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an excerpt from The She Spot: Why Women Are the Market for Changing the World – And How to Reach Them
by Lisa Witter and Lisa Chen

Published by Berrett-Koehler Publishers

Foreword by Gary Hirshberg, President and CE-Yo of Stonyfield Farm Preface Introduction A Women-Centered (Marketing) Revolution Part I Understanding the She Spot 1 Why Women Matter 2 How Women Think 3 WhatWomen Want Part II How to Hit the She Spot 4 Care 5 Connect 6 Cultivate 7 Control Part III Where to Hit the She Spot 8 Where to Reach Women 9 Segmenting the Women’s Market Conclusion The Not-So-Secret Secret to Changing the World Resources Notes Acknowledgments Index About the Authors ix xv


9 11 21 29

43 45 63 77 95

107 109 121

141 151 157 169 173 175


What Is the SheSpot?
A few years ago during the 2004 election, a coalition of get-out-the-vote organizations asked Lisa Witter to advise them on their “Women’s Voting Day” campaign, including the beta design for the campaign’s Web site. When she clicked on the URL, the home page was wreathed in pink flowers. The content was focused exclusively on choice and “soft” issues like education and healthcare to theexclusion of issues like the War in Iraq, jobs, and national security — issues that polling showed were, in fact, top-of-mind for the majority of women voters. The coalition deserved credit for identifying women as an important target audience. But then they hit two blind spots that, as communications consultants for the public sector, we see all too often: One, by relegating their outreach to women toa single “day,” they were missing out on an enormous opportunity to connect with the demographic powerhouse that has shaped presidential elections for the past 20 years. Two, their efforts to appeal to women were off the mark, reflecting a poor understanding of what women actually care about and respond to. We wrote this book to correct these blind spots and find the She Spot instead. By “She Spot,”we mean taking to heart this central truth: Women are not a niche audience. They are the audience. Losing these blind spots and finding the She Spot starts with recognizing that



women are the single most important market opportunity for changing the world. This is something that many nonprofit organizations know intuitively, but have yet to fully explore or harness. Bytaking a closer look at women as the target market for change, you may discover some new insights. Among them: • As philanthropists and donors, women take more risks than men. They’re more likely to give to a new or less well-known organization they believe is truly making a difference than, say, their alma mater, a museum, or other well-established institution. • Women are more distrustful of thepolitical process than are men. This is reflected in their giving: they’re more likely to donate to nonprofit organizations than to political candidates. • Women do not use a gender lens when choosing their favorite candidate. They won’t favor a female candidate over a male one just because she’s a woman. • When it comes to women’s voting preferences, marital status trumps many other factors,including age, education level, and motherhood. In other words, a single woman in her 30s is more likely to vote in sync with an older widow than a married thirtysomething mom. • More women than men are online today, and more women are blogging. • African American women give more than white women, but get actively solicited for donations less often. Our own work with women’s foundations and donor-advisedfunds suggests that women are especially invested in addressing the root causes of social ills, such as poverty, childhood obesity, or pollution in our drinking water. This willingness to confront and insist on change at the structural level, versus applying short-term Band-Aids to temper the symptoms, should make every nonprofit that lives by the same creed prick up its ears. We hope the gender...
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