Marketing to Women: Young Single Women Donors More Generous

December 16, 2014 § 1 Comment

young-adults_400x600.shkl_There is a new study reported in The Chronicle of Philanthropy identifying a rising group of charitable donors. The study finds “Millennial and Generation X women who are single and unaffiliated with a religion give two-and-a-half times more money to charity than their older, similarly secular counterparts, according to the report, which looked exclusively at unmarried donors. Their giving also doubles that of peers who have loose ties to a religion.”

For many years, it has been reported that people of faith gave more than unchurched individuals, so this report indicates that intensity of faith may not be as strong an indicator of giving as previously thought.

It seems that young single women may be bucking the trend, but there may be other factors at play as well.  Young single women may represent a growing group of highly educated, high income women who have decided to defer marriage.  This group of Single Indies represent some 28 million women, or one out of three adult women, who spend around $1 trillion each year.  They may have more disposable income and be predisposed to charitable interests.

The report also cites that one-third of Americans under 30 have no religious affiliation.

Clearly, for non-profits, this group of younger women represent an opportunity for both giving and volunteer activities.  Marketing should recognize and speak to this power group.



Six Key Trends Shaping Millennial Thrift Style

October 6, 2014 § 3 Comments

Millennial Thrift Shopping

Millennial Thrift Shopping

My daughter Katie often sends me pictures of her fabulous vintage finds like a folkloric skirt from the 50s or a cocktail dress from the 60s. She is one of many milliennials regularly frequenting shops that specialize in vintage, retro and thrift clothing.

One of the shops Shareen Vintage of Los Angeles describes their vintage wonderland as the creative center of a secret society of women who love to be at the cutting edge of fashion trends.   In their store, clothing is divided by decades, starting in the 1920s through the 1990s, providing a living retrospect to fashion. Another store Re-mix Classic Vintage Footwear actually started out selling vintage shoes, but when demand outpaced their stock, they began having their own 20s – 50s vintage designs manufactured for women demanding more of the vintage looks.

Millennials have embraced Thrift Style, a fashion movement that incorporates several trends with their desire to be an individual. Research by Ypulse shows that 36% of Millennials find thrift shopping cool and 56% of Millennials say that thrift shopping is a great way to find cheap and unique clothes.

Six Key Trends Shaping Millennial Shopping

1.  The end of conspicuous branding and the rise of personal style. Some 55% of people between 13 and 34 say they don’t follow trends. Millennials want to stand out and prize individualism over “fitting in.” With access to global stores like Abercrombie and Fitch are having problems enticing millennials because their fashions are seen as ubiquitous and too high priced for their taste. A big logo is no longer a coveted status symbol. Finding something completely original is the goal of trendsetters today. A thrift store find is both unique and rare. Even celebrities have contributed to the vintage culture by wearing vintage couture to big events like the Oscars and Grammys.

2.  Saving money is cool. There is no surprise that 60% of millennials worldwide feel personally influenced by the economic crisis. So the ability to save money and find a personl look are added bonuses of thrift shopping. Shoppers pride themselves on smart finds at great prices.  In fact, because of the durability of the items, they are actually seen as an investment in higher quality goods.

3.  Sustainability. There is a decided movement against the “disposable culture” of throwaway plastic bags and planned obsolescence of electronics. Shoppers don’t really care if their retail purchases are over-wrapped or put into paper or plastic for transport. They are fine with foregoing some of the traditional trappings of the retail environment. Vintage items are often seen as being constructed better and made out of high quality fabrics. And the ability to recycle things of the past helps cutdown on their personal footprint in society.

4.  Nostalgia for better times. In an unconscious way, milllennials are drawn to simpler times. Those who lived during the first Strawberry Shortcake period remember it with fondness and positive memories. For those who did not experience the 50s and 60s, the vintage look recalls a time of stability and lack of stress. Here in Nashville you can buy and experience a little slice of Grand Ole Opry history by just shopping at Katy’s Western Wear.

5.  Personalization and DIY. Personal style means personalization.   And, influenced by programming such as Project Runway, millennials turn to online sites such as Etsy and eBay for fun finds.   These shoppers and designers can express their own creativity by reworking clothes with sewing, knitting, embellishing and dying their finds. Some 22% of Millennials say they often modify, cut up or embellish their clothing.

6.  Purchases with a Purpose. Thrift stores are getting a millennial makeover to appeal to young shoppers who like to shop with a purpose. The idea that the YWCA can help women, Goodwill trains disadvantaged for retail jobs or ThriftSmart actually gives their proceeds to real charities is an appealing proposition to millennials who want to make a difference in the world around them.

