Marketing to Women: Pinterest Rules!

February 12, 2012 § Leave a comment

Women are the social media experts and they have deemed Pinterest the new ruling site.  I confess, it’s pretty addictive.  It’s a social bulletin board where people can easily post visuals they’d like to save and share. It’s great because you can save any picture you see online and post it to a specific board of personal likes – travel, food, craft projects, clothes, home decor and more.

Women love inspirations – and Pinterest organizes all those wonderful idea-starters that we used to tear out of magazines and stuff into notebooks and drawers.  I got it immediately.  For every house we have built or remodeled, I had very detailed inspiration photos that helped shape our new homes.  It’s even better than our own because we get to see our friend’s inspirations as well!

Real Simple magazine recently reported that it drove more traffic to their website than Facebook.  Pretty incredible.  Big name brands are jumping in – folks like Nordstrom’s, Land’s End, Etsy and more.  Some people say “Pin it” is the new “Google it”.

Pinterest now has more than 7 million unique visits per month. Pinterest drives more referral traffic (3.6%) than YouTube (1.05%), Google+ (0.22%), and LinkedIn (0.2%) combined, according to Shareaholic’s January 2012 Referral Traffic Report.  Okay, so Facebook, StumbleUpon, Google and Twitter still do a pretty incredible job.  But here is some of the power of Pinterest.  Collecting images rules at Christmas. Pinterest grew 44% from 2.5% of referral traffic in December 2011, after owning just 0.17% of the traffic in July 2011.

It looks like Pinterest users are primarily women (70%) because it is a place to house all of their interests.  But men could find it useful for do it yourself or home projects.

How Should Business Use It

Business should make sure all of their content includes terrific visuals that lend themselves to be pinned.  Make sure you know how to use Pinterest and use it consistently so that you are visible.  You can curate your content on boards that make it easy to find things.

Happy Pinning!

Marketing to Women: Top 12 Posts from 2012

December 29, 2012 § Leave a comment

pinterest2012 marketing saw unanticipated events like the rise of Pinterest and Instagram – and disputed practices of Facebook and Instagram.  Facebook reached 1 billion users.  Changes to healthcare funding made marketing healthcare hugely important, and patient satisfaction rules. So here’s a quick read of what Lipstick Economy readers were interested in.

12. Marketing to Women:  Should You Focus on Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter?  Overall, almost two out of five (38%) online consumers follow retailers through one or more social networking sites.  You need to understand the demographics and how it the social networks are used by your specific channels.

11.  Marketing to Women:  Blogs Drive Purchase Intent.  Recent research from BlogHer shows that 61% of active blog users say they have made a purchase based on a recommendation from a blog.  One of the leading indicators of purchase intent is trust.  And 81% of women trust the information and advice they receive from blogs

10.  Marketing to Women:  Facebook $1 Fee to Message Non-Friends.  Facebook calls the little charge an economic signal to determine relevance. I call it “selling my inbox”.  On a blog post, they say ”This test will give a small number of people the option to pay to have a message routed to the Inbox rather than the Other folder of a recipient that they are not connected with.”

9.  Marketing to Women:  Women Rule Social Media.  LinkedIn is the only exception to the more than 50% rule by women; the male-female split is 50-50.  Back in March, Google+ was the third largest social network, yet to be usurped by Pinterest.  An interesting infographic gave us real demographics for the networks such as 54% Tweeters are on Mobile, 36% Tweet at least once a day, and average time on site is 11 minutes.  Google+ users are more likely to be single geeks looking for friends.  The average number of Facebook friends is 130.  Two million companies are on LinkedIn.

8.  Marketing to Women:  A Picture on Pinterest Is Worth A Thousand Words.  Pinterest is the third most popular social network behind Facebook and Twitter.  The beauty of Pinterest is we don’t have to read someone else’s opinion  We can make our own.  It’s a beautiful thing.

7.  Marketing to Women: Instagram or Instagrim?  New Policies Announced.  Since Facebook went public and purchased Instagram, the pressure is mounting for added advertising income.  Some new policies were announced and within a week were revoked due to customer pressure.

6.  Marketing Healthcare to Women:  What Does Patient Satisfaction Mean?  Based on new health care reform legislation, patient satisfaction surveys will factor into how much money a hospital gets paid by Medicare.  Patient ratings will compose 30% of  the consideration, and clinical quality will determine 70% of the payments.  Hospitals could lose 1% of their Medicare payments.  The only way to earn it back will be improvement of scores, and a real understanding and delivery of patient satisfaction.  Warm friendly service, appetizing food, entertainment amenities like WiFi and cable, and a pleasing atmosphere are becoming more important to patients.

5.  Marketing to Women:  The Ultimate Travel Agents.  80% of all travel decisions are made by women.  Surprised?  75% of those taking cultural, adventure  or nature trips are women.  And boomer women are major players having the money, time and interests.

