The team at Covalent Bonds are all women, so we informally call ourselves the ‘Bond Girls’, but we have never done so externally. Then while updating a demo of our marketing measurement system a colleague asked if it is appropriate to use the names of Bond girls for the anonymised leads.
We debated long and hard on whether we could use this name externally. Would we still be taken seriously? Are we doing ourselves a disservice by calling ourselves the Bond Girls? We even debated whether writing this blog was the right thing to do.
The internet is awash with stories of the poor reputation of marketing (‘73% of CEOs say marketers lack credibility’ for example). In popular culture women in marketing and communications are often portrayed as less capable. At conferences, we often hear companies mention ‘our marketing girl handles that’ in a derogatory manner. Why is this?
Marketing has suffered from a lack of quantifiable evidence of its success. Budgets have been spent without any accountability for impact. But this is changing. Our clients have realized that in order to be taken seriously, they need to have measurable metrics and accurate reporting based on reliable data. This brings marketing in line with all other commercial departments - sales are held to metrics, so marketing should be too. Evidence of success directly undermines the claim that marketing is less credible.
[Related reading: Take a look at our infographic on how marketing can get a seat at the c-suite table].
Overcoming the credibility issue with data, leaves the fact that we are ‘girls’. There are a predominance of women in marketing. That is a good thing. Bond Girls are strong, driven and focused. So, we have decided to own the phrase. There is a history of minority and marginalized groups taking ownership of derogatory terms to take control. ‘Queer’ changed from a degrading term into self-reference by the LGBTQ community.
Everywhere women are stepping up, and the perception of women in any role is changing. There is no better time than right now to embrace the perception of women in marketing.
Happy International Women’s Day from the Bond Girls!