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The Gender Gap – Is it Shrinking?
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The Gender Gap – Is it Shrinking?

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The answer to this question may vary greatly based on the audience to which it is posed. Those with a feminist bent may be more likely to argue it is not, while the pragmatic may want more information to determine the current state. For those of us working in an entrepreneurial role, the male-dominated environment is one that is not easy to escape.

But is this a bad thing?

It’s a question that continues to come up in social media groups and liberal publications, although the question may be phrased a little differently. The reality is, however, that we as men and women are different and therefore the way we go about running our personal and professional lives varies. We also run our businesses differently. From the agency perspective – this is a very good thing as it creates an interesting playing field.

For the majority of marketing agencies throughout the country, males still hold the lion’s share of executive roles. They are developing and guiding the strategy, they are influencing whether to scale or grow, and they determine just how weighted the employee base is when it comes to the gender divide.

This influence tends to carry down into account management. In other words, the way the client account is cared for has more to do with whether or not leadership is male, not whether or not the account manager is male. In some ways, that can contribute to considerable success. In others, it opens the door for the female-driven agency bringing a fresh perspective.
Why does this matter?

In some regions, it doesn’t. Working with the largest accounts on multi-million dollar campaigns, the gender divide doesn’t enter the scene nearly as much as decisions are often made based on hard data. Consumers speak with their transactions and brands listen according to the information provided. Gut instinct does play a role and brilliance is contributed by males and females alike. It’s what a multi-million dollar campaign should be able to achieve.

The smaller account is where the divide can make or break the outcome of a campaign. Here’s what we see on a regular basis when conversing with potential clients with slightly more testosterone:

  • They are very excited to give the target audience a lot of information
  • They rarely consider what the target audience wants to hear
  • They expect instant results
  • They don’t want to nurture relationships

There is an analogy that references the gender gap when it comes to intimacy. One gender is compared with a slow cooker, while the other with the microwave oven. When it comes to marketing success over the long-term, the microwave oven is a sure way to drive an instant eruption with no lasting satisfaction – puns intended.

Successful marketing requires a deep dive into the psyche of the intended audience, and understanding of their wants and desires and a willingness to nurture relationships and conversations through multiple touchpoints. Digital marketing and social media give us the opportunity to do so, with the promise of lasting results.

When thinking at the highest levels in the agency is focused on this approach, it carries down into account management and clients remain for the long-term. It’s female-driven and it demands a slow-down to understand the variables that can contribute to the success of the campaign. Those variables are then worked methodically over time.

While this assessment is based on my agency experience and nothing scientific, it does still deserve at least watercooler consideration. Besides, at the end of the day, would you rather come home to a full roast beef dinner, bursting with flavor from a slow cook over multiple hours or throw a bag of popcorn into the microwave?

The most satisfying meal with deliver the best long-term results. You can choose for yourself.

Susan J CampbellSusan J. Campbell is the head of SJC Marketing, a full-service marketing, communications and content company offering professional communications solutions for businesses in the commercial and nonprofit sectors. Susan is a professional writer, with expertise in marketing, communications, content creation and targeted distribution. The SJC team is comprised of innovative marketing, development and communications talent focused on high-value marketing and content creation to enable businesses to achieve their marketing and communications targets.

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