Retailers and marketers alike need to understand the way Millennials shop and how best to appeal to their interests.

Marketing to Women: Growth of Women in Marketing

February 17, 2013 § 6 Comments

12249556680-resize-380x300Almost a third of all Americans are employed in marketing-related positions.  That’s a staggering number if you think about it.  And it is a path for women to grow up the corporate ladder.   A recent study by a recruiting firm found that more top executives have come out of marketing than of any other area.

Women have historically been employed in the retailing and advertising areas of marketing. But we now have moved into all types of sales and marketing positions.  Advertising has always been a home for women but men still dominate with 51.3% of the advertising workforce composed of men.  Of course, women only compose 3% of the creative directors of agencies, and that’s a complete travesty of consumer marketing.   Some 13.5% of all advertising persons are women who hold an high level role such as chair, CEO or managing director.  Women also held just 27.3% of other executive management positions, an increase of 1.8% on 2010.  Women’s earnings represent this inequity in position;  women’s earnings in marketing and sales were 67.7% of men’s earnings.

The Female Factor.

A 2009 study of women in marketing by Brandweek found strong agreement among marketers—of both genders—that women are experiencing success in marketing.  Eighty percent believe women are experiencing a greater degree of success in marketing departments than in the past and 66 per cent say their success in marketing is greater than in other departments.   Fully 81 per cent of women in marketing want to be “CMO” someday compared to 68 per cent of male marketers.

Women marketers approach marketing differently. Men tend to think in linear, hierarchical terms. They want the facts, the numbers and the statistics. And the same goes for male marketers. Women (and women marketers), on the other hand, tend to approach topics more contextually, interconnecting knowledge, experiences, facts, opinions, relationships, goals and dreams in a non-linear, web-like manner.

Women and Job Growth

Women are beginning to see traction in job advancement.  Of the 15 job categories projected to grow the most in the next decade in the US, primarily women occupy all but two.  Now, about 40% of working wives make more money than their husbands.

But there is a lot of room for more growth.  Women currently account for roughly 53 percent of entry-level professional employees in the largest US industrial corporations.  According to Catalyst, a leading advocacy group for women, we hold only 37 percent of middle-management positions, 28 percent of vice-president and senior-managerial roles, and 14 percent of seats on executive committees.

How women contribute to the economy

Between 1970 and 2009, women went from holding 37% of all jobs to nearly 48%. That’s almost 38 million more women. Without them, our economy would be 25% smaller today—an amount equal to the combined GDP of Illinois, California and New York.

GDP growth is driven by two factors—an expanding workforce and rising productivity. Back in the 1970s when women and a huge cohort of baby boomer men were entering the workforce, 65% of GDP growth arose from workforce expansion. Today, nearly 80% of growth is related to productivity increases, according to the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI).

Marketing to Women: The Gender Wage Gap

December 4, 2012 § Leave a comment

wage-gender-gapWomen on average make 77 cents for every dollar a man makes.  If the gender wage gap were closed and women were paid equitably, it could have unbelievable impact to our economy.  This fact should not be too surprising to marketers.  The robust economy that we enjoyed from the 1970s through 2000s was fueled by the two-income household which allowed for time-saving appliances, two cars, vacations, larger homes and higher education.

Today, we need a different boost because of the large number of working women.  Women are now half of all workers on U.S payrolls, two-thirds of mothers are bringing home at least a quarter of the family’s earnings, and 4 in 10 mothers are either the sole breadwinner (a single, working mother) or are bringing home as much or more than their spouse.

Economist Heidi Hartmann, president of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, estimates that the stimulus effect of wage equality would grow the U.S. economy by at least three to four percentage points.  By comparison, the $800 billion economic stimulus package that Congress passed in 2009 to bail banks out of the recession is estimated to have grown the GDP by less than 1.5 percent overall. The growth estimate gets larger if you consider how many women would be drawn into the workforce is wages were increased.  

Oh, and don’t forget.  Women are more likely to stimulate the economy by spending the additional money we receive.  Because women are the chief purchasing officer for their families.

For more information on the gender wage gap, here’s a great infographic created by


Making a Difference: Giving Women A Hand Up, Not a Hand Out

December 3, 2012 § Leave a comment

mid_w_longer_line1I 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.

1Q8Z6572BWCWJC 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 light3Be 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.

