Who's the apple of marketers' eye? It's not free-spending teens or men 25-50. It's women, thanks to their one-two punch of purchasing power and decision-making authority. Working women ages of 24-54 -- of whom the U.S. has some 55 million -- have emerged as a potent force in the marketplace, changing the way companies design, position, and sell their products.
Women earn less money than their counterparts -- 78 cents for every dollar a man gets. But they make more than 80% of buying decisions in all homes. And women shop differently from the