Marketing to Women: Get Ready! New Face for Facebook!

March 9, 2013 § 2 Comments

When Facebook announced its new design for the Facebook newsfeed, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said it was their goal to to give everyone in the world “the best personalized newspaper.” Who is everyone?  The 67% of online adults that use Facebook —  71% of women and  62% of men.  Read on to see what it means for consumers and marketers.

What does this mean for consumers?

Larger Images.  Well, it means there are larger images in your feed.  According to Facebook, photos make up 50% of all news feed stories.  So the new news feed takes up more of your Facebook page.  They call it putting a spotlight on what friends are sharing.  The shared articles also feature larger images and more information like longer snippets. Check-ins are also more visual with large map images, as is content from third-party sites like Pinterest.

Multiple Feeds.  Content specific feeds will allow you to sort between a range of different categories: Close friends, all friends, music, photos, games and people and brands you “follow” (as opposed to friend). And you can still see the chronological news feed.

Continuity in Look across All Devices.  Instead of a different interface on all media, Facebook has figured out how to incorporate the same look across smartphones, tablets, and laptops.

Okay, how do I get it? Well, there’s a site for that and it’s pretty simple.  But don’t hold your breath, it’s a rolling conversion so you may have to wait awhile.  First, go to  Second, click the big green “Join Waiting List” button at the top of the page. Done!

What do marketers need to know?  

facebook-hangoverGood news here:  Ad Are Much Bigger!  Even the sidebar ads look bigger.  The larger canvas is good news for creative – but will it by annoying to users?  It will need to be engaging.

New Opportunities for advertising.  Promoted Posts, Sponsored Stories, and Page promotion ads can be visually engrossing – to flow with the rest of the news feed.

Filters for content are a question mark.  Facebook says there’s been consumer demand for filtered content like photos and music.  But will users use the filters.

If the filtered feeds are used, it could make for a splintered, hard to reach audience.  If people use the feeds, it will fragment the audience.  And, if they only use their friends feed, advertising will be lost to them.

Filtered feed might become sponsorship opportunities.  No real news here but if the music feeds and other entertainment feeds take off, sponsorships might follow.

Marketing to Women: Get a Mobile Mindset for 2013

January 8, 2013 § Leave a comment

Nielsen has released a new report containing facts on how US consumers use different forms of media and devices. The information on  the top 8 activities performed on mobiles is fascinating, or at least I think so.


The top activity is texting, consuming 14.1% of our time.  Messaging (texting, email and instant messaging) compose 14.1% of our time, or one-fifth of our time on our mobile devices.  The lifeline for most of us is our texts and emails.

The second most consuming usage is social networks because we evidently all have FOMO (Fear of Missing Out), so we spend a whopping 10% of our time on social networks.  Actually dialing someone up and having a conversation only consumes about 5.5% of our time.   The other usage is consumed with browsing the internet, listening to music, using maps and our camera.  The mobile usage differs from our computer usage – which is geared to a variety of other activities.  One thing is the same – we spend a lot of time on social media.  Computer usage of social media is 20.1%, versus 10% of our mobile time.

And in terms of usage, 56% of mobile users have smartphones.  Eighty-five (85) million of us use social media apps on our smartphones, compared with 164 million have access to social media from their computers.

The bottom line is that each month, consumers are spending more time with more media, across all devices, and smart marketers need to understand the role of mobile in our daily lives.  We use mobile to stay connected, to manage our schedules, and the shop.  Some 78% of us use our smartphones to find a store, 63% check prices online and 22% comment on purchases.

Marketing Healthcare to Women: Go Mobile and Get ‘Appy!

December 9, 2012 § Leave a comment

A hospital or doctor’s office seems like one of the least likely places to find use for a mobile app, but according to Trend Watching’s 10 Trends for 2013, “appscriptions” are the future for the healthcare and technological industries alike. Health care professionals are turning to mobile apps to help patients get and stay healthy, which is easier considering that there are more than 13,000 health related apps available in Apple’s app store alone. With this deluge of choices, Trend Watching suggests that in the coming year, consumers will turn to doctors to find the safest and best apps available.

sleep-cycle-app1The benefit is mutual. While consumers have convenient access to a wide variety of medical resources and information, the healthcare industry may see resultant reduced costs as patients live healthier lifestyles. Mobile apps have recently been popular for assisting with weight loss efforts, with apps that count calories, offer exercise routines, and track progress. But health apps are not limited to dietary relevance; this summer, Antibitoics Reminder hit the market at no cost, offering patients a convenient way to track their medication consumption.

