Archive for the ‘Sales and Marketing’ Category

The Best Marketing Tool—Women Advisory Boards

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

Creating the perfect marketing mix, attracting ideal customers and hiring and retaining the best employees are key steps to success for any business. Of course, products and services, management and cash flow are all essentialadvisoryboards1 elements to profitability and longevity, but this blog is going to focus on the best way to maximize the return on your marketing time, resources and talents.

Women Advisory Boards (WABs) are so strong because they are cost effective, provide an wealth of new ideas and contacts and work as both a consultant to you and an ambassador to the community on your behalf. Their networks become your networks, their ideas your ideas and their dollars, your dollars.

meeting1Because a WAB is a flexible vehicle that can be designed to fit a company’s specific needs, it can help the organization find new clients, develop new product ideas or invite sports fans to more games. The innovation and enthusiasm of the group is contagious and will be felt throughout the entire organization.

WABs serve as focus groups, but with an ongoing commitment to your success. They can serve to critique your advertising campaigns, website design, social media effectiveness, sales tools and promotional ideas.

In addition to marketing efforts, WABs can help businesses recruit, retain and promote more female employees, often leading to a more female-friendly culture within the organization. WABs have assisted companies in creating newmeeting2 recruiting strategies by discovering new places and ways to attract quality women. WABs can also function as mentors to young female employees. The women on the board know and trust you. Thus, they will provide referrals and become loyal customers themselves.

In a tight economy, getting the most for every marketing dollar is important. A Women Advisory Board is the best use of your marketing dollars with will have greatest ROI.

Why Don’t Kitchen-Related Toys Cater to Both Boys and Girls?

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

easybake11

Males are great cooks. In fact most of the world’s famous chef’s are men. Yet toy manufacturers make it more difficult for boys to enjoy this childhood passion by making their products for girls. The colors, design and prominently displayed girls on the box all say this is a product for a girl!

The most popular is the EASY-BAKE Oven. According to Sherrie Gulmahamad, “the EASY-BAKE Oven has sold about 20 million units since its introduction in 1963, introducing generations of little boys and girls to the joys of baking–well, mostly girls.”

duff-goldman-girl-gourmet-cake-bakery1Duff Goldman, renown for his Charm City Cakes and Ace of Cakes, partnered with Girl Gourmet to create the Girl Gourmet Cake Bakery. This kit allows girls (and boys) to make and roll out their own fondant to decorate a mini two-tiered cake with an air-powered icing gun. But the box still screams, “this product is for girls.”

According to Maria Sciullo in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s article, “Boys at home in the kitchen”, there are an increasing number of boys interested in cooking and baking. Yet, in her ezbake2opinion, makers of cooking-related toys still market almost exclusively to girls.

“About a month ago, a group of boys in Carrie Hackett’s second-grade class were out on the playground discussing—of all things—Easy-Bake Ovens”, said Sciullo. “They were mad that there weren’t any ovens for boys. ‘I told them there’s a blue-and-white one but they said, ‘No, there’s a girl on the box.’”

duff-goldman-girl-gourmet-cake-bakery21So why don’t kitchen toy manufacturers and designers go after this untapped market? They might be surprised at their rise in sales. In fact, in my family, both my sons cook and so do my two grandsons.

Marketing Cleaning Products to Both Men and Women

Monday, March 8th, 2010

house2After literally weeks of cleaning, my house is spotless, at least for the moment. In reflection on the products we used in our toil, I was thinking of how most cleaning products are still marketed primarily to women. True, women are the major buyers, but the gap is getting smaller as more men do the shopping, help with household chores and even stay home with the kids.

If you are promoting a product primarily to women, should you think abouttrash3 male buyers? If you are advertising mostly to men, should you reevaluate your options and your sales demographics? You will find that will create a big spike in sales.

Digressing a little from household cleaners to personal ones, I think the Dove for Men commercials are appealing because he is comfortable in his own skin. The ads appeal to women, without minimizing the maleness of the man.

lady11As gender roles continue to blur and women become an even greater force in the work place, couples are feeling the impact. More women are employed than men for the first time since WWII. With children, parents, partners and career responsibilities, women are oftentimes overwhelmed. Men can really earn points by jumping in and helping out without being asked, aka “nagging.”

