40 posts categorized "social media"

July 05, 2011

Girl Scouts Pick up Top Brand Trust Ratings in OC

Screen shot 2011-07-04 at 8.10.04 PM In June the OC Metro ran a cover story on the Power of Trust in conjunction with the Values Institute at DGWB. After interviewing 2000 adults over five months (63% women, 47% married with children) the following attributes came forward: Ability, Concern, Connection, Consistency, and Sincerity

The Girl Scouts of Orange County "brand" came out on top  for Concern and Connection with multiple mentions across all attributes. 

Let that be a lesson to business-at-large -- embed your brand in your people (employees/customers) and the kudos will follow. Don't keep reinventing yourself decade after decade, stay true to your core.  The OC Girl Scouts have 25,000 girls and their leaders to word-of-mouth the organization; next year thousands more will join the legacy.  How many employees still buy your "cookies" decades later - at any cost?

Men value Price and Cost. (Why surveys are important.)

The survey uncovered on big difference between how the women and the men answered the survey -- the middled-aged, surveyed men put Price and Cost on top of their value chain, the women had valued customer service. 

This isn't new news, most of the survey's findings are also in the  In Women We Trust workbook published five years ago. But it does point out why marketing is still out of synch with world of women. Most agencies, DBWG included, are run by men, have men on their board and therefore filter their decisions based on their own value base first. (I saw one women in a leadership position with DBWG and the Values Institute.)  Without surveys like this to flag the differences, those in the decision-making seat would continue their path based on what they know from their own personal experience. Kudos to DBWG and OC Metro for setting up the survey. 

Surveys are also important because business is just a machine and machines run on numbers. When numbers add up, the machines change to match their direction. If you want to change the world, put numbers on your findings. (Plus, the reports make great handouts at awards dinners...)

Other awardees were: American Red Cross (another female dominated structure), Apple, Chapman University, Chick-fil-A, CHOC Children's Hospital, Costco, Disneyland, Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian, In-N-Out Burger, Nordstrom, Planned Parenthood/OC and San Bernardino Counties, St. Joseph Hospital, Target, Toshiba America, and Wells Fargo. 

Screen shot 2011-07-05 at 7.36.08 AM Seeing the Girl Scouts of OC on top didn't surprise me, GS programs have always been in tune with what modern girls need ever since I was a Girl Scout Professional Advisor early in my career. The GS program has stayed true to it's course of preparing girls for the future, and it has evolved, i.e. from taking care of the outdoors and leaving only footprints while camping, to including saving the planet.

If you wanted a new branding ideology for your company that will resonate with growing consumers, just follow the Girl Scout program. Oh, and maybe rework your own mission statement to include the values that the Girl Scouts abide by: 

I will do my best to be
honest and fair,
friendly and helpful,
considerate and caring,
courageous and strong, and
responsible for what I say and do,
and to
respect myself and others,
respect authority,
use resources wisely,
make the world a better place, and
be a sister to every Girl Scout.

What's not to Know, Like and Trust? 

May 24, 2011

Are Your Words Being Filtered Out?

Screen shot 2011-05-24 at 7.15.32 AM Do you trust your search engine?

Through access to free publication on the Internet, we are finally able to express ourselves and embed our spirit into the common society only to have it silo'd into a group think mentality. ERrrrrrr Ladies, beware. 

It's one thing to put out new information and another to know that it may never meet with readers because their readership pattern and practice pre-determines what they will see on the web. Scary, eh? No wonder the red states are getting redder and blue states bluer, there is no cross-pollination of information. 

Google, Facebook and other tools are serving up an echo chamber of ideas and people to users. For example, if you read about dogs several times, then you would start getting more and more pet articles in your searches even if you didn't request them.

Below, this TED talk of "Beware of Filter Bubbles" by Eli Pariser explains the issue in a more compelling way. Or you can pick up the book.   It's given me a new respect for RSS feeds that you can select and not have changed.

February 02, 2011

Influential Moms or Business Women?

Ironic Dot connecting this morning...

