Creative solutions for connecting with women.

Diane Heavin of Curves:
"Mary gave us a clearer vision of what we could become."


Brilliance on demand.




Will the economic crisis cause women to give up gym memberships and organic food? Or will they work even harder to keep themselves and their families healthy?  The results from our national survey may surprise you. Click for a topline report.







The Skirt Check™ Workshop.
Women will never look

at your brand the same way again.





Q: Does marketing to women mean excluding men?

A: No. Of all the harmful marketing-to-women myths out there, this is the one we need to sacrifice first. Improving your marketing to women doesn't require painting your product pink or excluding men or being "for women only." Often the only thing required is to be a bit more human. To look a little closer at the details. To simply respect a woman's intelligence rather than ignore her existence.

In fact, the steps you take to make your brand and product more desirable to women will probably make it more desirable to everyone. Women are the world's toughest customers. Please them and you'll please all.

That said, there is an art to it. Inspiration, intuition, and talent are required. It helps to think like a woman, laugh like a woman, love like a woman. And yes, it can help quite a bit to be a woman. Learn what you need to reach women without excluding men in less than 3 hours.
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Q: Why KickSkirt?

A: Because for all the talk about the importance of marketing to women, too few companies seem to be doing it right. 80% of women feel like they're portrayed in a totally inaccurate way in advertising and 35% are actually offended by the marketing that is supposed to be enticing them. We are one of the few agencies with the talent and the desire to change those odds in your favor.
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Q: What kinds of companies do you work with?

A: We work with national and global brands or with companies that have the desire and potential to become one.

We work with brands that are worthy of the women they target. We only work with companies and products that can truly improve the lives of women and their families.

We work as partners, not vendors. We believe in results and have each client's best interest in mind at all times.

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Q: What services do you provide?

A: Consumer Insights & Research * Brand Development * Online Videos* Advertising Campaigns *Creative Consulting * Messaging * Strategy * Book Publishing* Read about more services

We do everything most agencies do. We just try to do it in a smarter, more media-neutral way without all the overhead and marketing speak. We use our core brain power to figure out what each client needs and assemble our agency partners to execute the plan. In addition, Mary is available as a creative consultant for companies who simply need help getting their ad agency to produce work that truly engages women. Read more about customized services.
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Q: What is your process?

A: Our process is this: figure out what works best and help you do it. "It" will most likely mean something different for each piece of business and we find that coming up with unique solutions doesn't happen if you're too rigid in your approach.

That said, we always start with a deep dive into each client's industry, brand and consumer.

We believe in getting our hands on everything. We believe in cross-pollination. We believe planners sometimes come up with the best headlines, that writers sometimes create the best strategy, and that important stuff like media planning and interactive development should never be done off in some silo. And so, we all work together.

Which is to say that we're thoroughly systematic but we don't follow rigid systems.
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Q: What has formed your process?

A: Everyone at KickSkirt has spent at least 20 years working for some of the smartest and best agencies in the world. We've taken bits of brilliance from each of them and added some smart thinking of our own. We've learned what works and why and we know that, at the end of the day, it's our combination of passion and brains and sheer stubbornness that will produce truly exceptional results for your business.
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Q: I have lots of information and insights about women. Isn't that enough to make my marketing to women effective?

A: No. If information were all it took, there would be more success stories like Curves. What's required is to place just as much passion and energy into crafting messages, ads, and communications as you do uncovering the insights that inform that creative. Research alone will not create a great brand campaign. Knowing what a woman wants doesn't mean much if you can't communicate that fact to her. And women do have a language all their own.

Read about our workshop to help you connect effectively with women.
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Q: Are you anti-male?

A: No. We're pro common sense.

Here's our logic. The vast majority of women don't feel they're portrayed accurately in advertising (they're not), and many are actually offended by the very advertising that's supposed to entice them. Have the wheels come off the marketing industry as it pertains to women? No. They were never on. And we know why.

In U.S. advertising agencies, 97% of the creative directors are men. Think about that for a second. That means men decide what gets presented and produced. And here's the ugly truth - if those male creative directors decide an idea won't impress the awards show judges at Cannes (who are overwhelmingly male), that idea will never get out the door to you, the client. You won't even have the honor of seeing it.

So, remember that great insight you finally unearthed? The nugget that practically guaranteed a favorable female response, provided it was served up properly? Sadly, it probably won't get served up at all. This is not an indictment of men, but of the way ad agencies have always been run.

It is a scientific fact that men and women get excited by different things, laugh at different jokes, and travel different paths during the decision making process. In short, we speak a different language. It's also a fact that women do brilliant advertising. KickSkirt's team certainly has their share of metal. So why not let women talk to each other in the language they share? Research is where you start, but translating it properly is how you finish. Fortunately, we do both.
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Q: Why women? Isn't that a rigid niche?

A: Women are not a niche - they control 80-90% of every consumer purchase decision being made right now.

Women control seven trillion dollars in spending - roughly equal to the entire Japanese economy.

Women are TWO for the price of ONE: Impress a woman, and the husband comes with her. Turn a woman off and the husband goes with her.

The Economist sites women as the single most powerful force in the global economy.

What makes a brand more appealing to women usually makes it more appealing to everyone.

According to Tom Peters in his book, TRENDS, ( which gives a very very compelling story about why marketing to women is smart) says women make the BIG purchases:
personal computers - 66%
consumer electronics - 60%
vacation decisions - 89%
home furnishings - 94%
new home sales - 75%
kitchen appliances - 88%
healthcare purchases - 80%
new cars - 60%

Women often smell better than men.

Women go deep, fast. They frequently learn intimate details about complete strangers in the course of a checkout line. This valuable skill, which we are born with, has vast marketing to women applications.

Women's feet are much prettier.

Women are loyal and vocal. Other women trust them. They have book clubs. Everybody knows that's where the important stuff is discussed.

You don't have to sissify your brand or paint it pink to attract women.


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