Not Your Standard Valentine’s Gift

Monday, February 8th, 2010

With Valentine’s Day this weekend, people’s thoughts often turn to romance, picking out just the rightvalentine1 card, selecting delicious chocolates and beautiful flowers, especially roses. While my two books Leading the Way to Success and Targeting the New Professional Woman don’t really reflect the holiday’s sentimental mood, to make their purchase easier, we are running a terrific February Special. After all, when you are thinking about that someone in your life, think about helping them develop their leadership or marketing skills as well. Or, purchase the books for yourself.

bookcover2Leading the Way to Success is a compilation of renowned management and leadership experts including Dr. Warren Bennis, Jack Canfield, Gerry Myers and James Kouzes. They share how to make leadership development an organic part of your organization, what traits, proficiencies and styles you need to succeed in the twenty-first century and how to develop your own individual and business leadership plans. It also contains a guide for corporations on how to increase the number of women in leadership roles and what women must do to meet this challenge. Additionally, authors answer questions such as what is “mind work” and “self-directedness” and how do these skills help lead the way to success.

Target the New Professional Woman explains that women are purchasing agents for their combook1panies, their families and themselves, spending trillions of dollars annually. The book addresses problems industries face and solutions for successfully marketing and selling their products and services to today’s women. Additionally, the reader will learn from examples from well-known companies, relevant case studies, significant statistics and cost-effective marketing tips and techniques.

Go to http://advisorylink-dfw.com/books.html

Marketing to Various Generations of Women

Monday, November 30th, 2009

couple2Aging is a normal occurrence. It happens to all living things. At different stages in life, women have different lifestyles, wants and desires. Millenniums are more focused on now, the environment and how they can make the world a better place for all. Gen X women often balance careers and family responsibilities. Boomer women control much of the money in the U.S. as a result of their careers and inheritance. Additionally, they often shoulder much of the responsibility for both their own family needs and those of their elderly parents.couple1

To market to the variety of women consumers, companies need to realize their time constraints, values and respect their complex lives. Younger women are very tech savvy and utilize its convenience to shop, research and connect with others. Career mothers are the most time restricted and welcome products and services that make their lives easier. Senior women today are active well into their seventies enjoying recreational activities and travel when they can afford it.

couple3Today is not like yesterday and it won’t be the same tomorrow. Smart companies are ahead of trends. They realize and meet the challenges they face in marketing to a diverse group of women whether they are selling healthcare, financial products, automobiles, homes or cosmetics.

The Many Face of Women of Color

Monday, October 5th, 2009
When marketing to women, remember all are not created equal or the same. A growing source of new business for your company might include a more diverse customer base. Be sure to stay abreast of the ethnic breakdown of women in the workplace and their spending habits.
face2As more women of color receive higher degrees, enter the workforce and seek managerial positions, the amount of dollars they have to spend is increasing as well. When marketing to different ethnic groups, it is important to consider the needs, traditions, culture and heritage of Hispanic, African American and Asian women, among others.
There are more than 19 million female Latinos in the U.S., representing the largest ethnic group. The spending power of Hispanics continues to grow, nearing $700 billion. Young Latino women are a prime market for many products including electronics, cars, houses, clothing and cosmetics.
African American numbers are close behind Latinos, with nearly 19 million women.face31 Their  spending power is approximately $700 billion. They are often the primary decision maker in households with children. Higher education is fueling their ability to spend, with Black women receiving more master’s degrees than ever before. This spending is funded by the more than 8½  million women in the labor force.
Asian females account for 4.1% or about 6 million citizens with approximately 2/3 being foreign-born and 1/3 being native. Asians are the most affluent ethnic group with spending power of about $350 billion. Nearly 20% earn $75,000+. This group tends to have high educational achievements as well as the entrepreneurial spirit.

Women Are Leading the Way

Thursday, September 10th, 2009

businesswomen8Everyone knows it, but not many seem to be taking advantage of the most lucrative, best way to recovery from the economy. Women controlled the purse strings before the recession, during the recession and will afterwards. Without creating programs, advertising, promotions, products and salespeople who tap into the enormous dollars spent by women, your competition is assured success and you will be doomed to failure.

