Category Archives: Austin

Texas Conference for Women

By Samantha White

This year’s Texas Conference for Women will be hosted right here in Austin. To give you an idea of what’s on tap at this month’s event, we took a look at the four keynote speakers.

Charlotte Beers is not just an advertising woman – she is THE woman of the advertising world. According to both Fortune and Business Week magazines, Beers is among the most powerful women in America. She was the first female Senior Vice President in J. Walter Thompson’s history as a firm, and later became the Chairman/CEO of Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide. She was inducted into the Advertising Hall of Fame in 2009.

Cathie Black is also a media mogul. She served for 15 years as President of Hearst Magazines, a division of Hearst Corporation which publishes 20 titles in the U.S. and over 300 international editions. Black has been on Fortune Magazine’s “50 Most Powerful Women in Business” list since its inception in 1998. She has also been a member on the Board of Directors at IBM as well as The Coca-Cola Company, and is currently a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Dr. Brené Brown, a renowned speaker and professor, gave the closing talk at this year’s TED conference. For the last twelve years she has studied vulnerability, courage, worthiness, and shame. Her fourth book Daring Greatly talks about having courage to be vulnerable and was released this month. She is a Licensed Master Social Worker and currently is a research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work.

Gretchen Rubin, an author and blogger, actually began her career in law working for Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. She quickly realized she’d rather be writing and began to do so. Rubin has now authored seven books including this month’s release Happier at Home, in which she takes an entire school year (September-May) to explore ways to make the home a happier place. Her previous book, The Happiness Project, was a #1 New York Times bestseller and shares a name with her current blog in which Rubin chronicles her daily pursuit of happiness.

Since the four keynote speakers have such differing backgrounds, the conference is sure to offer something for everyone. Tickets are now available for the October 24th event.

SXSW Interactive Review: Designing Experiences for Women

By Stephanie Milam

As mentioned in last week’s post, On Your Mark had its eyes on several SXSW Interactive talks, including a few about women and the digital world. Of these, Designing Experiences for Women presented by Jessica Ivins and Brad Nunnally proved to be quite compelling to us as experts on women. While we have been aware of the gaping holes in marketing to women, Ivins and Nunnally provided great design and marketing mantras for those trying to reach a female audience. Below are a few of our favorites:

  • “When marketing to women, emphasize benefits over features or specs – how can your product enhance her life?”
  • “If you don’t do research, you’re guessing what customers want. With research, customers tell you what they want.”
  • “Don’t stereotype your audience, understand them.”

An interesting example Ivins and Nunnally used to show design-gone-wrong for female users is online dating sites such as One of the biggest frustrations for women is the overwhelming communication received from men – both in number of messages and content. Instead of being a safe place to meet people with similar interests and goals, it can become yet another arena in which to be badgered. The websites therefore do not meet the online-dating need of women to have comfortable communication.

While it’s important for designers to make things user-friendly and engaging for women, they can’t completely forget the men when their product or service is marketed to both genders. By going too far femme, they risk alienating or even emasculating the male audience. Through online dating site, only women can initiate communication because men are not allowed to search through profiles. Feedback from Ivins and Nunnally’s audience on Twitter indicated many of the men would never use, and some women said that they wouldn’t expect men to want to try this online dating site either.

@vdyej Anyone know a self-respecting man who would sign up for dating #herway? Doubt it. #designwmn

To reach an appropriate balance of incorporating the needs and preferences of both genders, Ivins and Nunnally recommend – what else – research! The most important thing marketers and designers can do to successfully reach their customers/audience is to understand them.

South by Southwest: Not Just for Musicians

By Crystal Markowski

Every March for the last 24 years, Austin becomes a mecca for artists and new talent. Musicians, film directors, and actors from all over the world come to Texas hoping to promote their latest project or just be discovered. But the festival isn’t just for film and music enthusiasts. Many don’t realize how large the Interactive portion of the event is with an impressive showing from the digital, marketing, and publishing communities. Among the literally hundreds of events over five days, top thought leaders will be sharing new ideas about emerging technologies and their greater applications for the ways we live, shop, and interact.

SXSW Interactive kicks off today, and here at On Your Mark, we’re following several events. While the Interactive portion covers numerous topics from women in programming to how gaming can benefit the world, here are a few areas we’ll be watching:

Consumer Behavior and Emerging Technologies:
•    Tech and the Evolution of the In-Store Experience
•    The Science of Habits: Why We Do What We Do
•    Gen Y & Z Expectations to Transform Customer Experience

•    Designing Experiences for Women
•    How Women Present Themselves in the Digital Age
•    Blogging: Why So Many Women Are Doing It

Marketing and Branding:
•    Marketing’s Shift from Waterfall to Agile
•    Mind Reading: Seeing Needs Users Don’t Articulate
•    Brands with Benefits: Hooking Up with Good Deals