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Guys, Knowing That Women Are Your Market Is Only Half The Battle. Now, The Race Is On To Figure Out How To Connect With Her Effectively.


Video excerpt: Holland+Holland partnered with Porsche® to discuss marketing to women

Female car buyers are making up a larger customer base for some of the top domestic auto brands, but none approach the gains that Porsche has made with women this past year.

Of all automakers Porsche® has made the largest relative market share gains among women nationwide over the past year, according to an analysis from Edmunds.com, the premier online resource for automotive information. From January through August 2011 23 percent of Porsche buyers were female, compared to 19 percent during the same period last year. The growth accounts for a 21.1 percent proportional change, year over year.

Knowing that the female is your market is only half the battle and Porsche® Cars of America understands that.

Responding with effective product and marketing changes is what places them at the top. They get that all women are not alike.

Porsche® has not only added the Cayenne SUV and Panamera 4-door sedan models, they know that some women love their sports cars, too.

I was very fortunate for the opportunity to participate in creating one of the sales training modules titled, “Demystifying the Female Market,”  for the launch of the 2012 911 Carrera S. With more than 200 dealers across the nation on board to better understand the female consumer, Porsche® is most likely going to continue to speed past the competition when connecting with women.

And, since “Cars” ranked 2nd highest of product categories in which women are most dissatisfied, (according to to a 2009 study published in the book Women Want More by Michael J. Silverstein and Kate Sayre,) the automotive industry has vast opportunity to drive revenues up by marketing to women.

 But beware. It is not simply knowing that the female is your market that counts. You must listen to her before you can meet her needs.

______________________________________________________________________

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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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

The Top 6 Reasons That Businesses Must Embrace The Design Process To Effectively Market To Women.

I just watched the recently released documentary titled, Design the New Business. A big thanks, by the way, to BI watercooler for this great find!

Seven months in the making, Design the New Business,  is a collection of interviews with business and design strategists from around the world. In it, they deliberate the role that DESIGN will, or should play, as companies address today’s ever-changing and complex issues.

Want To Market To Women? This Video Is A Must See. 

Interestingly, what you won’t find in it, is the specific mention of women. But, what you will find are creative discussions and propositions that are dead on for effectively marketing to women through “creative design thinking.”

I often tout Apple™ as an example of a brand that has always done an excellent job marketing to women. Steve Jobs did not change the way we “do” things, he changed the way we “feel” about things. Through great design Apple™ appeals to our emotions.  And, I don’t believe it’s by accident that Apple™ is one of the top brands in the world, now worth more than Google and Microsoft combined, with products purchased by both women and men.

Jobs bought into the theory that uncompromised design yields value to business – long ago. For that matter, he may well have conceived it. At the very least, he has most prominently carried it out through every aspect of Apple’s business model from product development to advertising to the retail stores.

The New iPad

Throughout the entire recession, Apple™ has never succumbed to discounts, but instead continued to introduce beautifully designed products at premium prices.

So, while I don’t view design being considered in all areas of business as a “new” concept, I am more than encouraged to see international corporations discussing the implementation of “creative design thinking” into their business models.

This level of research, interpretation and emotion will get them that much closer to listening to and responding to the female audience, ultimately leading to increased revenues.

So, How Did We Get Here?

That is, why do we have to completely rethink linear business models that have been effectual in the past? I would suggest three primary causes for the multifaceted challenges that businesses face today.

  1. Web 2.0 – advancements in the Internet that have allowed for two-way conversation, giving individuals an incredibly loud voice through social networking sites that continue to explode.
  2. Female consumer – controlling or influencing 85% of all consumer brands, companies simply don’t know what to do with her and her new found voice.
  3. Economy – a recession of historical proportions that has lasted longer than anyone could have estimated leaving many industries unstable at best.

And, How Can Design Help? 

I purposely listed the economy last as a contributing factor because although the recession has certainly been devastating for business, it is expected that the market will eventually rebound.

But the new technologies within the digital world, such as social media, that have transformed and even eliminated types of businesses, are here to stay. And the female who has attained power  as a purchaser and wealth manager simply continues to strengthen.

So, even as the economy recovers, companies are still faced with the power that social media has bestowed upon people and more specifically, women. These are complex challenges, requiring non-traditional solutions.

These are the kinds of problems you cannot mange your way out of, you can only design your way out of them ~ Marty Neumeier, Director of Transformation, Liquid Agnecy

The design process is congruent with thinking like women. Such as, exploring all possibilities until discovering the perfect answer. Great design ignites an emotional state necessary to move shoppers to consumers. And if executed correctly, as we have seen with Apple,™ the men will bite too.

 

The Top 6 Reasons That Businesses Must Embrace The Design Process To Effectively Market To Women.

I encourage you to take 40 minutes to view the film in its entirety, but have extracted a few of the conversations as noted below.

1) PUSH MARKETING IS OVER

Brands can no longer just tell women what they want. Businesses must think creatively to gain the female’s trust through relationships and engagement.

