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12 Hurdles Male Marketers Must Clear To Successfully Market To Women With Social Media

As I review the explosive stats on the MBAonline INFOGRAPHIC shown below, I am amazed at the number of male marketers who still question the validity of using social media to connect with women.

But they do, and I hear from them daily.

After many discussions, I have noticed several common mistakes marketers continue to make when attempting to reach the female audience which keeps them from realizing success with social media.

12 Mistakes Male Marketers Continue to Make When Marketing to Women With Social Media

  • They are still trying to tell women what they want
  • They are not listening to what women are saying
  • If they do listen, they are still interpreting from the male perspective
  • They are trying to sell before connecting
  • They expect immediate results
  • They have not defined valid expectations
  • They try to find ways around the time required to build relationships
  • They assume social media means “Facebook”
  • They don’t know how to engage the female
  • They open channels with little or no strategy
  • They are working from a linear mindset as opposed to a multi-layered process
  • Finally, and my favorite – they are looking forward to the recession ending so things can return to normal.
Guys, it’s not only the number of users, but also the amount of time and levels of engagement that are increasing. For example:
  • 172 million people visit Facebook daily
  • 864,000 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube daily
  • 4.7. billion minutes are spent on Facebook daily
Bottom line, you are not going to stop the control that social media has provided people and you are not going to quieten the female voice. Quite the contrary. They are simply getting louder.

Not “getting it” is no longer an option. If social media is not working for you, try breaking through some of the barriers to reach your market on the other side.

A Day in the Internet


Stephanie Holland is President and Executive Creative Director for 
Holland + Holland Advertising,Birmingham, Alabama. Working in an industry that is dominated by men, she is one of only 3% of the female creative directors in the country. Stephanie works mostly with male advertisers, helping them successfully market to women. Subscribe to She-conomy by Email

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How Brands Can Effectively Connect With Female Bloggers

Cloud Showing Brands That Are Creating Successful Relationships With Female Bloggers

According to a recent study conducted by BlogFrog and The Social Studies Group, female bloggers receive dozens of pitches from brands each year to work on projects ranging from affiliate programs and direct advertising to guest posts and Twitter parties.

But about two-thirds  of female bloggers reject at least half of the pitches they receive.

Why? Because some brands do a better job at connecting with them than others. The 2011 Brands and Women Bloggers Influencer Partnership Study reveals what the ideal brand partnership looks like from the female blogger perspective.

A few of the key findings include:

  • 58% of bloggers have never been approached by a brand to work on a campaign.
  • Social good matters. Campaigns that include an element of social good increase trust levels for 56% of bloggers surveyed.
  • Women bloggers want long-term, deeper relationships with a few special brands
  • Compensation matters. 90% are interested in working with brands, so long as there is some form of compensation.
  • 70% of bloggers trust a brand more when that brand is promoted or recommended by someone they know from a blog or social media.
  • 87% of bloggers said personal feelings about a brand influences whether they will work with that brand.

Because the product categories and types of brands favored by a blogger are typically a personal choice, brands need to get to know more about what the bloggers are writing about and who they are connecting with. Brands need to develop long-term relationships with them. Nearly six in 10 preferred to work over a long period with just a few favored brands.

Bottom line, connecting with female bloggers is much like connecting with your female audience. You need to not only know who they are, you need to understand and respect them.


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Stephanie Holland is President and Executive Creative Director for Holland + Holland Advertising, Birmingham, Alabama. Working in an industry that is dominated by men, she is one of only 3% of the female creative directors in the country. Stephanie works mostly with male advertisers, helping them successfully market to women. Subscribe to She-conomy by Email

WOMEN RULE THE INTERNET. As A Male Marketer, Do You View This As Competition or Opportunity?

I recently read Why Women Rule The Internet on TechCrunch, by Aileen Lee, Partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

This is a GREAT article and chock full of statistics supporting the headline, some of which I have highlighted below. Aileen also made suggestions and asked some very poignant questions.

