Marketing to women is fun, creative, exciting, inspirational, and down-right complicated at times. No one lays it out better than Mary Lou Quinlan in her new book entitled “What She’s Not Telling You – Why Women Hide the Whole Truth and What Marketers Can Do About It”. For this book, Quinlan teamed up with a few colleagues from Just Ask a Woman to analyze the “Half Truths” and the “Whole Truths”. In other words, what women say they will do and admit to, compared to what they actually believe, do, and buy. The real bread and butter of this book is the valuable insight it gives to marketers on how to really reach women by understanding the motivation behind these half truths and whole truths.
The book explains that women tend to disclose half truths while hiding whole truths. Quinlan gives us a number of every day examples to illustrate: women say they “exercise” or “don’t smoke” or “only have a bite to eat”, when the whole truth is that they may “exercise only occasionally” or “don’t smoke when people are around” or ” only have a bite to eat until they get home“. Initially, I thought the book was going to come across accusatory – surely I don’t tell half truths! But it’s truly eye-opening. We’re all guilty of these half truths. It’s not lying; it’s simply revealing only a portion of the whole truth – the portion we want to admit to.
So, why do we shy away from the whole truth?? Quinlan’s book breaks it down into 5 key motivators that drive these “Half Truths”, and she sums them up with the acronym GAMES:
The book breaks each of these down and thoroughly explains them. This information is invaluable to marketers so we can better focus on what women mean, rather than what they say. When we conduct focus groups, surveys, or any other kind of market research, it’s important that we can accurately analyze the results that we work so hard to gather. After all, when companies base brand strategies, advertising campaigns, and marketing dollars on these results, we want to make sure we have all of the pieces of the puzzle. Quinlan’s book gives us just that – more pieces to the puzzle. The reviews are in and they’re rave! If you’re still not sold, read the first chapter online and see if you’re hooked. Or check out Mary Lou Qinlan’s interview with CBS to hear the author’s thoughts on her book.
Posted by Melissa, Marketing Associate
January 29, 2010