What She’s Not Telling You – Book Review

What She's Not Telling You

For anyone who has ever done market research for a new product or campaign that women said they liked, only to have that product or campaign fail miserably – this book is for you.

What She's Not Telling You – Why Women Hide the Whole Truth and What Marketers Can Do About It is the latest book  by Mary Lou Quinlan and other top minds at Just Ask a Woman.

What She's Not Telling You takes a brutally honest look at the Half Truths women tell not only to marketers, but to themselves.  I found myself nodding my head, "OMG – that is SO true" and laughing out loud.  

The book looks at specific things you, as a marketer, can do to make sure you aren't relying on Half Truths which can sabotage your efforts.  The secret to success is moving beyond her Half Truths to her Whole Truths.

A Half Truth is something women are willing to admit.  A Whole Truth is what women really believe, do, and buy.

Women will save the Whole Truth for those who respect who she is and what her life is about, who ask smarter questions, and who are honestly intent on hearing her answers.

The 5 Half Truths that shortchange your success

Here's an example of a woman's Half Truth – "I want to eat healthy foods."  But here's her Whole Truth – "Sometimes the less-bad-for-me version of my favorite foods is good enough."

Another example – Half Truth – "I'd never go back to being 35.  I feel so much wiser now."  Whole Truth – "Just because I've earned these lines doesn't mean I want to wear them."

Women's relationship-driven natures propel their Half Truth telling whether it's to please, cajole, repel questioners, or protect herself or her family from emotional intruders, like marketers. 

There are 5 universal emotional drivers of Half Truths best described by the acronym GAMES:

G = Good Intentions

A = Approval Seeking

M = Martyrdom

E = Ego Protection

S = Secret Keeping

Understanding these emotional drivers can help you look out for them and not be taken in by Half Truths where she says one thing, but does another.

Wal-Mart vs. Target

Get the inside scoop on which brand women say they love, but which brand actually gets their money.  


Take a closer look at this marketing darling and see that sales aren't living up to the hype. 

What women say vs. what women do

One of the things I love about online marketing is that you can measure what people actually do, vs. what they say they would do.  

In the book, there's a funny example of women who suffered from heartburn and claimed they avoided spicy foods.  Yet in the focus group room, when offered a choice between a bland turkey sandwich and lasagna with garlic bread, guess which entree was decimated?  LOL!

What she says she'll do, and what she actually does can sometimes be two different things. 

Why marketers are part of the problem

The fault does not lie completely with women.  Marketers are a part of the problem as well.  Take an honest look at the part you're playing and the mistakes you are making.  I found this part of the book to be one of the most helpful.  If you conduct focus groups, this is a must read. (and you'll also appreciate the peanut M&M jokes).

One of the best marketing to women books this year

This is truly one of the best marketing to women books I've read this year.  It's a quick read, it's entertaining, and I guarantee you will walk away with a whole new awareness and understanding of women. 

As the book says:  "Once you learn to listen differently, you'll begin to hear what she's not telling you."

This entry was posted in marketing to women book reviews and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to What She’s Not Telling You – Book Review

  1. Hey thanks for the post….it’s very interesting indeed.Would love to grab a copy of this one soon.Thanks again.

  2. Melissa says:

    I’ve heard great things about this book! I can’t wait to read it. The concept of “Whole Truths” and “Half Truths” is intriguing and certainly makes our job of marketing to women a bit more challenging. I’m especially interested in the section discussing how marketers can understand the whole truths: what women actually believe, do, and buy versus what they’ll admit to. Thanks for the great review!

  3. Mejohnson1 says:

    I always say there’s the truth, then there’s the real truth. I’m sure I’ll see many of my own behaviors in this book. Picking it up. Thanks Holly.

  4. Thanks for the great review!

  5. Thank you for this great blog information!I’m finding this whole blogging world a great resource for any topic, and really inspirational.

  6. Well written.Always love your post.Liked the way you have presented the concept of Half truths and Full truths.Made me think on those lines too.Keep it up!Thanks

  7. This book is a must read!

  8. Yeah this is a must read book. I have read this already and i am thrilled by the women.. There are many things that they aren’t telling us.

  9. Hey thanks for the post….it’s very interesting indeed.Would love to grab a copy of this one soon.Thanks again.

  10. The books are the smartest way of fun, you can learn & enjoy at the same time!!!!!!!

  11. The fault is not entirely with women. Marketers are also part of the problem. Be honest and see the play of the errors you make.

Comments are closed.