  • More female users will likely help your company grow faster.
  • Take a look at your product, your marketing, your customer base.  Maybe you would benefit from having a larger base of female customers.
  • If so, what would you change to make your product/service more attractive to female customers?
  • Do you do enough product and user interface testing with female users?
  • Have you figured out how to truly unleash the shopping and social power of women?
  • Take a look at your team.  Do you have women in key positions?
  • If you’re planning on targeting female customers, I can’t imagine why you wouldn’t want to have great women on your team.

The data is fresh and new yet continues to affirm there are beneficial rewards for companies that appeal to and connect with women effectively online. And Aileen’s thoughts are spot on.

So, why did this article strike such a competitive nerve with several men? (comments)

Did they miss the point? I think so. The findings overwhelmingly remind us that women are spending more and more time online. And those who develop products as well as advertise to meet her needs are going to swiftly move ahead.

As a male marketer or male business owner who needs to reach the female audience, it would be wise to view findings that reveal the power of the female consumer as opportunity, not offensive.

Does this mean you are going to benefit from listening to the female audience through the ears of  experienced female marketer? More than likely, yes. Because even if you don’t, someone else will.

A few of the findings:

  • Comscore, Nielsen, MediaMetrix and Quantcast studies all show women are the driving force of the most important net trend of the decade, the social web.
  • Comscore says women are the majority of users of social networking sites and spend 30% more time on these sites than men;
  • According to Nielsen. mobile social network usage is 55% female
  • Brian Solis’s analysis shows females are the majority of visitors on the following sites:
    1. Twitter
    2. Facebook
    3. Deli.ci.ous
    4. Docstoc
    5. Flickr
    6. Myspace
    7. Ning
    8. Upcoming.org
    9. uStream
    10. Classmates.com
    11. Bebo
    12. Yelp
    13. The one site Brian notes where males are greater than females is Digg. (Didn’t I just read where founder, Kevin Rose resigned as CEO and that Digg is not doing well?)
  • More women use Twitter according to bloggers Dan Zarella and Darmesh Shaw’s analyses.
  • In e-commerce, female purchasing power is also pretty clear. Sites like those listed below are all driven by a majority of female customers.
  • Zappos (>$1 billion in revenue last year)
    Groupon ($760m last year)
    Gilt Groupe ($500m projected revenue this year)
    Etsy (over $300m in GMV last year)
    Diapers ($300m estimated revenue last year)
  • Further, according to Gilt Groupe, women are 70% of the customer base and they drive 74% of revenue.
  • And 77% of Groupon’s customers are female according to their site.
  • There is an exciting new crop of e-commerce companies building real revenue and real community, really fast, by purposefully harnessing the power of female consumers.  One Kings Lane, Plum District, Stella & Dot, Rent the Runway, Modcloth, BirchBox, Shoedazzle, Zazzle, Callaway Digital Arts, and Shopkick are just a few examples of companies leveraging “girl power.”  The majority of these companies were also founded by women.
  • Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook said:
    1. Women are not only the majority of its users, but drive 62% of activity in terms of messages, updates and comments, and 71% of the daily fan activity.
    2. Women have 8% more Facebook friends on average than men, and spend more time on the site.
    3. Women played a key role in the early days by adopting three core activities—posting to walls, adding photos and joining groups—at a much higher rate than males.

For more insight and findings, view the article in it’s entirety here.


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Stephanie Holland is President and Executive Creative Director for Holland + Holland Advertising, Birmingham, Alabama. Working in an industry that is dominated by men, she is one of only 3% of the female creative directors in the country. Stephanie works mostly with male advertisers, helping them successfully market to women. Subscribe to She-conomy by Email

Is It Necessary To REALLY Know Your Female Audience? The New Rules of SEO Say, YES.

OneUpWeb recently released a new report titled, “The New Rules of SEO.” Ironically, the findings reveal what social media strategists have been screaming the past few years – it is all about delivering user-driven content.

Search engine optimization has evolved over time and it is no longer simply about keywords, meta tags and web pages to get to the top of the page. According to the report, variety and diversification across channels can make all the difference in the race to a first page rank. And with the top five results being more likely to get a click before the 6th and 7th result by a factor of 10, this is something that must not only be considered, but figured out.

Whether the goal is to engage with the female customer, ensure she shares with others, or to have her act upon it, the information must be pertinent and valuable. In order to deliver on this, you must know who she is and what she wants.