  • Dot 1 -- At what point will women cross from "Influencer" to "Shrewd Business Woman"  in multi-book author, Maria Bailey's Media Post article she lists several of these Mom Influencers and their accomplishments. All reach thousands each week. As a "media" they are considered highly successful, but because they are Moms, they are known as "influencers." Full article here. I wonder what a girl has to do to be seen as a business first...
Trisha Novotry, known online as 24/7 Mom
Andrea Deckard, known online as the founder of www.Savingslifestyle.com.
Lisa Druxman, founder of Stroller Strides.
Pamela Nagata, coordinator for Sandiegoparent.com.
Molly Gold, founder of Go Mom Inc    on her live show on MomTV.com  
  • Dot 2 -- A report just out researching who gets venture capital money. The conclusion of the research? When the business model was lead by a man, it was given more recognition and funding. When the exact same business model was lead by a woman, the funding was more likely to be denied. That's sad news for 6.5 million women-owned firms. 

(thanks to Yvonne for finding this 2009 study) Kimberly Weisul, writing on BNET, says, "...new research from the University of Utah Kaufman Firm on Entrpreneurship lends weight to the argument that discrimination is at work. After studying the reactions of 222 MBA students to different founding teams, researchers Robert Wuebker and Lyda Bigelow found that even though the personal qualifications and the firm financials were identical no matter the gender of the CEO, women-led firms were seen as having a poorer strategic position, and female founders were perceived as less capable."

Connecting the dots - woman are coveted for their ability to grow out these massive sectors of influence, sometimes without money or power but by the shear force of their personalities and yet -- they are given less financial respect than those who have to buy their way to influence. Go figure. 

Who would you trust with your investments -- someone who is trying to buy your affection through a business model or someone who has the same business model AND the ability to grow a base of support? It's time for the money lenders to start looking at opportunities the same way business is looking for influencers.

There is a revolution going on in more places than Egypt...


March 08, 2010

International Women's Day / Business Style

Screen shot 2010-03-08 at 4.01.37 PM Today is International Women's Day. Women everywhere are taking pride in their accomplishments and the changes that they are making in their lives and world. One of those places is in business. 

To celebrate, Accounting Degree has listed 100 Best Blogs for Women in Business. They are recognizing how women-help-women and giving out the Atta-Girls of which (blush) In Women We Trust is listed. (Thank you!) 

What is notable in this list is how it is broken out. Go here to see who else made the list of:

  • Entrepreneurs
  • Leadership
  • Motherhood and Work from Home
  • Marketing
  • General Business
  • International
  • Regional
  • Inspiration and Lifestyle
  • Some of Everything

Enjoy and be sure to bookmark this valuable collection of inspiration and sharing. The answers you seek are all there, just tap into the circle and make your part of the world better. - Mary

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. 

August 18, 2009

Where are All the Women Ad Agency Leaders?

Picture 23 That's a paraphrase of "Where are all the Women Bloggers"? it was a sentiment aired a few, short years ago which prompted the formation of BlogHer. No one questions where all the women bloggers are now, they are dominating the medium and creating a media of their own. 

If it takes one to know one including making the judgement calls that resonate with instead of repealing female customers, you have to wonder why the Advertising Departments are still mainly male.

Recently the top Women To Watch, were honored at by Advertising Age.(Congrats to all) This is what Tiffany Kosel said to sum it up. I agree with her quoted conclusion - good ideas have no genitals. The problem is, those at the top do and they are ones filtering which ideas get air time. 


What do you think, have the times changed due to arrival of enlightened men at the top of the ad chain. Or have the times changed because women bloggers are ranting about what does and doesn't work for them?

July 29, 2009

To Review or Not to Review...

Could you do it? Could you turn down a FREE NEW REFRIGERATOR in exchange for three months of (hopefully) positive reviews? How honest could you be at that high of a freebie price tag? Below is how Diane handled it.

Moral Marketing (to each other) is the new concern of social media marketing. When Neilsen tracks 10,000 women bloggers for their mass media appeal just like they do magazines and newspapers, you know the tide has turned. Because the influence of the blogging woman is so high, because high product praise from a friend carries so much influence, companies are doing whatever they can to get women to endorse their products in writing. 

By the time I was done writing "In Women We Trust" it was apparent that in Women we better trust as we find our voices and do online what they've been doing off line for generations - sharing experiences about food, products and life.  

