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Advertising & media industry critic, co-host of NPR’s “On the Media”, Bob Garfield, and co-author with Doug Levy, Founder and CEO, MEplusYOU, of Can’t Buy Me Like, will draw on their newly released book to show brand marketers how authentic customer connections drive superior results in their day one session at the 9th annual M2W® – The Marketing to Women Conference, April 15 – 17, 2013, Chicago Cultural Center.

Doug Levy and Bob Garfield, co-authors of "Can't Buy Me Like" Garfield explained, “Brands face an apparent choice: slash inefficient advertising, or put blind faith in social media. As the Beatles wrote a half century ago, money can’t buy you love. But in today’s desensitized world, money can’t even buy you like. We’ve entered the “Relationship Era,” where long-term success means creating authentic relationships. This doesn’t mean focusing on social media and blizzards of micro-targeted ads. These tactics, which disguise outdated thinking, often don’t work long term.”

“Where do “authentic customer relationships” come from? Honesty. Values. Purpose. Women in particular are critical,” Garfield claimed. “Because women influence 85% of purchasing decisions, they are key components in tapping the market’s full potential. High-quality products and services are required, but no longer enough. The world is becoming more transparent. You can’t persuade or flatter customers into loyalty, and they are more than data on a spreadsheet.”

About M2W®:

M2W®, part of Women Mean Business!™ Week, is the world’s premier conference on marketing to women. Since its founding in 2005, the event has been attended by thousands of senior-level brand managers and marketing executives from Fortune 500 companies representing major consumer product and service categories, including financial services, healthcare, automotive, housing, pharmaceutical, F&B, electronics, travel, retail, fashion, HBA, etc.

The M2W® program features keynotes, general sessions, workshops, receptions and special events. Highlights include case studies and how-to sessions on topics such as media, creative, research, packaging, purchasing habits and point-of-sale interaction.

Sponsors for the 2013 conference include Associate Sponsors: GfK, Linkage Research, Willoughby Design, Whitaker International, Anthem!, Mabel’s Labels, Conill, General Growth Properties and House Party; Workshop Sponsors: TRIS3CT, Insights in Marketing, LLC, Iron Girl and The Pert Group; and Showcase Sponsors: MEplusYOU, Female Factor, Healthy Initiatives Foundation, Lifescript, Snippies and Carolina Pad.

For complete conference information visit: or call 860.724.2649 x14. M2W® is produced by PME® Enterprises LLC, 912 Silas Deane Highway, Suite 101, Wethersfield, CT 06109.


Here are some of the recent marketing-to-women headlines in the news:

Women Influencers Are Susceptible (You Guessed It) to Influence – Influential women are themselves more likely than other women to have their purchases influenced by everything from online reviews to expert endorsements. But they’re not always as swayed by the big names you’d expect and often give more weight to media and media brands than to individuals (AdAge Digital, 5/12/11, login required).

Do Women Bloggers Want to Work with Your Brand? – Blog community provider BlogFrog surveyed female bloggers in the US to discover what kinds of partnerships with brands were more desirable and how women bloggers thought brand relationships should work (eMarketer, 5/16/11).

Up Ahead for ESPN: More Multiplatform Ad Units, Custom Content, Focus on Women – Keep an eye out for more female programming on ESPN’s airwaves. ESPN W, a new content initiative and website that formally launched last month, will be featured heavily in ESPN’s cross-network coverage of the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup from June 26 to July 17. It’s also behind a new series of short films, "HERoics," about women’s contributions to the soccer world. The films will debut on ESPN and also air on ABC leading up to the World Cup (AdAge Digital, 5/17/11, login required, scroll to end of article).

Case Study: How Aveda Avoided a Social Promotion Backlash – Beauty company Aveda conducted its first sampling program on Facebook to drive product trial and increase the Facebook page’s "likes," but ran into—then overcame—some glitches along the way (eMarketer, 5/17/11).

We’ve loaded some photos (with more to come!) from The 7th Annual M2W – The Marketing to Women Conference onto our Facebook page, be sure to check them out.

