Marketing Travel to Women: Get Smart About Apps

April 25, 2013 § 1 Comment

travel-appsIt is becoming hard to say travel without talking about mobile devices today.  By 2014, smartphones and tablets are on track to capture nearly one in five travel dollars. And those who are marketing travel to women should take note of some of the opportunities and challenges.

Travel Decisions Made by Women

Some 80% of all travel decisions are made by women and 40% of travel is planned using a mobile device.  The tablet is the preferred device for planning travel and the smartphone is the choice for booking trips while on the go.  In fact, three-quarters (76%) of us reach for the smartphone when booking travel on the go.

Poor Mobile Experiences

So you know the drill – you are traveling and something happens to cause you to change your airline reservations.  You go to your handy app.   But you have a hard time loading the information, it gets confusing and then, you just call the airlines or the hotel or the car rental or the restaurant because it was a hassle figuring it out on that handy app.  It’s happened to me before – and apparently, lots of others.  A ResearchNow study released by Mobiquity shows the top negatives:

  • 60% of smartphone owners, 52% of tablet owners found mobile travel sites slow to load
  • 51% of tablet owners rated search and selection options on travel apps as complicated
  • 20% of tablet owners were disappointed the apps were not integrated with their loyalty programs

Poor mobile experiences can cause travelers to take an alternative course and could result in decreased revenue for travel brands.  More than a third (35%) of connected travelers would be less likely to book again with the travel brand after a slow, confusing of non-optimized experience when research or booking travel on a mobile device.  Some of the issues in addition to slow load time are  complicated search and selection, poor navigation, not linked to loyalty programs or not designed.

Top Mobile Travel Apps

The top mobile websites mostly include airlines and travel aggregators, such as TripAdvisor and  Of the 8% of iPhone users that use travel apps, the top airline apps are:

United Airlines  (1.6%)
Southwest Airlines (1.5%)
Fly Delta (1.3%)
American Airlines (1.3%)
JetBlue (0.5%)

Some of the other popular apps for travel are included in the following infographic:


Marketing to Moms: Four Things to Consider Before Developing an App

April 2, 2013 § Leave a comment

iStock_000020962728XSmallConsidering an app to market to moms?  A recent study found that 97% of moms made a purchase on their tablet in the last month and they’re spending significantly more time on their tablets than laptops. There’s a huge opportunity for brands to provide value for moms on their tablets.

One way to make the most of moms on tablets is by developing an app for your brand. However, developing an app, especially for the first time, is not an easy task. It requires a big budget, skilled engineers, and dedicated marketers to build a useful, powerful app.

So before you begin, there are 4 key things to keep in mind when planning to develop a new app:

App functionality – In order to be truly effective, apps must be smart, innovative, and provide value to the customer. Know when your customers will be downloading the app and why they need it at that moment. Determine the use case scenario and keep it top of mind throughout all stages of development. Also know that you don’t have to include all potential features in the first release of the app. Prioritize the essential elements and add additional functionality in future releases.

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Operating systems – You don’t need to develop an app for all platforms to be successful. Rather, understand the devices before choosing one or a few. First, narrow down your options by knowing which device your target audience uses. For example, about 51% of moms own an iPhone, iPad, or iPod, compared to 52% of teenagers owning an Android. Second, understand the pros and cons of the various platforms. Windows is known for its flexibility and provides a great user experience. Apple has fewer models and screen sizes so testing is easier. However, a rejection from Apple’s App Store means more time and money to make improvements. With Android, though, it’s easier to get apps into the Google Play store. On the down side, there are many Android models and testing on all of them is nearly impossible. Finally, testing on various devices requires lots of Quality Assurance (QA), not only for the first release but also to maintain the app as devices update their operating systems. Don’t forget to budget for ongoing QA as you develop your plan.

Pricing model – Will the app support your core business or will it be the sole revenue stream? If your business has other revenue sources, you may offer the app for free because it builds mobile presence and authority for your brand. If this will be your main revenue source, the app itself might be free but perhaps it will generate revenue through an eCommerce engine or paid membership. While some paid apps are very successful, tablet users have been shown to prefer free apps with ads to paid apps. Paid apps accounted for only 23% of all tablet app downloads in 2012. Does your app offer something that customers will pay for or does it offer another value to your business?

