Jen Drexler is warm, funny and engaging. She is also a powerhouse in spotting trends, uncovering truths about women, and developing poignant brand solutions. Her knowledge of gender drivers had made her a frequent speaker and writer on gender marketing. Jen is a fabulous spokesperson on gender related consumer insights. Jen’s uncanny business acumen and knowledge of gender drivers has been the anchor of several groundbreaking projects at Insight Strategy Group (e.g., Comedy Central, Mondelēz International, Maidenform, and Kellogg’s). Previously, Jen Drexler co-founded Just Ask a Woman, a women’s marketing consultancy and co-authored “What She’s Not Telling You: Why Women Hide the Whole Truth and What Marketers Can Do About It.”
We spent some time together and talked about some of her relevant insights.
1. I have heard you say that “men get the point, women get the picture”. What does that mean?
Neuroscience proves that women use their brains a bit more holistically and consider the context of situations more than just the linear takeaway. Example: Man: I like to drive Woman: I like to drive because it means I’m in control of my day and it makes me feel successful when I pick my friends up to go out.
2. Do you feel that marketing is beginning to understand how to appeal to women?
I think marketing is just getting smarter overall. I’m not certain that brands have succeeded by appealing to women as much as they have by being better at being gender agnostic and not turning women off.
3. What are your top tips for talking to today’s women?
Remember that women want brands to laugh with them, not at them (stereotypes of women as overly emotional and stressed out aren’t funny). Also remember that women are multidimensional and switch the roles that they play fluidly – from friend to mom to employee – in the same 5 minute period. It is tone deaf to only speak to one of her identities at a time.
4. What are some brands that you feel are getting it right?
Some brands I am following now are Amazon Prime, Lane Bryant #imnoangelcampaign, Stitchfix and American Express.
5. What are some things that women aren’t telling us in research? Are there techniques to get at the what they really want?
Women tell things to people they trust and in research it is crucial to build that trust quickly. Some of the ways to do that include getting rid of the two- way mirror and using a more casual setting. Some focus groups look and feel like witness interrogation. Ask questions that eliminate posturing or one word answers and feel comfortable going off book to let the conversation evolve naturally.
Bonus: What do you ask people interviewing with you wanting to be in research?
I always ask people if they talk to strangers or what they do if strangers talk to them. If you aren’t a stranger magnet, then qualitative research might not be right for you.