Dear Clients. I can make you a lot of money. Just watch.

Guest Post by: Kelly Rasmussen, Aspiring Art DirectorRasmussen

Money. You want to make more of it.

I know how.

I have your attention, and maybe you are a bit skeptical, but here’s how you, the client, can reach your target better, sell more, and overall improve your brand image…


Don’t believe me? Let’s break it down. Women make up roughly 80-85% of consumers. Women in Advertising Creative, they only make up 20%.

So, who is coming up with the ‘award winning ad campaigns’ that will appeal to women?

Men. Now I’m an advertising major, and not too great at science, but I’m pretty sure the people who know women and their buying habits the best, are other women. You may argue that focus groups provide insight into the mind of women, but you have no idea what you are dealing with. Women are complicated.

Forbes recently reported that “Women are the world’s most powerful consumers, and their impact on the economy is growing every year. The global incomes of women are predicted to reach a staggering $18 trillion by 2018, according to global professional services firm EY.”

In fact, the entire article is a gold mine about female consumers, and you should definitely read it after you read this…

Women are the influencers and decision makers for our economy. Shouldn’t they also be the influencers and decision makers on your accounts? And not just on the accounts, but in the leadership roles?

Older professionals in the advertising industry have repeatedly told me, if you want more women in the creative industry, pitch it to the client as a smart business strategy.

Make sure they understand that it would be a good business move to have women working on accounts to sell to other women. Why?

Well for one thing, women selling to other women is a good business strategy.

A first hand look at the female mind. For example, women are funny. So why aren’t there more ads appealing to women’s sense of humor?

Sadly, we are afraid to say something to our boss or to you, the client, because we think just doing good work and showing up is enough to get put on the big accounts.

So clients, I can make you money. A lot of money. But first, the request has to come from you.

Ask for more creative women on your account.

Why would you trust a team of men to talk to stay at home mothers? You know what they produce? Culturally ambiguous actors that show and tell about cleaning and cooking products.

Women know what cleaning products are. We get it. Instead, why don’t you talk about how the bottle will actually last longer and has an easy to spray spout that never clogs?  Or maybe, instead of selling us the science behind the bottle you could put a man in the commercial instead (GASP!). Show THEM how easy it is to clean the kitchen.

Women will still buy a product, even if a woman isn’t in the commercial.

So clients, now that you know how to make more money, will you make the change? It doesn’t have to be drastic, because history would reveal men aren’t bad at selling to women and I don’t want an exclusive team of women working on female products either… but let’s start with hiring more women creative directors to lead a team of men.

Let hire inspiring creative women who will encourage others how to think more like a woman. Once you do that, you might not even have to conduct a single focus group ever again.

And that would make everyone very happy.


12 thoughts on “Dear Clients. I can make you a lot of money. Just watch.

  1. Today we talked about second generational bias and how it is important for women to be aware of the bias even if it may not be obvious. It is important for women to be aware of and to confront stereotypes that are the cause of this gender bias- that is the first step to eliminating it.

  2. Today in class, our group discussed the idea of second generation biases and how our generation does not necessarily see biases at face value. They are much more inherent, and not at the forefront of people’s minds because the surface level fights were fought before our time. However, that does not mean that they do not exist. I think it is even more powerful because these biases have become the status quo and are not spoken about as much as when they were being fought for in the government. Everyone needs to be aware of these issues in order for us to move forward.

  3. According to the text written by Ibarra, Ely, and Kolb: In a recent interview with members of Hilary Clinton’s press corps, a veteran reporter noted, “The story is never what she says, as much as we want it to be. The story is always how she looked when she said it.”

    The emphasis placed on the stereotypical features of women versus the intelligence of women with in the media is diabolical. Keeping the previous statement in mind, if the media made a sincere effort to focus less on the current societal stereotypes of women and clearly made strides to focus on intelligence, would this media change influence a societal change?

  4. By: Jessica Ayala

    Parenting. That was a huge concept that was brought up in our group while looking at Ibarra, Ely and Kolb’s article “Women Rising: The Unseen Barriers.” The concept of “second-generation gender bias” is one that startled me but I realized that people must be educated about it from a way earlier start, not as they enter the workforce. In order to prepare daughters, and sons, for the real world, parents must take initiative to lay down how the world functions and views each gender. With this awareness, children can start thinking about ways that integrate everyone in the most fair way possible. I can confidently say that my generation still carries the values and ideals from our parents, who on the other hand grew up in an outspoken generation. Parents need to understand that their children are individuals who carry their own beliefs and carry themselves accordingly. A parent that shoves down their own beliefs down their child’s throat is a parent that is not letting that child grow, or be open-minded, or make a genuine change in the world. It all stems from home.

