Women in media discuss marketing changes

With expertise on marketing to women, panelists Birgit Wassmuth, director of A. Q. Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communications, Lisa Sisley, principal and owner of New Boston Creative Group, and Meagan Cramer, co-director of Communications of Farm Bureau answers questions from the audience about how businesses and organizations market to women in today's society in the Alumni Center Ballroom on Feb 25, 2015. (Cassandra Nguyen | The Collegian)

Women from across K-State and Manhattan met Wednesday morning to address how businesses and organizations market to women today, as well as how advertising strategies have changed over the years.

Women heard from panelists on how they market and work with women, including Birgit Wassmuth, director of the A.Q. Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communications; Lisa Sisley, principal and owner of New Boston Creative Group; and Meagan Cramer, co-director of communication for Farm Bureau.

“I’m really passionate about women in media and I think there’s a growing need for women to be in media because so much of the younger generation gets influenced by advertising,” said Manprit Kaur, graduate in counseling services and student development. “It’s interesting to see where we started and how many improvements we’ve had and the things that we still need to improve on.”

Faculty and students alike came to learn more about this important issue and the background of advertising to women.

“I wanted to know how women are really portrayed in the media. I wanted to capture something different,” Be Stoney, associate professor in education, said. “I wanted to get the cutting edge of women in advertising, and it’s great to hear from these proactive women about how we’re all portrayed in the media.”

Cramer spoke about how Farm Bureau involves women bloggers to educate them about where food comes from, with a focus on food safety and humane animal treatment. Sisley focused on how her company markets to women, because they are a company headed by three women. Wassmuth spoke about the history of advertising and how social media has changed the advertising game entirely.

“I felt that because the question was ‘How had marketing to women changed in the media?,’ I should provide context about where we came from and how has advertising changed,” Wassmuth said.

Kaur said that while she wished there had been more time devoted to discussion, she didn’t realize how much a role women played in the history of advertising. Wassmuth connected her speech to how specific brands choose to market in relation to the history of the brand to help people relate to the subject.

She also discussed the differences between the old manner of marketing and marketing driven by social media, where advertisements focus on the targeted audience based on what people like, post or search online.

“It’s a dramatic change that’s happening in advertising right now,” Wassmuth said. “We still have billboards and print ads but their purpose has changed because social media is the driving engine to get to the consumer. We no longer market to women because they market to themselves.”