May 5, 2013 § 2 Comments
Dove’s new Real Beauty campaign exposes the fact that only 4% of women around the world consider themselves beautiful. Their new campaign has a new tagline “You are more beautiful than you think”. The revealing video has been viewed 42 million times! What is so provocative? Take a look.
The video shows a forensic sketch artist drawing images of women based on their own descriptions. After drawing the first sketch, the artist then draws a sketch of the same person from the description furnished by someone else. The resulting sketches showed the difference in the beauty that others see in us versus our own self-image. The truth in these spots revolves around the way women undervalue themselves and their looks. The popularity of the sentiment is undeniable. Tanzina Vega chronicled the popularity of the work in a recent New York Times article.
Dove has worked to communicate that real beauty is more than the waif-like models and celebrities that most beauty brands use. Does this type of soul-searching grow business? Evidently. Dove was a $200 million soap brand in the early 1990s that has grown into a brand that has been estimated to be nearly $4 billion dollars today.
Why do women value this approach? The brand Dove has communicated to women that it understands and values them. This approach is not only true to women’s emotions but it is differentiating from most beauty products that sell a more unattainable beauty. The truth of the brand is the truth of women. The brand speaks to emotional benefits that reward inner beauty, not just vanity. This compelling message allows the brand to speak to all generations, to launch brand extensions, and to create meaningful programs with women and girls. A similar approach was taken by P&G with their Olympic Mothers campaign. It showed Mothers they were valued and important.
Brands that can speak to a higher truth that women value will win both marketing to women and the purchase war.
April 23, 2013 § Leave a Comment
Smartphones now comprise 57% of the mobile market in the United States. By next year, there will be more mobile devices than there are people in the world and more mobile phones than desktop PCs.
With all that mobile action, why then is mobile advertising not growing as fast as smartphone adoption? According to IAB, some 53% of agencies say they don’t have experience in mobile advertising. And 70% say they would purchase more if clients understood it better. Translation: Agencies and clients need to go to school on mobile.
The Google Factor
So here’s a tip for all the late adopters: Mobile ads work! Or at least that’s what Google says. Mobile ads appear to be the most effective paid method of driving page likes, and Google reports that smartphone users are unusually responsive to advertising. Forty-two percent of users click on mobile ads they like, found the Mobile Movement: Understanding Smartphone Users survey. Of those, 49 percent go on to make a purchase, while 35 percent visit the advertiser’s site, and 27 percent call the business in question. A lot of that clicking is on local sites; 95% of people look for local info on their smartphone.
All that smartphone usage leads to smartphone shopping. While strolling the aisles, 49% of us compare prices, 44 percent read reviews of stuff while we shop, and 34 percent are using their phones to check the store’s inventory.
Gender differences in shopping: In a new study by Millennial Media and comScore, findings show men are more likely to use phones to check product availability, compare prices, find deals or make online purchases. Women are more likely than men to use phones in stores to text or call friends about products, send pictures of products, or research product features.
Mobile-Optimized Sites and Apps Necessary
Those that will win in mobile will have sites that are responsive and won’t have roadblocks like Flash. I was working with a client recently, and I tried to view her website on my iPad. Because her site was built in Flash, it was not at all accessible on any Apple devices.
Right now, people spend more time on apps than mobile websites. Tablets seem to be the online shopping tool of choice. Important features include side-by-side product comparison, 360-degree zoom, customer ratings, and an easy checkout process are most important to shoppers.
So let’s go mobile!
March 26, 2013 § Leave a Comment
Here are some of the results important for marketing to moms – and dads:
Men shop around too. An equal amount of Moms and Dads, 78% and 76% respectively, shop at more than one grocery store weekly. Most make the extra trip for the best sale prices.
Smartphones are the tool of choice. Almost 60% of moms have a smartphone, compared to 44% in 2011. It is certainly the primary organizer of life. The report shows Moms are playing games (64%), looking up stores/locations (58%) and finding nearby restaurants (50%).
Baby wants a smartphone and a laptop too! Of course, you know children won’t even know how to turn pages in a magazine or a book. 43% of Moms report their children start using a laptop or desktop at 3 – 6 years, and 25% of Moms say that’s when they start using a phone or tablet.
What are the trends behind these facts?
Multichannel Shopping. Consumers are challenging retailers and brands to keep up with their multichannel shopping behaviors. Two-thirds of all shoppers regularly use more than one channel to make purchases. While the Mom report is talking about physical grocery stores, many are shopping online, warehouse stores, farmers markets, specialty stores and grocery stores to fill their pantries. Some 70% still use bricks and mortar stores, but 47% are online. And all research begins online before those “reality” shopping trips.
Life on a Smartphone. We just feel smarter with a smartphone. Nielsen says in their 2013 Mobile Consumer Report that 61% of all adults have a smartphone and 94% have some type of mobile phone. Of course, we don’t actually talk on our phones. We send and receive an average of 764 text messages versus 164 calls sent/received on our phones. We use our phones for a variety of activities – email, music, shopping, location services and internet browsing.
Digital Children. Hilary DeCesare, a cyberbullying expert and CEO of kids’ social networking site Everloop, thinks in an increasingly digital world, it’s important to expose children to different technologies early so that they are prepared to adapt and thrive in more advanced professional settings. The digital expert thinks kids as young as 2 can benefit from tablet use, as long as the parent “is monitoring what [the] child is watching.”
