Advertisers and marketers spend millions of dollars trying to get inside women's minds--for good reason. Female consumers are responsible for buying or influencing the purchase of 85% of all goods and services nationwide. Now Mary Lou Quinlan, former CEO of ad agency N.W. Ayer, has produced Just Ask a Woman, a breezy distillation of 3,000 "listening interviews" about women's purchasing decisions. Among her insights:
Men move quickly in and out of a store. Women notice everything about a shopping experience--and get annoyed more easily. If a cashier is rude, men don't much care but women take it personally.
Women do not make quick decisions. They consult a mental Rolodex of friends and advisers before they buy.
Women want products that simplify their lives, especially when it comes to high-tech items. Men want gizmos, bells and whistles.
Women don't mind if a model is thin and beautiful, but if she's dumb or characterless, they're turned off. Not surprising, says Quinlan, because what women really want is something quite basic: respect. --By Janice M. Horowitz