Admittedly, this makes the job for marketers much more difficult and time consuming, but a few highlights of the report, noted below, reveal it is definitely worth the effort.

  • In 2010, there were on average over 23 billion searches online every month.
  • There has been more than a 72 percent increase in search queries since April 2009.
  • Twitter feeds, Facebook comments, blog posts and more are being picked up by search engines. Search engine optimization isn’t just about website content anymore—this means businesses need to pay mind to social feedback more than ever.
  • A blog can increase the number of indexed pages.
  • Companies that blog have 434 percent more indexed pages than companies that don’t.
  • Search engine query boxes are longer, a sign that “keyword phrases” are more effective (and therefore valuable) than single keywords.
  • Click rates go up when more terms are used, indicating that the longer keyword phrases are generating more useful and relevant results.
  • There is a 236 percent increase in monthly leads for company’s that have more than 311 pages indexed by Google —the magnitude of which can be extensive when considering ROI.

Download the full report here.


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Stephanie Holland is President and Executive Creative Director for Holland + Holland Advertising, Birmingham, Alabama. Working in an industry that is dominated by men, she is one of only 3% of the female creative directors in the country. Stephanie works mostly with male advertisers, helping them successfully market to women. Subscribe to She-conomy by Email

When Marketing to Women, Remember: Moms Are Not JUST Moms

We talk a good bit about how all women are not moms. But it would also be wise for marketers to remember that moms are not just moms. They have other interests, and that is true for mom bloggers as well as mom blog readers.

Yes, moms who blog are very influential and according to eMarketer, that trend is expected to steadily increase from 3.9 million today to 4.4 million in 2014. And yes, moms who blog have become important partners for many companies selling their products and services to the nearly 33 million moms who go online in the US.

But marketers should not assume that moms who blog only share motherhood issues, nor that the mom readers only want to read about motherhood topics.

Moms share a diversity of interests including travel, automobiles and personal technology.

Further, according to Debra Williamson, eMarketer senior analyst and author of the new report “Moms Who Blog: A Marketing Powerhouse,” moms are not interested only in being flooded with coupons and giveaways.

“Marketing via moms who blog requires regular participation,” said Williamson. “Successful marketers create real relationships with blogging moms and work hard to make it easy for moms to support their marketing initiatives. This means understanding that moms have different points of view and don’t always focus on the same topics.

Such outreach programs can reach millions of moms as the trends for mom readers continue to increase as well. Viewing moms for more than being a mom can add to your bottomline.


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Stephanie Holland is President and Executive Creative Director for Holland + Holland Advertising, Birmingham, Alabama. Working in an industry that is dominated by men, she is one of only 3% of the female creative directors in the country. Stephanie works mostly with male advertisers, helping them successfully market to women. Subscribe to She-conomy by Email

Male Marketers, Both the Use and Purchasing Impact of Social Networking Among Women Nearly Doubled in 2009

Guys, if you are still not convinced that even more women are spending even more time on social networks, and you are even more baffled as to how that translates to your bottom line, then this one’s for you.

SheSpeaks’ 2009 Social Media Study revealed dramatic increases in the number of women participating in social networks as compared to 2008. But the most exciting news for marketers is the impressive increase in the influence social media has on what women are purchasing. A few of the findings:

  • 86% of women are now using popular social networks, a 48% increase compared to 2008.
  • 53% of women are making purchase decision based on information they find in blogs, up from 27% in 2008
  • 43% of women are making decisions based on advice found in social networks, also up from 27% in 2008
  • 72 % of women log into their social networking site at least once per day. Last year only 53% logged in that frequently, indicating a 36% increase in this high-level engagement.

Aliza Freud, Founder and CEO of SheSpeaks expanded on the findings. “Last year our members were going online primarily to research purchases, but now they are looking to social media to help them research, guide and facilitate every kind of transaction, from social exchanges to purchases,” Freud said.  “Women have become more comfortable using social media, and for marketers, the overall growth and habitual use of social media represents opportunities to reach and engage women of all ages, and influence their purchase decisions.”

