Author, The Power of the Purse;
Editorial Director of International Special Editions at Newsweek/Daily Beast.
Business journalist and author Fara Warner offers business audiences a real-world perspective on marketing—how to reach consumers by speaking to their deepest concerns. Her recent research gives her special expertise in three areas, in particular:
Women—how to put today’s most important consumers at the center of your overall business strategy. She is the author of The Power of the Purse, which details how a handful of Fortune 500 companies have rebuilt their businesses by understanding all the roles and responsibilities of today’s modern women.
China—how to keep up with the trends that are turning China’s exploding middle class into a huge and ultra-sophisticated population of consumers. Under a recent Knight-Wallace Fellowship from the University of Michigan, Fara has studied the effects of globalization on Chinese consumers and has spent considerable time in China in the past two years.
Cause-related marketing—how values, issues and the need for involvement motivate consumers today and how to connect these motivations with your marketing.
She is a contributing writer to Fast Company and has written extensively for The New York Times, Forbes, Brandweek and other national publications. She’s been a correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, covering advertising, marketing, media and consumer trends in Asia and e-commerce and the auto industry from the Detroit bureau.
She holds a Master’s Degree from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and received a Knight-Wallace Fellowship from the University of Michigan. She is recipient of a 2006 Diamond Award from Women in Communications for her work illuminating women’s issues in the media.
She serves on the advisory board of G23, a landmark new all-female consultancy from Omnicom to help businesses address the unrealized potential of the global female economy.
The Power of the Purse
Women are the much-overlooked key to future market growth.
When it comes to sheer numbers, buying power, wealth accrual, heads of households, college degrees, and many other areas, women are no longer a ‘minority’—women are the majority, and they are increasingly gaining majority access to money and power. Many companies are aware of this, but most do not know how these social, economic and cultural shifts dramatically affect the way these women think about brands, business, products and services. Fara Warner does.
You can no longer expect to reach women with simplistic marketing, pitching products pink or cleaning up your store aisles. Her book The Power of the Purse: How Smart Businesses Are Adapting to the World’s Most Important Consumers describes how forward-thinking companies like Procter & Gamble, McDonalds, and Nike have restructured their business strategies and marketing practices in fundamental ways to put women at the center of what they do and how they do it. The result is dramatically increased sales—not just to women, but to men as well–and stunning gains in market share.
Fara has a blog at The Power of the Purse.
Most companies have only a shallow understanding of the Chinese consumer. Yet China’s rapidly expanding middle class is about to become the next America, a huge consumer market, but with completely different demands—different sizes, different fashion sense, color preferences and other needs that American companies cannot possibly anticipate.
China also is embracing the automobile. Once an extremely immobile culture, China now is set to become the world’s largest automotive market within 10 years and is spending $20 billion on roads.
Fara studied these new economic forces under a Knight-Wallace Journalism Fellowship at the University of Michigan in 2005-2006 and has spent six weeks in China since, with plans for another stay in July 2007. For three years, she was Asia correspondent for The Wall Street Journal. She can unpack the myths about these consumers, bring you up to date on current trends, and show you China as you’ve never seen it before.
In a recent speech to the United Way titled Open Your Purse and Make Change, Fara Warner celebrated the ways that women can change the world with their economic power and she described how this can be both fulfilling and empowering. Women are particularly drawn to products and services that make a difference in the world—they will pay twice as much for a product if they know it has a philanthropic contribution attached. Of course, many men also will respond to marketing that fulfills on a promise to a cause.
Fara has studied what works and what doesn’t in this new economic reality. She helps audiences think about what specifically you could do for your consumers that is meaningful to them with your offerings—innovations that are related to what you already are doing with your brand, anyway.
Women are the Engines of Growth
Women around the world are the economic engines of growth. In this presentation, Fara Warner explores the economic and social changes that are affecting women around the world—changes that are rapidly transforming the roles of women globally. She will focus on stories of marketers who are attempting to understand the new global woman as well as look at the obstacles that exist in understanding women’s market globally.
- Author, The Power of the Purse
- Editorial Director of International Special Editions at Newsweek/Daily Beast
- Former Marsh Visiting Professor of Journalism, University of Michigan
- Contributing writer, Fast Company
- Advisory board, G23
- Former correspondent for The Wall Street Journal
- Published extensively in The New York Times, Time, Inc., and other national publications
- 2006 Diamond Award, Women in Communications
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