  5. In the Wharton article I found it very beneficial to bring the conversation back to Slaughter. Now that we are moving into more of the leadership aspects to class, it is crucial to look at someone formerly in a political position. There is an intersection of business and gender that while often overlooked can be affected in both directions. Sanberg looks as though the onus is on women to change while Slaughter takes the different approach. As my political science courses have taught me, the answer lies in the middle ground. Businesses need to Lean In just as much as women do. The solution to changing the machine must involve a change in the cogs and a shift in the mechanics. Wharton by comparing the two differing perspectives ties together a great look at how progress can be made.

  6. Closing the gender gap was a major part of our group discussion. We talked in depth about changing not only how we advertise to women, but how to get women to the top. Tyler made excellent points about corporate rules that eliminate names on resumes, to make it fair and equal for people to get hired. We also discussed forming creative teams based on personalities, and putting together a diverse group of people, not on their gender or ethnicity, but on their different personality traits (to come up with a more diverse ad).

  7. Today, our group talked a lot about Ibarra, Ely, and Kolb’s use of the term “second generation gender bias” in their article “Women Rising: The Unseen Barriers.” Katera mentioned that she found the term somewhat vague. Her dilemma came in that the article provided many practical solutions for trying to overcome second generation gender bias in the workplace, but never gave a concrete definition of what second generation gender bias was. For me personally, although I agree that the term was not clearly defined, I inferred that the term was attempting to encapsulate the fact that gender bias still exists in the workplace (and as Kelly aptly points out above, especially in the creative industry), and I found the concept a very important one for our generation to understand. While most millennials understand the overt sexism and racism that existed in our parents’ and grandparents’ time, many of us are under the false impression that these issues no longer exist in society today. However, the facts (like the one Kelly mentioned above, pointing out that women make up 80-85% of consumers, but only 20% of creative professionals) show that while gender bias may not be as obvious as it was 40 or 50 years ago, it is absolutely still there. It’s just hiding in subconscious biases and social norms.

    Our group also talked about the Dilalard and Lipschitz article and the shocking statistic that while it only takes men an average of 15 years to reach the position of CEO, it takes women, on average, 23 years. We began to discuss possibilities of practical ways we could shorten the length of time for women. We discussed the fact that while support groups were helpful, they could also serve to make women feel MORE isolated in their companies.

  8. Women work for years, go to get an MBA in order to get into high position jobs but tend to sometimes be over looked. According to one of the articles going to school and getting an MBA isn’t always necessary for moving up in the corporate ladder. Men and women alike have been able to move up the ladder without a degree but it is easier for men than women to get into higher positions without having an MBA. An example is Scott Walker who is planning to run for president but has no undergraduate degree. In comparison to Hillary Clinton who is planning to run but people are more concerned about her emails and the way she dresses than a man who has no degree. It seems like things are a little backwards when it comes to getting a degree and moving up the corporate ladder.

  9. Your mention of the effectiveness of focus groups is really interesting. I am planning on working in the accounts side of advertising or PR, and I always thought that focus groups were important in understanding the target consumer. Now I wonder if focus groups are enough. It almost seems like there needs to be a person on the inside of the agency that belongs to the target group to interpret the insights that come from research. That approach would encourage the development of a more diverse workforce, but would it be feasible for all the specific segments of audiences that are targeted in ads?

  10. We focused more on the Dillard article in my group conversation. The commentary within the group was we talked about sometimes degrees from major school or even graduating are not necessary to be successful. We talked about Scott Walker as an example but a somewhat negative connotation fell on that conversation. I actually learned, from the conversation, that Walker was kicked out of MU, but that is beside the point. I was happy with the ending statement and feeling of the article, that its all about the climb to success, I plan on working with that mentality to get to where I want to be.

  11. One of the main topics my group touched on today was Dillard’s statement that having an MBA is not a requirement for women or men to be a CEO of a company. I felt that this was somewhat untrue because most CEO’s of large companies today have their MBA, especially the women. Women have to work so much harder than men to make it to the top and not having an MBA would only create another disadvantage/weakness.

    Going off of this, my group reminded me that Governor Scott Walker doesn’t even have his Bachelor’s Degree and is a future presidential candidate. We debated if a woman would be in his shoes and the ridiculous amount of backlash she would receive. Along with not obtaining a college degree, there were many rumors of Scott Walker being kicked out of Marquette University. If a woman were to have these rumors circulating while she was in office, we believe that the woman would never receive any votes and the amount of scrutiny would be extensive.

  12. In a further effort to bridge the gender gap, an ad agency can take it one step further by incorporating a woman’s buying insight for all future products under focus. If women are responsible for 80 percent of all buying major purchasing decisions, wouldn’t this balance be properly suited by women having the ability to review and critique at least 80 percent of all advertisements that comprise the market for large purchase decisions?

    Great blog post! It was very insightful!

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