Marketing 101 With Fiona Pietruski

As Chief Marketing Officer at SheSpeaks, an online community of smart and insightful  women who come together to share opinions and see the power of their collective voices in action, it’s Fiona Pietruski job to know women. So why not take a few tips from her?  Below you will find a few of Pietruski’s marketing “basics” – just a glimpse of the knowledge she’ll share as a speaker at AdweekMedia’s inaugural Marketing to Women conference this Wednesday, November 4.  Women’s purchasing power is more influential than ever before; don’t miss this opportunity to learn what makes a woman reach into her wallet and spend. Fiona appeared on Connecting Women Radio as well.

Also gain insight into the other sex at the 5th annual Marketing to Men event tomorrow, Tuesday, November 3!  Both conferences will be held at The Westin Michigan Avenue in Chicago.

What marketers/brands do you admire and “look up to” for their strategies?

Oprah, Etsy, Bloomingdales

What are key marketing tips that you’ve learned that you feel are important to share?

I think it’s crucial to take the “talk with, not at” rule a bit further in today’s marketing communications.  Most marketers have seen the value in truly listening to their consumers and have figured out ways in which to do that to cull information and insights.  The next step is to respond and engage with those consumers – to really enter into a dialogue, to go deeper into the how’s and why’s, and to show that as a brand, you not only want to know what your consumers think, but that you are doing something with that knowledge.  I’ve found the rewards from true engagement to be invaluable, not just for marketing results, but for brand innovation as well.  

What have you learned not to do in your experience as a marketer?

A – Don’t assume.  If you don’t know for sure, ask.  Ask consumers how they’d like your next product packaged, if they like the color, if it works for a purpose they didn’t expect it to.  Too many marketers are still assuming that women want things a certain way, based solely on long-established stereotypes that feel so ingrained, we don’t even identify them as stereotypes anymore.  
B – Don’t go dark.  Don’t start a conversation with your consumers and then abandon it.  Don’t shut down in the face of a new communication method and not even try it.  Don’t stop communicating just because the environment, your category, or your business is suffering.  Keeping the dialogue open will help you address problems and earn consumer trust.

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