TED Talk: How Social Media Is Killing Marketing To Women (Hazzah!)

If you’re a regular reader of WonderBranding, you know how I feel about demographics. Use of demographics was the most reliable measuring tool way back, when there was just a handful of TV networks and personal computers were still a twinkle in IBM’s eye.

In fact, my latest book, Unzipped, was written from the premise that “The Rule of Resemblance” – creating marketing strategies and messaging based on age, income, or zip code – no longer works. Thanks in great part to the Internet, more people than ever are connecting based not on demographics, but shared interests and value systems.

I was delighted to see that there are others out there starting to spread the word as well. Watch this 8-minute excerpt from a recent TED conference, featuring Professor Johanna Blakley of USC. She explains how social media is blowing away not only gender myths but basic demographic myths, and how women control the platform.

I’m sorry we don’t have the entire talk here, but this is a good start. I’d love to know how the professor thinks this change in thinking will affect traditional marketers. I believe it’s a ways down the road for large corporations, but small business owners who start thinking in terms of “shared values” will have an upper hand against competitors.

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9 Responses to “TED Talk: How Social Media Is Killing Marketing To Women (Hazzah!)”

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  1. Barbro Trum says:

    Hi Michele.
    Always glad to read your posts! Know what, haven’t read the book yet…

  2. Funny thing is, I recognized it in my own store one December night back in the 90’s. I had four customers in my line, all from totally different walks of life, male/female, young/old, wealthy/poor, educated/uneducated. Probably didn’t have one common demographic among them.

    But they had my store in common. So I knew there was something more.

    The best lesson in it was the Accelerated Branding class from David Freeman at Wizard Academy. He really helped me not only understand the concept, but put it to use more fully.

    Thanks David (and Roy)!

  3. Zane Safrit says:

    I like this. And what I really like is that last sentence:

    “I believe it’s a ways down the road for large corporations, but small business owners who start thinking in terms of “shared values” will have an upper hand against competitors.”


    Thanks, again.

  4. Gair Maxwell says:


    This post kicks it!

    Great brands are built on shared values, not chasing housewives 18-34 who watch soap operas or guys 25-49 who like beer.

    Why is this so hard for most executives to understand?

    p.s… would love to re-post you as a guest on my blog, if that’s OK!

  5. Thanks for the comments, everyone.

    Gair, I’d be honored to be a guest on your blog.

  6. Aurea says:

    I completely agree with this post, social media has definetly changed the face of marketing. This is obvious when you log into your favorite social networking site and see all the ads on your account. These sites have really taken the guess work out of marketing since the users list their demographics on their profile.

  7. Avril says:

    This is true not only for women but for every other area of society. We live in the age of instant gratification and almost anything we need is just a click away.

  8. You may or may not remember the 1979 song by The Buggles, “Video Killed The Radio Star,” but guess what is happening to the Yellow Pages advertising phenomenon of old? Internet advertising has all but killed the Yellow Page Ad. Online advertising is now the fastest, most effective way to promote your business. Are you promoting your business with online Social Media?


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