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Smart Marketing to Smart Women - Complements of AMA


Blog networking - Works! A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of meeting one of the stars of the blogosphere - Yvonne DiVita of
Lip-sticking blog and author of "Dickless Marketing: Smart Marketing to Women Online." Diva and Divors (Divors - the gents!) will get the clever play on words of her title from the "Dick and Jane" readers, which by the way are now making their way back into bookstores and being gobbled up by Baby Boomers.

But I digress. In another life I chair the American Marketing Association's 8 online communities. Yvonne kindly agreed to guest moderate a thread for us on "Smart Marketing To Women." Wish I could invite you to join the discussion but the lists are "closed" - open to AMA members only. However, what I can do is share some of the exciting content that that our smart members are posting.

Tony Kinard, Spunlog, posted 4 factors that should be addressed when developing online strategies targeted to women. Following Tony's remarks I've suggested tactics to help you begin the process of integrating strategies into your marketing plan.

Relevant Female Related Online Behavioral Factors
There are factors inherent in female psychology that should be addressed. These factors help contribute to recommended online tactics. Please note that the information below is high-level and general in nature.

1. Relationship Focused and Loyal
Women are inclined to be more loyal than men and tend to have a relationship approach to purchasing. When you have gained their loyalty, it is a strong bond and, through their communities and networks, they share the story of your brand/product/company. Women are three times as likely to learn about a product from other women as they are to learn about a product from other sources (i.e. advertisements, etc.).
Suggested Tactics: Reward Loyalty
a. Create a loyalty program that rewards referrals
b. Develop a viral marketing strategy that encourages women to tell friends about your product/service or promotes your product/service
c. Create an online community or blog where women tell their stories and share ideas about your product/service
d. Create an event where your customers can meet, network, socialize and bring a friend. Go beyond the "user group" mentality...do something Diva Divine!
Example: Saturn celebrates with an annual owners' parties all over the county.

2. Holistic Approach to Purchase Decisions
According to an article at SmartBiz.com, men tend to purchase based primarily on price and availability, whereas women utilize a more holistic approach. Women are more likely to make buying decisions based not only on what you sell, but on what your company stands for. This once again reinforces women's relationship approach to purchasing. Specific percentages to support the reasons women use the web have not been determined.
Suggested Tactics: Cause Marketing
a. Develop a cause marketing strategy
b. Identify a non profit organization where your product/service can be utilized
c. Identify a non profit that your organization can "own" e.g., consider lesser known charities or local organizations
d. Encourage your employees to be active volunteers in the charity e.g., comp time for volunteer time
e. Create opportunities for your customers to participate e.g., fund raising events
f. Post photos and stories about your projects on your website and blog
Example: Loews builds homes for Habitat for Humanity

3. Empathetic & Intuitive
According to an article in Psychology Today, women's perceptual skills are oriented to intuitive people reading. Females are gifted at detecting the feelings and thoughts of others, as well as their intentions, based not just on what is presented to them, but other contextual cues as well. Statistics are not available to support this opinion, but Psychology Today is considered a reputable publication and this information should be credible.
Suggested Tactics: Diva Divine Customer Care!
a. Review your customer service strategies. Are your employees empowered to actually help your customers? Do all of your employees have access to the same information - offline and online divisions?
b. Train all of your of your staff (not just the customer service reps ... top to bottom) to emphatically relate to customers' concerns - even on the bad hair days ... now that's a real challenge!
c. Follow-up customer concerns with a communication perhaps a handwritten note from a VIP
d. Surprise your customers with extra services/products or an "appreciation gift"... just because...
Example: Diva of Retail Customer Care - Nordstrom!

4. Sense of Security
According to a study conducted by Burst Media, security concerns relating to credit card security (64.5%) and privacy issues (48.2%) are the primary obstacles hindering women from purchasing online.
Suggested Tactics: Don't Forget To Tell Them They're OK and You’re OK
a.Develop easy to read privacy policies
b.Post links to your privacy policy on a consistent place of each page
c.Include contact information with your privacy policy
d.Include information on how credit card purchases are secured; again include contact information for questions
Example: TRUSTe

Quick Thoughts


Summer Fun Read For Divas. The Sunday NY Times, July 11th Business Best Seller List includes 10 hard cover non fiction books, 5 soft cover non fiction books and 1 soft cover novel. The novel, The Devil Wears Prada, happens to be the #1 this month and last month.

