Are women better at marketing?


I’ve been thinking a lot about the difference between men and women recently. Perhaps it’s because tomorrow is International Women’s Day. Or because next week I’ll be heading to No 10 Downing Street to speak to the Prime Ministers business advisor about how the government can best support female founders.

Gender stereotyping is something I find incredibly frustrating, though I concede that there are patterns in all things and human beings are no exception. The point of this blog, however, is not to defend our identities as unique individuals.

Instead, I want to look at some of the stereotypes about women out there and why they might suggest that we are, indeed, better marketers.

Stereotype one: Women are more empathetic

Empathy is defined by the Cambridge Dictionary as “the ability to share someone else’s feelings or experiences by imagining what it would be like to be in that person’s situation”. This is a vital skill in a marketing agency. Unless we can put ourselves in our target audience’s shoes, we’re never going to communicate with them effectively.

Stereotype two: Women are better communicators

Speaking of communication, this is something else women are said to be better at. Studies actually support the theory that not only do we express ourselves more freely, but we’re also better listeners. Marketing is all about engaging our clients and customers in conversation, albeit usually online these days. And we do need to listen as much as we talk, if not more.

Stereotype three: Women are relationship-focused

The reason why empathy and communication are so important in life and in marketing is that they both contribute to building good relationships. And all marketing agencies know that relationships - or social capital, if you want to use business terms - are the foundations on which business is built. Relationships are fundamentally about trust, and when people trust you then they are far more likely to buy from you.

So yes, if the stereotypes are true, then women are bound to be better marketers. But the point I’m really making is that it doesn’t matter whether empathy, communication skills and relationship are so-called feminine traits or not. If you want to succeed in marketing, whatever your gender, you need to develop them.


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