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4 posts from January 2011

January 28, 2011

Women's Social Skills are Better Skills for Business

Pop Quiz: Who is more social in your group, women or men? 

I'm betting a bottle of Mad Housewife Merlot that you answered, women. If so, you just uncovered the secret to higher profits if you're a business and higher commitment if you're a non-profit -- talk shouldn't be label as "cheap" it should be labeled as "essential." 

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In a Neuromarketing post, they recap in research what women have know for years, get to know us and we'll trust you more. Add it to the duhhhh pile that big business just can't seem to grasp as it grows into monster proportions. They also noted that "context is king" and that Facebook has the highest rating for women for effectiveness. (Make that context is queen).

Thank goodness for research to put numbers on common sense -- without charts and graphs big business can't go from one meeting to the next. Seriously, if you want to move an idea or a culture forward, put some numbers on it. Look what happened when "85% of consumers goods are influenced by women" became dogma. 

Screen shot 2011-01-26 at 9.18.15 AM Go here for the full article based on research and a book, Secrets of the Money Lab, by HP's Kay Yut Chen and journalist Marina Krakovsky. The research conducted by Al Roth showed that "establishing rapport with another person really does alter behavior."  Go figure. 

Maybe that's why Best Buy was seeing higher sales in stores with more women on the sales floor. A) We smile more and B) We engage more. Because of that little "aha" at Best Buy, they are on a tear to hire, train and promote more women via Julie Gilbert's WoLF program. 

The takeaway from this - if you're a socializing machine those skills are critically needed in business. Don't hide them on your resume, list them on the top. Then,go be a force for good. 

January 26, 2011

Plum District is a winner for moms

Congratulations goes to Plum District marketing for putting moms, market momentum and money together. While others used moms word-of-mouth with no reciprocal payout, Plum District stopped the stupid and is rewarding with real money for real connections. It's about time. 

Plum District is a combo of Groupon-type bargains, rewards programs and commission sales ala Tupperware. [Tupperware's successful business model was started by a Brownie Wise]. 

Plum District is leveraging the mom communication movement making it easy to promote products from one person to another. 

As promoted in Ad Age today:

"Moms who use Plum District can be reps and earn a commission on every sale.While many other coupon sites use call centers to find and negotiate deals, Plum District mobilizes the built-in army of mom customers and their PTA and soccer-team networking by turning them into partners. The moms who use the site can also be reps and earn a commission on every sale."

Congratulations should really go to the women that will be making this happen -- they make up the female2female work force of Tupperware, Pampered Chef, Avon, Mary Kay... and now, Plum District. 

Plum District takes it to the next level by not holding anyone to a set product, only to what they want to buy and what they want to promote. It's completely self-perpetuating. My only wish is that the offer more sustainable and socially rewarding products like those found on Green Guide.

Is this just another fluff job for stay-at-home moms? If they want it be, but according to Ad Age, "Jillian Griffin of Newport Beach is a mom of four and Plum's top salesperson nationwide." Good for her and good for Plum District.  


January 25, 2011

Kathleen's Legacy: Organic and Delivered to Your Door

How I found Kathleen Barsotti's  business -- word-of-mouth meets hot coupon idea. 

My friend Andrea told me about Groupon. One of the first offers came from Farm Fresh to You with a coupon I couldn't refuse, $15 for $31 of organic veggies delivered to my door. Even if I never used Farm Fresh to You again, I had my money back -- and then this box arrived on time filled with gifts from the earth. I was smitten, and that's when I dug in and learned the legacy story of Kathleen Barsotti, student and practitioner of the earth.

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It starts with a sad ending. Kathleen is no longer with us; cancer met her before I could. She started the farm with her husband Martin in the 70s, but four sons and a divorce later left just she and her boys to keep the farm stand open. Those who knew her described her this way, "Kathleen is beloved by all who knew her as a devoted student to ecological sciences, an excellent farmer."

Apparently, they all had a knack for the world wanted, today the boys now have about 30,000 customers all eating more fruits and vegetables collected from their farm or nearby partners.  

What is stunning about this service is that it's almost the same as going to store; instead, you do something more fun than grocery shopping and this no-excuses-to-eat-better-box arrives at your door. 

