirt said.
By mailing the poster to more than one person at a business, Frank About Women hopes to get people talking about the company and build a reputation as “one of the best marketers of marketing services,” she said.
Based on response so far, which has included requests for additional posters, Ganshirt said, “I think we're getting there.”
Leads also include several people who collected the direct mail postcards that Frank About Women has sent periodically during the past two years. After receiving the poster, some of the recipients are ready to do business with the company.