December 3, 2012 § Leave a Comment
I am devoting some time this month to shine a light on some of my favorite non-profits and what they are doing to make our communities a better place. What does this have to do with marketing? Brands that associate with cause marketing benefit from the association. So I hope you are working on your brand’s social consciousness and amping up your relationships with worthy causes in your community.
Some 85% of consumers have a more positive image of a product or company when it supports a cause they care about.
Here at The Lipstick Economy, we think women should help other women. And one of those non-profits that stands out to us is CWJC of Middle Tennessee for their role in helping women to become self-sufficient. In my own county, one-fourth of families with children under 18 live in poverty. CWJC is working to change that stat by providing tools for self-sufficiency.
CWJC has been working in the community for more than 15 years, helping women who are struggling to meet their financial needs because of a lack of education or job skills. CWJC provides disadvantaged women with the skills they need to transform their lives including GED preparation, computer classes, ESL classes and job and life skills. At the same time, they provide every student with a mentor, childcare and tutoring for the children, Bible Study and a loving environment that boosts their self-esteem. The program is lean – it depends on 250 volunteers to serve as teachers, tutors, mentors and childcare workers. But the results are amazing. More than 70% of the women in the program either graduate with their GED or meet their goals of improving their status.
Be a Light! This Christmas CWJC is hoping to bring more light into the lives of women working to be self-sufficient. During the holiday season, they are asking that donations be made to Be A Light. A donation as small as $25 will provide free childcare for a mom enrolled in computer classes. A donation of $1,000 will enroll a GED graduate in a college/job training program. And $2400 would provide a scholarship for one women in the CWJC program. To learn more, click here.
I know many of these women and I love them all. They are no different than most of us – they are struggling to be a mom, a role model and a provider for their families. Most work in minimum wage jobs or can’t find a job. They ride buses everywhere, sometimes with four children. They have been let go from manufacturing jobs that no longer exist.
I volunteer at CWJC and I have seen amazing things happen. I have seen a homeless woman move into housing, get her GED, find her faith, get a great job and even win an award from her employer for her work. I have seen a young unwed mother with two babies get her GED and move on to college. I have seen women get promoted in their current jobs because they now have their GED. I have seen a woman who was selling a homeless newspaper get new job skills that helped her find better employment. Something transformational happens when you offer a hand-up, not a hand-out.
October 22, 2012 § Leave a Comment
There is a prevalent myth among marketers that women don’t watch sports. The NFL is debunking that myth. Here’s some info from Advertising Age that shows that football scores with women. The Super Bowl’s female audience has more than doubled in only five years. The last three Super Bowl telecasts have set records for being the most-watched shows by female viewers.
And NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” has become the first sports show to finish in the top spot in prime time. Why? Well the weekly match-ups ranked fourth among women 18 to 49 years old, behind only “American Idol” (Wednesday), “The Voice” and “American Idol” (Thursday).
Another clue to the popularity should be the number of pink shoes and gloves you have seen on NFL players during Breast Cancer Awareness month. The National Football League and NFL Players Association support October’s National Breast Cancer Awareness Month with their fourth-annual national breast cancer screening initiative and fundraising campaign. The campaign seems to be working - 64% of NFL female fans and 61% of all NFL fans identify the importance of annual screenings, especially for women over 40.
And football fashion is not far behind. Remember those spots about NFL apparel for women? Well, it turns out that it’s the NFL’s fastest growing consumer-products business, showing double-digit growth. And who’s jersey reigns? Last year it was Pittsburgh Steelers safety Troy Polamalu among women’s jersey sold. Polamalu was followed by Peyton Manning and Drew Brees, who rank fourth and second on the men’s list, respectively, according to stats from NFLShop.com.
The Dunham household has loved Troy Polamalu since he played for beloved USC Trojans. Troy’s brother-in-lay and business partner Alex Holmes says that of Polamalu’s more than 2,222,349 likes on Facebook, 49 percent of his fans are female.
April 4, 2012 § Leave a Comment
Women and men tend to give differently. A study by the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University found that men give to fix immediate needs or shortfalls in government or foundation giving, or to get their names on things. By contrast, women give for deeper reasons, combining an emotional response and a personal responsibility to help those around them. Women understand how lives can be transformed by giving. Women also see philanthropy more as a democratic, collaborative activity. Groups or circles of women’s giving are growing, as is wealth of women.
The US IRS reported that 43% of people with assets over $1.5 million in the US are now women. Women tend to instinctively recognize the fact that the world cannot change as long as half of the world’s citizens are trapped in a cage of poverty. “Seventy percent of people living in poverty around the world are women and children,” says Christine Grumm, president and C.E.O. of the Women’s Funding Network. According to Social Edge, Former SUN Secretary General Boutros Boutros Ghali once said that any country that marginalizes half of its people can not succeed financially, culturally, or politically. So, there is much to do. But the rewards are great.
