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AdAge welcomed guests to their CES panel “Women and Technology: It’s a Lifestyle Thing,” on the second day of CES with breakfast, beautiful scenery and powerful panelist engaged in wide-ranging conversation centered around research and consumer behavior of women and who understand how to market technology to this demographic.
Moderated by AdAge editor Abbey Klaassen, the panel included:
- Rachel Weiss, VP-Digital Strategy and Interactive Marketing, L'Oreal
- Angela Steele, CEO, Ansible Mobile
- James McQuivey, Analyst, Forrester
- Kirsten DiCarlo, Director of Marketing for New Opportunity, Fisher-Price
All panelists consistently agrees that relevance is the key to the development and marketing of technology-based products to women. Women tend to be the primary consumer in families, and are thus constantly multitasking and need technology relevant to their lives that also brings utility.
Fisher-Price’s Kirsten DiCarlo explained that F-P is releasing physical toys that interact with different mobile and tablet devices. For example, a child can place farm animal figurines on top of the iPad and farm scenery will appear on the screen and a cow will start mooing. DiCarlo explained that when marketing this technology to mothers, it is crucial that the educational benefits of the product are communicated: i.e., utility. DiCarlo’s research has shown that mothers don’t want technology simply to silence their children, they want toys with utility…technology that will educate their children.
So, instead of discussing the speeds and feeds of the product, marketers should be communicating the benefits of the technology, how it is relevant to the user and how it makes her life simpler. Also, keep in mind:
- Don’t make pink products just because they target to women (remember how BIC was ridiculed after designing a range of pink and purple pens just 'for her'?)
- When pitching technology for woman to marketers (like at L’Oreal), do not walk into the room with only men
- Do not be overwhelming. People, especially women, are already busy multitasking and do not need technology that is going to add to the craziness of their lives. Women need technology that they can control.
- Start thinking of women as creators, not consumers. Women need technology that will allow them to be at the center of their own brand experience
On a personal note, it was inspiring to be surrounded by such powerful women who live and breathe technology every day. It was refreshing to meet others who understand the importance of creating customized technology-based products and experiences for women and who know exactly how to market them. I thought the panel was a great success. (Image courtsey of AdAge. For more images from the event see: AdAge Women in Technology Slideshow)