Bentley College Marketing- Honors

This blog is for MK 402-H01 and the greater Bentley College population.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Advertising in Pink

“Targeting Ads to Biz Women”

March 21, 2006

The blog that I chose to write about this week was an easy selection – Toby dedicated it to me! If that isn’t inspiration to make a comment, I don’t know what is.

In Targeting Ads to Biz Women, Toby writes about Pink magazine, which is a magazine devoted to career-minded women. She specifically analyzes the publication’s advertisements and their focus on business women (or lack thereof). How fitting for a female marketing major at Bentley.

Toby declares that 80% of the ads in Pink are appropriately targeted towards career women. Some of the different approaches that the ads took towards attracting women were interesting: Price Waterhouse Coopers featured an ad showing pink shoes on the beach, along with a narrative/poem written about women and their struggles to develop successful careers while maintaining their “feminine” roots and values; New York Life’s ad displayed three colored women with an inspirational message that could have been written for men or women; Toby goes on to describe several different approaches that were taken throughout the magazine which target female executives to various degrees.

This story is marketing-related for obvious reasons. Advertisements are a key component of the 4th “Marketing P”: Promotions. A crucial part of creating a strong ad is appropriately identifying and targeting a particular segment of the market. In this case, that segment is women in the business world, which is a rather new target market for companies to reach out to.

The blog notifies readers that marketing specifically towards career-minded women could be a huge opportunity for corporations, and the blog explores possible methods of pursuing such a target. Toby leaves it up to the reader to ultimately decide which ads were effective and which weren’t, but her goal seems to be to create an awareness of the recent trend in advertising and the emphasize its importance in a world where women are making great strides in their pursuit of respect and authority within the business realm. The idea of targeting such a growing demographic in today’s society could be very profitable for companies that pursue such a strategy early on: successful business women would be more likely to purchase from companies that support their goals, mentalities, and emotions in life. Also, as women in business continue to gain power and momentum, they’ll be a demographic with growing disposable incomes – this equates to money in the pockets of those creative advertisers that can effectively target the group.

Targeting Ads to Biz Women improved my understanding of marketing by opening my eyes to the many ways career women can be approached via advertisements. Successful ads could target their femininity while concurrently portraying women as business leaders. Conversely, ads could be just as effective if they spoke to women equally as they would to men, emphasizing the idea that if women truly want equality in the workplace then they want to be treated just like men, no “if”s, “and”s or “but”s. Ads can approach women as super-hero icons, highlighting their accomplishments in family life and in business; or they can speak strictly to the career-focused part of a women in the working world, hinting at the idea that women shouldn’t be expected to maintain their traditional housewife/soccer mom identities at the same time as they make leaps and bounds in the corporate environment. The many different options available to marketers targeting business women reflect the many different “types” of women seeking successful careers. Some hold very traditional family values and would like to maintain their maternal, domestic values while earning some money in the corporate world, while others are devoted wholly to their work and to becoming prosperous, authoritative figures at the office with no desire for a husband and/or children. The majority of women probably fall somewhere in between, but the varieties of “business women” out there are as numerous as the personalities they possess.

My critique of this piece is that readers (or at least me) are left wondering which ads actually were effective and which were not. It would have required some additional research, but it would have been very interesting to know which of the ads that Toby described actually caught their readers’ attention, which ones the women actually stopped to read, which ones convinced women of a certain message or idea, and which (if any) prompted them to act on that message. Did any create additional profits for the companies they represent in the long run? Maybe it would have been nearly impossible for Toby to really gauge the success of the ads in Pink, but it still would have been interesting information if it was feasible to acquire!


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Thursday, March 23, 2006 9:46:00 PM  

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