As Long As Your Money’s Green . . .

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Money - Savings

. . . does it matter how many X chromosomes you have?

Pinterest is a hot topic, and one of the most newsworthy points is that 97 percent of Pinterest’s Facebook fans are women. So it’s easy for some people to dismiss it.

But Pinterest drives huge amounts of traffic to other sites, and that ultimately means sales. Who buys things? Women. In fact, girltalk points out that women make or influence 85 percent of all purchasing decisions, including over 50 percent of cars, home improvement items, electronics, and other “guy” products.

At the same time, girltalk reports, “91% of women say that advertisers don’t understand them.”

So if women make up just over half the population, and the majority of purchases, what does that say about how good a job advertisers are doing at reaching them?

My advice: Get to know us. Look at who women are, and what they want, and what they do. And don’t dismiss those things because “they’re women.” If you want money, you’re going to have to ask us. Nicely. Because we’re the ones who decide how it gets spent. And as Michael Brito points out, we know how to share information. Make sure we have good information to share about you.

Photo by 401k, via Flickr.

Sunday Morning Advertising: The Not-Quite-a-Winner Edition

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Okay, Huggies. Your revised campaign is better than the original, which featured dads ignoring their babies to watch the football game–apparently willing to let those children wallow in filth rather than paying attention to when a diaper might need changing.

But when you planned the new spots, did anyone say, “Why are five dads leaving the same house to wander aimlessly around the mall with their babies?”

Two dads, sure. But how many people live in that house? Or are they supposed to have carpooled? No way they fit five adults and five infant car seats into one vehicle.

I don’t expect every commercial to think through every bit of continuity. But I do think that I shouldn’t watch it and start thinking, “How is this scenario supposed to work?”

Keep it simple. Don’t distract viewers from your message.

Know Your Audience

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If you’ve ever driven past North Hollywood Park, you’ve seen scores of people running, walking dogs, playing basketball–the park is a center for all kinds of exercise. That’s why this makes sense:

Outdoor Gym North Hollywood Park

That’s right, it’s an outdoor gym, complete with weight benches, leg presses, and stationary bikes. Do you prefer an elliptical trainer?

Outdoor Gym North Hollywood Park

Have at it. And all of the equipment clearly is designed for outdoor use; it’s mechanical, not electronic, and sturdily built for the elements (and, one hopes, people jumping on it in ways you might not expect in an indoor gym–because I’m pretty sure that’s going to happen).

This wouldn’t make sense in every L.A. park, but it’s a natural fit for this one.

“Know Your Audience” isn’t solely about marketing. It’s also about the product or service you provide. I think this is a win for the L.A. parks department. But I am curious to see how they tell people about it once it’s open.

Think Like a Man

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Excuse me? Oh, never mind. I’m sure it’s much better than all the other “Battle of the Sexes” movies.

Advertising: What’s Your Message?

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“Hang in there, creepy guys! She’ll love you some day!”

[Insert ad for Gavin de Becker's The Gift of Fear here.]

Facebook and Privacy: The Continuing Saga

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Facebook keeps making its social ads more social. Don’t want to be associated with that? Step through this Mashable slideshow for information about how to opt out of social ads on Facebook.

Looking for a new job? How would you react if your potential employer asked for your Facebook password? Right now that’s legal in all 50 states. How would you handle that request?

Zonealarm provides an infographic that sums up social media privacy habits, based on Pew research. Take a look–which parts reflect your practices?

“Bad Idea,” Verizon

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Remember when this was a sketch on SNL?

Yeah, SNL did it better.

Breakout Kings

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No need to mention that there’s a woman in the show, though.

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What Does Your Audience Want?

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What does your audience care about? In “Lost & Found: The Next Generation of Alumni Donors,” Fran Zablocki looks specifically at alumni and why many of them don’t give. But his suggestion–focus on what interests them, not on what you think is important–hold true far beyond the world of alumni associations and university development.

Brian Solis talks about how “Social media is about social science not technology.” He points out that too many marketers don’t ask their audience about what they want, or how they benefit–which means that too many marketers are making decisions based on guesswork, not data.

The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that tablet ownership among college students has more than tripled, and that in a sharp reversal of last year’s results, they prefer electronic texts to print editions. So is this a new trend? And how if you’re in the business of producing materials for college students, what do you do about it?

And it’s not just college students. Encyclopaedia Britannica is no more–at least, in its traditional print format. People want instantly updated information at their fingertips, and there’s no way to provide that in print–plus, at more than $1,300 a set, it’s something of an aspirational item. The only problem is that fewer and fewer people are aspiring to it.

So what does your audience want? And are you sure?

To Boldly Post: George Takei and Social Media

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I once heard a marketing executive say, “I think of Twitter as something that 20-somethings do.”

Well, she clearly hasn’t been paying attention to George Takei. The 75-year-old actor and activist has become a social media heavyweight, with over 299,000 followers on Twitter and over 1.2 million likes on Facebook.

But it isn’t his numbers that are so incredible—there are plenty of brands, celebrities, and organizations that can boast more fans. What’s noteworthy about Takei is his level of engagement.

In her post “George Takei: Facebook Hero” on Commerce Kitchen, Natalie Winslow points out the share rates on Takei’s Facebook posts–in one case, more than 10,600 shares on a single photo, compared to 708 on a photo on Coca-Cola’s page. Obviously one post doesn’t make a case–but this is not an isolated incident. Takei’s recent photo posts have share rates ranging from some 3,000 shares to over 25,000.

Roni Weiss’s RW Social post “Whose brand is stronger: George Takei or Starbucks?” answers its own question–George Takei–by comparing “Who’s talking about this” numbers for each Facebook page. Can we expand on this? As I write this, I can find the following corresponding numbers for Facebook pages:

Starbucks: 339,272 (over 29,000,000 likes)
McDonald’s: 780,873 (over 17,000,000 likes)
Nike: 796,869 (over 8,000,000 likes)
George Takei: 584,907 (1,265,789 likes)

Want to compare him to other celebrities? Lady Gaga’s page has 650,076 people talking about it–and she’s got more than 49,000,000 likes–more than 40 times as many as Takei. Dwayne The Rock Johnson, who Mashable readers voted the “Must-Follow Actor or Actress on Social Media,” has 220,000 people talking about his page.

Forty-six percent of Takei’s fans are talking about him. The others don’t even come close.

So what’s the secret to his Facebook success? I see several:

Frequency
He’s very active, posting multiple times a day.

Authenticity
He posts about gay rights and the World War II internment of Japanese Americans–causes that matter deeply to him. The first thing I saw was this YouTube video he made in response to anti-gay remarks made by a school board member in Arkansas:

You can often find him posting on heartfelt topics like this on Facebook and Twitter–and also about his hatred of the “Twilight” franchise.

Humor
He’s not just about the causes. Takei has several posts a day that are flat-out funny.

User-Generated Content
Business Week quoted Takei as saying, “True to my base, I like to find fan-generated images that are in the world of science fiction, especially Star Trek or Star Wars—both are franchises that I have worked in.” Many of his posts originate with fans–and he indicates this. In fact, his current cover photo is the result of a fan caption contest.

Knowing His Audience
It’s the first rule of comedy, and it’s also true for communication. George Takei knows who his fans are, and he’s paid attention to what they like–which means he’s very good at delivering it.

And the results are clear. So, how can you go boldly?

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