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The Dove Onslaught begins...

I've blogged about Dove before...About how I think they're just paying lip-service to the idea of smart marketing to women...About the fact that they test on animals and that they should be aware of the fact that at some point in time, people will start noticing that their Campaign For Real Beauty is just that: a campaign.'s begun. Have a look at this Greenpeace ad: a spoof of the original Dove ad that highlights things Dove doesn't want us to know.

Phase 2 of the onslaught not to be minimized: online conversations around the brand. Have a look at this post on The Independent, one of the UK's leading newspapers.

Here's my bet: within 6 months we'll find an animal right organization making a similar spoof showing Unilever (Dove's parent company) testing its products on animals.

To be continued...


Communicating about "that"

"Female hygiene products" have never been an easy topic to communicate about. Some ads are a bit too 'visually creative', others are plain infuriating (have a look at the ad called "Something to cheer about" on InventorSpot). Love it or hate it?
Can you guess my reaction?

I do love this one about the man's perspective though. Women will understand.


Monday Morning Memo

Ok, it's no longer monday morning, I know. But it's still monday, so it's still memo time! Here's a quick round-up of what's happening out there that caught my attention over the past few days:

About social Media, gender and a storm in a cyber teacup:
There's loads being said on the value (or lack of it) of social media out there right now, this post on Lipsticking being just one of them. What else is interesting on social media & gender? This McCann study is worth a read, as is this study on the effects of age and gender on blogging.
Definitively read the post on social media on my good friend Caroline's blog!

Boomer women online
For those interested in how the boomer generation uses technology, the internet and social media, read this post over on Lipsticking and bookmark 'The Boomer Blog'! It has loads of interesting information!
Interesting fact: 80% of boomers use computers, one third of them go on-line every day! (US statistics)

How are buying decisions made?
An interesting post well worth a read (check out this chart that documents the basic characteristics of life development stages!) Helpful reading in understanding what drives us as humans (and consumers) during various life-stages.


How to Shower: Women vs. Men

...because laughing at ourselves once in a while is healthy!


Flipping the funnel: turning customers into sales people

Seth Godin always gets it right: and he does it again in his new free e-book called "Flipping the Funnel", which you can download here.

In his related post "understanding the funnel" Seth makes the following controversial statement, which I am convinced makes most salespeople/CEOs' blood run cold:

"At this point, your job is not to make a sale. Selling is just one option in a range of things you can do to further drive him down the funnel. You can engage in a dialogue (by phone or email) that takes place over time and avoids the all-or-nothing cliff of "buy now or go away forever". You can further inform or entertain, all in the service of your goal of increasing the interest, education and value of this prospect."

I would like to point out one very important concept in this paragraph: The cliff of "buy now or forever go away".
Godin puts into words the key malady of many of today's publically listed, value-for-our-shareholders, result-driven companies out there: the BUY or DIE attitude.

Don't get me wrong: in the end it is about selling a product or a service. But it is not only about the sale - it comes back to the concept I have been touting all along: how about some respect for the customer? How about some appreciation, some interest, simple but real human-to-human interaction?

Ok, we're all marketeers, but all of us are consumers too. We have all experienced the frustration of bad service and we've all felt the blood-boiling anger of "Damn it, I'M the customer here!". To be a good marketeer one has to think like a customer - always. And I'm not talking the cliched "let's put ourselves in our customers shoes for a while" marketing spiel here...I'm talking about using your personal gut feeling, your instinct as a consumer OUTSIDE work and use that to help shape your marketing programs. Food for thought...


About brands, soulmates and online trends

As the week picks up speed on this busy monday morning, I'm picking up on many interesting developments via my Google feed reader. Much is happening in the world-wide marketing (and marketing-to-women) realm that is worth sharing:

I know I keep blogging about social media, but that's because I cannot emphasise the importance of social media enough as part of smart marketing to women campaigns.
An interesting podcast I found on PodTech that details the impact of social media on corporate marketing and PR functions and the latest trends in social media strategy and implementation.

Dating through brands? Now here's a very interesting concept from a marketeers' point of view:
BRAND-MATES is a site where people select as many or as little of the brands that are near and dear to their heart and then they can have some fun searching and connecting to other "like-branded people" to date, find a soul-mate, or maybe just find a friend.
Imagine the data and insights one can collect with this site!

Here's a title that made me stop in my tracks this morning:
"By 2012 women will outnumber men online by more than 8 million!"
Again, these are US statistics, but I think it is safe to assume the same trend will make itself felt here in Europe over the coming years too. Interesting in the excerpt below is the fact that 'women's community' was the most visited and fastest growing internet category! Marketeers, take note!

Author Kaira Sturdivant Rouda on why women are taking over the internet, so to speak:
"The important thing to realize is that women are natural networkers. We’ve been the community builders in the real world since the beginning of time. Think of the most important charities in your community. Most likely they were created by, and continue to be championed by, women. Now, there’s the web. “Women’s community” was the most visited and fastest growing internet category according to ComScore Media Metrix. Women are building community online as never before. And, they are using it for business. Social networking makes business more personal and intuitive. The formally defined lines in society are falling away - and finally, work and family can become more blended."