Many in our green women group have set policies for reviews. My policy is that I'll only review products or books that serve the triple bottom line of people, planet and then profits. The products must be certified as sustainable like Forbo's Marmoleum (SMaRT certified) and books must offer insights into how to turn the world greener and safer. 

What's your moral marketing policy? Will you blog about anything, or does the product/service need to hold itself to higher standards first?What is your standard for changing the world? Are you a change agent or an enabler?

July 23, 2009

Did You Catch Elisa's Mommy Blogger tips?

Picture 10 

I'm really missing the BlogHer's Summer Conference this year... all my pals are there, but I'm not. Bummer. BlogHer conferences always energize me in the same way that an art fair gets me going. All the ideas and passions that swirl about are both exhausting and enlightening.  

Even though I'm not attending, I've been pitched non stop on products leading up to it today's conference opener. I've turned products down in the past as nicely as I can, but now it's just getting annoying. I guess I'm not the only one who is annoyed, and yet we do want to play nice and help promote good products and people.

Elisa Camahort Page was interviewed by Ad Age to give companies ideas on what are the do's and DON'Ts of pitching blogger. Go HERE to listen to the full interview.

May 08, 2009

Holy Mother of Capitalism Day, "The Determinators" have Arrived

Maryanne Milker's Mom's Blogger Club told her, she emailed the Green Mom Carnivaland then she called me about the Nielsen Buzz Metrics report showing blogging moms influence as "The Determinators" of market share.


That's what this post is celebrating - a shift in social thinking that just happens to hit on Mother's Day weekend. Go Moms! (A big thank you Maryanne for the heads up and a congrats to Clean and Green Mom Sommer and Organic Mania Lynn for making the top 50 list.) Register for Full presentation coming up on May 28th.


Neilson momI received stats this morning from the flip side of buying - the review side. I have many such sites listed on the left side of this blog. Because of that Reviewcentreasked if I could list them along with the rest. I said "Sure, show me your stats." According to my contact at Reviewcentre, the 09 Freshminds report "highlighted 67% of reader respondents were female, 33% male. 35% are aged between 25-34 and 24% between 35-44 years old."


Review center Makes sense, if you buy the stuff and use the stuff then you'll be more opt to write about the stuff later. If the majority of people buying the stuff are women, then the majority of people writing the reviews will also be women. 


What Neilsen Buzz Metrics did in this slide show was bless the trend that is turning into a tipping point media. Just like they report on who watches what TV show, they'll be reporting on women's social media stats from now on. 


As excited as I am about this blessing of the obvious, I'm more thrilled that women will now see the stats over and over and know that what they BUY makes a difference. What they SAY makes a differenceWho they TALK TO makes a difference.


The only thing left to do is educate women on sustainable product standards and watch the world turn safer, cleaner and a more socially responsible shade of green. Women are the will, corporations are the way and sustainable product standards will keep us all honest.

April 06, 2009

Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble as mom's create their own tipping point for change

Ducks When you start asking moms to promote products that other moms and organizations find troubling and maybe even toxic, you can expect a backlash of conversation.

That's what happened in April, 2009 when Johnson and Johnson launched a contest Big Bubbin Stars, with the best video of kids having fun in a bubble bath. The winner gets $10,000.  You didn't have to buy the J&J products and yet, wouldn't you? It's $10,000 afterall, and it seems fun and safe enough.

The troubling part for many moms was that it promoted the use of products that contained dubious chemistry that over time can build up in little bodies soaking in it. The launch of Bubblin Stars also coincided with a report from the Safe Cosmetics organization titled "No More Toxic Tub". In the bubble bath case, the moms were specifically questioning the use of products containing 1,4-dioxain and formaldehyde.

What's the big deal? It's not just in J&J products according to a report on a site focused on reducing breast cancer.

Laboratory tests released today revealed the presence of 1,4-Dioxane in products such as Hello Kitty Bubble Bath, Huggies Baby Wash, Johnson’s Baby Wash, Scooby-Doo Bubble Bath and Sesame Street Bubble Bath. The tests also found the carcinogen in Clairol Herbal Essences shampoo, Olay Complete Body Wash and many other personal care products.