Local politicans still don't get it. It’s local election time. Why are local politicians not developing websites? Why are they not blogging? Why are they spending oodles of dollars on glossy, 4-color brochures? No matter if you agreed with the governor from Vermont or not, you had to admit Howard Dean's blog was cutting edge when it came to leveraging the Internet in his grass roots campaign. How can I trust you to look out for my best interests when you’re still in the mindset of the last millennium? Why am I surprised? Certainly some savvy marketer is offering Interactive marketing workshops for local/state politicians.

Some bizes do get it. If you haven’t found John Cass’s blog, PR Communication, go visit. John’s been interviewing people who have corporate blogs. Also his blog is developing into a great resource with lots of information about corporate blogging.

Think there’s nothing new in the blogsphere? re:invention launched a blog soap opera series: Chicago's Entrepreneurs: As The World Turns, The Sand, The Hourglass, Our Lives...." How cool is that? Tune in on Fridays for updates. While you're clicking, tap into Lip-Sticking. Yvonne DiVita is interviewing smart women and smart men. Yes, Virginia there are a few smart guys and if you find them send them my way (only kidding...maybe!) The Global PR Blog is running an online event about blogging and communications. The event is scheduled for July 12 - 16, 2004.

C2. Outdoor ads for Coca Cola’s new Cs …. ½ the Politics All The Party. The boards are running in Atlanta. I can’t quite figure out if the ads are a test for what will run during the elections or just a play on the “politics” of the non carb revolution.

Friday Fun


mirror_projectPeople are fascinated with themselves. "Ego Google" has turned into a game that is played by kids and adults...women and men. Take a look at your photo album. How many pictures are there of you? Just you. No friends. No travel scenery. Just you. But have you taken a photo of yourself in a dew drop? Or perhaps in the eye of your lover? If you have, you're invited to submit it to the Mirror Project.

I discovered The Mirror Project on Enlightened Brand. The Mirror Project, tagged as an adventure in reflective surfaces, is a growing online community of individuals who have photographed themselves in tadah....reflective surfaces. Thousands of people from over the world have contributed photographs of images captured in a bubble of time. From reflections in garden globes, CDs and merry-go-rounds to store windows, iPods and spoons the project is a wonderful example of the creative exploration of people.

The site even uses an RSS format. Does that make it a photo blog?

Life Lesson Reminder


Rebecca Ryan, at Worthwhile, shared a life lesson reminder. Her dad recently died and a caring nurse offered thoughts of comfort. In a world that sometimes turns too quickly that we ofen forget what is most important, I'd like to pass along her thoughts to you.

“Rebecca, I'm going to share with you my philosophy of life. Each of us is given five balls. One is rubber and four are glass. The rubber ball is work. If you drop it, it will always bounce back. The other four glass balls are family, friends, health and integrity. If you drop them, they are shattered. They won't bounce back."

I write this blog as a woman who derives a good bit of her esteem from the rubber ball. I work hard, and I love it. Then something comes between you and that rubber ball. In my case, it was my dad's passing. When the rubber ball is taken out of play, what's left? How well do we manage our glass balls?

Even more, I realize that our family, health and friends often happen TO us. There's little we can do to change circumstances around a parent's death, a divorce, or diagnosis of a life-changing disease. But Integrity is what we bring to the event. We can control and manage our integrity.

When teabags are met with hot water, they don't break. They have integrity. Rather than contract, they expand and release their full flavor.

Having Integrity -- that final glass ball - means keeping our word, acting in alignment with our deepest held principles, telling our truth, and doing our very best in each moment.

Rebecca, appreciate the reminder.

