Jane is wondering if there is something in the air-- something catchy-- something invisible, seeping into unsuspecting minds as they sleep. We are wondering this because we have been receiving some emails that are decidely not female-friendly.
While Jane supports free speech, and isn't out to deny anyone his or her day online, we are concerned that despite our best efforts to be fair, Lip-sticking is coming under attack as being "too girlish"...too focused on women-- without regard to our colleagues of that other gender. In truth, we embrace members of that other gender-- on a regular basis--both in and out of the office. We hope that does not cause your mind to wander, dear reader.
Since we exist to support marketing to women online, and to help all small businesses understand what that means, we do not feel the need to defend ourselves...except to say to our detractors, "Oh grow up." There. That's done.
Now, on with our Fit by Five. Today we have Five Female-Friendly Bits and Bytes that should help you in your efforts to market to women who shop online.
1. From ThinkBingo.com, a story showing that BINGO is the most popular form of online gambling. Who, dear reader, plays more bingo than anyone else? Our mother, that's who. Perhaps your mother, also. Perhaps, your wife or your secretary or your District Manager. Regardless, if you would attract women to your site...think BINGO...and make sure the reward is worth our time. (note how this site is doing OFFLINE advertising to attract visitors to its ONLINE presence.)
2. My friend Ken ( who was part of a Smart Couple Online interview December 9, 2004) wrote to me regarding this news story on the Grameen Foundation, as it appeared in the Oswego County Business Magazine: Fighting Poverty Through Microlending.
Jane would like to remind you, dear reader, that fighting poverty is an issue many, many women are not only familiar with, but involved with-- sometimes because the poverty they are fighting is their own. If you can help, you will win the hearts and souls of these budding entrepreneurs, who will patronize your online store because we all prefer to buy from friends, rather than strangers. Isn't that so?
3. From our friends at Diversity Inc. we learn that Sara Lee has named a woman to the position of CEO, with a return to Sara Lee's focus on food.
"Sara Lee named president and chief operating officer Brenda Barnes its new chief executive officer, replacing Steve McMillan, 59, who will remain chairman until October. McMillan said the company recruited Barnes, 50, last year as his successor."
This note is to remind you that-- despite the negative publicity surrounding Carly Fiorina and her departure from HP, there are still smart, savvy businesswomen out there-- and they are in demand for executive positions.
Remember, women are in the market for ALL the things you might be selling to men: briefcases, cell phones, business suits, trucks, vacation packages, tools, the list could go on and on. While Brenda Barnes is going to be focusing on food, there are hundreds of other women executives focusing on your product. Make it appealing or-- personal. We'll love you for it.
4. Tobi Elkin at MediaPost reported on this interesting gem following the Grammys. "A New Form of Online Sales." Apparently, "A jazz composer won a Grammy award last night for an album that didn't sell at retail. Come again? Maria Schneider's album, "Concert in the Garden," was distributed online through ArtistShare, a company that finances album production via the support of music fans." This bears checking into, dear readers.
The company, as Tobi reports, considers its audience its most valuable asset. Isn't that...just what Jane has been telling you all along? Your audience, your customers, your prospects, should be driving your marketing. When that's a woman, you need to talk to her to get inside her head and find out exactly what it is that she's looking for...and then, provide it. No excuses accepted.
5. Last, we offer you this note from our Publisher's Weekly email newsletter:
WNBA's Hollywood Closeup
In a kind of prequel to the Oscars, the New York City chapter of the Women's National Book Association is holding a panel discussion called Authors & Auteurs: Adapting Books into Films or Will Nicole Kidman Play Me in the Movie? The seminar will be held this coming Wednesday, February 16, from 6 to 8 p.m., at the Small Press Center, 20 W. 44th St., in New York City.
The discussion and Q&A features Jody Hotchkiss, agent, Hotchkiss and Associates; Michael J. Luisi, executive v-p of business & legal affairs, Miramax Films; James Siegel, author of Derailed (soon to be a major motion picture starring Jennifer Aniston); Meg Wolitzer, author of This Is My Life (film adaptation by Nora Ephron) and Surrender, Dorothy (forthcoming CBS movie starring Diane Keaton); and Maria Zuckerman, creative executive, HBO Films. The moderator is Helen Wan, attorney, publishing & entertainment groups, Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz.
Admission is $10 for nonmembers; $5 for students and Small Press Center members. Free to WNBA members. For general information and media inquiries, contact Susannah Greenberg Public Relations at 212-208-4629 or via e-mail; for publicity contact Janet Reid at 718-821-4996 or via e-mail; for membership, contact Carol Wiener at 212-452-9690 or via e-mail.
Jane especially likes the part about, "Will Nicole Kidman Play Me in the Movie?" While we know this is last minute, and even those readers in the NY area may not be able to attend, we offer this as an inducement to everyone to find out what kinds of similar events are happening in your area-- and how you might promote them...and get some attention yourself.
What, we ask, is not to like about that?