According to Time magazine, the following health apps cap off as the “best of” various categories:

  • Exercise: RunKeeper (tracks distance, time, and pace)
  • Diet: Fooducate (offers nutritional information)
  • Sleep: Sleep Cycle (helps improve sleep patterns)
  • Weight Loss: Lose It! (monitors calorie intake and use)
  • Health Care: ZocDoc (makes finding a great Doctor easy)

While mobile apps are clearly important in the health field, it is important to recognize the recent more general mobile app trend, in which consumers demand convenience and information at the tips of their fingers. If your brand is looking for a way to stay current and edge out the competition, ask yourself how a mobile app can bring your brand experience to the palm of your consumer’s hand.  But consumers are discriminating and your app must

appnation-what-has-changedprovide a real service they need.  Smartphone users  now have  an average number of  41 apps — a rise of 28 percent on the 32 apps owned on average last year.  Despite the rise in app numbers, the amount of time that people are spending in apps has remained essentially flat;  they are being used for 39 minutes per day today, compared to 37 minutes in 2011.

Marketing to Women: Merry Mobile Christmas!

December 6, 2012 § Leave a comment


Deck the halls with boughs of deals as the shoppers start out on their annual shopping sprees.  Some 54% of mobile shoppers who have used a coupon on their device look to retailer websites for mobile coupons.  According to Nielsen’s recent survey, retailer websites are followed by deal-of-the-day websites (such as Groupon and LivingSocial), retailer apps and third party websites.5790_Deal_of_the_Day_Wire_Post_graphic2_D2The smartphones are leading the way in shopping navigation. According to Nielson, smartphone owners are dominating daily deal app usage, exceeding tablet users across all daily deal apps used. Groupon is the most widely used daily deal app among users of the apps, with 91 percent indicating that they have used the app on their smartphone and 60 percent stating they’ve used it on their tablet.  Ranking second in daily deal app usage is Living Social (48% smartphone/29% tablet), followed by Google Offers (18% smartphone/9% tablet).

According to Nielsen, 63% of the smartphone users are using their phones to check prices, compared to 56% of tablet owners.  A little more detail about the habits of smartphone mobile shoppers:   looking up a store, used by 78% in this group, using them for shopping lists (40%), pre-purchase research (63%) and using a mobile coupon (39%).

Santa’s definitely mobile this year.

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Marketing to Moms and Dads: iPhone and iPad Are Winning

September 5, 2012 § Leave a comment


It finally happened.  My husband is coming to the light.  He is getting a new iPhone.

New iPhone May Look Like This

And it seems that he is not alone.  While Android phones surged ahead last year, new research shows that iPads and the new iPhones are preferred for the end of the year.

Research from Yankee Group:  “A smaller percentage of consumers—only 39 percent of respondents who intend to buy a smartphone in the next six months—plan to buy one that runs Android, indicating that Android interest is flagging. Compare that with the 42 percent of consumers who plan to buy an iPhone in the next six months, and our landscapes suggest that Apple will see another record-setting launch this fall.”

In my humble opinion, there are many reasons that iPhones win.  The integration with all Mac devices, the camera,  Facetime, and iTunes are just a few.  Since everyone else in the family has an iPhone, my husband is realizing how simple it is to be connected with his laptop and his family.  Research from says one in five users who identified as Android users plan on replacing their current handset with Apple’s next iPhone. The survey group of 1,300 indicated that most smartphone customers are seeking longer battery life, a faster phone, and 4G LTE wireless connectivity.

The new introduction of the sixth-generation iPhone is high anticipated.  It’s the American way.  Competition is good.  And when it comes to tablets, here’s an interesting tidbit – for every Android tablet in use today, there are 6.6 iPads.  eMarketer predicts the number of iPad users in the US will rise by over 90% this year to 53.2 million, as loyal users replace older models and new consumers purchase the device.  eMarketer estimates more than half of tablet users this year to be men (54%), but by the end of the forecast period the gender split is expected to be even.


Marketing to Women: Showrooming and the Holidays

September 4, 2012 § Leave a comment

“Showrooming” is all the talk among retailers as the holiday shopping season approaches.  Showrooming is the practice of shopping in a physical store and then buying online.  It has become a concern for retailers because of the proliferation of mobile devices that allow comparison shopping to be as near as your smartphone.  A fact for those marketing to women:  some 45.9% of online shoppers have engaged in showrooming.

