… If you ask me, I don't know why we even pretend to know, but I'm pretty sure it goes far beyond driving a car and consumption. Middle Eastern women can teach the advertising world and brands a lot if we only ask.

In 1957, Riyadh pronounced a ban on women driving. And up until September 2017, Saudi Arabia was unique in being the only country in the world where women were forbidden to drive motor vehicle. But the wait is over. The big news is out, women can drive in Saudi Arabia, and we all rejoiced and celebrated. A step in the right direction – to say the least!

With great news comes great opportunities. You don’t have to be an expert to know that automakers jumped on the chance. I’m sure you saw it everywhere; the news broke the internet as they say. Social media was flooded with supporting messages and artworks from the automotive industry. It felt great to see almost everyone celebrate and support the good news! After all, women driving is women empowerment - and a new opportunity to sell cars to a target group that was literally not existing. And like luxury brands, fashion and electronics, automotive brands now have a great chance… did I say with great news comes great opportunities? Or rather: with great powers comes great responsibilities.

Many great pieces of content where created, culture-perfect! From Nissan’s ‘She Drives’ tapping into a very strong cultural insight to the very recent Chevrolet ‘24/7 Roadside Support for women drivers’, a one of a kind tailor-made service.

Now that we have the chance to talk to this target audience, it wouldn’t hurt to also listen every now and then. It’s no secret that the perception of customers is one of the main reasons to the success of many businesses, and the fast failure of others – no matter how great their product or service is.

So why did some fail? Many brands focused on their product or service and forgot to listen to what customers are telling them. This inevitably resulted in declining revenue and profit.

The goal of any business is to make revenue, although this objective is definitely easier to reach when we listen to customers and understand their needs. The best way to do that is by actively seek their point of view. Ask questions, conduct surveys, and get specifics.

So, what do women really want? I can’t really answer that question. They are the only ones who can, and in my opinion, with such a forward-thinking news, our responsibility is to react towards it in the same forward-thinking attitude. We need start a conversation with our new target audience, learn from them and understand what they are looking for and why. Stop speaking for them; in an age of user generated content it’s only natural to get our content from the audience that we are targeting.