For a full list of Professor Moss's publications, including books, chapters and peer-reviewed journal publications, please see the 'Biography' section of this website.   

Gloria Moss' work has also been extensively covered in the media in newspapers, blogs and on the radio and she also writes regularly for non-academic media.  Here is a recent article by Gloria Moss in 'Management Today' on why Valentine's day offerings often miss the mark when it comes to women.  Below that, you can find links to other articles Professor Moss has written for non-academic media.  In her view, it is all-important that academic research findings reach the world outside of academia, thereby influencing best practice.


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Marketing Is From Mars, Clients Are From Venus

Women make an estimated 83% of all consumer buying decisions, so why aren't companies better at targeting them?

Today is Valentine's Day, second only to Christmas as a red-letter date in retailers' diaries. In America, lovestruck shoppers will part with a whopping £11bn.  So how well are companies on this side of the pond gearing up for this bonanza?  And what does this tell us about their efforts at targeting women?

You might expect businesses to be expert at targeting women since they make an estimated 83% of all consumer purchases. A snapshot of Valentine’s Day offers provokes massive disappointment. Take Volkswagen. Their Polo look-alike, the ‘Up’, comes in a special pre-Valentine’s offer, with free servicing for three years, and their website celebrates the ‘Love Up’ event with foliage and (non-traditional blue) flowers.
 
So far so good, until you catch the accompanying radio advert featuring an unedifying conversation littered with abundant double entendres:

Dealer:  Why don’t you tell me what you’re looking for?

He:  Well, looks are very important to me. Petite, curvy, a bit of a mover.

Dealer:  OK. Any ‘no nos’?

He:  Low maintenance would be good.

Dealer:  I’ve got the perfect match. Start her up. Shall I leave you two alone?

How many women do you know who like to be compared to a car? According to AT Kearney women directly purchase 60% of cars, and website women-drivers.com estimates that women influence many more - up to 80%. And yet this ad still speaks to the minority male market – perhaps even less than 40% in this case since the ‘Up’ is a small car and probably bought by a higher than average proportion of women – and excludes, or even alienates the female 60. Incroyable! 

Just a blip?

Maybe this is just a one-off. But neither M&S nor Tesco do a great job either. My research over a very long period shows that women like colour. So why, M&S, make those heart-shaped Valentine’s Day coasters out of dull grey slate? Or, Tesco and M&S, wrap the inevitable red roses in black plastic bags? 

The car business remains a big problem area. A Forbes survey in 2010 found that 74% of women surveyed said they felt misunderstood by car marketers. Nissan’s global marketing chief, Andy Palmer, stands out in stating the need for Nissan to reshape its approach to marketing to target women ’dissatisfied’ with the industry.   

However, there is still only one car that has ever gone into commercial production whose exterior is designed by a woman. This is the beautiful BMW Z4, retailing at an average of £35,000 and rated 8 out of 10 in the New York Times. The exterior was designed by Juliane Blasi, an alumna of Germany's Pforzheim University, which offers one of the oldest design programmes in the world.

German bosses should be lobbying to increase the percentage of women on boards to encourage the creation of more cars like this. Instead, the country’s four biggest car manufacturers – Volkswagen, BMW, Daimler and Opel – have threatened to move production out of Germany if a 30% female quota is introduced for supervisory boards in the country.

Mars and Venus

Time magazine referred to the ‘Sheconomy’ in November 2010, stressing that women not only make 85% of the buying decisions, but also hold 51.5% of high-paying management and professional positions in the US. These are the reasons why Stephanie Holland of Holland and Holland advertising agency writes, ‘If you want your company to shoot for the stars, you may want to aim in the direction of Venus’.
 
My own research, summarised in my book Gender, Design and Marketing shows it is all-important to have people on your team who can mirror the visual preferences of your target market.  Men and women’s visuo-spatial skills are not the same – study upon study in psychology has proved this to be the case – and men and women’s preferences, in my view, have their roots in hunter-gatherer days.
  