Marketing to Women: Finding Humor in Politics

November 2, 2012 § Leave a comment

President Barack Obama laughs during the tapin...

President Barack Obama laughs during the taping of his appearance on the “Late Show with David Letterman” in New York, Monday, September 21, 2009. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A few years ago I started noticing a trend in some of the research I was conducting with women.  When I asked questions about news preferences, some new sources began creeping in.  Women would say, “I don’t really watch the news.  Most of what I know comes from Jon Stewart.”  This phenomenon is why we are regularly seeing candidates on shows like The Daily Show, David Letterman and The Tonight Show.  And why candidates are polishing their comedic skills.

Maybe if the last presidential election was about social media, this one is about entertainment value.

Pew Research recently verified this trend along with some other new sources.  Some 12% said they “regularly get” their political news from comedy shows, up from 9% when Pew began surveying American voters at the beginning of the year.  And if you were wondering, there seems to be no difference in Democratic or Republican voters.

When you look at young adults, you find that 15 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds regularly learned campaign news from late-night comedy shows, compared to the 12 percent that got their information from network news programs or the 11 percent who relied on their local newspaper.

Who is the target of the most jokes?

The Center for Media and Public Affairs’ (CMPA) latest study finds that late night TV talk-show comedians love joking about Mitt Romney, and that the GOP is the target of jokes more than twice as often as Democrats. From August 27 to October 3, 2012, the GOP presidential candidate was the target of 148 jokes in monologues delivered by Jay Leno, David Letterman, Jimmy Fallon and Craig Ferguson; there were 62 jokes about President Obama in that period.  And, if you were wondering, David Letterman tells more jokes about Romney than Obama by a five-to-one margin.

In a recent study by the Center for Media and Public Affairs at George Mason University, researchers cataloged every joke told about a political figure onThe Tonight Show With Jay Leno, The Late Show With David Letterman, Late Night With Jimmy Fallon and The Daily Show With Jon Stewart over an eight-month period in 2010. They found that 9 percent of the 1,625 jokes were about President Obama.  In 2002, Republican President George W. Bush was in 10 percent of their jokes. Bill Clinton was the most often skewered back in 1994, when he was the butt of talk-show jokes 15 percent of the time.

President Obama and Governor Romney have both participated in the joke slinging.  Their performances at the the Alfred E. Smith Dinner, the Catholic Archdiocese of New York’s annual charity benefit, were funny, engaging and a lighthearted break from this long and fitful campaign.

Humor seems to be important in our choice of political news.  Some 55% of registered voters have watched political videos online during this election year and more than a third have watched humorous videos and parodies.   Among registered voters who use the internet:

  • 48% watch video news reports about the election or politics
  • 40% watch previously recorded videos of candidate speeches, press conferences, or debates
  • 39% watch informational videos online that explain a political issue
  • 37% watch humorous or parody videos dealing with political issues
  • 36% watch political advertisements online
  • 28% watch live videos of candidate speeches, press conferences, or debates

Videos are highly social.  Some 52% of registered voters say that other people have recommended political videos for them to watch this election season, with social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter being a source of recommendation.

Marketing to Women on Smartphones: That’s 50.9% of us!

May 10, 2012 § 3 Comments

Smartphones have crossed the tipping point.  According to Nielsen, a majority (50.4%) of U.S. mobile subscribers owned smartphones, up from 47.8 percent in December 2011.  And of course women over index the national stat – 50.9 percent of female mobile subscribers carried smartphones in March 2012, compared to 50.1 percent for men.

Shop till we drop our phoneSo, is it any surprise that we are using those oh-so-smart mobile devices for shopping?  Of course not. Seventy-nine percent of us are using our smartphones for shopping.

Smartphones are really the mobile shoppers dream for  the following:  “Locating a store” (73% vs. 42% for tablets ), “using a shopping list while shopping” (42% vs. 16% for tablets) or “redeeming a mobile coupon” (36% vs. 11% for tablet owners).   However, tablet owners are much more likely to use their device for online shopping: 42 percent of tablet owners have “used their device to purchase an item,” compared to just 29 percent of smartphone owners.

For marketers, it is important to understand how our target is using a mobile device so we can tailor messages and design appropriate engagement opportunities.

Pay As You Go  Currently we are buying online, but Nielsen points out that soon we will become comfortable with using our smartphones to make payments for items.  I can’t wait. ” Just one less thing to worry about,” says Forrest Gump.

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