I see a changing attitude towards companies in general. I have to say I look at where progressive movements are happening and there is, I’d almost say, there’s a bit of distrust when it comes to companies as organizations. It’s about credibility. It’s about being authentic. So, companies have a challenge to stay relevant in that mindset. You have to be very much aware of that type of mindset and come up with suggestions and solutions to provide value in that context. In traditional marketing speak, I think the day of push marketing is definitely over.

If you want to stay relevant, you have to be in the places where good conversations, where interactions between people is actually happening, where changes in interaction can be observed. It requires far more openness because the whole design trajectory is not as linear as it used to be. You can’t predict upfront what the end result is going to be. That is the new challenge.
Willem Boijens, Head of Research and Development, Océ

2) COMPANIES MUST LISTEN AND ADAPT

The female consumer is telling you what she wants. Businesses must think creatively to listen and interpret correctly to give it to her.

We have very close relationships with our clients and as a result we have grown to be quite adaptive. For example, we used to sell printers. Well, that’s not what they were asking for, so we started to sell prints, but that is not what they were asking for as well. So we started to give them the people who take care of their prints.

You can now go to the University of Amsterdam and see that we have a complete site of OcA, which takes care of the making and distribution of the readers that students are using. We got there by being adaptive.
Guido Stompff, Senior Product Designer, Océ

3) CONSUMERS HAVE SPECIFIC NEEDS AND LIFSTYLES

All women are not the same. Businesses must think creatively to no longer focus on her age, but instead her lifestage.

The car [Volkswagen] kind of became the symbol of a generation. But nowadays you see that more people are about having much more specific needs or lifestyles. You basically have many more different kinds of streams than you had previously. You have more and more people that are not alike anymore.”
Benjamin Schulz, Service Innovation, Volkswagen Group

We define design as something that has impact on business. We don’t look at market segments, but really try to find more patterns among several quite diverse people.”
Lukas Golyszny, Service Innovation, Volkswagen Group

4) WHAT GOT YOU THERE, WON’T GET YOU THERE

Traditional forms of reaching and connecting with women are not coming back. Business must think creatively to find and connect with her.

Big companies grow up usually with a business model that made them big. Now what is happening in a lot of industries is that those business models are expiring. The big mistake we’re making in large companies is we’re trying to use the same mindset that we applied to create our business, to create new business.”
Alexander Osterwalder, Co-Author, Business Model Generation

5) PEOPLE ARE IN CONTROL

Translation: Women are in control. Businesses must think creatively to develop relations and brand loyalty with her.

There’s been a big shift between the power to the brands to the power to the people. People today develop their own stories and publish them. The people are in control at the moment and that’s a big difference after the past few decades.

We are not in looking at a Return on Investment in a traditional way of value of money, but a Return of Investment in brand loyalty and in real connections with the audience.
Arno Wolterman, Managing Partner, Design Director, IN10

6) “SERVICE” DESIGN IS RAPIDLY BECOMING THE NEW “PRODUCT” DESIGN

Women have high expectations. Businesses must think creatively to better understand her needs and motivations to produce more user-friendly, competitive and relevant products.

The world is changing. Products and things have become all interconnected and people expect things to be interconnected. It’s not a standalone product anymore. Service design is an emerging competence that we all need to learn quicker and faster.

If you come to Philips Design five years from now, half of what we now call the product design effort is going to be reflected in at least half as much service design.
Ton Borshoom, Senior Director for New Business Development, Philips Design

The Design The New Business project was initiated and produced by Erik Roscam Abbing of the design thinking consultancy Zilver innovation and 6 students from all over the world, studying strategic design at the Delft University of Technology.

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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, Please Note: Digital Marketing Isn’t a Fad – It’s The Future.

It’s difficult to think anyone would still believe that digital or more specifically social and mobile are fads, but this Infographic by @ROI_Media certainly helps clear it up.

And since women rule the Internet, marketers would be wise to take heed. Are you connecting with women online?


Still think Digital Advertising is a fad.

Infographic by the social media marketing team @ROI_Media

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

John Carter Goes to Mars. But Don’t Tell The Women

Below is an excerpt from an article in Newsweek & The Daily Beast titled, “Disney’s Quarter-Billion-Dollar Movie Fiasco.” In it, Chris Lee, examines marketing missteps for the not yet released movie, JOHN CARTER – originally titled, John Carter of Mars™.

“Although the character has been known as “John Carter of Mars” and was envisioned as a movie trilogy under that name, Disney marketers dropped the “of Mars” part because of industry-think holding that female movie fans are more likely to be turned off by such overtly sci-fi elements.” 

Right…… and I’m sure I won’t even notice the crater-like topography or the elusive Martians running around by the thousands, either.

According to an article by Nikki Finke in yesterday’s issue of DEADLINE:

Hollywood is in a tizzy over the early tracking which just came online this morning for Walt Disney Studios’ John Carter opening March 9th. “Not good. 2 unaided, 53 aware, 27 definitely interested, 3 first choice,” per an email from a senior exec at a rival studio.

This of course has led to plenty of finger pointing, talk of heads rolling and reportedly jobs already lost. But, the negativity has not been aimed at the movie itself.
 

The movie is actually getting rave reviews.