To prove that the pictures on their site aren't faked, here's a sampling of what showed up last week. They encourage you to leave the flattened box for them to pickup when they drop off the next batch. I'm not too happy with the plastic bag, but given that all the other packaging, i.e. skins, have no plastic and I can send the bag back; it's not a bad trade. It's like Nutrisystem, but without all the packaging...

Out of the box came this beautiful array of color. Just makes you want to start cooking looking it, doesn't it?  And if you're stumped for ideas, Farm Fresh to You gives them to you matching the ingredients provided that week. Screen shot 2011-01-06 at 2.03.40 PM

Kathleen's legacy is a consistent alternative to driving to the Farmer's Market, trying to find parking and lugging home weighty food. 

Her legacy is teaching thousands how to cook and WHAT to cook while it's in season and not shipped a bazillion miles from another country. Her legacy helps keep organic farming alive and profitable in a way that is scalable. 

Her legacy also promotes the use of untampered seeds that produce tasteless food with questionable parentage.  

Her son's expanded the farm stand business via modern marketing by taking their word-of-mouth business online. Their offering to spread the word has rewards for both the giver and the taker. Whomever orders a box of veggies using the special promo code* and my name Mary Clare Hunt, will get $5 off of their first order and I get a free box of goods. Of course you have to be within their California delivery range. 

No wonder they have 30,000 customers instead of depending on drive-by business. Everyone wins, especially Kathleen who created a life's work that put's life into others and back into the ground. What's not to trust? 


 *Code intentionally left off, this is a story about a well planted seed of an idea, not getting more free veggies for myself. 


January 06, 2011

Women are changing the world, and now the men are agreeing.

Trusted pal, Marianne sent me to Paul Farrell's column on MarketWatch this week.

The good news -- men like Paul are now writing what women have known for some time -- we are the one's the world's been waiting for. Paul suggests that by the end of this decade, women leaders will be in place to clean up the mess. 

The bad news --it's a big mess -- Wall Street greed will make politics moot, populations are overloaded, and there is a breakdown in trust and social systems globally. 

Fear not, the market isn't waiting for 2020, it's already scanning everything women write on the web and gleaning what women want so that marketers can create more real-women-centric advertising.

Screen shot 2010-06-14 at 8.36.09 PM Advertising messages, more than anything else, reflect the change in our culture. We aren't going back to Mad Men days - ever - especially with old boy male mentality is being replaced. 

Thanks Marianne for sending this my way. Thank you Paul for playing a part in the revolution and most of all, thank you ladies for writing what's on your minds!

2020. Patriarchy ends: male dominance declines, women leaders rise

Back in 2011 it seemed clear that patriarchy, male dominance world culture, politics and economics throughout history, would collapse all by itself, without women engaging in any direct war, any “battle of the sexes” to defeat men at their own game. But in 2020, women may be our only salvation.

Dr. Jean Bolen, author of “The Millionth Circle” and a leader in organizing the United Nation’s 2015 Conference on Women, challenged women to confront males and put an “end to patriarchy,” because only women can “save the world.” Others like Gloria Feldt, author of “No Excuses: 9 Ways Women Can Change How We Think About Power,” are preparing a new generation of leaders.

Four decades ago my law school class had five women, today across America, women are a majority in most professional schools. Soon they will be called upon.

Why are male leaders failing America in government, business and finance? Jeremy Grantham’s firm GMO manages $96 billion. He predicted the meltdown, said it best in early 2008: American’s leaders are all “impatient ... management types who focus on what they are doing this quarter or this annual budget.”

Real leadership “requires more people with a historical perspective who are more thoughtful and more right-brained ... but we end up with an army of left-brained immediate doers. So it’s more or less guaranteed that every time we get an outlying, obscure event that has never happened before in history, they are always to miss it,” as in 2000, 2008 and again this decade.

Could we change the future?

In post-capitalism, post-patriarchy America, women will emerge from the ashes of “The Worst Decade in American History: 2011-2020.” Women leaders will emerge not just because the males’ short-term brains are sabotaging America’s long-term needs, but because the female brain has naturally evolved for long-term thinking.

Brain research tells us that 75% of men are left-brain short-term thinkers. Conversely, 75% of women tend to have strong right-brain traits: forward-thinkers, more awareness of the future, the big picture, with a strong sense of long-term benefits and consequences, peacemakers.

Full article here.