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July 26, 2006

Who's really holding the cards (as in credit cards)

I'm going to BlogHer on Friday - it's formation evolved from the question, "Where are all the women bloggers"? The question emerged as male bloggers kept taking the top ten lists like Marketing Sherpa's top blog sites. In 2005, hundreds of women bloggers met at the first Blogher and compared notes. This year Blogher is a sold out, as thousands (more likely millions) who can't attend, watch and read about it virtually.

Companies are taking notice and aligning themselves with this crowd. Even GM will be there offering test drives of their new hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, trying to stir up excitement after losing $3.1 billion this last quarter. For GM's sake, I hope it works.

Here's the irony. If guys hold the top thought leader positions, why would GM bother with this girly group? Why not just go to the guys? Oh, that's right, because guys don't buy 80% of the consumer products, women do. Women hold the (credit) cards when it comes to consumer buying. They also hold each other's advice in high regard since they have "been there, bought that."

Companies will always follow the money - or at least those who make the decision about how and where to spend it. What happens offline will happen online.

Offline/online, women buy more stuff - game over.

Offline/online, men will always try to outdo each other - game never over.

If you're a company selling stuff, you'll want to be with the women bloggers even if there are less of them and they aren't on a top ten list. Their audience is your audience.

Where are the women bloggers? Standing right next to the male bloggers. If you want opinions, go to either. If you want sustainable sales with a high word of mouth advantage, go to the women holding the "cards."

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