My how times and women have changed. Globally, more than 145 funds, with assets of nearly half a billion dollars, exist today to improve the lives of women and girls. Many focus their efforts domestically; about a third work internationally. Not one existed in 1972 when the Ms. Foundation, the first national fund for and by women, was established.
The “C”s of Giving for Women
Here are the “C’s of women’s motivations for giving, courtesy of the Women’s Philanthropy Institute at The Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University:
Women want to create new solutions to problems.
Women like to be entrepreneurial with their philanthropy.
Women give to make a difference.
Women are less interested in providing unrestricted support to preserve the status quo of an organization or institution.
Women prefer to see the human face their gift affects.
Women want to build a partnership with people connected with the project they fund.
Women commit to organizations and institutions whose vision they share.
Women often give to the organization for which they have volunteered.
Women prefer to work with others as part of a larger effort.
Women seek to avoid duplication, competition, and waste.
Women seek to celebrate their accomplishments, have fun together, and enjoy the deeper meaning and satisfaction of their philanthropy.
Plus three C’s for the 21st century: The results of women’s giving
Women are taking control of their lives, their finances, and their philanthropy.
Women have gained the confidence to become philanthropic leaders.
Women have the courage to challenge the old way of doing things and take risks with their giving to bring about change.
June 4, 2011 § Leave a Comment
It turns out that it is true that kids may not remember what we say, but they do remember what we do, especially when it comes to giving and volunteering.
One summer when my son was eight and my daughter was twelve, our church gave every member of the congregation $10 and asked us to multiply it over the summer and give the proceeds back to the church at the end of summer. There were all types of activities. Some bought gas for their mowers and performed lawn services for friends and neighbors. Others sold food products.
Our family pooled our money and started a summer catering service. Since our son was small, we gave him a special job. He was the banker – in charge of the coffee can and money. We spent several weeks that summer providing barbeque meals to birthday parties, church groups, anniversary parties and neighborhood gatherings. All of us worked. We had a set menu and could make the cole slaw in our sleep. During that summer, we had an amazing experience, making new friends and deepening relationships with old friends.
But our best memory was of that coffee can that was well guarded by our son who kept a watchful eye on all our expenditures. At the end of the summer, our little group turned our $40 into a $1258 donation to our church building fund. Nothing made us prouder than seeing our son take that coffee can to the front of the church and give it to our pastor. Today, both our son and daughter continue to be productive and giving members of society, spending lots of hours on community and church activities and donating money when needed. And it seems that it does start when our children are young.
A 2010 Heart of the Donor study carefully profiles the American donor and gives some interesting insight on the influence of parents on giving adults. Some 90 million, or 39%, Americans gave to a nonprofit in the past 12 months. In general, men and women are equally likely to be donors. The older the person, the more likely he or she is to be a donor.
But here is the part of the study that really caught my attention. Giving is a learned activity. Parents who model giving behaviors seem to rear children who exhibit those behaviors as adults.
Giving to Places of Worship. Today, 55% of those who came from parents who frequently gave to a place of worship themselves now support a place of worship, compared to 24% of those who rarely or never saw their parents give money to a place of worship.
Giving to Nonprofits. Similar to giving to places of worship, 52% of adults who saw their parents support nonprofits are today active donors, compared to 26% of those who rarely or never saw their parents give.
Volunteering. Some 49% who saw their parents spending time volunteering are today volunteers themselves, compared to 20% who rarely or never saw this activity.
The study identified six parental behaviors that associated with how children behave as adults.
1. Giving money to a church or place of worship.
2. Giving money to a nonprofit other than a place of worship.
3. Talked to their children about the nonprofit they supported and why it was important to them.
4. Took them to a church or another place of worship.
5. Volunteered their time to help nonprofit organizations other than a place of worship.
6. Encouraged their children to volunteer their time to help nonprofit organizations.
When these behaviors are present, parents have a greater than 80% chance of raising a child who turns out to be a giving person.
Why is all of this important to marketing? Nonprofit marketers should provide opportunities for children and adults to work together in volunteering their time, their talents and their money.
Turns out that the proverb that says, “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it” is indeed wisdom for the ages. (Proverbs 22:6).
December 28, 2010 § 5 Comments
The holidays are over and 2010 has been a rocky recovery year. What was on our minds this year? Here’s the 2010 Top Ten Posts from The Lipstick Economy. Thanks to all of you who read us regularly, and thanks for the many comments. Happy New Year to You All!
1. Marketing to Women: Groupon or Groupoff? 10 Facts You Need to Know. Yes, this was the most read blog post this year. Groupon came on the scene like gangbusters this year. Part advertising, part social, part brilliant. Just when prognosticators said that email was dead, a little marketing tool that allowed small marketers to have a big direct method of communicating. Yes, Groupon comes with good and bad news. Even Google courted Groupon this year, but the engagement never produced nuptials.
2. Marketing to Moms: Smartphones are Mom’s Best Friend. Back in April, we talked about how smartphones are the smart tools that Moms need to manage their lives. No secret that smartphones have continued to be a connector, a shopping tool and a life manager. Oh, and you can use them to call people too!