1,4-Dioxane is a petroleum-derived contaminant considered a probable human carcinogen by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and a clear-cut animal carcinogen by the National Toxicology Program. It is also on California’s Proposition 65 list of chemicals known or suspected by the state to cause cancer or birth defects. Because it is a contaminant produced during manufacturing, the FDA does not require it to be listed as an ingredient on product labels.

So what did these concerned moms do?

Green mom carnival Within 2 days, they mobilized, conducted research, wrote blogs and posted their own spoof of a contest. Sommer Poquette also hosted and posted a mini carnival of concerns on her Clean and Green Mom blog.

Then See Jane Do, an online radio program got wind of it and asked Lynn Miller, Lisa Frack and Jennifer Taggert to join a discussion along with another prominent mom activist Joan Blades of Mom's Rising. Lynn Miller is a marketer and founder of the blog Organic Mania and the Green Moms Carnival. Lisa Frack is the online parent coordinator for the Environmental Working Group and Jennifer Taggert, is a lawyer, engineer and author of The Smart Mama, a blog promoting a toxic-free life for our kids. She also wrote the Smart Mama's Green Guide: Simple Steps to Reduce Your Child's Toxic Chemical Exposure.  

The Green Mom Carnival crowd isn't the only concerned group, in a newsletter the same week the Eco Mom Alliance announced their partnership with the Seventh Generation and EWG to provide product samples and education on how to reduce your exposure to bad chemistry.

 Remember, the issue is long term build up, not one-off exposure. Jennifer Taggert recapped it well on a follow up post here. She was justifiably irked that moms are looked upon as crazy for caring. She also noted in background research report she prepared for the green carnival group that the EU has already not allowing dioxane.

If the EU has disallowed it, what is happening in the US? We asked the two popular potions standards to comment. Eco Logo and Green Seal which are both coming out with new personal care standards this spring. Cheryl Baldwin, PhD and VP of Science and Standards at Green Seal said, "We have a new standard that will be released soon (any day now) that covers soaps, cleansers, shampoos, and other rinse-off products (GS-44).  It prohibits the use of the components that are the sources of the chemicals found by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics (.e.g 1,4-dioxane and formaldehyde).The SMaRT Standard also won't certify any product that has the Stockholm "Dirty Dozen"chemicals which include dioxanes.

After first being ignored or sent to underlings with no knowledge of the subject, Johnson and Johnson provided a statement to Jenn Savedge of the Green Parent.

"The trace levels of certain compounds found by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics can result from processes that make our products gentle for babies and safe from bacteria growth. The FDA and other government agencies around the world consider these trace levels safe, and all our products meet or exceed the regulatory requirements in every country where they are sold. Experts such as MDs, toxicologists and clinical scientists regularly review the safety data for all ingredients used in our products. In addition, we test our final baby product formulations for safety. Once our products are in the marketplace, we continually monitor consumer experiences and review evolving scientific data.

The mom's aren't buying it - literally. If they have a choice (and they do) they're going to buy products that are erring on the side of NO 1,4-dioxane no matter how "trace" it is and they are encouraging others to do the same.

From Sommer Poquette's Carnival of Concerned Moms:

1. Sign the Declarationand tell your friends to sign the deleration to get the Kids Safe Chemical Act passed.

2. Write your legislator, as the Mindful Momma suggests.

3. Use safer products by using the Skin Deep Data Baseand tell companies, such as Johnson and Johnsonand the others listed on the reportwhat you want as consumers.  Check out the Safe Mamaand her hundreds of reviews and cheat sheets for safe baby care products and Healthy Child Healthy Worldfor suggestions and tips. For reviews of products I have tried view my green cleaning category.

4. Promote this post anyway you can to get the word out there. #NoToxins to follow the Green Mom’s Carnival on Twitter!

5. Send any bottles back to the manufacture that aren’t used or half used but stop using them and demand for safer ingredients and full disclosure!

Lessons learned for companies selling personal care products:

1. Don't ignor women bloggers who are concerned enough to call. Bad idea.It really ticks them off.

2. The standards for what is safe or not have changed, update your product line to get in line with world expectations. (If Detroit can drop Hummers, you can drop dioxanes.)

3. Mommy blogger's all know one another. If you don't think they are comparing notes with each other - think again!

photo credit: Krikit