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

The Purchasing Power of Women [Infographic]

Women continue to gain control of wealth and purchasing power. Check out the infographic below from an article by @DawnLBillings in the Business Insider.

Marketing Zeus: The Purchasing Power of Women

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

Auburn University Is Getting An Education in Social Media

As social networks continue to grow on a daily basis, one thing remains constant:

Expectations for transparency and honesty are on the rise.

Marketers, please keep in mind:
Apologies and/or explanations are more forgiving than cover-ups.

Auburn University and Gus Malzahn, Auburn’s Offensive Coordinator are likely going to find this out – the hard way Kristi Malzahn, wife of Gus Malzahn, is the subject of a video that went viral a few days ago. Kristi Malzahn spoke at the Summit, a Christian conference, on Oct. 6. and was promoted to speak about “her passion for Christ, through authentic and intentional living in the wonderful world of coaching football.”

The interview, we can only assume, did NOT go as planned.

The Summit originally posted the video on their site, however, it was removed a few days ago with no explanation. This has led to speculation and even more intense ridicule. And since the Summit had no qualms about posting the video in the first place, it would be easy to jump to the conclusion that there has been pressure from either the Malzahn family or the Auburn family to have it removed, as it represents both poorly.

So, what was so bad?
In her 30-minute interview, Kristi Malzahn covers the gamut from raising serious concerns with Auburn’s recruiting practices to saying that 18-22 year old kids are not the most intelligent people out there. She calls Auburn fans, “freaking nuts,” states that Gene Chizik, Auburn’s head football coach, did not want Cam Newton, refers to the National Championship as the State Championship and even begrudges Lou Holtz for his lisp.

CLEARLY, something is desperately wrong here. So, simply address it. Explain that she had a bad day, or she took the wrong medication or maybe she forgot to take her medication. Anything. The public is forgiving of mistakes – but not cover-ups or trying to sweep it under the rug. Which is exactly what someone is doing. There seems to have been an all-out effort to remove everything short of Kristi Malzahn’s vocal chords.

Within the past few days:

The Summit deleted the video from their site (above) and removed it from Vimeo:

Kristi’s Twitter account (which she touts in the video)  was deleted:

Kristi’s Facebook account was deleted:

The video on YouTube which generated more than 130,000 views in about 48 hours was deleted (which, for the record, simply looks as though they are trying to hide something):

But unfortunately, as we all know… once on the Internet, “ALWAYS” on the Internet.

That one video has now been replaced with (as of today) “seven” more which have generated an additional 80,000+ views:

Further, the top two results, when you do a Google search for “Gus Malzahn” (who has coached since 1992 and helped lead Auburn to a National Championship just last year) is about, you guessed it, Kristi Malzahn’s video. The top one being an article in Sports Illustrated on SI.com.


Marketers, please take heed.

The public relations world has changed forever. To simply “ignore” or “spin” a situation is not a viable option. 

And to attempt to keep things quiet, simply guarantees they will get louder and louder.

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