CES 2018 showcases growing financial strength of women

The power of the female consumer is rising, according to the Consumer Electronics Show’s first all female panel in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The panel’s chair, Pamela Drucker Mann, chief revenue and marketing officer at media company Conde Nast, argued much more of the technology seen at CES was targeted towards women, in contrast to past years.

With women influencing 85 per cent of purchasing decisions, it was time to acknowledge their financial strength, Ms Drucker Mann said.

Two-thirds of wealth in America was controlled by women, she said, while the salaries of women in the US totalled $US18 trillion ($22.8 trillion).

Given what women are set to inherit, there will be more money going into their hands. From big brand appliances and kitchens of the future to hands-free breast pump start-ups, the female market can’t be ignored.

CEO of global media agency UM, Kasha Casey, said a big generic message was not ideal when the tools existed to speak to specific groups of people.

“So many people were OK with this generic world that didn’t really fit them, but they would fit into it … How do we think about women for this message?”

Meredith Verdone, chief marketing officer of Bank of America, said women had less confidence in their financial knowledge than men and that needed to be addressed by the financial services industry. Women made more online purchases and interacted on social media almost 20 per cent more than men, making it a no-brainer for marketing companies and advertisers to reach the female market.

The tech industry has wrestled with a “bro culture” in recent months, and the panel acknowledged its presence.

HP’s chief communications officer Karen Kahn expressed shock at the claims made in a recent Vanity Fair article about culture in Silicon Valley, declaring “we need to look at something like bro culture and use it as an opportunity”.

Pay inequality and retention rates also dominated the discussion, with the panel agreeing bringing in and retaining great talent should apply to great people no matter their background.

“Look at the make-up of your organisation,” Google CMO Lorraine Twohill said. “That’s really important. I don’t think that’s talked about enough.”

Source: The Australian 12 January 2018