Download strategies – Marketing your app and getting customers to download it provides a huge challenge. Make sure your app is searchable within the app store. You can do this by choosing the most relevant keywords. What will customers be looking for when you want them to find your app? Find out and use those keywords. Note, you are limited a specific number of characters for keywords. For Apple, keywords must be less than 100 characters. Another download strategy is through email marketing. Email your existing customers and include a direct link to the app store so they can download the app immediately. Make it easy for them to find and download. Also consider integrating a social sharing element into your app so users market the app for you.

Creating an app may or may not be worth it for your business, but after thinking through each of these topics you should have a better idea of your approach and strategy. For more insights on the habits of moms on tablets and how to build the best app strategy for your brand, download the white paper, “Tablets 101: A Primer for Mom-Focused Brands.”

This guest post is by Katie Petrillo. She is the B2B Marketing Manager at Punchbowl, where she writes about marketing to moms for the Punchbowl Trends blog. Follow her on Twitter @PunchbowlTrends and find her on Google+.

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: 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:

Marketing to Women: Staying Connected on Your Trip Abroad.

July 8, 2012 § Leave a comment

Sorry, I haven’t posted lately. I have been out of the country for a couple of weeks, traveling with friends, and here is what I learned about staying in touch.  Or Why it’s a Small, Small, Small World after all.

•  WiFi is the glue to your connectedness.   If you have access to WiFi, you are just as connected as you want to be.  (Emphasis on want to be.)  Yes, time differences can wreak havoc with response times, but you can catch up on all the news you want and keep up with your emails.

•  FaceTime and Skype are your friends.  I love FaceTime.  (Confession:  I am Apple through and through.)  Facetime was the most reliable way to connect with my family while I was gone.  I was able to share a whole baklava experience with my daughter because of Facetime. And when you are missing someone special there is nothing better than a little Facetime.  My husband is going to have to convert to an iPhone (from a Droid), so that I can connect with him that way.   Skype is also a great friend when traveling.  The Skype apps make calling a cinch. And it makes those pesky international charges a thing of the past.

•  Texting provided the essential communication.  Regardless of WiFi connectedness, the texting allowed for communication among my group and sent the important travel news home.  It is covered on most plans and is unlimited so it is the go-to communication for travel essentials like arrival times.  Yes, planes are still late and a handy update is always essential for those on the other end of your travels.

• iPhone as Camera.  I am not a great photographer and with my new iPhone, I didn’t even need a separate camera.  I just shot photos with my iPhone.  And anyone that knows me, knows that I take pictures of every meal I eat on vacation.  So my iPhone worked well for snapshots of friends and my seafood extravaganza.

• My new iPad never let me down.  I didn’t need a laptop.  My iPad was fast, efficient and handy.  I downloaded a travel guide to my iBooks that was extremely helpful.  I also read two books on my trip.  The Pulse app kept all my news handy in one place and USA Today kept me informed on important stuff like the Tom Cruise/Katie Holmes break-up and the passing of everyone’s favorite Andy Griffith.  And of course, the longer battery life on the iPad allows for longer reading times.  I only recharged it three times in two weeks, and my iPhone and iPad charger worked great with my power adapter.

• Social Media rules.  New friends I met on my trip wanted to Facebook me and it was a handy solution to keeping in touch with friends overseas.  My overseas friends were kind to mention that they often read The Lipstick Economy.   I also kept up with the news at home through Facebook and I didn’t miss any birthdays while I was gone.  Facebook also allows for quick messaging when you don’t have someone’s email at your fingertips.  We could even update folks at home through social media and had a dedicated blog for the trip for those who wanted to keep up with us.

• Weather Updates.  My Weather Channel app was essential to keeping up with the weather in Greece and at home.  When I was sweating in Greece, it was important to know that there was an all-time heat wave in Nashville.  Also, keeping up with the heat was important to our water consumption as we climbed over ruins, navigated bus schedules and trekked through city centers.

• Translator Apps can be invaluable.  I should have used it more than I did, but WiFi accessibility limited use of it.  But a translator app is a great friend when you can’t tell the difference between a bath gel and a juice box.

•  Local cell phone is an option.  If you are spending a great deal of time in a city and need to connect with folks in the city, a local pre-paid cell phone might be an option.  I used one to connect with friends locally and it was a big help when you were lost or needed to make a quick call.

Do you have some travel hints?  Let us know what they are.

Marketing to Women: Smartphones or Sex?

June 19, 2012 § Leave a comment

Smartphone or Sex?  You might think you know the answer.  But compare the results from Gazelle with those from the Lipstick Economy/Social Moms poll from last October and see how sex ranks with smartphone lovers.