Congrats! Kinda Cool Chick


Congrats! to the "Kinda Cool Chick" of re:invention, inc. and the re:invention blog Kirsten Osolind. Kristen's comments kick off a recent Boston Business Journal article about women and growth capital funding.

"Without debt or equity, you will not be able to grow in scale," said Osolind, founder and CEO of re:invention inc., a Chicago-based company offering marketing services to women-led businesses

Impossible Thinking


impossible-thinking“We think we see the real world, but we actually see what’s already in our own minds.” Colin Crook. What a great quote! At first glance the concept may seem obvious and simplistic. The concept intrigued me.

Think about it .... What would happen if you questioned what you thought was the reality of a situation? What would happen if you changed the model you used to problem solve? What would happen if you stepped out of your comfort zone?

The Power of Impossible Thinking: Transform the Business of Your Life and the Life of Your Business by Colin Crook and Jerry Wind, explores questions like these. The book's fundamental message - what you see in any situation depends in very large part upon what you bring to the table. Great interview with the authors in [email protected].

Process For “Impossible Thinking”
1. Become much more explicitly aware of why you see the world the way you do and what that implies.
2. Test the relevance of your current mental models against the changing environment. Do they still fit?
3. Overcome inhibitors to change by reshaping the infrastructure that supports the old models and changing the thinking of others.
4. Quickly generate and act upon new models by experimenting, using intuition and continuing to assess and strengthen your models.

Ideas To Get You Started - From Companion Site for The Power of Impossible Thinking
-Where can you look to find new models and fresh ways of viewing the world?
-How can you step out of your routine to engage in journeys of discovery (even via a brief trip to an art museum or a scientific lecture)?
-Who are the radicals or unheard voices in your organization and outside, and how can you start paying attention to them? What new models do their insights suggest?
-What can you learn from listening to young people in your family** or your organization?
-How can you keep your mind open so that, like Darwin , you can use your experiences to come up with a different way of viewing the world?

What happens when you put Impossible Thinking into practice?
-An innovative method to raise capital. A sculptor sells shares in her work to raise the money for materials to create the piece. The scupture is put up for sale after its exhibition earing investors returns of between 50% and 75%. Sculptor Sharon Louden
-A Best Seller Book. An out of work secretary and English teacher writes a children's book that Publishers Weekly calls "the fastest-selling book in history. Harry Potter of course!" JK Rowling
-The creation of Starbucks. Howard Schultz
-The transformation of the talk show with the Oprah Winfrey Show. Oprah Winfrey
-A new way to listen to music - the iPod. Apple Computer
-A new concept in cars and energy saving. The Hybrid car - Prius. Toyota

**I spent last weekend with my 17-year old niece, Jessica Robyn, who helped me look at the world in an MTV sort of way. Perhaps I helped her look at the world in a Diva sort of way. Can't leave this post without including this quote that seems to be swirling about in my head. "Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast." White Queen from Through the Looking Glass, Lewis Carroll. How many impossible things have you thought about today?

Run Your Own Race


peachtree_road_race_vol_tshirt_2004Quick thoughts. Just heard an interview with Susan Chepkemie who won (for the second consecutive year) the women's race in Atlanta's Peachtree Road Race today. When asked if this year's race was different for her than in 2003, Ms. Chepkemie replied that it was special because she ran her own race.

Got to thinking, isn't that what we all want to do? Women...men...children...green...blue...or pink... all the "niches" that marketers segment us into? We just want to run our own race. If those smart people on Madison Ave, in Cincinnati or Oshkosh, Wisconsin "got it" marketing messages, ad creation and product development would be, in the words of Gen Y, "awesome."

Off to make "adult" coffee ice cream for today's BBQ!



TestifyThe new Free eBook, Testify! How Remarkable Organizations are Creating Customer Evangelists has hit the virtual streets.

"Testify!" is a 50-page ebook that features 18 mini-profiles of organizations and their successes with customer evangelism. The ebook is a supplement to the hardcover version of "Creating Customer Evangelists" by Ben McConnell and Jackie Huba. I'm honored and delighted that Bloomberg Marketing's and Nucifora Consulting Group's story, of how students from Goizueta School of Business at Emory University became customer evangelists, is featured in the eBook.