4.  Marketing to Women:  Pinterest Rules!  Pinterest has been a winner in driving traffic for many retailers.  Some even more than Facebook.  Pinterest is inspiration for purchase decisions.

3.  Marketing to Moms:  Childhood Obesity Number One Health Concern. With one-third children overweight, the epidemic is of concern because 50% of overweight children become overweight adults.  It’s an important topic for all marketers.

2.  Marketing to Women:  10 Cool Ways to Use Pinterest. Since 70% of women are on Pinterest, marketers should be there to.  But 2012 was a year when marketers were trying out Pinterest, trying to ascertain how best to use Pinterest.   It’s about research, common interests, promotions and linking.

1.  Marketing Healthcare to Women: Ten Things You Need to Know.  Since 80% of all healthcare decisions are influenced by women, it is appalling that two-thirds of women feel they are misunderstood by marketers.


What Advertisers like Nine West Need to Know about Marketing to Women

August 25, 2014 § Leave a comment

Bt9QAX4CAAE2UY3.jpg-largeBeyond the 25-49 Demo

I hear target audience horror stories like Nine West all the time.  Sometimes it is a media target issue, sometimes it is a relevance issue and sometimes it is a creative issue.  Today targeting marketing to women has a whole new meaning.  We need to know a lot more about a target than their sex, age, income and favorite brands.   The creative, the brand and the media all have to be in sync.

Nine West Looking to Shock?

One of the most talked about campaigns in the women’s sector is the fall advertising campaign from shoe company Nine West.  Customers of the brand found it offensive and said the brand did not know them well.  The campaign targets women 25-49.  Okay and what else?  Evidently the campaign has centered on supposedly key occasions in women’s lives – Starter Husband Hunting, the anticipated Walk of Shame, and the First Day of Kindergarten complete with four-inch heels and the Drunch – a drunken lunch.  Criticism has come from those saying this campaign is not new, but rather a throwback to the 50s when all women wanted was a wedding and a child.

The marketing team said that the brand had lost its luster and they sought to bring some new life to it.  And maybe they did expect to encite and enrage a bit.  They were clearly not going after mainstream women, but following those who see themselves like HBO series “Girls” and Amy Schumer, the provocative stand-up comic.  Did they target them?  Maybe.  This advertising smacks of Miley Cyrus trying to be irreverent to get a new fan base.  Or American Apparel trying to be provocative to make t-shirts sexy.  But the real matter is how many of their base audience did they disenfranchise.

Consumer Backlash to Nine West Campaign

“Stupid campaign 9W. Love your shoes but don’t patronize your customers by an outdated ideal,” said one Facebook user. “Women are hunting success and goals, dreams and visions. Not husbands.”  This is pretty true.  Millennial women of today think man-hunting is a pretty outdated notion and they value their independence.  The top priorities in her life are career success and love. Oh, and love does not necessarily mean marriage.

resizeJen Drexler, senior vice president at the Insight Strategy Group and co-author of “What She’s Not Telling You,” found the Nine West ads problematic.“ ‘Starter husband hunting’ and ‘walk of shame’ is not the sort of thing you say out loud even to your best friend, because those are things that men say about women, not that women say about women,” Ms. Drexler said. “If you really liked women, you’d be calling that a ‘victory lap,’ not a ‘walk of shame.’ ”

Jimmie John’s had a moment of lapse when they aired a spot in the Super Bowl that shows a man coming home to his wife who is doing the laundry.  Whoa!  Did they forget that 74% of women work and many of them are their customers?  SodaStream took heat for their spot with Scarlett Johansson which broke several rules – mentioning Coke and Pepsi and objectifying a woman as a way to sell the soda maker.

Huggies had their miss when they showed Dads being inattentive to babies with full diapers because, hey, Huggies can handle anything.  They certainly where in tune with the importance of shared responsibilities for children today, but they didn’t catch the nuance that Dads were portrayed as inattentive and non-caring. Stay-at-home dads were irate and created a petition “We’re Dads, Huggies, Not Dummies”.

An advertising friend called me this week and was telling me another story about targeting.  Campaigns for a luxury car didn’t move the needle until they took into account the aspirational buyer.  Their media tracking was able to notice this aspiring buyer. By offering a lease package for these aspirational buyers, sales accelerated nicely.

So what is the lesson here?  Certainly brands must hit the right segment of their target audience and clearly they must trigger the emotion that the product or service has for the buyer.

1.  Look at your target beyond demographics.  What are the psychographics of the buyer?  Why are the self-expressive benefits of your brand? How does the product make them feel?  What are their values?  Two moms can be vastly different.  One can value organic food, yoga and do her own composting, while another can be a price/convenience shopper, with their mobile phone dialed to take-out and restaurants that take coupons.  Find out their tangential interests – what do they pin to Pinterest, follow on Twitter or share on Facebook?