But one of the most interesting things about this study is still to come.
When I spoke with Aliza about the findings, she shared that they had actually stimulated a follow up study that will take a more in depth view at what women are looking for in their online communities. This upcoming study was initiated because the data suggested that although women are open to developing relationships with a company’s interests they do NOT want to be friends with brands.

Ahh, the days of simply opening a Facebook fan page and Twitter account are gone. Well…. “those days” were never really here for any company seriously trying to connect with women.

I can’t wait to hear the results of the next study, Aliza!

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Stephanie Holland is President and Executive Creative Director for Holland + Holland Advertising, Birmingham, Alabama. Working in an industry that is dominated by men, she is one of only 3% of the female creative directors in the country. Stephanie works mostly with male advertisers, helping them successfully market to women. Subscribe to She-conomy by Email

How Women’s Needs, Online Channels and the Buying Process Converge to Perpetually Market Your Brand

Women are continuing to flood to the online social networks. But some of you continue to ask: how does this affect her purchases?  I believe for companies that not only participate in social media marketing, but strategically listen and respond, it means increased revenue even during recessionary times.

Let’s take a look at three factors individually and then how they effectively converge to perpetually market your brand.

  • Women’s Wants and Needs
  • Online Social Channels
  • The Buying Process

Women’s Wants and Needs
Women are responsible for 85% of all brand purchases. So what does this mean during tough economic and recessionary times? According to Women Want More, even though they are incredibly stressed, overburdened, out of balance and dissatisfied, they still want more. But more of what? Your products and services? No, not really.

What gets her attention is family, health, security, friends and lovers; learning and education; work and career; helping others and giving back. This translates to needs for:

SHE-Wants

Online Social Channels
Women are going online daily via channels to have a voice, attain advice, research, check on friends and family, make connections, collaborate and share.

And today she is meeting her needs and wants that are mentioned above through online social channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, YouTube, MySpace, Female Forum, wikis, etc. The chart below, appropriately titled The Conversation Prism by Brian Solis and Jesse Thomas, displays many of the channels available as of just a few months ago and the applications continue to grow rapidly.

SHE-ConversationPrism2

Are you beginning to see the how nicely women’s needs interface with the benefits of online social networks? This is why they are spending more and more time online. Unlike men who mainly use the Internet to just make a transaction, women are there to make connections. But do not be misled by thinking this has nothing to do with the buying process.

The Buying Process
So, let’s look at the stages of the buying process, according to Marti Barletta, CEO of Trendsight. When men and women buy as partners, women control at least four out of five stages of the purchasing process.

SHE-BuyingProcess

1. Kick-off  – women     2. Research – women     3. Purchase  – men
4. Ownership – women     5. Word-of-mouth – women

And further, even though men are present and appear in control during the purchasing stage when they pull out the credit card or sign the contract, they are not really in control of that stage either – they just think they are. A lot happens way before then that actually determines the decision of what is bought.

So what happens? The other four stages. The decision to buy something, gathering of information, considering past purchases and collaborating with others.

Do these stages sound familiar? They mirror a woman’s basic needs, what she’s doing online, and how she conducts her life. This is how she thinks–Everyday. All day.

Women, networks and buying converge to create perpetual marketing
Participating in online social networks allows you to communicate, connect and build relationships throughout ALL of the stages of the buying process continuously.

If you are trying to capture her attention simply during the purchase stage, your competition will not only be getting in front of women way before you do, they will be building relationships with her. This is especially true today as everyone is so focused on price. But keep in mind, price is an obstacle, not a solution. Unless you are willing to give up your profit, you’d be wise to have a better strategy than price alone.

So, understand her needs, connect with her online as she is fulfilling them and you will be there for her when she is ready to buy. You will not only build your brand perpetually, but organically as well. You will constantly build her trust so when she is ready to buy, she will buy from you.

SHE-convergence_theory

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Stephanie Holland is President and Executive Creative Director for Holland + Holland Advertising, Birmingham, Alabama. Working in an industry that is dominated by men, she is one of only 3% of the female creative directors in the country. Stephanie works mostly with male advertisers, helping them successfully market to women. Subscribe to She-conomy by Email