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3 posts from February 2010

February 19, 2010

Are Women More Responsible than Men?

Who do you trust with your money and your future decision? Studies are reflect that women are in a position to lead. Check out Andrea Learned's full post on the topic on energy efficiency.

(fun facts)

A few of this 2009 study’s general findings:

  • 77 percent of women take primary or equal responsibility for paying their electricity bills (with high percentages, whether married or unmarrried).
  • 91 percent take dominant or equal responsibility for using less electricity at home.
  • 97 percent have taken steps to use less electricity at home.

And, women business owners lead the way:

  • 98 percent of women business owners have cut their electricity use at home.
  • 77 percent have done the same for their businesses.
  • 79 percent have made their businesses environmentally friendly.

February 09, 2010

How to Rebuild a American Life's Trust Factor

Screen shot 2010-02-09 at 9.10.01 AM How does that old adage go... "You can't argue with success"? This week in Ag Age (the magazine) we can see the success of women-based values manifesting themselves throughout a marketing campaign. 

In this example, women are giving the stodgy property and casualty insurance business a marketing makeover. To be more specific, a branding makeover of the American Family Insurance Company which offers auto, homeowners, life, health, commercial and farm/ranch insurance. Marketing insurance is normally pretty boring and legally restrictive. This campaign blows the doors off of "that was then..."

First, the success numbers...

"...the branded-entertainment campaigns yielded a total of more than 100 million gross impressions across NBC, CBS Radio, MSN and MTVU properties, along with a double-digit increase in web traffic to AmFam.com and a 36% increase in unaided recall of the branded programs. "In Gayle We Trust" was also streamed 3.5 million times at NBC.com, while the accompanying MSN microsite logged 700,000 unique visits."

Second, the anchor concept...

A 10-week digital series called "In Gayle We Trust," centered on the lives of fictional townspeople of Maple Grove. It's a take-off of "The Office" genre. The main character is an Insurance agent, Gayle Evans who is part advisor and part sounding board for the small town she serves. You can watch one of the short and very funny episodes here.

Third, the real life characters who facilitated it's launch in September 2009...

Screen shot 2010-02-09 at 7.22.09 AM Congrats to American Life CMO, Lisa Bacus for saying YES to a smart, resonating concept and for taking a stand that, "branding should always prevail over tactics." In the American Life campaign, the branding keeps it honest by anchoring its stories in topics taken from AL's policy holders - real people with real issues. Then it gives them a half-twist of hilarity before going live in an In Gayle We Trust episode. 

Screen shot 2010-02-09 at 7.55.02 AM Congrats to American Life Ad Director, Telisa Yancy for her hand in merging the efforts of Mindshare Entertainment, CBS Radio, MTVU, NBC, MSN to obtain the best reach.

Screen shot 2010-02-09 at 7.49.48 AM  

Screen shot 2010-02-09 at 7.48.03 AM

Congrats to the mini-show's star, Elisa Donovan who goes for the laugh, but honors the intention of the moment. And to the show's writer (from the Office) Brent Forrester, who keeps his feminine-cliche-side in check while capturing the irony of the situations.

Lastly, congrats to financial tip guru, Liz Weston for providing the financial-facts-when-you-need-them, underscoring the seriousness side of insurance. When your finances are under attack, Liz is that trusted advisor who gives you the tips you need on Building a Brighter Future site.  

This gathering of like minds created a campaign that is insightful, entertaining and something we can trust to deliver solid education year-after-year. In Gayle and Friends We Trust. 

February 07, 2010

The Foregone Market Conclusion has Arrived, and Another is on it's Way...

Back in 2005, a very smart woman asked, "If only women were on the planet, how would your marketing change"?  Back then, "marketing to women" wasn't a consideration in ad agencies and a few hundred women bloggers turned up at BlogHer's conference. In 2006 the workbook In Women We Trust was created to help marketers relate to women on over 90 selling touch points. 

That was then, if you go to Amazon now you'll find tons of "Marketing to Women" books and hundreds of marketing to women sites like Lipsticking.

Today...

  • Women are the dominate force behind consumer spending (over 80%) 
  • The workforce now has more women than men.
  • More women are getting college degrees than men.
  • More women are keeping their small businesses running after five years than men.
  • BlogHer now reaches MILLIONS of women
  • and any agency worth it's salt has a "marketing to women" department 

In 2010 women have arrived as the dominate Buyers and Sellers - our values are becoming the market's values and by proxy the nation's values affecting change far faster than politics. Are you old enough to remember what messages came out in advertising in the 60s? Compare that to what we're see today - real women, not petticoated and pearled ones, are seen and heard in their own voices. (it's about time)

If we don't like how a product affects our families we stop buying it. If it really ticked us off (or made us really happy) we blog about it and warn/promote to our sisters. Some of us are writing books to underline our values further and spread the word. It doesn't take a grass roots movement of thousands to create change, only a few well placed blog posts.

Screen shot 2010-02-04 at 7.24.53 AMOne of the women taking her new-found power and responsibility and responsibility seriously is Tara Paterson. (Thanks Tara) 

"Children are far more susceptible to environmental toxins than adults for a variety of reasons, including differential intake capacities, behavioral patterns, and different absorption, metabolism, and excretion levels than adults. Additives in food have been proven to affect brain and behavior which can lead to hyperactivity and attention issues." (from Raising Intuitive Children, New Page Books, 2009)

What's next?

The next market takes us beyond women influencing women for the sake of buying stuff, and blends in the reinforcing influence of buying sustainable and socially redeeming products and services.

How will you participate, as an enabler of old ways or a champion of new? Will you push the market forward or hold it back? Here are a few champions to reward.

1. Wal Mart recognizes women as the dominate buyers AND wants to provide the green products for us to pick from whether we know they are green or not. Without the world's largest consumer outlet influencing other big box stores and all their vendors, we would be out of luck to change anything. 

2. Pepsi dropped out of the Super Bowl Ad game today to put the millions it would have blown in seconds of air time into its REFRESH EVERYTHING PROJECT,  (brilliant idea) The project gives money to the most highly voted on ideas for changing the world for the better. They range from sending girl scout cookies to the troops to helping girls self-esteem in poverty areas to taking care of senior citizen's pets. 

Some would call this "social wash" because the company is trying to gain good will one hand while selling over sugared products on the other. I'm ok with that. At least they are doing something worthwhile with the drug money and eventually they'll morph into drinks that serve society better. 

3. Patagonia has been giving back 1% for years and doing so has built their base of customers. The company wasn't happy with just 1%, however, and has set a new benchmark of responsible initiatives. What's not to love - durable products and a responsible company?

Just like "marketing to women" isn't going to go away, this next round of green and socially redeeming products that are being marketed to women, won't go away either. It's a foregone conclusion we all can live with.