Just Ask a Woman: Cracking the Code of What Women Want and How They Buy

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Praise for JUST ASK A WOMAN

"Just when you think you know it all, Mary Lou Quinlan helps you with your thinking in a new and wonderful way. If you want to capture a larger piece of your market, read this book."
?Gordon Bethune, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer Continental Airlines, Inc.

"Mary Lou's fascinating book delving into the commonsense insights of women toward products both mundane and high tech is a watershed event. Mary Lou shows that women are both ...

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Hoboken, NJ 2003 Hard cover New in fine dust jacket. Book Appears Unread Sewn binding. Cloth over boards. With dust jacket. 272 p. Audience: General/trade.

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Overview

Praise for JUST ASK A WOMAN

"Just when you think you know it all, Mary Lou Quinlan helps you with your thinking in a new and wonderful way. If you want to capture a larger piece of your market, read this book."
–Gordon Bethune, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer Continental Airlines, Inc.

"Mary Lou's fascinating book delving into the commonsense insights of women toward products both mundane and high tech is a watershed event. Mary Lou shows that women are both procedural and disciplined (many even use an 'informal board of directors' to confirm their own opinions), and marketers who don't take them seriously do so at their own peril."
–Rance Crain, Editor-in-Chief, Advertising Age

"A deeply insightful and actionable articulation of how women live today, their deepest feelings and hopes and desires. There's a depth of understanding here that clearly reveals the enormous experience that Quinlan has had in marketing and advertising."
–John Pepper, Chairman, Executive Committee of the Board Procter & Gamble

"Think you know how to make women buy your product? Think again. Mary Lou Quinlan surprises and delights with insight into what it takes to sell almost anything to any woman."
–Melanie Wells, Senior Editor, Forbes

"Mary Lou Quinlan harnesses her decades of experience to provide powerful insights into how to not only 'ask a woman' but also to listen to her. Highly readable, this book speaks cogently to practicing and aspiring marketers about tapping into the minds and pocketbooks of women. Quinlan provides a guide to smarter and better marketing."
–Stephen A. Greyser, Professor of Marketing and Communications Emeritus Harvard Business School

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Editorial Reviews

Soundview Executive Book Summaries
Studies show that women buy or influence the purchase of 85 percent of all products and services sold in the United States. To help organizations capitalize on this buying power, marketing consultant Mary Lou Quinlan presents marketers, brand managers and advertisers with the results of her interviews with 3,000 women to help them find strategies that will help them determine how and what women buy. Just Ask a Woman presents the concerns and opinions of women, and distills them into useful lessons about the marketplace.Copyright © 2003 Soundview Executive Book Summaries
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780471369202
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 4/18/2003
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 6.18 (w) x 9.33 (h) x 0.99 (d)

Meet the Author

MARY LOU QUINLAN is the founder and CEO of Just Ask a Woman, a New York—based marketing consultancy dedicated to building business with women for clients including CitiGroup, Johnson & Johnson, General Motors, and Saks Fifth Avenue. Her twenty-five-year marketing career led to her reputation as a brand turnaround expert, from director of sales motivation and advertising for Avon, to CEO of N. W. Ayer Advertising. She speaks frequently on women's issues, has written for Redbook, MORE, and Marie Claire, and has been featured in the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and BusinessWeek, as well as on CNBC and the Lifetime Network.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
Introduction 1
Chapter 1 A Checkup for Marketers: Listening or Not? 19
Chapter 2 Self-Induced Stress 29
Chapter 3 Deliberate Decision Making 59
Chapter 4 The Vigilante Shopper 89
Chapter 5 The Tug-of-War with the Mirror 119
Chapter 6 Intimate with Technology 151
Chapter 7 Demanding Respect 179
Chapter 8 Craving Comfort 205
Chapter 9 A Listening Action Plan for Marketers 231
Research Notes 247
Notes 249
Index 253
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 8, 2004

    Packed With Knowledge!

    Mary Lou Quinlan interviewed 3,000 women consumers about their desires and buying habits. When you finish her book, you will actually be able to answer the question, ¿What do women want?¿ Quinlan¿s style is direct and personable. She backs up her arguments with quotes from successful CEOs and marketers and with a smattering of do¿s and don¿ts from the world of advertising. The book has heart ¿ after all, Quinlan maintains that for women, business is personal ¿ as well as practical advice, although you may have to dig for it. She provides a lot of information on broad thematic lines, sometimes making it tricky to sort out strategies from stories. This is less of a textbook than Marketing to Women (by Martha Barletta from Dearborn Trade Publishing); it is more research-based and extends beyond communications into comparable hands-on, practical counsel. We suggest this wakeup call about the buying power of women to professionals in marketing, advertising, sales and customer service. Use this primer to decode those mixed signals you¿ve been getting from women in your marketplace ¿ and in your life.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 13, 2003

    `eye opening book!

    i learned a lot about women buyers and women who who would like to be buyers.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2003

    The Right Words To Say It

    Mary Lou Quinlan is clearly at the top of her subject. Quinlan first reminds her audience of the importance of listening in marketing, especially when one keeps in mind that women influence the purchase of or buy 85% of all products and services. Some marketers have preconceived ideas about marketing to women at their own peril as Quinlan successfully shows through her punchy listening checkup. Quinlan then goes on to stress the otherness or focus on the others that many women display. Women are often their worst enemy because they feel that they need to be superwomen: i.e., a perfect woman, hybrid being, unique crossbreed of executive woman, supercharged mother and femme fatale: perfect in all respects to quote Michèle Fitoussi in her entertaining Le ras-le-bol des super-women (superwomen¿s dissatisfaction). Marketing stress-reducing, life-simplifying products and services that internalize women¿s wants and needs then makes perfect sense. Marketers can also take a leaf out of Simplicity Marketing by Steven M. Cristol and Peter Sealey for these purposes. Furthermore, Quinlan demonstrates that women, who rely on multiple sources of information, are both procedural and disciplined in their decision-making process. Women more regularly take a more holistic view of the researching/shopping experience than men who tend to compartmentalize their attention. Quinlan also draws the attention of her readers about the importance of how women are portrayed in advertising and communications programs. The perceived image of women that a brand carries, consciously or unconsciously, influences women¿s inner and outer beauty dialogue. In addition, Quinlan addresses the interaction between women and technology and its pitfalls. Quinlan then proceeds to look at the disrespect that some marketers show towards women due to their lack of listening skills. Women often put themselves last in line. However, they also crave for being taken care of. Quinlan explains to her audience how smart marketers are responsive to women¿s wants and needs in terms of self-comfort and restoration. Finally, Quinlan assists marketers in developing a listening action plan to better meet women¿s desires. As a side-note, readers can find some very useful information about marketing to women in the references that Quinlan mentions in her notes.

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