The first part of my career was spent in advertising and communications agencies where - alongside Jane Cunningham who is my fellow co-founder at PLH - I was part of the leadership teams at DDB (now Adam and Eve) and at Ogilvy.
During our years in agencies, Jane and I repeatedly noticed how - despite the fact that in most developed markets, women were invariably the most valuable consumer audience - they were too often perceived and presented in ways that were tired or inaccurate. Determined to do something about it, we left to set up our own research company with the specific intention of helping the marketing world better understand female audiences. We conducted an 18 month study in to female brand preferences and buying behaviours (published in 2006 as the book Inside Her Pretty Little Head)
In the years that have followed, we have spent almost every week enjoyably conducting research on behalf of a wide range of clients, exploring what women feel about themselves, and the businesses and brands that profess to serve them.
We have been described as ‘the pioneers of marketing to women’ and The Times has written of our work: “Jane Cunningham and Philippa Roberts argued that marketing departments need to work much harder at understanding women’s motivations and decision-making systems. They won the argument. This is a crude generalisation, but not one, I think, with which most…will disagree. Creative briefs have radically changed to favour emotional intelligence and impact over rational, white-coated persuasion”