M2W 2011 attendees at the Pre-Conference Reception, sponsored by Snippies

“Like” us on Facebook to stay connected with the M2W community throughout the year. We regularly post marketing to women articles and conference news.

Here are some of the recent marketing-to-women headlines in the news:

Lauder Launches Idealist With Multi-Ethnic Models: Estée Lauder is launching a new skincare line called Idealist, and to emphasize how well the products work on all types of skin, the company is making a multicultural splash with the marketing campaign. Both TV and print ads will feature models Joan Smalls, Liu Wen and Constance Jablonski, with an "Every Woman Can Be Beautiful" theme (MediaPost Daily, 3/21/11).

Will Social Media Replace Surveys as a Research Tool?: The top research executive of likely the world’s biggest research buyer expects surveys to dramatically decline in importance by 2020 and sees the rise of social media as a big reason why (AdAge, 3/21/11).

Marketing Handbags to Women, One Tire at a Time: One pair of handbag entrepreneurs has found an interesting niche where the environmental movement and high fashion overlap – together with some very interesting distribution strategies that represent great marketing to women (Vibrant Nation, 3/14/11).

As we learned during last year’s M2W® Pre Conference Workshop, digital marketing can “convert women from customers to brand evangelists”—which is exactly what Kenneth Cole is hoping to do during this holiday season.  As part of its “BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR” campaign, the popular fashion brand has just introduced its first digital “Wish List” and corresponding iPhone application.  The interactive digital gift registry is designed to allow consumers to easily create and share their personal holiday wish lists with friends and family (including even non Kenneth Cole related items) via email, Facebook and Twitter.  The iPhone app allows users to take their Wish Lists with them, and when near a Kenneth Cole store location, they will receive a reminder on their phones about a Wish List item that remains to be fulfilled.  And for those of us looking for some new gift ideas, the Wish List site includes an “Our Friends” section which gives you a peek at the lists created by Kenneth himself as well as some of his A-list friends.

To encourage giving gifts beyond retail, Wish List users can suggest a contribution to their favorite charity—giving them the opportunity to be bestowed with a ‘Hero’ badge as well as have the company add a link to the organization’s website in an effort to encourage donations and volunteerism (another great marketing to women strategy:  cause marketing).

And speaking of mobile apps, P&G’s Always has just launched its ‘Always Me™ mobile application–a comprehensive period and ovulation tracker.  The application was designed with input from a select group of women-focused website editors, bloggers and female health experts.  “A key motivator for us was the reality that while all women establish daily routines and different ways to manage their monthly cycles, they are also looking for solutions to help make their lives a little easier,” said Courtney Schuster, Always Global Brand Manager. “In an age where our phones connect us to our family, friends and on-demand content, we created the Always Me mobile app to help women stay connected with their bodies in a current, customizable way.” One of the unique features of Always Me is a personalized question and answer function to address any personal or intimate questions that she may have.  Consumers can submit a question related to their menstrual cycle, and a health professional will provide a timely answer within 24 hours.

Looking ahead, P&G has plans to expand the mobile application to include a wide range of useful information and tips for various aspects of a woman’s life, including skin, hair and beauty care and will continue to evolve the product by listening to consumers—a smart move when it comes to finding success with marketing to women.  “Listening to consumers is the easy part.  Joining the conversations and making changes based on that listening is much more difficult, but can be the lynchpin in engaging women in your brand,” said Ketchum’s Kelley Skoloda during her 2010 M2W® brand panel.

‘Real Women’ campaigns are nothing new to M2W®.  Brands such as Dove have been part of the M2W® program and executives from companies like Citibank’s Women & Co. have been part of the M2W® audience giving us greater insight into how using real women in their campaigns has led to greater marketing to women success.  Now Wonderbra® appears to be heading into the real women world for their new web-based series that will feature reality video vignettes that are expected to air in spring 2011.  “Since its debut in 1994, the Wonderbra brand has strived to empower women to feel confident and sexy every day,” said Tricia Bouras, Marketing Director for Wonderbra. “Now we’re looking to cast four real women with that unmistakable Wonderbra appeal as our national brand ambassadors.”  Casting videos are being accepted now through November 19th and Wonderbra will select four winners who best represent specific personas:  the diva, the starlet, the free spirit and the trendsetter.  Not sure how “real” those personas appear to be, but we are looking forward to how the brand will use their web-based reality series to build additional buzz with female consumers.