2. Talk to your consumers.  Shocking thought.  Today we can do that in a variety of ways.  We can conduct online or in-person focus groups.  We can turn to social media to see what they are saying and we can use social to have conversations to better understand how to be relevant to them.  We often construct customer journeys to see how a brand fits into a consumers day and life.  Recently some research we did on furniture purchase turned up an interesting fact about a huge national retailer.  The consumers were not in love with the brand; it was just an easy alternative to working with a designer for the less important rooms in their home.  Everything worked together and could be purchased and delivered quicker than designer fare.

3.  Understand the problem your brand will solve for the consumer.  I doubt Nine West had research that said they wanted special shoes for a “Walk of Shame”.  Need states and occasions have long been part of marketing but truly understanding the underlying reason for the product is essential to creating relevant advertising.  If you are advertising cars, some may be eco-friendly and interested in gas mileage while others are seeking safety for their family, or technology to suit their geekiness.

Oh, by the way, Nine West is sticking to their campaign.  So let’s see how it works out for them and see what they do next year!




Marketing to Women: Six Things to Know About #Hashtags

July 10, 2013 § Leave a comment

twitter-hashtag-cartoonHashtags are everywhere.  Some 24% of tweets contain hashtags.  Some 71% of people on social media use hashtags.  Even Facebook recently instituted the lowly pound mark that has become a strong marketing tool.  But here’s the thing?  Do you know when to hashtag and not to hashtag?

Hashtags were created in 2007 by Chris Messina, as a way to monitor interests on Twitter. Internationally, the hashtag went mainstream on Twitter during the 2009–2010 Iranian election protests, as both English and Persian-language hashtags became useful for Twitter users following the events.

Here are our top six things to know about hashtags.

1.  What is a hashtag?  Hashtags are like keywords- preceded by the hash or pound symbol – that allow content to be organized on a social network.  Twitter created hashtags and now they are found on many social channels like Google+, Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram and now Facebook.  Hashtags facilitate searching for topics by grouping all like hashtag content together.  Simply put, if you Tweet with a hashtag on a public account, anyone who does a search for that hashtag may find your Tweet.

2.  Who creates hashtags?  Here’s the beauty of it – you do!  Events sponsors, groups and organizations will often suggest hashtags for their meetings to encourage communication among attendees and followers.  To create a hashtag, simply include a # in front of a word or phrase.  Celebrities use them to create more attention for their songs like Lady Gaga using #IWasBornThisWay.  Disasters alert us with hashtags like #OKTornado.  If you want to incorporate your hashtag across multiple channels, you need to consider the character restrictions of those social networks. If you’re creating a hashtag for an event with a long title like National Small Business Week 2013, consider using an abbreviation or acronym, #SBW13.  It might be a good idea to do a search on a hashtag you are considering.  A quick search might save you some time or embarrassment if there is a negative use of a hashtag.

3.  What are typical uses of hashtags?  Hashtags allow you to be part of larger conversation.  Some of the most frequent uses are:

To identify an event or place – #Oscars, #American Idol,  #CapitolGrille, #Nashville, #NBAFinals

To make an event social – #M2Moms, #SXSW, #NAMA

To express emotion or opinion – #Cher rocks it on The Voice, #surprised at Downtown Abbey finale

To make a recommendation – #MustRead, #MustWatch, #NowPlaying

To connect with others – #DachshundLovers, #CatLovers, #KidsBikeSafety

4.  How many hashtags should you use?  Well, research says that has shown that engagement drops when a tweet has two or more hashtags.  On the flip side, tweets that have hashtags received two times more engagement than those without hashtags.

5.  Is there hashtag etiquette or rules?  No, but there are some best practices like don’t use more than two hashtags per post.  When you are selecting your hashtag, make sure the phrase is used without spaces – like #MustRead.  Your Mama would say don’t use profanity in your hashtags. You can put a hashtag anywhere in your post.  On Facebook, your privacy will remain intact.  Only your followers will see your hashtag.

6.  What are implications for marketing and branding?  It is becoming common to see hashtags as part of a marketing campaign.  A good example is GE.  GE’s recent TV commercials have included the hashtag #brilliantmachines. The hashtag represents the whole General Electric line of products whether they are talking about healthcare or engines.  Using #brilliantmachines  in their TV spots also reflects the symbiotic relationship between television and mobile – with between 75% and 85% of TV viewers use other devices while watching. If they see a hashtag on TV, it’s easy to look it up.  Television shows are using it to advantage.  But, again, it is important to monitor campaigns to see that they don’t take on a different life than intended.  McDonald’s #McDStories turned into horror stories about fast food nightmares.

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