Men, The Female Consumer is in Control. Listen or Perish.


“As a result of the Digital Revolution, traditional media are in a stage of dire retrenchment as prelude to complete collapse. Newspapers, magazines and especially TV as we currently know them are fundamentally doomed,” according to Bob Garfield in his new book, The Chaos Scenario. Garfield authors the “Ad Review” TV-commercial criticism feature in Advertising Age and is the advertising analyst for ABC News.

Whether you agree or not to the extent that Garfield feels the Digital Revolution will impact the advertising’s traditional media in his new book, the one thing that caught my attention is his compelling argument for companies and advertisers to LISTEN to their customers. He calls it “The Listenomics Age.” –  The information society is reversing flow and the post-advertising age is The Listenomics Age. Its defining characteristic: “the herd will be heard.”

And this goes right in line with what we know about women. They want to be heard, they want to have a voice and they respond to companies that respond to them. According to Garfield and most every social media researcher, this will result in consumer driven marketing. So embrace it. Listen or perish.

Below are more excerpts from The Chaos Scenario. I pulled these from a free downloadable pdf which includes a couple of chapters of the book. You might want to check it out.

The consumer is in control: of what and when she watches, of what and when she reads, of whether to pay any attention to you whatsoever or to make your life a living hell. This might be an excellent time, therefore, to listen to what she has to say. And it sure wouldn’t hurt to make her your friend.

Can you hear it? In the distance? It’s a crowd forming — a crowd of what you used to call the “audience.” They’re still an audience, but they aren’t necessarily listening to you. They’re listening to each other talk about you. This is the future of everything. In fact, if you wish to survive for long in media, marketing, politics or any other institution accustomed to managing its affairs from the top down, it is the right now of everything.

Traditonal media is weakening due to three concurrent, irresistible forces:
1) audience shrinkage with consequent advertiser defection,
2) obsolete methods — and unsustainable costs — of distribution
3) competition from every computer user in the whole wide world. What you call articles and TV shows and songs, and what the media industry calls “content” will never be the same again.

This will change the media environment in dramatic ways. It will change the advertising industry in melodramatic ways.


Stephanie Holland is President and Executive Creative Director for Holland + Holland Advertising, Birmingham, Alabama. Working in an industry that is dominated by men, she is one of only 3% of the female creative directors in the country. Stephanie works mostly with male advertisers, helping them successfully market to women. Subscribe to She-conomy by Email

2 Responses to “Men, The Female Consumer is in Control. Listen or Perish.”

  1. Hard to listen to my consumers (readers) b/c they never leave comments, even thought I ask! I wish I knew what they are thinking.

  2. […] greatest impact on brands. As early as 2009, we were suggesting that social media would place the female consumer in control. We are pretty much there and it has only taken six years. So, what will happen over the next six […]

%d bloggers like this: