Series Posts: Beyond

Why market to women? Because of these jaw dropping marketing stats

Why market to women? Because of these jaw dropping marketing stats

Beyond • May 31, 2016

Several years ago the business world was buzzing about the rise of women bloggers. These were women who had something to say and they were taking to platforms like blogger and tumbler (now Instagram) to say it. What people missed out in all that conversation is that these women didn’t suddenly develop voices – they’d always had them. The only thing that changed was a medium through which to share that voice. Since then, the female market has completely dominated the scene. In some cases, entire new businesses have sprouted around women and their vision, while in other cases, companies have recognized the benefit of catering to this demographic. How a women chooses to express herself also comes through in her spending choices, which means women respond well to choices that reflect their interests. The most obvious group here is moms, who represent a $2.4 trillion dollar market. Beyond that… Women account for 85% of all consumer purchases including everything from autos to health care. Women make 80% of healthcare decisions and 68 percent of new car purchase decisions. 75% of women identified themselves as the primary shoppers for their households. Women influenced $90 billion of consumer electronic purchases. Nearly 50% of women say they want more green choices, with 37% are more likely to pay attention to brands that are committed to environmental causes. There’s also the lesser considered fact about women’s increasing earning power: The average American woman is expected to earn more than the average American male by 2028. 51% of U.S. Private wealth is controlled by women. Women account for over 50% of all stock ownership in the U.S. Women control more than 60% of all personal wealth in the U.S. While it may be younger women who are they primary target, businesses shouldn’t forget about the buying clout of older women. According to Mary Brown and Dr. Carol Orsborn, in their book titled Marketing to the Ultimate Power Consumer—The Baby-Boomer Woman, the the Baby-Boomer generation, born between 1946 and 1964, “…represent[s] a portion of the buying public no marketer can afford to ignore. With successful careers, investments made during the “boom” years, and inheritances from parents or husbands, they are more financially empowered than any previous generation of women.” It doesn’t end there. Move the needle further and there’s still yet another unexplored marketing. The lesser known market that’s completely revolutionized itself in the last year alone is the senior market. If you look at the way media and even senior magazines features aging individuals, you’ll see that they’re treated with dignity and a chance at a second life. It’s also a smart business move. According to Mass Mutual Financial, senior women age 50 and older control net worth of $19 trillion and own more than three-fourths of the nation’s financial wealth. If you’re convinced, the next move is figuring out how to apply this to your growing business. The mistake would be to just blanket-target women. Rather, look at your female demographic in your industry, and even some of your female clients. How have you already been catering to those needs and how could you improve on that in your products, services and marketing?


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Online shopping: To market to moms, first you need to understand their lives

Online shopping: To market to moms, first you need to understand their lives

Beyond • May 26, 2016

The image of the modern mom has completely changed. Whether we’re working moms or stay at home moms, there’s one thing moms have in common, and that’s to reserve time and energy. As a mom and a marketer, I’ll let you peek into the mind of a mommy and show you exactly how we think and what we want. In the film I Don’t Know How She Does It, lead mom Sarah Jessica Parker is the quintessential career mom with a husband and two small children – and all the expectations to be the perfect colleague, wife and mom. It feels impossible, but moms do it. There’s a scene in the movie that gives you a hint into how she does it. She’s up late at night, laying in bed thinking about the long, borderline manic, list of things she needs to do. And there you have an inside look at the mind of the modern mom. This is where our mind is at: a long endless list of things that need to be taken care of. That is the life of the average mom. We have a lot to do and we don’t have a lot of time to do it. However, time alone isn’t the only great commodity. The other is energy. Anything we do is factored by two things: time and energy. In other words, how much time will it take and how much energy will be expended. Think of it as the lifeline bar that you see in a video game. With every hit, your guy’s life source gets drained. Moms are a lot like that. Before we engage or commit, we think how much will my energy be depleted by this? Enter online shopping. 
We love online shopping because it gives us control over our lives: It saves us energy. We don’t need to haul the kids, trek over to the shops, try to manage the kids, and juggle between all the choices – only to make the trip back, deal with now cranky children, and lug everything back home. It’s exhausting. It saves time. All that typically takes between 2-4 hours depending on what we’re trying to accomplish. It takes 30 minutes online. It gives control over the math and cost of a thing. Understanding what a mom’s life is like what what’s valuable to us will go a long way in knowing how to craft your marketing to suit our lifestyles. It requires ditching the soccer mom stereotype. For your business, this means catering to moms by offering functional online shopping options. But it goes beyond that. You’ll also need to generate a strong email marketing game so you can directly connect with your moms. And you’ll need to step up your social media effort because if there’s one thing moms are good at it’s being part of a network. Moms rely on social media to multitask and stay up to date on what matters to them. Their network also plays into their need to be efficient. Strong social networks mean that moms don’t have to hunt for information.