He needed excellent 3D vision and targeting skills to hunt and bring home the bacon and she – as gatherer-in-chief - needed excellent close up and colour vision in order to discern, for example, ripe from unripe berries. This division of labour still makes its presence felt today - too many products are aimed at gatherers but probably have a heavy input from hunters in their creation.

To stay ahead of the game, organisations need to ensure that hunter and gatherer customers are offered products created by hunters and gatherers respectively. Failure to do so means missing a trick - and not just on Valentine’s Day.

Gloria Moss is Professor of management and marketing at Buckinghamshire New University and visiting Professor at ESG, Paris.


Links to other articles in the media by Professor Moss:a

Research on design

Management Today: 13 February 2014, suggesting that women are badly served by marketers in the run-up to Valentine’s day and beyond  http://www.managementtoday.co.uk/opinion/1280880/opinion-marketing-mars-customers-venus/


University Business:  27 Dec 2013 on how careful use of design features can help University websites reach a target 

demographic

http://universitybusiness.co.uk/News/university_websites_need_design_shift       http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/womens-life/10535486/How-can-the-British-high-street-better-lure-women-shoppers.html


Telegraph:  18 August 2009: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/news/6049070/Men-prefer-websites-designed-by-men.html

GM was interviewed for a feature on the content of the book in a BBC Wales science programme, ‘Science Café’ on 23 August 2009:  see http://www.bbc.co.uk/wales/radiowales/sites/sciencecafe/updates/20090823.shtml


Huffington Post:  an article on her theories about design appeared in the in March 2012:
http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/03/02/study-shows-women-like-pink-gadgets_n_1315702.html?ref=uk IiIInNew York 

 


Research on organisational culture / leadership / teamwork

Management Today: 17 October 2014, arguing that ICT companies would do better improving their cultures than offering egg freezing to women http://www.managementtoday.co.uk/opinion/1317695/apple-facebooks-egg-freezing-policy-smacks-victorian-paternalism/

Personnel Today:  1 October 2014 on the fact that George Clooney's choice of a career-woman may be influenced by the fact that his mother was a working woman and so an example of affinity bias, http://www.personneltoday.com/hr/affinity-bias-george-clooney-marries-amal-alamuddin/

HR Magazine:  Sept 2014 on the way in which failure frequently underpins success, http://www.hrmagazine.co.uk/hro/features/1146482/failure-drives-success?WT.rss_f=Home&WT.rss_a=How+failure+drives+success 

Management Today: 9 April 2014, on nepotism in appointments, http://www.managementtoday.co.uk/opinion/1289593/opinion-nepotism-old-hat-world/

University Business: 3 March 2014, on the link between strange judging decisions in the Sochi ice-dance event and promotions at Cambridge and elsewhere  

Independent: 8 March 2010 http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/news/a-lesson-from-latvia-on-how-to-break-through-the-glass-ceiling-1917968.html

American Training Association http://www.astd.org/Publications/Newsletters/LX-Briefing/LXB-Archives/2007/01/Ignoring-the-Obvious.aspx

She was interviewed on BBC Three Counties Radio on 21 January 2011 on sexism in football and she spoke again on this radio station on 14 July 2011 on the way Rebekah Brook’s rise and fall could be seen to exemplify the Glass Cliff phenomenon (see http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00hs08r and click on ‘listen Now’ and go to 50:45 to listen to the interview). 

Times Higher Education  http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/story.asp?storyCode=402210&sectioncode=26

The Press and Journal, Aberdeen:  http://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/Article.aspx/1627627/?UserKey=

GM was interviewed by the BBC Radio 4 for Woman’s Hour on 16 March 2010 on leadership and women in Latvia (see http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/womanshour/02/2010_11_tue.shtml).  


Interviewed by Three Counties Radio a further time concerning the absence of women in the BBC Sports Personality of the year shortlist, 22 December 2011 (see http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00m8939). Also interviewed on BBC Radio Scotland on 22 December 2011 (see 57 minutes at http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b018ct2s/Newsdrive_22_12_2011/