The good news is that it doesn’t have to be that way. Reaching women and attracting them as customers may not be easy, but it is possible and essential. Much is written on the web to provide tips, thoughts and success stories on how to market and sell successfully to women. Many consultants specialize in this area and can help companies and marketing professionals businesswomen1avoid costly faux pas.

Women are receiving more undergraduate and advanced degrees. They are starting more businesses. They are surpassing the number of men in the workforce. They are entering the executive suites and serving on boards. They are making more money. Many are the prime breadwinner in the family. They make purchases for their companies, their families and themselves.

As Tom Peters said, “Women are economic opportunity #1.”

Women’s Precious Commodity—Time

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009

businesswomen6Women hold many things dear to them—their families, careers and friends. Money is valued as a means to an end and can be accumulated in varying degrees depending on the time invested in work, education and other factors. Time, however, is a limited commodity, and once gone, can never be recaptured.

Women have busy lives juggling many responsibilities. They search the Internet late at night, communicate with friends via email or social media early in the morning and work their career tasks around soccer games and school plays.

Luckily, women are great multitaskers. But even though they can accomplish much in businesswomen3a day, they still have limitations. If you want to connect with women, make it easy for them…on their terms. Websites should be easy to navigate and search. Information should be concise and clear. Retail outlets should be convenient and have enough cashiers and help available to make her shopping experience pleasurable.

Reaching women isn’t the key. Connection, understanding and relationship building is.

They Still Don’t Get It

Monday, June 8th, 2009

     “They just don’t get it” is a worldwide phenomenon. I recently read an article on TomTom’s new GPS device. According to the author, “Dutch GPS brand TomTom decided to jump on the marketing to women bandwagon and came up with the White Pearl. It’s more luxurious and has ’special content’ for women. The ’special content’ includes categories such as ‘Places to be seen,’ ‘Shop ‘til you drop’ and ‘Everyday fashion.’ The ‘special content’ I find insulting and useless. Of course, the darn thing is more expensive than the regular model.” To read the entire blog, click on http://www.24oranges.nl/2009/06/04/tomtom-gps-device-goes-girly
     Marketing to women is a good idea since they are the major purchasers of most items globally. However, that doesn’t mean make it pink, or white pearl in this case, and add condescending information “for women.” If marketers and designers ask women what they wanted before producing and advertising the product and its features, they would have better luck. If they don’t know who to ask or what to ask, hire consultants who specialize in this area to assist with the information gathering and research phase. This process would undoubtedly lead to more sales and less criticism on the internet.
     More than ever, marketers, designers and retailers need to pay attention to women. They are the best, and sometimes only, way to increase sales. And with social networking, blogs and so many other technology venues, manufacturers can’t afford mistakes, even for a brief time.

Winning the Gold–Business Lessons from Athletes

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2008

A couple of weeks ago, I enjoyed watching the grace and incredible skill of Natsia Luikin and Shawn Johnson as they captured gold and silver medals. Darra Torres, the 41-year old swimmer, was an inspiration to us all. Michael Phelps’s unprecedented eight gold medals and the number of world records he broke were extraordinary feats.

Everyone watching realized that winning the gold in Bejing signified years of dedication, discipline and the fulfillment of lifelong dreams. While individual determination and skills were necessary to win some medals, others depended on team efforts. This is also true in business. While we are responsible for our own actions, no one can make it to the top by working by themselves. We need mentors, coaches and colleagues to be there for us, to teach us and to inspire us to greatness.

 

In each of our business lives, we make choices about how we reach for our gold, our dreams. We learn lessons about patience and perseverance as we realize that being a winner, getting the gold, takes time and effort. Like athletes, we need the support of coaches, family and friends. We must work hard and expand our talents. Having a “can-do” attitude and confidence in our abilities and what we can accomplish is paramount to success. Winning athletes aren’t afraid to stretch, to try new things, to risk and to fail. We must not be afraid either. Winning the gold in is about much more than the moment of victory. It is the history that got us there that is important.