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August 11, 2008
Women Rock!

Last month, I wrote about how more and more, our lives are being consumed by entertainment – and how smart marketers are trying to connect through our choices in lifestyles and habits. But, the potential in following the entertainment trend pales in comparison to the potential of connecting with one particular demographic. 

If you’re a guy, you likely already know it. If you’re a married man, you should already know it. And, if you’re a mom, you are it. 

Of course, I mean women – and moms in particular.

A few years ago during the International Builders Show, a speaker from a California development company said that women influence or purchase 85% of products and services. (See details in Las Vegas Review-Journal, Jan. 22, 2004.)
In traditional offline marketing communications, there are ways to target your communications. You can purchase mailing lists by certain demographics. You can research consumer and trade magazines and TV shows that generally reach one demographic or another. You can organize events and contests and invite targeted demographics.
But you can’t really get to know them. You’re also likely reaching other demographics you don’t care or need to. So, you’re potentially wasting valuable budget.

One of the great aspects of online or digital marketing is the ability to really target your audience, and learn about them.
And, online is where moms are exerting their influence – and power.
A May 6, 2008, eMarketer story had some pretty fascinating facts about women and moms online:
·  Experian Consumer Research found in its spring 2007 consumer survey that 86% of women who had at least one child in their household went online.
·    According to Nielsen Online @Plan, there were 32.4 million women online with children under 18 in their household as of winter 2007/2008, making up 22.6% of all adult Internet users.
·   Adult females outnumber adult males in both the general population and the Internet user population.
Women and moms are online in droves. If you have a product, service, cause, etc., that you think would appeal or a mom, there are plenty of places to look. One of the great aspects of social media is that it has opened up nearly countless ways to reach out to customers, prospects, partners – people.

And, we need to keep in mind that we are marketing to people. We are not looking to get “hits” or make a sale. We are looking to match our products and services with pertinent needs and wants.
How you approach your audience depends who they are. You have to match your message to the market. If women are your market, you can’t treat them like men.
We may not be as different as Venus and Mars, but it does seem that men and women go online for differing reasons. Profy.com reported on a RapLeaf study about how men and women use social networks. The conclusions drawn point to the fact that women are online much more so for friendships and socializing then for business.
“It looks like women really have more time to spend online that they use for activities that are not connected to career or business…..
Also there is one thing that I find quite comfortable - the study shows that the crazy friendship patterns of the technology-oriented world do not repeat themselves for average users. It is not really popular to have over thousand social networking friends - out of 49 million people studied less than 200 thousand had 1,001-10,000 friends and only 2,700 users had over 10,000 friends.
And in this category of hyper-connected people I am actually pleased to see slightly more men than women - 88,246 for women versus 90,803 for men.
Women value friendships, relationships. So, don’t “play” them or think of mommybloggers as “hits” – else you’ll learn the meaning of that famous saying.
As with any audience you want to reach via social media, follow these basic guidelines:
·  Research – find the networks, blogs, forums of the audience you want to reach.
·  Take time to read, explore, understand, know and connect with the audience.
·  Ultimately, it’s about relationships – develop sincere, trusted relationships. It really is about matching your products and services with needs and wants.

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Michael  Driehorst, president and founder of Diamond Communications, is a proven public relations professional who knows how to develop the right set of strategies and matching tactics to achieve communication objectives for the right target audience. After an early career as a newspaper journalist, Mike has worked in public relations and marketing communications since 1994. He has been active in social media marketing since 2005; read his blog.

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