The new Gazelle ( survey reports that 65% of their respondents would not be able to live without their smartphone and 15% say they would rather give up sex than give up their iPhone.  The survey was in honor of iPhone’s fifth birthday and respondents were Gazelle customers who have traded in at least one iPhone.

In the Lipstick Economy/Social Mom survey, we asked Social Moms about the most important thing in their life, next to their children and spouse. And since most survey participants still had very young children living with them, it came as no surprise that more than half of moms (51%) said a full night’s sleep. And yes, smartphones (19%) and coffee (17%) were more important to Social Moms than their sex life (12%).  Survey respondents were Social Moms, part of the Mom-powered community of online moms.

The concerning part of the Gazelle study is the 85% who have used their iPhone while in the bathroom.  Makes you think about borrowing someone’s phone, doesn’t it?

Marketing to Women: Smartphone Users Search Locally

February 29, 2012 § Leave a comment

Sometimes we forget the obvious.  The attached infographic on local shopping is a good reminder for any retailer to make sure they are easy to find on mobile search. Business listings are just an extension of your online and offline marketing.  So if you are reading this right now, stop what you are doing and google your business from your smartphone or tablet.

Here are a few of the facts:

•  49% of mobile and tablet users use apps for local business searches.

•  61% of smartphone users conduct local searches from their device.

•  64% of tablet users search for local stores on their device at least weekly

•  61% of those searching consider search results more relevant than paid ads (10%)

•  Most popular searches – restaurants, shopping and healthcare


The Top “11” Lipstick Economy Posts on Marketing to Women

January 11, 2012 § 4 Comments

Bloggers love them.  Readers love them.  The Top Ten list.  We have even written about the allure of the Top Ten.  But 2011 was such an incredible year, it deserves a bonus – a Top Eleven list of topics that  you incredibly intelligent – and sophisticated – Lipstick Economy readers deemed important.  Technology and how we use that technology were the headlines of the year.

11.  Ten Things You Need to Know about E-books.  One of the best books I read in 2011 was Cleopatra by Stacy Schiff.  I downloaded it on my iPad and got to thinking about some of the incredible shifting world of book consumption.  So here’s an update.  Half of all tablet purchases have been made by households with children under 18, according to Forrester Research. And that doesn’t include e-readers, where women already dominate – 63% versus 37% of men own e-readers.

10.  12 Outrageous Facts I Learned at M2Moms.  I am still reeling from some of the great info at M2Moms.  Probably the most dramatic is the number of births of children occurring outside of marriage.  Forty-one percent of births are to unwed Moms, and when you look at just millennial moms, the percentage rises to 50%.  I think this trend has unbelievable impact on society and how were define families.

9.  Moms Won’t Deprive Family of Vacation This Year.  This 2010 poll looked at Moms attitudes towards the family vacation.  Travel began to rebound in 2010 but American workers are still somewhat reluctant to take too much vacation.  Only 57% of U.S. workers use up all of the days they’re entitled to, compared with 89% of workers in France, a recent Reuters/Ipsos poll found,  according to  Some 64% of employed Moms were optimistic about actually taking all their paid vacation in 2011.

8.  Tablet is Most Important Device We Own.  Women are beginning to use tablets for shopping in a major way. Sixty percent of users shopped for the holidays with their smartphone or tablet.  Mobile shoppers consider it a type of “mobile mall”, purchasing products and comparing prices.  Home usage of tablets is now greater than out-of-home usage.

7.  The Mother and Daughter Shopping Experience.  This is a really interesting subject.  Moms and daughters may call it retail therapy, but it’s actually an important bonding and socialization activity.  One particular group who share shopping preferences are Baby Boomer Moms and Millennial Daughters who spend time together and value their relationship.

6.  51%.  Just a number?   Professional and entrepreneurial women are 51% of the workforce and 51% of small business owners.  Women are not just consumers; we are business leaders and we are heads of households.  Unfortunately, we are not represented in the same way in America’s boardrooms.

5.  Only One in Five Groupon Users Return.    This has been a rocky year for Groupon.  With the proliferation of group buying deals, both retailers and buyers are trying to find the best way to use Groupons.

4.  iPhone Moms:  A Growing Target Audience.  Can we say obsession?  That’s the relationship that iPhone Moms have with their phone.  See our Lipstick Economy and Social Moms study showing Social Moms prefer sleep and their smartphone over sex.

