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5 posts from April 2011

April 27, 2011

Two Thirds of Buyers of Groupon and Living Social are Women

This just in from regarding how Groupon and Living Social compare:

"LivingSocial users are 49 percent more likely than the average American online to make at least $150,000 a year, compared with 30 percent for Groupon, according to the survey released today. They are also more likely to be younger than 35 and to have college or graduate degrees... 

"Nielsen, based in New York, also found that about two-thirds of LivingSocial and Groupon users are women. [very smart and monied women given the prior quote]

The list of top interests tell the story...

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The take aways:

1. If you're an average Jane, you just became an above average buyer in the world of business. Your choices matter as they are collected into reports by Nielson. Understand that and remember it every time you make a buy or post a comment on line. 

2. If you're a business looking to cash in on the couponing world, get in touch with your feminine side. Make sure your product line does something for the higher good in the world. This is where having a sustainable product and a company with high social values wins. Think home and family first and be more of a Prius and less of a Hummer.  

This gives me great hope -- companies follow the money and the money lies with women's interests. In women I trust that our interests will lead the economy to a greener and friendlier world. 

April 26, 2011

Online Women or Location, What Drives Green Spending?

Amazon put out a green dot survey correlating the purchasing of green sector products. It's fascinating if you like tracking trends. [Go here to read the entire article in Green Biz.] One chart tracks energy products, another water, and another (below) parenting. 

The article draws the conclusion that financial or locational needs were driving the purchasing for energy and water, but when it came to green parenting what was driving that?

Why is there a green dot in the NW corner of the lower peninsula of Michigan? It's not exactly where you'd expect to see a green dot, San Francisco or the East Coast sure, but upper Michigan? 

The Amazon research was based on number of green items a parent purchased off of Amazon, such as Green Baby  and Toys.  One reason more green products are being purchased and mailed to Northern Michigan could be Sommer Poquette based in Petosky, MI. She's been a green mommy blogger for years on her Green and Clean Mom blog. Sommer has been so successful, that she's turned it into a business. 

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Screen shot 2011-04-26 at 8.25.19 AM Can I give Sommer all of the credit, probably not, the Great Lakes Bioneers conference spearheaded by Sally Van Vleck and Bob Russell holds their meetings just around the bay in Traverse City each October. For years Sally, Bob, and the Bioneers have been raising green and sustainable awareness. There are even green baby stores in Traverse City.  

But the Amazon article was based on purchasing from Amazon and specifically, they looked at items for "green" babies and children.  That takes an online champion, which makes me see Sommer as a larger influence. Her blog averages 6000 unique visitors a month according to Compete.com. Whether she links to Amazon or not isn't as important as that she is a constant voice for online readership and from there, Amazon is a click away.

I would like to see more research on this topic. When you look at all the maps, one thing is clear, if purchasing is an indicator of culture, the nation is beginning to put their money where their values are -- and that starts with pockets of people who are talking about and buying the solutions. 

Thanks to all the women (and men) who keep the drip, drip, drip of conversation going. 

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April 21, 2011

Convergence You Can Hear on Earth Day

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Where will you be tomorrow on Earth Day 2011 when the silos of effort begin to converge?

When I attended the first Earth Day Celebration on the University of Michigan's campus in 1970, who knew that it would take over 40 years to take hold? Today there is no turning back only turning green together.

Three acts of convergence.

1. Illiterate grandmothers are being trained to electrify their remote villages. It's a great example of co-creation between genders. The Barefoot College idea came from the founder Sanjit Bunker Roy, “an Indian educator, has, since 2005, succeeded in bringing 140 such women to the Barefoot College, a school he founded in 1972 in Tilonia, a village in Rajasthan State, about 95 kilometers, or 60 miles, from the state capital, Jaipur." 

Today the Barefoot College has 400 trainers, mostly grandmothers. They tried training young people, but they wouldn't put their knowledge to work at home, they wanted to leave and live in a big city. And there are some men doing the work, but the majority of graduates are women.  

Grameen, the micro loan group invests in poor women as well. They learned that the majority of poor men that they loaned money to didn't start business nor repay the loans. It's a trust thing...

2. In today's mail, MomsRising.org wants my support to ask Campbells, Del Monte and Progresso to take Bisphenol-A (BPA) out of their food packaging. BPA has been linked to  breast cancer, infertility, early-onset puberty, ADHD and obesity. 

They are appealing to the cause-ors directly to fix a wrong. Such a fix in core companies this size would set off competition in all peers to do the same. Imagine picking out a can of soup and seeing Campbells with a label that says, "BPA-free cans".

