The marketing behind the march

JoannaJoy1992 via Twitter.jpg

[Image credit: Twitter/@JoannaJoy1992]

Last weekend, the annual Million Women Rise march took place in London. The event, which campaigns for an end to violence against women, was celebrating its 10th anniversary.

It came after a global women’s rights event – succinctly called the Women’s March – happened in major cities around the world, timed to take place the day after Donald Trump’s inauguration.

It’s been estimated that the global attendance at the various Women’s Marches reached three million, with the Washington DC march reportedly attracting around 500,000 people.

The popularity of the event speaks to the power of social media marketing. It wasn’t advertised on major television channels or radio stations, so the event organisers relied on their social media accounts to spread the message and encourage those who identify as women and girls to show up for the march.

It became a sort of grapevine, with followers of the main accounts telling their friends and those friends telling theirs. The organisers executed their plan to perfection. They knew their audience and they used the right channels to target them.

WomenandGirlsN via Twitter.jpg

[Image credit: Twitter/@WomenandGirlsN]

Photos and videos of notable attendees – whether celebrities or just the fantastically-attired – at the events were posted, which were then shared by millions of people around the world, highlighting the importance of multimedia in campaigns. Some of those there streamed it live on social media, gaining even more attention and helping it go viral.

The right hashtags were used to boost awareness and allow the curious to easily access the information they were looking for in real time.

And what a successful campaign it was! Headlines announced that thousands of people brought central London to a standstill, with the photos showing the inspiring – and often incredibly artistic – posters they used to emphasise their messages.

These posters were the subject of several articles, which allowed those individuals behind them to really market their own organisations and their specific causes, whether that was eliminating female genital mutilation or boosting health services offered to women.

The organisers of all the respective marches might not have thought of themselves as marketers, but they made national headlines and garnered a huge amount of attention for their cause. And if that’s not marketing, what is?

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[Image credit: Twitter/@pocoloworld]

The marketing industry could do with more people like them. Luckily, it is getting better at retaining talented women, as we can see from our latest Gender in Marketing 2017 report. Back in 2015 when we first ran this survey, only 37 per cent of female marketers had stuck with it longer than ten years, compared to 60 per cent of men.

Now, though, things are a lot more even, with 34 per cent of men and 35 per cent of women staying in their marketing careers for more than a decade.

This is a great thing for the whole industry, because – as we’ve seen from the marches – women in marketing are resourceful and extremely adept at getting their message across.

The women behind the marches were focused on doing something they found important for other women in their countries and around the world. They were doing something they felt strongly about.

It’s therefore not surprising that our report found that for women, the most important aspect of a career in marketing is ‘Doing something I love’. This was second for men, behind salary.

Whether it’s a march or a product launch, getting the message out there and raising awareness is vital and the best organisations out there will be making sure they’re benefitting from the most talented women in marketing.

Marketers know who they’re targeting and why, and the organisers of the recent Million Women Rise March in London and the Women’s Marches held around the world did so to great effect.

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