Persuasive Picks for week of 4/30/12

Women Are More Social – When It Comes to Social Media, That Is writes Entrepreneur’s Mikal E. Belicove reporting the results of Nielsen’s latest State of The Media report that shows women are the alpha players on the social media playground.

In How Products Participate In Social Media, expert blogger Matt Compton explains that the evolution of the Internet and smart devices has created an amazing fabric of connected lives and now weaves together people’s connections with things, and brands are starting to “participate” in new and meaningful ways. – via FastCompany.

Freelance writer Michael Estrin says there’s no longer a question whether a brand should have a YouTube channel. Instead, the question is, what should a brand do with its YouTube channel? Here’s his 6 lessons in launching a branded YouTube Channel on iMediaConnection.

Many businesses see their social media following as a list, without acknowledging there’s a human being on the other end. James Debono at SocialMediaToday thinks that they just aren’t “getting it” and gives 10 guidelines for Marketing with Social Media – Grow A Loyal Community by Increasing Your Worth.

Jumpin’ on the Sex and the City 2 ‘Brand’ Wagon

Unless you live under a rock, I am sure that by now you are very, or depending on who’s reading this, painfully, aware that Sex and the City 2 hits theaters nation-wide today.

It’s virtually impossible not to know that this movie is out in theaters as you’ve probably seen the overly-hyped movie trailer, one too many “SJP” interviews or read a barrage of articles on “How to get Carrie’s six-digit look for less.” Marketing and promotional campaigns tied to movies aren’t new they just continue to get bigger and broader with the impact of product placements and social media. With its fashion-forward audience it’s not at all surprising that the SATC2 marketing engine is in overdrive – but what is surprising is how many different types of consumer brands are capitalizing on what one LA Times reporter has described as “not just a movie…(but)… a lifestyle,…”

I can’t think of another franchise that has sparked as many give-aways, makeovers, and vacation sweepstakes. It feels like every time I turn around, another, and, in some instances, unexpected industry is jumping on the SATC2 ‘brand’ wagon.

Of course the obvious players, retail brands like Macys and high-end fashion publications like Vogue, would be missing the boat if they didn’t create buzz around such a fashion-forward experience. It’s also understandable to see the hospitality industry getting in on a piece of the action by offering high-end New York City SATC2 weekend getaway packages . It fits with the movie’s backdrop and isn’t that much of a stretch. But when brands like HP, hype their “2010 Spring Collection” with their SATC2 Sweepstakes and Lipton Ice Tea promotes a “Manhattan Makeover” I think it only further reinforces, what many already know, that women ages 30-45 have some serious buying power, or as my husband says we are “a marketers dream.” After seeing the brand campaigns launched over these last couple of weeks I wouldn’t be surprised if Black & Decker were to launch a SATC2 sweepstakes featuring its 12-Volt Variable Speed Cordless Drill, I’d be lying if I said I wouldn’t at least check out the prize package. Are you paying attention Black & Decker??

What do you think about unexpected brands coming up with creative ways to get in front of this powerful demographic? Talk amongst yourselves, while I get back to completing all my SATC2 sweepstake forms!

Women as Entrepreneurs – Sharing Inspiration and Lessons

Last night I had the honor of speaking on a panel to a group of women for Girls in Tech’sWomen as Entrepreneurs, Women as Leaders” event at Babson College. The discussion focused on leadership lessons and advice from – and for – women entrepreneurs in today’s technology and business communities. My co-panelists, Amy Cueva, Founder & Chief Experience Officer of Mad*Pow, Heather Margolis, Founder & President of Channel Maven Consulting, and Lynn Andres Stein of Olin College, were inspiring and thoughtful. They shared many tips with the audience based on various years of entrepreneurship – from nine months up to nearly 20 years. Some of my favorite tips, lessons and observations included:

  • Don’t be afraid to be different – entrepreneurs are the core of innovation by thinking differently
  • Women tend to be more emotional leaders – an attribute that can be both helpful and a hindrance
  • Take time for yourself on a personal level – a personal life makes you a better business leader and a happier person all around
  • Leaders make tough decisions every day (the right choices, not the popular ones) – you’ll never have everyone’s approval so stop waiting for it and trust your instincts
  • Be definitive and decisive – know your values and stick to them
  • Women are often their own worst enemies – support each other and our choices to work, to not work; to have a family or not. Only we can force the change we seek in respect for our gender’s choices.

What tough lessons have you learned that you’d share with other women considering the leap to entrepreneurship?

In addition, the audience was chock full of inspiring women. Two of my favorite were these brilliant ladies from Leotus Home Cooling. Katherine Harty, President and Beeni Mathew, VP, have created an innovative home cooling system with a few team members that is “the first effortless air conditioner — providing the comfort you want, without the compromises.” The design is sleek, innovative and sure to be a smash success. I’m sure these ladies will have many lessons of their own to share with future entrepreneurs. If you’d like to support their efforts today, be sure to vote for them in ideablob’s October sprint, where the participant receiving the most votes will win $10,000 from ideablob to further their business idea. (Although, unfortunately, I think requiring registration to vote is hindering the process.)

A special thanks to Kate Brodock of Boston Girls in Tech for asking me to participate.