But, just in case the companies don't self-regulate, they are putting the pressure on congress to change laws.

If the companies were smart, they'd comply and pick up on the positive marketing that would come from the move. Thanks to the many mommy bloggers who have posted on BPAs affects, many moms know of this problem and would buy a BPA-free product in a second. Think about it, even if you didn't know what it was, if you saw shelves carrying cans "free of BPA" and others that weren't, wouldn't you chose the product that appeared safer for your family. I know I never buy tuna unless it's dolphin safe. 

Eventually, corporate peer pressure and the sharing of can-making-sources would take the BPA problem literally off our shelves and every day would be Earth Day.

3. Some companies, don't need to be pressured by consumers into doing the right thing. Some companies, such as Interface made it their soul purpose to not only become safe and sustainable across their supply chain, but to be able to prove it with a LCA (Life Cycle Assessment) on their product line. 

If companies are "people", as the supreme court has determined, then Interface is one of the few "adults" taking responsibility for it's actions. Thank you Interface to setting the direction for others to follow with:

"advancements in recycling and diverting used products from landfills; cumulative reductions in greenhouse gas emissions; committing to greater transparency in the form of Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs); and educating employees and other stakeholders about the benefits of sustainability....

- 40% of raw materials were recycled or bio-based sources.

- Diverted 28 million pounds of carpet from landfills.

- Reduced greenhouse gases by 35%

While the above is wonderful step towards sustainability, nothing happens until someone rewards the actions by buying the product -- when it comes to flooring, the person making the decision is most likely a woman. 

From engineering and installing solar panels for a poor village in Africa, to rallying moms against BPA to corporations doing the right thing first and marketing-to-women second,  women are the connective glue determine the success of the eco-friendly efforts.

The sound of convergence is marching ahead and that's worth celebrating. Viva La Revolution!


April 19, 2011

Tweet, Post, Blog Your Way to a Better Word (Big Business is Tracking YOU!)

Can being mindful of what you write online change the world? Six years ago everyone wondered where the women were because guys ruled the tech world and by it's extension, the social media world. Today, men may still rule the tech space, but women rule the social media world. 

In Johanna Blakley's TED video, (thanks WOG) she shows how women surpass men in every age group. Women are not only dominating social media, but are also more "engaged," which is the holy grail of modern marketing. Companies value sites that keep people on them more than 1 minute. 

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Great, we are in the power seat. We now have the means to activate change besides buying products we believe in. We can vote with our dollars, but we can also jigger "the primary" before we vote by helping companies see what we want before we want it

Companies are measuring everything, I'll give a list of examples in a minute, we need to do to change the way companies work is TELL THEM in your own words, what we like or dislike about our world.

Don't like your kids being sick from some floor cleaning chemical? Write about it and mention the company/product by name that caused the problem. 

If bad-mouthing companies makes you feel bad, then take the opposite approach and tell everyone what you loved about a product/service you bought or saw online that resonated with you. Be specific. 

NAME DROP the name of the company and the product or service. Companies are scanning for every mention. If you give the name along with the pro/con comment you'll end up in a marketing report along with all the other remarks people are saying around the web. 

The following are just a few of the places your comments are being tracked. If our Social Media "votes" are being tallied, isn't it time we learned how to stack the deck and co-create the world we want?  

#1 is Facebook (and Facebook types) Yes, EVERYthing we write is being tallied and fed back to advertisers. Leverage that power to your advantage and name drop the companies/products/services you love/hate and watch the world of business start to bend to our collective will. 

#2 Google (#1 in Search, but not in social media)

#3 Twitter

4. LinkedIn (more for B2B info)

Back in November 2009, David Berkowitz tallied the following list to help business get a handle on what to track. Original article and his contact page here. If business is tracking your thoughts, isn't it time that you knew how that was being done and use it to your advantage?