March 20, 2013 § 1 Comment
The idea of “lean in” is not a new one. Lean in means to press forward like leaning in to the wind so you won’t be blown over – or leaning in because you are more than interested, involved – all in. In the past few weeks, you need to have been in a cloistered retreat to miss all the hoopla over Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s new book “Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead.” Sheryl Sandberg is an amazing woman who tells an engaging story about the workplace today and women’s own responsibility in moving up in business.
But marketers need to “lean in” as well. Marketers need to recognize the power and influence of the women in the consumer arena and to greet that knowledge with more intuitive marketing that allows today’s women to see themselves in marketing. Marketers need to be “all in” on the importance of women as consumers.
Here are just a few facts that support marketers “leaning in” on the subject of women and their purchasing behavior.
1. One-third of Women are Single and Independent. This is a growing group of women who think being independent is their most important life goal. They have more disposable income than other women. They are well educated, growing in management and happy to be single.
2. Breadwinner wives are the highest wage earners in 40% of marriages. From 2007 to 2011, women’s contribution to household income grew from 44% to 47%. Male dominated jobs suffered the most in the past recession and women were more stable in their jobs. Women now compose half of the workforce and are moving up the ladder.
3. Women don’t think marketers understand them. Women make 85% of all consumer purchases and yet, 91% of women don’t think marketeres understand them. Women want authenticity, transparency, honesty and accurate portrayal. Families are not longer nuclear, and women don’t measure success by how clean their laundry is. It’s no surprise that only 3% of advertising agency creative directors are women.
4. Marketers need to embrace women’s tools – social media and smartphones. The newest figures out on social media usage from Pew show that the percentage of female internet users exceeds that of men (75% vs. 63%, respectively). A new study by Weber Shanadwick provides richer insight on this social usage. Here are some facts you can’t ignore -
- 86% have a social media account/profile with 2.2 accounts on average
- 81% Facebook is by far the most prevalent social media account
- Women spend an average of 12 hours per week using social media (nearly 2 hours/day)
- 19% say some of their best friends they know only through Facebook or Twitter
And why is this important? Well, social women are social and have influence with friends. They tell friends about products and services at a higher rate, they like or recommend services online, and they post comments and write reviews about products and services online. And they post pictures or images online.
Oh, and smartphones are the most important tools in women’s handbags. 50.9% of smartphone users are women and we are using smartphones to stay in touch with our families and friends, interact on social media, and shop, shop, SHOP!! If women can’t easily find you on their mobile phone or if you are not competitive, she will move on to another source. Moms are on their phones six hours daily and readily admit that their smartphones are more important than sex!
5. Women buy based on emotion and facts. Okay, everyone does. But marketers don’t seem to understand that in many arenas. In purchasing decisions, 83 percent are willing to spend more on a product or service if they feel a personal connection to the company. One fifth of respondents said they would pay 50 percent or more if they felt the company put the customer first. And yes, we have crushes on companies. Who are those companies? Think about your own list. Mine includes Apple (oh, yes even if Samsung is making competitive products), Amazon (I smile when I see a box), Nordstrom’s (even my husband knows this is my brand), and Costco (a Saturday shopping pleasure).
So what’s a marketer to do? Portray women accurately, don’t talk down to us, appeal to our emotional side, allow us to discover things about your brand, surprise us once in awhile, lavish us with great information and advice and like any good marriage – communicate, communicate, communicate.
February 24, 2013 § Leave a Comment
One of the lingering effects of the “new normal” is the growth in breadwinner wives. From 2007 to 2011, women’s contribution to household income grew from 44% to 47%. And in some 40% of marriages, the women are the highest wage earners.
“This past recession caused women’s share of earnings to rise even more significantly, with the largest single year increase,” said Kristin Smith, a family demographer at the Carsey Institute and a research assistant professor of sociology at the University of New Hampshire.
The trend is strongest among couples where the husband has a lower level of education. Women married to men with a high school degree or less contributed 51% of total family earnings in 2011; those married to men with a college degree contributed 42%.
Men dominated jobs suffered the most in the past recession. From December 2007 to January 2010, America lost 8.7 million jobs, with male-dominated industries, such as construction and manufacturing, suffering the most. Unemployment peaked in October 2009, at 10%, with men’s unemployment at 11.2% and women’s at 8.7%.
As the economy improves, women will tend to stay in their job roles. Many households lost ground in savings, housing values and retirement accounts.
Other gender-related shifts that have taken place in recent years: Colleges are graduating more women than men; women under 30 earn more than their male counterparts in most of America’s largest cities; and women now comprise about half of the workforce.
An unintended cultural effect was found in a 2010 study by Western Washington University where researchers found that when a woman’s contribution to household income tops 60 percent, the couple is more likely to divorce. However, this cultural shift may balance out as the new generation starts their households. The vast majority of young people – about 80% of women and 70% of men across all races, classes, and family backgrounds — desire an egalitarian marriage in which both partners share breadwinning, housekeeping, and child rearing. The data come from Kathleen Gerson‘s fabulous 2010 book, The Unfinished Revolution.
Marketers should be alert to how women are portrayed in advertising because of this new normal. Old stereotypes will not serve a brand well, particularly if women are the primary target.