Cindy Gallop opened the second 3% Conference in San Francisco, named because only 3% of Creative Directors in advertising are women. Gallop’s keynote is required watching for men and women, as she teaches us how businesses are missing out on innovative ideas and ultimately profits by staying male-centric.
- Women ARE your target audience. Women are no longer a “niche” marketing target. They make the majority of purchases in almost every sector and are key purchasing influencers in every sector (even traditionally male-dominated ones). Women influence 60% of car purchases and 90% of technology purchases. Women are even the majority of gamers today, if you include social gaming.
- “Women share the sh*t out of everything.” At any social gathering listen to the men talk about sports scores while the women share their experiences. Women have shared their experiences to build intimacy since the world began so it’s no mystery why today they are the majority of social media users.
- Women get stuff done. Even if your product is aimed at men, Ms. Gallop recommends targeting your advertising at women. Women are the norm. Men are now the niche audience. There is a ton of money to be made by taking women seriously.
- Marketing done with women through the male perspective is no longer acceptable. When the 97% of Creative Directors are men, you gets ads that don’t feature women in dynamic, engaging, and aspirational roles – instead you only see women as mothers, girlfriends, and sidekicks. We need a new approach to creativity – created by women, presented to female Creative Directors, for female clients.
- “Women challenge the status quo because we are never it.” Women innovate and women disrupt. If you want your company to be innovative, find every department run by an all-white-male team and add women to it.
- “Women notice things that men don’t.” They notice relationships. They notice how people communicate. They notice how to get people to work together more cooperatively naturally and intuitively. Women notice the things that will make your company run better than it does today.
- “Women get sh*t done.” How many women do you know that support men by doing the things they don’t want to do? From the laundry to Sheryl Sandberg operating Facebook so Mark Zuckerberg can do what he really wants to do. The men who recognize this can still be the stars of the show but have a much smoother operation behind the scenes.
Your To Do List
Cindy Gallop implores men and women to do the following things to help change this culture, and ultimately make a ton of money.
- Call It Out. If nobody says anything, nothing will change. Every time you see a conference with an all-male line-up – say something. Every time the junior male account rep tries to take over a meeting you should be running – say something. It doesn’t require being angry, it just requires pointing it out, because gender bias is often unconscious. You have to “break the closed loop of white guys talking to other white guys about white guys.”
- Put Yourself Forward. Women who don’t promote themselves help this male-dominated cycle continue. Gallop cites how there’s been a ton of outrage over Twitter’s lack of female board members but women she knows (and are highly qualified) hesitate even nominating themselves to advise a new startup.
- Redesign the Business. Business has been built for centuries around a male model of command and control, which is perfectly logical because, for centuries, women weren’t allowed to work. The Future of Business is about complementing that with female values – collaboration, consensus building, and community. The system of business today is based around men going to work and women staying at home to support them. The reason we don’t have enough women in leadership is because the very system is built to work for men and not the women who shoulder an unfair amount of the home support work. When women look up at the men running their organizations and see the grueling hours, they opt-out. But why have we designed every position at the top to be so unbearable? It doesn’t have to be. Gallop challenges us to redesign a bite-size chunk of how something is done at your company. Redesign it the way you want to work and point to it as an example of how a redesigned business process makes work better for everyone.
Gallop believes the business model of the future is “shared values + shared action = shared profit (financial & social)”. This is the business model she urges brands to adopt. Go beyond “co-creation” and pursue “co-action” between brands and people to benefit everyone. This business model also applies to men and women working together to create a world that we will all love working and living in.