Bolder Thinking Blog

Women’s initiatives break out of March

April 21st, 2020 | Rachel Arndt

In marketing to women, brands showcase difference while aiming for equality. But, brands still have a long way to go when it comes to effectively marketing to women. Find out which brands did it right, and which missed the mark. 

Campaigns that deserve an A+

Successfully marketing to women requires both boldness and willingness to take a stance.

Goldman Sachs used social and mass media to honor alumni of its 10,000 Women program, an initiative that offers women entrepreneurs from around the world business and management classes.  

Goldman Sachs Facebook

Ellevest used its recurring #AskSallie feature to answer questions about COVID-19-driven market volatility. In the series, Ellevest CEO Sallie Krawcheck answers service-oriented financial questions, thereby humanizing the brand. 

Ellevest Twitter

Campaigns that met expectations 

Strong messages lose their efficacy when they appear only once or when their goals aren’t lofty enough. 

Capital One broke the March mold to promote the Grace Hopper Celebration in October. The Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing supports research and career interests of women in technology. It’s the world’s largest gathering of women in computing.   

Capital One Instagram

Hulu spent $20,000 on Facebook to share inspiration from some of its brightest stars. Hulu picked up Kaling’s show The Mindy Project when it was cancelled by FOX. 

Hulu Facebook

Campaigns that need improvement  

Some companies are merely checking a box when mentioning women in their marketing.

While Bank of America Merrill Lynch spent more than $50,000 promoting their support of women, lackluster creative suggested anything but.  

Facebook was mostly silent about the women in its ranks. One-third of Facebook senior leadership is female. To amplify these women’s voices, Facebook will have to do more than showcase them on social media once a year. 

Facebook Twitter

What we’d like to see 

Marketing to women is about more than marketing to women: It’s about being inclusive, which increasingly means moving away from the idea that there are women in opposition to men and that’s it. Moving forward, brands should speak not only to women but also to gender-nonconforming people, demonstrating their understanding of the nuances of gender. 

This kind of messaging will not only help brands reach more people, but it will also give them reasons to communicate about gender issues throughout the year. As they do so, speaking to both their own challenges and broader societal challenges, they should be open about their own progress in becoming more open institutions.

Rachel Arndt

Rachel Arndt

Rachel Arndt is a Senior Research Analyst, interpreting cross-channel marketing and consumer trends with a focus in telecom.