Why leadership matters when connecting with women

No-one argues with the fact that women are the most powerful purchasers in the world (how could they when the mighty Boston Consulting Group states that 89% of women control the household dollars?).

But there are still many CEO’s who relegate this critical marketing function to junior staff (mostly women), who without training and knowhow, are sent out on a mission to find female clients. Of course, they often come back to the office empty handed or even if they do attract one, the predominately male staff just don’t understand how to sell to her.

The result is the CEO then feels ‘justifiably’ validated to say that trying to market to women doesn’t work in their industry. So he stops any activities, only to make another potentially flawed attempt a year or so later.

I have heard this many times, from both male and female lawyers, event organisers, consumer electronics companies and others.

What they lack is a sensible marketing plan backed by competent training and a commitment to progress no matter what.

Our contemporaries in the US, UK and the Scandinavian countries understand this and are actively courting the highly valuable women’s market. And they are profiting from it.

Take a leaf out of leadership manual of Mike Dunn, CEO of Best Buys, the world’s largest consumer electronics retailer from 2008-2012.

He backed a marketing to women program led by senior vice president Julie Gilbert. These were the remarkable results:


  • $4.4 billion increase in revenue from female customers

(11% increase in total company revenue)

 Market Share

  • Highest ever female market share in company history
  • Females became the majority of most valuable customers

 Brand Reputation

  • Largest increase in brand perception in company history

These are just some of the outcomes Best Buys reaped after implementing its Wolf@BestBuys  Program.

Over the coming weeks I will be posting more on just how Best Buys made this Program happen and how you can start to harness the extraordinary power of the female buyer for your business.

Claire Moffat is a gender intelligence expert and in 2007 pioneered Australia’s first website about technology for women.


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