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Checklist: how to filter your entire marketing department through how conversion heuristics

Checklist: how to filter your entire marketing department through how conversion heuristics

Beyond • May 23, 2016

Conversion Heuristics – the new formula in marketing – typically looks at your marketing experience with the goal being to drive conversion. But if you’re in marketing, you know that there’s a much bigger picture. Your day to day isn’t about the single point of conversion. 
Your day to day is about wrangling the beast that is your marketing department. So the question is how do you do apply the genius that is conversion heuristics to your entire marketing department? Contrary to how we’ve been talking about Conversion Heuristics so far, when it comes to your marketing department, you’re not going to be looking at the whole formula, but rather parts of the formula, with “a” and “f” being divided by the other variables in order to get c. So there’s a little bit of algebra and reshuffling of values, but the values are still the same. So now we have anxiety and friction as the first figures we tackle. The question is how do you tackle that in your department? In the consumer sense, “anxiety is defined as any psychological discomfort that a user experiences when they are visiting a website at any stage of the buy cycle. Anxiety results in no conversion action taken.” Your department can still be seen as a consumer, in the sense that your team members are consuming the back end of your brand – and that brand is defined by the day to day running of the business. I’ve worked in at least 3 different marketing agencies and I’d say that psychological discomfort is a pretty big player in any dysfunctional marketing department. That’s not to say that the feeling reflects your brand, company, values or even capacity. It means that if your marketing team is suffering psychologically – through stress, uncertainty, misdirection, etc. – then you’ve got an anxiety problem. Anxiety is still the symptom of a greater problem, and that great problem is friction. If your marketing department suffers from friction, then you’re going to have more than just anxiety to deal with. Other results of friction in this integral department include reduced sales, unhappy clients, and lowered productivity. Marketing departments are the mitochondria of any business; if it suffers so does the entire cell. So what exactly causes friction in a marketing department? Luckily, the answer to this is quite simple: processes. Processes, a necessary structure in even the most creative environments, allow for seamless communication between different parts. People know what to expect, how to behave, who to turn to. A process is a guide or a template of behavior that really takes the guess work and frantic communication – and subsequent errors – out of the equation. You know where you can be creative in marketing, and that’s in actually doing the work and coming up with the ideas. But a bulk of marketing work isn’t about being creative – it’s about managing creativity and expectations, and that’s where processes come in. Having a process in place reduces a lot of the anxiety among team members in a marketing department. They’re not being drained by what’s essentially unreasonable and unnecessary worry. Chances are you have a highly talented team, but anxiety in your department is going to hold back potential. Tackle the friction and you’ve tackled the anxiety.