Recent research by Exact Target says that 44% of customers use mobile to shop in-store, and a similar number (45%) said they would leave the store to buy online when the online price was 2.5% lower.  At 5% lower, 60% said they would leave.

But retailers with mobile sites and apps should take heart.  New research from Foresee surveyed more than 4,000 customers who had visited the top 20 retailers’ mobile site or used their app within a two-week period.  Research showed that 59% of the mobile devices were being used from home and 16% while preparing to visit a store.  Those most likely to use mobile sites or apps   are those more familiar with the brand.  So brand is still important no matter where the shopping is taking place.

What can a retailer do to prepare for this retail season?

1.  Remember that your brand is still important.  Many things make up a brand. A differentiated shopping experience is a draw to consumers.  Unique product selection, smaller stores, unrivaled customer service, personal shopping, pick-up service, in-store demonstrations/classes and personalization can be important components of your brand.   Target pushes its suppliers to offer exclusive products that can’t be found elsewhere. It also has quadrupled the number of items available online and is sending special coupons directly to customers’ mobile phones.Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is emphasizing in-store pickups for online orders—many available the same day they are purchased—allowing customers to avoid shipping fees.  Lululemon offers a unique lifestyle brand.

2. Mobile, Mobile, Mobile.  Do you have a website optimized for mobile?  Do you have a full selection of your products and services online?  If comparison shopping is going on, you must have a full complement of products for that comparison.  Email and text messaging are strong methods of communication.  Big box retailers like Target, Walmart and Home Depot are developing indoor navigation tools for shopping.  Walgreen’s customers can make a shopping list and the items will be spotted in a store map.

3.  Pricing and Value.  Okay, so you know that the real competition is online.  Is it all about pricing?  Well, if your goods are not unique, curated to your shopper and part of a branded look and feel, then yes, it is all price.   Online sales still represent only about 8% of total retail sales in the U.S.—but that is up from just 2% in 2000. Amazon ranked as the 13th largest retailer in the U.S., up from 19th one year ago. By the end of this year,  retail analysts expect Amazon to rank 10th, replacing Best Buy on the top ten list.  And Amazon prices are 9-14% lower than most retailers.

Marketing to Women: Are Daily Deals Still Hot?

August 30, 2012 § Leave a comment

Is your email box cluttered with Groupon, Living Social, Daily Candy Deals, One Kings Lane, Fab and more?  Can all of these daily deals still be working?  Are people still using them?  According to a new study from Chadwick Martin Bailey and Constant Contact, four out of five Daily Deal subscribers have purchased at least one deal in the last six months.  In fact, 27% have purchased five or more, 21% have bought 3-4 deals and 31% 1-2 deals.  Just 21% never pulled their credit card out of their wallet.

Here are the top five types of Daily Deals:

  • Restaurants   65%
  • Entertainment   48%
  • Food & Grocery   36%
  • Travel   25%
  • Spa & Beauty   23%

While 60% of daily deal subscribers strongly agree they will buy a deal because it is something they already like to do, roughly 2 in 5 will do so because it comes from a local business with which they are familiar (43%), or is close to where they work or live (39%).

Just like all other marketing methods, marketers to women need to know their target audience, understand what type of offer will draw new business and not cannibalize existing loyal users.  The following info might be helpful.

Daily Deal Demographics

Edison Research 2012 Daily Deal study says that one in six persons or 15% of Americans 12+ are registered users of at least one daily deal site.  Of course, 66% of all deal users are women.  Some 60% are aged 25-54.  One-third have incomes above $75,000.  And we sharp-shopping Southerners love a good deal – 45% of users live in the South.

I also find it interesting that more than half of all users joined in the past year, and more than 60% use the daily deals at least as much or more than when they first joined.

Daily Deal users are mobile with many more devices that the public at large. According to Nielsen, Daily deal sites saw more than 10 million Americans using their apps just during June 2012.  Groupon is the third most popular mobile app (11,942,000 users) among the 45 million smartphone users, only outpaced by eBay and Amazon.  LivingSocial is number five.

Daily deal users spend more time online – 66% feel the internet is the most essential media in their life and are heavy social network users.

Groupon is still the Gorilla of Deals with 83% of the users, and Living Social with only 44%.  Two-thirds of Living Social users are also registered with Groupon.

