Our vendor table at the HSMG Conference.
I’ve been trying to sort out all the information I learned at the HSMG 2012 Conference and I’m finally able to get my thoughts in order. I found this year’s conference to be informative and fun as the previous conferences I’ve attended. Thanks to Jerry, I’m able to provide notes for almost every presentation during the conference!
Come join me for a synopsis of our first day!
The first presentation of the day was the keynote given by Mary Lou Quinlan. Mary Lou is a woman of many hats and these hats include titles like author, friend, marketing expert/strategist, wife, entrepreneur, inspirational speaker and daughter.
I was very surprised and pleased to learn that each attendee got a free autographed copy of “What She’s Not Telling You: Why Women Hide the Whole Truth and What Marketers Can Do About It.” I’m so excited to sit down and read my copy from cover to cover. Mary Lou was an amazing speaker and I found myself hooked to every word! When her presentation began, Mary Lou told us to be on the lookout for the half truths told by women. A half truth is not a lie, it is simply the truth a woman is willing to admit to others and even herself. The whole truth is what she believes, does and buys. A great example of a half truth is “I try to be healthy.” The whole truth hiding behind this half truth is probably, “I exercise, when I feel like it,” or “I watch what I eat, sometimes. But those pancakes dripping with syrup and butter and topped off with whipped cream are just so good!”
Mary Lou even shared with us the acronym that she and her co-founders at Just Ask a Woman developed to help marketers reach and understand women better. The acronym is GAMES.
- Good Intentions – This is the tendency of women to proclaim big agendas and make promises without actually planning to complete or accomplish.
- Approval Seeking – Women want to be liked and will proclaim they love your products. We all want to be approved and accepted by not only marketers, but other women as well.
- Martyrdom – Women are busy multi-taskers who have to make sure you know how hard they are working. When in groups, women will actually try to exaggerate their schedules and stresses to appear more productive to other women.
- Ego Protection – Women use half truths to keep their inner selves safe from showing weakness. A great example of this is, “Real beauty is on the inside.” Yet, the whole truth inside is different. “Ugh! Look at my face/body/skin/hair! I could use some serious help with it!”
- Secret Keeping – Women will easily confess secrets to some women and yet keep those same secrets if she thinks you will frown upon that secret. These secrets are varied from person to person and can involve anything from problematic children, troubled finances, a worrisome career and many more.
Mary Lou also stressed that we should push ourselves to be INTENSE listeners. Don’t just listen to what people say, listen to what their bodies say and their mouths don’t say! I learned that if we are intense listeners, we can then use that information to change our product lines to meet what our customers really want.
After Mary Lou shared all this great information that made my brain feel stuffed, she shared her story about her mother and touched my heart. Her mother would take her stresses, worries, concerns and hopes, write them down on scraps of paper as prayers to God and tuck those papers into a box she called her God Box. She would listen to her friends, family and even strangers as they shared with her. Then she would take those emotional thoughts and change them to written prayers that were no longer something she could control as they had been passed to a higher power that would take care of those worries instead of her. After her mother died in 2006, Mary Lou found her mother’s God Box or boxes, there were 10 boxes with 20 years of written prayers for friends, family and strangers. Mary Lou also shared stories about the codes that she and her mom used to say “I love you.” This brought tears to my eyes during the presentation and again as I write this post.