Welcome to book review week. For those who do not know, I have a confession: I am a book-a-holic. Seriously. If you visited my home or office you would notice one thing - piles of books everywhere. I usually have 10 or 12 in my "to read" stack, and consume 4 or 5 books simultaneously.
It's gotten so bad my accountant commented on my "Amazon habit," with a strong suggestion to get it under control or risk the financial consequences.
But there's just so much good stuff out there! This week I'll be reviewing some of the best reads I've found recently, focusing on marketing and marketing to women.
First up - Women Want More
Women Want More authors Michael J. Silverstein and Kate Sayre of the Boston Consulting Group conducted a study of 12,000 women in forty countries. Here's what the book is about:
Through quantitative data, profiles of individual women and stories of winning companies, Women Want More provides business leaders with the understanding and practices they need to capture their share of the rising "female economy."
That's actually one of the things I liked best about the book - hearing from real women telling their own stories, unfiltered. The book also has lots of examples of companies who've done an excellent job of selling to women. As the book states:
Some companies will be able to seize the opportunity -$5 trillion or more- to serve women better, but many will not.
One of the main mistakes companies make is:
Clumsy sales and marketing - their marketing will be based on outdated images or stereotypes rather than insights into today's women.
Women Want More goes into details about who today's women really are and what they want from companies and their products.
Here are some of the more interesting headlines from their survey:
44% of women say they rarely or never feel powerful.
The values most important to women are:
- Love 77%
- Health 58%
- Honesty 51%
- Emotional well-being 48%
What makes women extremely happy?
- Pets 42%
- Sex 27%
- Food 19%
- Shopping 5%
The majority of women are optimistic:
- 66% believe "my daily life will be better in five years."
Demand on time is women's number one concern. They have a triple challenge of time:
- Too many demands on my time
- Too many conflicting priorities
- Not enough time for me
A few other interesting tidbits:
13% have to get by on 5 hours or less of sleep each night
Businesses owned by women are growing at twice the rate of all U.S. firms and faster than businesses owned by men.
Money creates flexibility for women. It enables them to buy back time - by outsourcing low-value activities. Money means security and a better future for their families.
Why read the book
If you're looking for specific best practices and "how-to's," this may not be your book. But if you want invaluable insight into who women are today, what their lives are like, and what matters to them, this book will help you blast through some long-held stereotypes.
I walked away with several great ideas on how to better market to and sell to women. If you're marketing to a global audience - this book is a must-read. The third section on Women Worldwide was one of the best parts of the book.
Women Want More - How to Capture Your Share of the World's Largest, Fastest Growing Market by Michael J Silverstein & Kate Sayre. Check it out.