“Female entrepreneurs contribute $3 trillion dollars to the US economy and their numbers are growing dramatically,” said Jane Out of the Box founder Michele DeKinder-Smith during her workshop presentation at M2W®.  “These women not only make purchasing decisions for their businesses but also their households – so win their loyalty in business and benefit by getting their personal spending too.”  Advice that Jones New York seems to be following with the launch of “The Little Black Book of Career Advice.”   The Little Black Book of Career Advice is a part of the Jones New York “Empowering Your Confidence” campaign, and is a digitally integrated and socially shareable asset that features inspirational quotes from successful women across the country, including Lauren Bush, Arianna Huffington, Bonnie Fuller, Deborah Norville, Bobbi Brown and Ivanka Trump. The book will live on the Jones New York website (

Jones New York’s empowerment campaign celebrates the brand’s history of dressing women for success for over 35 years and has joined forces with Dee Dee Myers, the first female White House Press Secretary and author of The New York Times best-selling book Why Women Should Rule the World, to help spread the message.   Stacy Lastrina, chief marketing officer of Jones Apparel Group, said: “The Little Black Book of Career Advice was designed to help inspire women. We all have collected a great deal of wisdom and advice in our lives and careers, and Jones New York wanted to create a platform on which to share it.”

Web-based fashion retailer, a subsidiary of, recently launched Shopbop Global, a free service that enables customers outside of the U.S. to prepay import fees at checkout ensuring faster, easier delivery.  The new service is part of the online boutique’s commitment to serving its customers worldwide.  “We’ve seen overwhelming growth in our global customer base as women around the world turn to us for the latest fashion from established and up-and-coming designers,” says Shopbop head of international marketing, Karen Grajwer. “We’re thrilled to bring her this upgrade in service and will continue to seek new ways to improve her shopping experience.”

The growth of global has become part of mainstream marketing to women discussions as heard during several presentations at M2W®.  Fara Warner, Amanda Stevens and the Latina Marketing Brand panel all included statistics and research on how women are becoming an economic force throughout the world.  “New research from around the world reveals that we are entering a time of exponential growth for women as an economic, social and political force,” said Fara Warner, author of The Power of the Purse, during the 6th Annual M2W®.  “No more are we looking at conservative, slow-growth gains for women in the marketplace, but huge leaps in power as the foundations we have built during the past 100 years serve as the catalyst for profound change in the 21st century.”

SheKnows, an agency that often sends its executives to M2W® and is a sponsor of this year’s M2Moms®-The Marketing To Moms Conference, has announced the launch of a new online video series called SheKnows ChatPack.  The show’s panel consists of four women discussing different aspects of their lives and giving advice to viewers about the latest topics on parenting, finance, health and more. The ChatPackers will be joined by an expert in the field relevant to each week’s topic, such as beauty, fitness, travel, love & romance, and will give first-hand tips and advice in regard to services and products that are in the audience’s best interest.   To give SheKnows users the chance to get to know the ChatPack women and experts on a more personal level, the ChatPack hub will have profiles pages for each individual consisting of bios and photo galleries. The SheKnows ChatPack hub will also feature content relevant to the video topics and offer giveaways for its viewers.   “The goal of the SheKnows ChatPack series is to create a conversation among these four women for the audience to connect with on a personal level,” said Kyle Cox, vice president, general manager of SheKnows. “This video series, coupled with the site’s extensive supplemental articles and bios, will make the ChatPackers tastemakers among women for everything relating to parenting, finance and health, and more.”

The ChatPack series went live with three episodes on August 12th and will debut two more to follow every other week after. Each episode will be approximately between three to six minutes in length and users will be able to comment on each video and share them with their friends.

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