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“The life-changing magic of tidying up”: 2 Rules you should follow

“The life-changing magic of tidying up”: 2 Rules you should follow

Beyond • May 23, 2016

On any given day, I’m working on at least three different projects from my home office – and I’m also often working remotely. Spring cleaning your work space takes on a whole new meaning for me. Recently, I heard about The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, a book that takes the Japanese principles of reductionism and applies it to your life. Of course, the scenario is a little different since I’m not trying to sort out my day to day home life; but the rules still applied to my business life. Before You Start, Visualize Your Destination One of the pieces of advice shared in the book was to visualize your destination. When you spring clean your home – as just about everyone has – you know you imagine how you want it to look. The same goes for your workspace, but it should be about more than how you want it to look. It should be about emotion and aesthetic. Ask yourself how you want to feel when you’re in your office? What do you want to be able to do better? It a change in the space going to be about how something looks, feels, or how it can be used – and maybe all of the above? Personally, when I’m sorting through my space, it’s always about function too in a digital space. For me, it’s going to mean adding on some new organizational tools to help my day to day process flow better. Or maybe I need more digital storage space so I can archive and digitally access everything I need? Discard First Visualizing your destination can also involve how you do business. Perhaps you’re trying to improve productivity or efficiency? If that’s the case, then policies and processes that don’t work for you need to be discarded. This is easier for start-ups and harder as start-ups move into enterprises. Yet even at an enterprise level, you should still be flexible enough to experiment with new ways of doing things. Throw out what doesn’t work so you have room to try something new. One of the key principles in the book was to give yourself greater joy in life. The same should hold true for your work space. And if that’s the case, get rid of what doesn’t give you joy. If for some reason, that joyless aspect of business is an imperative, then find a way to make it a bit more fun and personal. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up mentions that you can’t tidy up if you never learned how. If that’s your case, start somewhere and start small. If that isn’t the case for you, then know that keeping the process of discarding as a regular activity in your business is something that will help you stay flexible. When it comes to tidying up your business, do what works for you – and enjoy the process. This is about you and what you want in the year ahead and it a process that should be enjoyed.


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“The life-changing magic of tidying up”: 3 Rules you should ditch

“The life-changing magic of tidying up”: 3 Rules you should ditch

Beyond • May 23, 2016

When I picked up The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, I read it with the intent of sorting out my personal space. I have pleasantly surprised that plenty of the tips could be something that I could take to my business space as well. Something else was even more noteworthy: some rules were great for a business application and some rules were just the polar opposite. So if you have read my other post on how to apply these rules, then this one follows next; this post is on what not to do. Previously we had a chat about what rules to follow, and they included visualizing where you wanted to end up and also getting comfortable with discarded what doesn’t work. Now here are two rules from The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up that you definitely should not apply to your business. The first rule is to avoid being dead set on is “visualizing your destination.” You might be a bit confused. How can this rule be included here when it was included in a rule to follow in the prior post? It’s simple. The idea of a destination is troublesome for some people. Some of us can imagine a rough framework of where we want to go, and we can bend and be flexible as we move forward. Then there’s the rest of us. While some of us are flexible, others are dead set on a path and it’s hard for them to find flexibility. Say you’re sorting out your space, either spatially or digitally, and you find that something just doesn’t work anymore. You may have a plan, a set visualized destination, but as you’re going through old files and thinking about your work, you realize there might be a new idea. It would be a new way of doing something simple or it can be a side pet project that you want to explore. Whatever it is, being flexible gives you the chance to explore it. A fixed mindset is definitely not something you want; you want a growth mindset. This is typically true in business and personal development, and it’s no less true in our scenario here. This brings us to our second point: aim for perfection. You definitely do not want to aim for perfection. The fact is, perfection doesn’t exist. When you’re aiming for perfection, try instead to aim for quality control that sets some standards versus the business equivalent of a Mona Lisa. The third piece of advice you should ditch is, “don’t change the method to suit your personality.” You should absolutely change the method to suit you. After all, your business is about you. If in the last year something hasn’t worked for you, why would you stick with it? Whatever didn’t fit you last year in business, needs to go so you can make room for new inspirations, new processes, and new ways of exploring your business. If you’ve read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up is there any other tip you thought would work great for your work environment? We’re curious to hear your thoughts!


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