As a matter of fact, an early viewing for the press held in Arizona this past weekend has revealed accolades for the movie on Twitter. Disney had initially placed an embargo on tweets (SERIOUSLY?!) by the press attending the screening, but they lifted it yesterday–most likely in hopes of offsetting the lack of enthusiasm generated by poor advertising. (we can chat about the Twitter faux pas another day)
 

So, why the low tracking numbers?

Disney has revamped the marketing of the film from the name of the movie to the promotional trailer in a quest to appeal to the female audience – and failed. You might ask why they are chasing women with this sci-fi, comic book, super-hero, action-packed motion picture film in the first place. Because they need to sell lots of tickets.

And they know that women purchased 55% of movie tickets in 2009 and 49% in 2010. The also know that the number of tickets that “moms” control or influnce, increases that percentage substantially.

What they obviously do not know is how to connect with “her.”

According to Finke, another source revealed,

“It just came out. Women of all ages have flat out rejected the film.”

Of course what they mean is that women have rejected the advertising and trailer for the film. But if the trailer doesn’t sell, it means the same thing.

This is a text book case of marketers looking at women through stereotypical lenses. Which, as we have discussed, can be even more dangerous than not targeting them at all. In a botched attempt to engage women, Disney marketers have abandoned the fundamental significance of the creative concept of the movie, further alienating even the most loyal of fans.

They claim that women do not like “overtly sci-fi elements.” So, they solve this by taking the words “of Mars” out of the title? Okay, to begin with: It’s. A. Martian. Movie. Not to mention, it’s considered one of the landmarks of science fiction. Yet, they have decided to “hide” this to dumb-it-down for women? Taking “of Mars” out of the title degrades the creative genius of Edgar Rice Burroughs and the rich history of the John Carter of Mars™ series. Facts that would actually make it even more interesting to women by the way. A former Disney executive summed it up well when speaking with Lee:

“You take out ‘of Mars,’ you don’t tell where he came from? That’s what makes it unique!” a former Disney executive said. “They choose to ignore that, and the whole campaign ends up meaning nothing. It’s boiled down to something no one wants to see.”

And, what’s the deal with the trailer(s?)

Well, there are actually three trailers now, all listed and explained below. I would love for you to take a peek at them all and vote below on which one would entice YOU to go see the movie, John Carter (of Mars.)

1) The original Disney trailer released in July of 2011 

I understood it. It was engaging. The opening scene in the streets of Virginia, obviously in the early 1900’s, made the characters feel real. You discover John Carter has died. Or has he? No, he’s been transported into another time, an unknown place. Or is it? No, it’s Mars. You know, one of those little planets you learned about in grade school (even the girls.) He takes you on a journey, sometimes whimsical, often times dangerous but obviously heart-felt. A tired story of good vs. evil brought to life with imaginative characters, packed with action and adventure, love and fighting, winning and losing – all illuminated with spectacular special effects.

2) The new Disney trailer released in December, 2011

 This is the stripped down version of the original trailer that shows a lot and says very little. One can only assume so women wouldn’t know they were going to a sci-fi movie.

3) The trailer created by a fan posted February 2012

This trailer is fan-made in hopes of helping Disney sell the movie. It was tweeted by Andrew Stanton, John Carter’s Director and is now my personal favorite.

 

My advice to marketers? Take heed.

Transparency and authenticity are a must when marketing to women. To to dumb-it-down or to attempt  to trick her will most likely backfire in more ways than one.

 

My advice to Disney? Change the trailer. Today.

To get to Mars just might require taking a step back to go by way of Venus.

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 Marketing To Women All Fun and Games?

Social games have become serious business. In 2011, the total market in North America increased from $1 billion to $1.4 billion, an overall growth of 35%. And of the 13 hours each week that gamers spend on social networks, they play social games for an average of 9.5 hours (study conducted by RockYou® and Interpret, LLC) That is more than one full work day.

So who is the average social gamer? According to this recent Infographic created by Flowtown it is 43-year old females.

A few other facts:

  • 54% of social gamers are women
  • 43% are college graduates
  • 43% make $50,000+ income

The study by Interpret, also revealed:

  • 42% of game players say they are more motivated by social games that offer coupons, or gift cards, or other real-world rewards
  • 24% of players claim they have clicked on an in-game ad to make a purchase.

With the top two reasons for playing social games being friendly competition and interaction, it should be no real surprise that women dominate. But it is the growing trend, the amount of time spent and willingness to click ads that make social games especially appealing to brands. SHE is not playing around.

Who Are Social Gamers?
Flowtown – Social Media Marketing Application

Sheconomy is Speaking at the 2011 MIMA Summit

I am honored to have been asked to be a featured speaker at the 2011 Annual MIMA Summit. The theme is Celebrating the Digital Decade with a focus on consumer insights. Keynote speakers are Avinash Kaushik, the analytics evangelist for Google and Chris Anderson, editor-in-chief of Wired magazine. A complete line up of speakers can be found here.

I will be presenting on the power of the female consumer in a session titled: Why and How to Effectively Market to Women in Today’s Economic Climate. Are there any topics or questions you feel should be addressed? Also, I would love to know who’s planning to be there!


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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