3. WhyMomsRule.com Poll: Moms Won’t Deprive Family of Vacation This Year. This early sign that families were tired of staying home was an early prognosticator of the economy slowly improving. We are all smarter and more frugal shoppers, but we won’t continue to deprive our families of a little fun. Seems that family travel was the fastest growing rate of all sectors of leisure travel in 2010.
4. Marketing to Moms: What Women Want in Healthcare Healthcare was certainly on everyone’s mind this year as the whole country struggled with defining health care reform. Here is a simple list of what women want in healthcare – personalized attention, access and the same technological benefits that we get from our major retailers.
5. What Do Women Want? – the iPhone or the Android This was the year that the iPhone finally got some competition. And I actually know people who have ditched their AT&T plans to follow their bliss with Verizon and a Droid. Yes, I live in a divided household. My husband and son are Droids – sounds like Celtic tree worshippers, doesn’t it? My daughter is a die-hard Blackberry Crackhead. And there is moi – the iPhone lovin’ mama who can’t imagine anything else. But seems that 2010 was the year of the Android. The Android OS dates back to 2007, but it only held about 5 percent of the global market for smartphones at the end of 2009. As of October 2010, according to comScore, that share had surged to nearly 25 percent, and it’s surely grown since.
6. Marketing to Moms: Don’t Forget Hispanic Moms How can we forget them? One in six of every U.S. resident is Hispanic. They are the second largest consumer group. And they are not just one big amorphous group. Many are more comfortable with English even though they identify with the Hispanic culture. So much for marketers to learn about these large, more traditional families.
7. Marketing to Moms: Daily Deals for Moms Wow, this is the year of group buying sites. Here is the story of some friends who are doing the group buying site right so that both consumers and retailers benefit. And of course, the reason they understand the market so well is because they are Moms too.
8. Mobile Web Browsing: iPhone v. Android The battle continues with Android now taking up a 25 percent share of total mobile web consumption in the US, according to Quantcast. Apple’s iOS is seeing its share decline from 67% in May 2009 to 56% in August 2010. But the real note here for marketers is that mobile web browsing in increasing by leaps and bounds. If you are not optimized for mobile and have a mobile strategy, shame on you.
9. Marketing to Moms: A Just Cause Moms just like brands that want to to good things, that want to help others, who have an altruistic mindset. As we have seen, the power of brands like Tide and Toms to bring good to others is an ever more important aspect of marketing. In our post, Marketing to Moms: Women Have Power to Help, we focused on embedded generosity and the fact that a healthy 53% of Americans will choose a company that allows the consumer to impact donations by tying it to a purchase.
10. Smartphone Women: Shopping With The Rich and Mobile Are the rich like you and me? Well, they probably are, but they certainly have all the latest technology and adapt to its use faster than the general consumer. That’s why they are the first to use those fancy smartphones as a shopping tool. During the holidays, we have seen that smartphones have become our biggest holiday helper, Marketing to Moms: 6 Ways the Smartphone Will Be Ms. Santa’s Little Helper.
I find it interesting that the most read blogs all deal with strategic shopping, smartphone adoption and some of the biggest issues of the year – healthcare, Hispanic assimilation and families working their way out of the recession.
For the future, I wish you a prosperous and healthy New Decade filled with smart and savvy ways to reach America’s number one consumer group.
October 25, 2010 § 1 Comment
Coupons have experienced a renaissance in our shopping habits, largely due to recessionary pressures on budgets and the online Moms who have taken couponing to a new level. It is estimated by RetailMeNot.com that online coupons saved consumers $57.4 million in the first half of 2010. And the number one printable coupon was for food.
There is one story that recently caught my attention because of how one women’s passion for helping her family and others turned into a thriving ministry. One exceptional woman in Central Ohio has turned her practical hobby into a practical help for others.
Jen Myers of Genoa, Ohio, has become an avid participant in the sport of “extreme couponing”. Based on a class that she attended, Jen found out that she could save more than 50% on her grocery bill by couponing. But not only was she saving enough for her family, her new found talent at couponing began to fulfill her desire to donate more to her local food pantry. And as her talents have spread, she has created a way for other to provide truckloads of food for her local food pantry.
Myers’ friends wanted to learn her money saving techniques, so she taught a couponing class for 10 of them last March. Instead of charging money for the class, she asked that each participant bring in 10 items for the Genoa Area Community Food Pantry. The pantry, which is housed at Trinity Methodist Church, serves the needy in the Genoa Area Local School District. From there, she created Coupons for Christ, a ministry aimed at teaching coupon classes and encouraging food donations. She has since taught several classes — one of which recently drew 50 people — and brought in truckloads of food for the Genoa Area Community Food Pantry, housed at Trinity Methodist Church.
I never stop being amazed at the ingenuity and generosity of Moms who recognize a need, provide a real-life solution and use that solution to inform and help others. Who would have thought that couponing could become a ministry and a solution to food pantry woes.