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Slow down, grab a coffee and catch up on what's happening around here.

 

 

JANUARY

As The Economy Goes, So Goes Our Health?

It's a question KickSkirt will be exploring next month in a national survey.  Women are often called the Chief Medical

Officers of their households because they handle everything from doctor's appointments to healthy eating.  So how

will the economic downturn impact their role?  Will moms cut back (even more) on their own self-care to make sure

the family is covered?  Will working women let annual exams slide because time away from work is too precious in

uncertain times?  Or will women everywhere decide that "simple gifts" such as good health are even more precious and

renew their pursuit of health with even greater vigor?  Stay tuned for the results. Or be part of the survey.

Just email us at insights@kickskirt.com.

 

DECEMBER

It Must Be True, I Saw It On Video

Well, it's not destined to be a top-rated pick on YouTube, but Mary Dean is up and running as one of the experts

featured on the esteemed website for the national M2W (Marketing To Women) conference. Can you give it a thumbs up?

Go to M2W Experts  for a look.

 

OCTOBER

KickSkirt, Dove and Others Help Girls Deal With Bullying and Body Image

KickSkirt was a founding sponsor of the Girls Now conference at the Ann Richard's School for Girls.

Co-sponsored by Dove, this conference was created to help girls and their moms deal with body image issues

and bullying. According to a Dove survey, only 2% of women would describe themselves as beautiful.

Check out the Girls Now website and we'll keep you posted on the next conference.Girls Now Conference


JULY

Klaudia Flanigin is the best business partner a girl could hope for.  When my vacation landed on the same date as a presentation to

the prestigious Profiles in Power luncheon in July, Klaudia stepped in to replace me, created a brilliant presentation, and, by all accounts,

really wowed the crowd.   Lyn Chasteen, Publisher of the Austin Business Journal and sponsor of the event, has since asked us to work with her to make next year an even more dynamic event and we're really looking

forward to the opportunity.

You can never read too many BOOKS. This is our best, ongoing book recommendation:

 THE FEMALE BRAIN, by Louann Brizendine, MD.  OK, so it's written by a doctor. But it is still one of the best Marketing-to-Women books we know of. 

It takes what was once just "women are from Venus, men are from Mars" anecdotes and gives you the actual science behind why women think -- and shop -- like they do.  And luckily for us here at KickSkirt, it also makes a pretty compelling argument for why women are probably better at creating ads for women.  A no brainer as far as we're concerned.

 

It's 2008.  And we've got a great new workshop to help you kick it off right.

The Skirt Check™ Workshop.

Tell Me More

 

Marketing to Women in the Middle East? It's what the smart companies are doing.  Here's Mary in front of the famous

Burj Al Arab in Dubai.  She delivered the keynote at a marketing conference there and got a bit of an education herself.

RECENT PRESS:
News about KickSkirt was recently pickd up by Forbes and Smart Money to name a few publications.

Marketing to Women Expert Reports More to Dubai Than Meets the Eye
11.27.07, 8:30 AM ET
AUSTIN, Texas, Nov. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- The Middle East lags behind the US in marketing to women -- guess again? Mary Dean, President and Founder of KickSkirt, an advertising and marketing agency led by women for marketing to women, just returned from Dubai, UAE with some surprising discoveries after presenting the keynote address at the Gulf Marketing Review's 2nd Annual Marketing to Women Conference.

Dean reports that there are some striking similarities juxtaposed with some unique advancements and hurdles for marketers in the Middle East compared with their US counterparts. Here is just a sampling of Dean's findings:

Much like the mid-level and product marketing professionals in the US, marketing professionals in the Middle East are struggling to get more money and attention for their marketing to women campaigns. Both groups report that management is very slow to listen to the facts, to embrace a change and to really recognize the potential of the women's market. Both countries are faced with corporate management that is more comfortable sticking with old methods and old markets despite impressive evidence to the contrary.

IT'S NOT WHO'S BEHIND THE WHEEL -- IT'S WHO PURCHASED IT

However, there are some industries in the Middle East that are taking a lead by not only looking at the facts, but also translating them into efforts that are successfully connecting with women. Dean reports, "It is significant that in a country where women don't drive, they still control 30% of car purchases."

While culture and religion have a significant impact on what can or can't be marketed in the Middle East, there is also the added complication to factor in because this impact varies significantly from one country to the next, and, in the UAE, from one state to the next. In Dubai, women are free to go about their business just as any Western women would. In the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia women are not permitted to drive, their heads must always be covered and they are not permitted to try on clothes in a store, but smart marketers know that these are not obstacles to their purchasing power.

In fact in Saudi Arabia where women don't drive, women actually make 30% of all new car purchases. The important point that marketers must tune into - - for Saudi women the car they are being driven around in is important as it is an external way for them to express their individualism and their worth.

As Dean points out, "The real potential here is for products that fall into the category I call the Men's Aisle. These are markets that are, for some reason, perceived as being exclusive to men, when the truth is women are among their most significant consumers. For example, in the US, more than half of the luxury cars are purchased by women, but you would never know it from the advertising."

"Imagine what those numbers would look like if car companies took stock and thought more about the female client? What these companies absolutely must realize is, if they continue to ignore women and the power they have, women will take notice. Those who do get ahead of the game and beat their competition to that realization will see huge benefits come out it."

"What I tell companies is, ignore or alienate women at your peril. Because when you lose a woman, you lose everyone she purchases for -- her spouse, her kids, her parents, etc. Another thing to consider here is that women worldwide are very social and very vocal. If one is unhappy, others will catch wind, and that's when these markets will find themselves in a crisis."

BANKING IS TAKING THE LEAD

"It's clear that the financial services sector in Dubai is actively acting on the facts -- US$40 billion of personal wealth in the Gulf is owned by women and up to 60% of that is held in CASH. With this valuable information in mind, companies and specialized services are emerging in the Middle East like Forsa, an investment company for women that is run by women, and Johara, a division of Dubai Islamic Bank that has exclusive branches catering to women only and with female bankers and tellers only."

While culture may have triggered the initial demand for the exclusive nature of things in Dubai smart marketers are capitalizing on it in a way that women there seem to be embracing. Meanwhile in the US, Dean says the financial services sector has been one of the slowest to recognize the buying power of women and actively seek their business.

"Women all over the world are looking for companies to recognize their buying power as well as what is important to them and why," says Dean.

In speaking with financial services representatives at the Dubai-based Marketing to Women Conference, Dean learned that before launching specialized financial service offerings for women, marketers in Dubai also assumed men and women had the same needs. However, women in the Middle East place much less weight on ROI than men. For women in the Middle East, the main concerns are a strong respect for privacy and an assurance that their principle will be protected.

"Discovering these attributes is key -- but translating them into creative that rings true for the female client is essential," say Dean. "Women across the world have a language all their own and the companies who learn it, understand it and connect with it will reap the rewards."

Bottom line: the smart companies in the Middle East and in the US aren't waiting around for women to explain themselves. Instead they are taking on this challenge proactively as they enter 2008 knowing that they can do better to create lasting loyal connections with women around the globe with upside potential for exploding brand loyalty that fans out to their households, their extended family, friends and community.