But here’s some good news about the effectiveness of  Daily Deals:  Some 23% tried new businesses for the first time because of the deal and continued to visit that business without a deal.  Another 30% tried something new but never returned.  And 28% were already customers of a business and used a deal.  Both Groupon and Living Social seem to produce the same percentage of return business.

Sharing Deals with Friends and Family

One more fact that might be important to those of us who market to women:  54% of consumers who subscribe to a daily deal program will share a deal because it’s great, regardless of whether or not they are current customers of a business. 45% strongly agree that they would share a deal because they know their friends will like it, and 34% are more likely to share the deals from businesses of which they are already customers.

Recommendations from our friends and family are important.  These recommendations make consumers more likely to purchase a deal from an unfamiliar small business. What makes us more likely?

  • Deal is recommended by friends or family   50%
  • The deal comes from a national deal service (e.g. Groupon or LivingSocial)   32%
  • Deal is recommended by a social media site   6%

Women are the most likely to share a deal.  More than twice as many consumers share deals via email than on social networks. Most common methods for sharing daily deals with friends and family:

  • Email   55%
  • Facebook   27%
  • Twitter   6%

Marketing to Moms: Smartphone Moms are Apple Moms

August 28, 2012 § Leave a comment

I have been writing for some time about how smartphones are a Moms best friend.  And of course, my phone of choice is the iPhone.  Oh, and the iPad for Facetime and Skype.  And of course, my MacBook Pro for Facetime.  I have long believed that these are the tools of choice for Moms and recent new research reinforces this maternal love of Apples!

So here’s how the Apple rolls – as expressed by Arbitron and Edison Research Moms and Media 2012 Research:

•  92% of Moms own a cell phone

•  61% of Moms own a smartphone. The number of Moms with smartphones doubled from 2011 to 2012.   In 2009, only 8% of Moms had a smartphone.  By the way, the iPhone celebrated its fifth birthday this year.

•  51% of Moms own an Apple iPhone, iPad, or iPod

•  25% of Moms own iPhones, and 32% of Moms own those Android phones.  Yes, Android did have a growth spurt as they modeled their phones after iPhone functionality.

•  iPhone users exhibit more loyalty than non-iPhone users.  When asked which they couldn’t live without – the iPhone or television – 70% chose their iPhone!

•  Yes, we sleep, eat and go to the bathroom with our iPhones.  93% say their smartphone is always nearby.  

What does Apple love have to do with marketing?  Well, I am glad you asked.  Moms know a thing or two about purchasing.  They have a buying power of $2.4 trillion in 2011.  And mobile devices are part of their purchasing behavior.   A new report from Mojiva shows that 97% of tablet-owning Moms made a purchase using their tablet in the past month.  I know, I was one of them.  I purchased plane tickets, shoes and books. When you look at all connected moms, you find that 62% use a shopping app and 46% want to receive information while in a store.   

Can you imagine how many more Moms will jump at the chance to have the new iPad mini and iPhone 5 coming out this Fall?  It will be a GREEN Christmas for Apple.

Marketing to Women: Five Lessons Learned from Olympics

August 19, 2012 § 3 Comments

This was the Year of the Woman at the 2012 Olympics, and there were marketing lessons to be learned by all of us.  But just to pause and enjoy the moment.  Consider this:  Women won 2/3 of America’s medals in the 2012 Olympics. If US women were their own country, they’d have placed fifth in the medal count standings. Most attribute this fact to Title IX.  Since President Richard Nixon signed Title IX into law in 1972, American educational institutions have been required to fund women’s sports in a way that’s proportional to the male/female breakdown of the school.

Importance of women as an Olympic audience.  Traditionally, the Olympics is the only major sports event that attracts audiences that are majority-female. The Gallup Daily tracking survey done by phone with 1,082 U.S. adults and taken Aug. 4-5 during the Olympics reported that  43% of women say they were watching a lot, while just 36% of men say so and only 30% of unmarried men.

Why is that true of the Olympics and not other sporting events?  Maybe we need a Title IX for households.  In a new study published in Communication, Culture & Critiquethey found that “Women’s TV sports consumption habits were more mediated by their personal schedules than by team schedules or TV schedules.”  It seems that women’s role in the household trumps watching sports.  And when they do watch, they like the easy to follow narratives that Olympics coverage is famous for.  And while Title IX has increased the number of female athletes, it still hasn’t changed the audience for female sports.  That’s why women’s basketball has never reached the same level of success as men’s basketball.