Featured companies include:

Bloomberg Marketing
Buffalo Exchange
Buffalo Exchange
C & M Auto Service
Collaborating Agencies Responding to Disasters (CARD)
Concord Hospitality
Conference Calls Unlimited
Delaware Curative Physical Therapy
Discovery Education
Interaction Associates
PAETEC Communications
Principled Profits
Seattle SuperSonics
Sesame Communications
TechSmith Corporation
Women’s Business Exchange

Friday Fun


fireworks_smithonianFireworks…they’re magical! A spectacular show against the mysteries of an evening sky. The anticipation of the next burst of colors and shapes. Fireworks Displays

Friday Fun is complements of Corinne Woodman, marketing diva, of the King Charles Inn in historic Charleston, SC. Create your own fireworks display! If you click like crazy, you can have your own show, on your screen.

Happy Fourth of July!

Wonderfully Independently Dependent


mary_hat_2Girlfriend, Fourth of July fireworks are a perfect reminder to celebrate your independence. Divas and independence go together like Mojos and tappas. Divas create the sparks that light the imagination with the intensity of passion, conviction and ingenuity.

But Diva’s also know that true independence is derived from being dependent. Kick off those cute new shoes you bought at the Nordstrom’s semi-annual sale, ice the shaker and go with me on this one.

Comfort TV – With Attitude

Let's take our cue from summer rerun television. Even with 1253 stations, summertime still means reruns. It’s a chance to dive into comfort television. What do Mary Richards, Lucy MacGillicuddy Ricardo, Dorothy Zbornak and Carrie Bradshaw have in common? Think great Diva shows -The Mary Tyler Moore Show, I Love Lucy, The Golden Girls, Sex in the City.

Diva-actors Mary Tyler Moore, Lucille Ball, Bea Arthur and Sarah Jessica Parker created characters with attitude and style. With hats tossed in the air, chocolate bon bons, cheesecake conversations and shoes, shoes, shoes they introduced us to women who walked on the edge, took risks and sashayed into our lives with style and humor.

A Great Ensemble Cast

But dahling, they did not do it alone. You may now take a sip of your icy beverage but stay with me.

First, these Diva-actors understood to succeed they needed the support of a great ensemble cast. Second, the cast functioned as whole rather than in separate parts. Third, because TV screen time was limited (less than 30-minutes – what we would do without marketers?) characterization was strong and writing clear and concise. Mary, Lucy, Bea and Sarah Jessica knew how to be wonderfully independently dependent (or interdependent) through their developing interactions with other actors/characters in the cast.

In The Diva Bag
Director’s Notes To Help Choreograph Your Marketing Programs

Creating a wonderfully independently dependent marketing program is a bit like putting together great a cast. Each component of your plan must be interdependent. Each person influencing the brand must understand the role she plays in the process and how that action relates to the global strategy.

What does that mean?
-Taking risks...looking at the world differently
-Breaking out of your comfortable silo
-Developing internal communications tactics
-Devising an integrated marketing plan

What do you get back in return?
-Synergistic marketing programs
-Consistent brand perception
-Stronger internal understanding about your brand
-Enhanced relationships with your customers
-Team environment with common goals

Curtain Up!

Achieve A Clear Understanding Of Your Brand
-How would you describe your brand? How does your customer describe your brand?
-How do internal departments support the brand?
-What is your brand’s perceived value in the marketplace? What is your brand’s perceived value to your customers?

Light The Lights!
Analyze Your Marketing Strategies
-How does each strategy independently “contribute” to moving the brand forward?
-How is each strategy interdependent?
-Where is the synergy among strategies?

You've Nothing To Reach But The Heights!
Communicate Communicate Communicate
-What communication strategies are in place?
-Whose involvement do you need that is not currently in place?
-Whose support do you need in order to champion creating a great ensemble cast that is wonderfully independently dependent?

Diva Inspirational Quote

"Never one thing and seldom one person can make for a success. It takes a number of them merging into one perfect whole."
Marie Drerssler, Canadian Actress