Tierney XY Specializes in Marketing to Women

NEW YORK After dipping their toes in the gender marketing pool with a series of projects, Tierney Communications last week launched Tierney XY, a unit aimed at marketing to women.

Under the direction of chief creative officer Kelly Simmons, once a consultant with gender marketing company Goose, the unit launches with four Tierney clients: Commerce Bank, Independence Blue Cross, and a women’s healthcare account and a financial business the Philadelphia shop executive declined to name.

By tapping into a group of 250 female consumers, called the Pink Tank, Tierney XY can test new products and campaigns and execute surveys in a way the agency said is more cost-effective than traditional focus group methods. Through the Pink Tank, which is expected to grow to about 500 participants by fall, the agency has sampled hair care products and conducted a survey that asked women how they were treated at car dealerships.

“You’d be surprised by the majority of categories where you wouldn’t think a woman is an influencer,” said Molly Watson, evp and group account director at Tierney. While conventional wisdom points to men as the decision makers in financial services, electronics and automobile purchases, Watson pointed to women as having a large say in those purchases.

Women buy 83 percent of all products and services, and account for 88 percent of all retail customers in the U.S., according to a study by the Business Women’s Network in 2004 [Adweek, June 20].