1.     Volume of consumer-created buzz for a brand based on number of posts

2.     Amount of buzz based on number of impressions

3.     Shift in buzz over time

4.     Buzz by time of day / daypart

5.     Seasonality of buzz

6.     Competitive buzz

7.     Buzz by category / topic

8.     Buzz by social channel (forums, social networks, blogs, Twitter, etc)

9.     Buzz by stage in purchase funnel (e.g., researching vs. completing transaction vs. post-purchase)

10.  Asset popularity (e.g., if several videos are available to embed, which is used more)

11.  Mainstream media mentions

12.  Fans


14.  Friends

15.  Growth rate of fans, followers, and friends

16.  Rate of virality / pass-along

17.  Change in virality rates over time

18.  Second-degree reach (connections to fans, followers, and friends exposed - by people or impressions)

19.  Embeds / Installs


21.  Uploads

22.  User-initiated views (e.g., for videos)

23.  Ratio of embeds or favoriting to views

24.  Likes / favorites


26.  Ratings

27.  Social bookmarks

28.  Subscriptions (RSS, podcasts, video series)

29.  Pageviews (for blogs, microsites, etc)

30.  Effective CPM based on spend per impressions received

31.  Change in search engine rankings for the site linked to through social media

32.  Change in search engine share of voice for all social sites promoting the brand

33.  Increase in searches due to social activity

34.  Percentage of buzz containing links

35.  Links ranked by influence of publishers

36.  Percentage of buzz containing multimedia (images, video, audio)

37.  Share of voice on social sites when running earned and paid media in same environment

38.  Influence of consumers reached

39.  Influence of publishers reached (e.g., blogs)

40.  Influence of brands participating in social channels

41.  Demographics of target audience engaged with social channels

42.  Demographics of audience reached through social media

43.  Social media habits/interests of target audience

44.  Geography of participating consumers

45.  Sentiment by volume of posts

46.  Sentiment by volume of impressions

47.  Shift in sentiment before, during, and after social marketing programs

48.  Languages spoken by participating consumers

49.  Time spent with distributed content

50.  Time spent on site through social media referrals

51.  Method of content discovery (search, pass-along, discovery engines, etc)

52.  Clicks

53.  Percentage of traffic generated from earned media

54.  View-throughs

55.  Number of interactions

56.  Interaction/engagement rate

57.  Frequency of social interactions per consumer

58.  Percentage of videos viewed

59.  Polls taken / votes received

60.  Brand association

61.  Purchase consideration

62.  Number of user-generated submissions received

63.  Exposures of virtual gifts

64.  Number of virtual gifts given

65.  Relative popularity of content

66.  Tags added

67.  Attributes of tags (e.g., how well they match the brand's perception of itself)

68.  Registrations from third-party social logins (e.g., Facebook Connect, Twitter OAuth)

69.  Registrations by channel (e.g., Web, desktop application, mobile application, SMS, etc)

70.  Contest entries

71.  Number of chat room participants

72.  Wiki contributors

73.  Impact of offline marketing/events on social marketing programs or buzz

74.  User-generated content created that can be used by the marketer in other channels

75.  Customers assisted

76.  Savings per customer assisted through direct social media interactions compared to other channels (e.g., call centers, in-store)

77.  Savings generated by enabling customers to connect with each other

78.  Impact on first contact resolution (FCR) (hat tip to Forrester Research for that one)

79.  Customer satisfaction

80.  Volume of customer feedback generated

81.  Research & development time saved based on feedback from social media

82.  Suggestions implemented from social feedback

83.  Costs saved from not spending on traditional research

84.  Impact on online sales

85.  Impact on offline sales

86.  Discount redemption rate

87.  Impact on other offline behavior (e.g., TV tune-in)

88.  Leads generated

89.  Products sampled

90.  Visits to store locator pages

91.  Conversion change due to user ratings, reviews

92.  Rate of customer/visitor retention

93.  Impact on customer lifetime value

94.  Customer acquisition / retention costs through social media

95.  Change in market share

96.  Earned media's impact on results from paid media

97.  Responses to socially posted events

98.  Attendance generated at in-person events

99.  Employees reached (for internal programs)

100.  Job applications received


April 09, 2011

If Women Only Knew...

If you knew that all you had to do to get more sustainable products is to ask, would you do it? Would you put it in your blog, twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn writings?

According to the Gibbs and Soell Sense and Sustainability poll, for many companies that's all it would take. If more consumers demanded sustainability, companies would do it. Of the poll-ees 42% said that consumer demand was their main driver. 

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However, Only 29% of executives and 17% of consumers believe that a majority of businesses are committed to sustainability. Many executives and consumers believe only “some” businesses are committed to “going green.”

I guess it isn't that easy after all, there seems to be a gap between what would drive them and trust in that a company is actually doing it. 

What is clear, is that more and more consumers are aware and are asking for sustainable products and companies. Consequently more companies are going in that direction.

Next year's survey will show even more companies taking sustainability seriously, in great part because they are reading what women are saying online.

Now that you know, will you be asking for more green products?