Marketing to Moms Still Reigns.  Most of us know that P&G has taken their Proud Sponsor of Moms to new Gold status.  Procter & Gamble is looking to generate $500 million in sales from its massive marketing push centered on Olympic athletes and their moms.Global Brand Building Officer Marc Pritchard said it was an attempt to build a “perfect storm” of TV, digital, social and PR activity around closely followed events. It spans 34 brands and 150 sponsored athletes, with the “Thank you, Mom” concept that was first executed during the 2010 Vancouver Olympics serving as “the glue that ties it together to do multi-brand activations within retailers,” he said.  Moms were actually the glue.  The spots were so likable that you couldn’t get tired of them.

The mobile Olympics.  The times have changed dramatically in just four years.  Social media and events have a symbiotic relationship.  A blast back to 2008 – the iPhone was new, the app store had just launched, and the BlackBerry was the most popular smartphone.  And there was no iPad.  So in this Olympics, social media was propelled by mobile.  NBC, the athletes, the sponsors and the fans were all sharing on social media.   About 50% of streams from NBC came from mobile devices.  Data released in August by Twitter indicates that there were more than 150 million tweets about the Olympics during the course of the Games.   There’s a great infographic on Mashable that portrays the impact of social media in this year’s Olympics.  Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt was the big winner, with more than 960,000 mentions during the Games. American swimmer Michael Phelps took social silver with over 830,000 mentions.  Gabby Douglas went from 20,000 followers to 686,077 followers on Twitter.

Immediacy of today demands “real time ads”.    Marketers no longer have the luxury of planning a campaign and allowing it to run unchanged.   Today, marketers have to be in the moment to capitalize on events and sponsorships.  And yes, it can be exhausting but it is important.  Did you see the Visa or AT&T ads?   Commercials incorporated footage from events that had occurred just hours earlier, including the American women’s victory in gymnastics and Sanya Richards-Ross’ win in the 400-meter dash. The trend in the London Games toward “real time” advertising were marked by quickly produced commercials that enable advertisers to leverage the Olympics’ most buzzworthy moments.  The advertisers enjoyed special relationships with NBC that allowed them footage to these magic moments.  Brands were able to leverage their ties to the Olympics and increase their positive public perception at the same time.

Understanding your target and the use of ambush marketing.  Nike did a brilliant job in creating juggernaut exposure for the new Volt.  How could you not see those ubiquitous neon-yellow Volt shoes.  It seems that Nike passed on the official sponsorship and went straight to the athletes. Because we all want to be like Mike.  Their original brand strategy has never strayed from that original Michael Jordan advertising.  According to Nike, 41 athletes won medals wearing the shoes as of Friday, including 43% of track and field medalists.  Most people will tell you that they think Nike was the official shoe.  Seems rival Adidas reportedly paid $155 million to be an official London 2012 sponsor.  And if the shoes weren’t enough, didn’t you just love the spot with the 12 year old from London, Ohio, who slowly jogs toward the camera as the voiceover tells us that greatness “is not some precious thing … we’re all capable of it. All of us.”

The Olympics have been remarkable for all of us.  It brings America together, it makes new stars, it showcases our grit and pride, and it teaches how best to market.  I can’t wait for the Winter Olympics.

Marketing to Women: Smartphone Most Important Shopping Tool

July 22, 2012 § 2 Comments

I was telling a friend the other day that the favorite thing in my purse is my wallet that holds money, my credit cards and my iPhone.  Because currently those are the tools that we need for shopping.  The smartphone is really the new influencer in the purchase. Some 100 million smartphone users are now in existence.   A new study from Empathica reports that 55% of smartphone owners say they use their mobile devices to check prices while they are shopping. And 27% look at reviews before heading to the checkout aisle. In fact, 9% even take the time out to write a review before they leave the store.

Price comparisons are the most frequent in-store mobile activity — with 55 percent of smartphone owners reporting that they have used their devices to check prices while shopping. Other popular mobile actions include scanning a QR code (34%) and writing a review (9%).

Even the 10% of shoppers who don’t own a smartphone have looked for online information while in a store, and those retailers who allow shoppers online instore might have an advantage.

The Empathica Consumer Insights Panel also showed that  social media as an important tool in decision-making. Nearly three-quarters of consumers use Facebook to make retail or restaurant decisions, while half of consumers have tried a new brand due to a social media recommendation.

No doubt in the future, I won’t even need the credit cards or the money.  My smartphone will do it all!

Here is a handy infographic from Empathica that portrays their new information:

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