3.  Marketing to Women:  How Many Use QR Codes?  Fad or fantastic?  They are part of our shopping experience.  57% of consumers who have scanned a QR code say they did nothing with the information, compared to 21% who shared the information with someone and 18% who made a purchase, according to  a survey released in January 2012 by Chadwick Martin Bailey.  Top reason for scanning a QR code?  Curiosity.

2.  The Demographics of Groupon and Living Social.  There are definitely differences in the two users.  So what is the demographic for Deal Chicken?  Now that there are hundreds of daily deal sites, will 50% become the standard for discounts?

1.  Groupon or Groupoff?  10 Facts You Need to Know.  Drumroll please.  The Year of  Groupon. But will daily deals continue to hold the fascination of marketers?   Yes, they raised $700 million in a limited IPO.  But the value of the company is half of what it was just a few months before.  There may be 600 competitors, but no one knows exactly because some 25% of them have already bit the dust.  Are we suffering Groupon Fatigue? What do you think the marketing story of the year for 2012 will be?

Happy Reading, you amazing group of Lipstick Economists!

Marketing to Women: A Gadget for Each Generation

July 28, 2011 § 2 Comments

Just read an interesting study from media research firm Affinity that suggests that each generation has its favorite gadget. Their findings suggest that e-readers are for baby boomers, PC tablets for Gen Xers and smartphones for millennials.

Baby Boomer:  Surveying more than 60,000 consumers, Affinity found that 12 percent of U. S. adults own an e-reader, with owners of the readers skewing female and baby boomer.   The e-reader is mostly an at-home device.

Gen X:  The Gen-Xers are 16% more likely to have a tablet and almost a fourth of them plan to purchase one.  This compares with the current 8% of consumers that currently own a tablet.  With tablets, men are more likely to be owner than women.  Affluent Gen-Xers are 63% more likely to buy a table than their peers.

Millennials:  Smartphones are the device of choice for millennials who are 28% more likely to own a smartphone than average.  After all, these millennials do not have a land line and depend on their smartphone for almost everything.

But there is another category that this study overlooked:  it’s the crazed Apple lover Mom of all generations that has an iPhone, a MacBook, and iPad – and wonders why anyone would ever want a Kindle. (Confession:  I fall into that category)  These are the folks that are hooked on entertainment, the cool factor, convenience and integration, and the beautiful design of Apple products.  According to NPD, the number of moms who purchased iPhones grew 132 percent in the first quarter of 2011 over sales recorded during the same time last year.

Marketing to iPhone Moms: The Fastest Growing Buyers of iPhones

July 19, 2011 § Leave a comment

We knew it, long before most marketing executives realized it.  Oh, yes, it seems that they knew online Moms were important.  But here’s the new news for some folks:  Moms are the fastest-growing buyers of iPhones.  They are also voracious users of  search, media, music, social media, news and photos.  Go to any carpool line, sports game, coffee shop or grocery store, and you will see Moms armed for the daily battle of juggling kids, shopping, exercise, friends and careers.

According to NPD, the number of moms with smartphones is about equal to men of the same age, but they are adopting the technology at a faster pace. The number of moms who purchased iPhones grew 132 percent in the first quarter of 2011 compared with the same time last year — outpacing men, who rose by 121 percent, according to NPD. Overall, adult purchases of the smartphone grew 117 percent.

Currently, 25% of folks with smartphones use the device as their main connection to the internet.  Currently 63% of all internet traffic comes from computers, but in 2015, some predict that less than 50% of web traffic will come from computers, reflecting the rise in smartphone usage.

What’s the attraction with an iPhone?  I think it is the headstart that Apple got with apps for adults and children, Google maps,  the seamless beauty of an integrated iTunes/ iPod, a decent camera, the miracle of FaceTime, iBooks and a fashion forward sense of style.  I mean, who is secure enough to run ads that say “If you don’t have an iPhone, well,  you don’t have an iPhone”.

So what are some takeaways for marketing to iPhone moms?  Make sure you have a mobile friendly website or an app.  Realize that comparison shopping is happening all the time, everywhere.  Integrate social media into all your web entities because life’s a 24/7 conversation.  Recognize that consumer reviews can make or break you so you have to respond to reviews.  And start testing mobile advertising.

So what am I doing right now?  Checking all the techy sites, trying to learn what the new iPhone 5 is going to bring us Moms.

If you are interested in participating in the SocialMoms Benchmark Study to help SocialMoms understand how social networking and technology is changing our lives, click here:

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