Jane Muses on Marketing
Smart Man Online: Tris Hussey

Jane Talks Design

Tuesday...Fit by Five...5 ways to spice up your website or blog to attract Jane and her friends. We are writing this today in honor of our new header -- just developed by our very own techie in residence, Tom Collins (yes, that's his real name) of Knowledge Aforethought, A-ha!, and even the Business Blogging Boot Camp. We hope you like our new look...we hope you give Tom a round of applause...and we hope you don't fault us for linking to our other blogs, where he is the prime designer.

Design, you will discover, if you pay attention to women at all, is highly important to us. Let us explain...

First of all, Jane would like all of our devoted readers, and any newcomers to this blog, to understand that women are simple creatures. We have no hidden agendas, no secret gatherings, no ulterior motives...

Who believes that? You may be excused. The truth is that we are, after all, just girls at heart and we do have hidden agendas, we do meet in secret to plot the overthrow of -- the bathroom, if nothing else -- and we do have ulterior motives. In true transparent form, Jane admits all. Now, we will help you use this information properly: to update your website, to jazz up your blog, to create marketing messages that make us swoon.

1. Our hidden agenda is to make other people happy. Most often it's a family member (hi, Mom!), but it can be a friend, a co-worker, our boss, our boss's wife, or even the neighbor's husband. Oh, wait...Jane was thinking of Desperate Housewives for that last one. Strike through, please.

Concentrate on the "making other people happy" where it applies to our family and friends. When YOU attempt to make US happy, by suitably dressing up your website (take Kate Spade, for example, oh the colors, the ease of use, the shoes, the link to Jack Spade, the sales, the shoes! now there's a lady who understands women who shop online), you show us how much you care about us, which makes us want to return the favor. And, if we care about you, we'll buy from you.

2. Our efforts to overthrow...not the government --heavens, we are quite transparent about our politics, just look at the Cardinal Collective, but the kitchen, the bathroom, the bedroom -- should be met with little, if any, resistance. Women today are wielding their own hammers and saws in remodeling projects, not to mention painting their own walls and designing their own decks. We want you to guide us in these efforts...because though we may be fired up and eager to join the likes of Trading Spaces, etc., we may not have the experience.

Your website can be the place to get that experience...by offering us articles, links, advice, and give gift certificates to Lowe's. Why not? What fun! If you're local, we'll meet you there and exchange paint chips.

3. Being "just girls at heart" means...just what it says. We like girly things. But, they have to be relevant. Ribbons and bows are nice, if you sell boxes. Pink is nice if you're supporting breast cancer. The major mistake most online businesses make is not depicting a woman on their homepage, when women are their primary market. Or, and this is just as bad, using stock click-art to portray your businesses features and benefits. When we see the same image, over and over again, on your site and his site and her site...it becomes not only boring, but insulting. We think, who are you really marketing to? Maybe Olive Oil, or Betty Boop, or a character in a novel...but not me, not the living, breathing, willing to spend my money, me.

Think about it...we know who we are; it's up to you to discover it.

4. Speaking of secret gatherings -- shhhh! Jane doesn't like giving away secrets, but...those coffe klatches we all attend, the women's luncheons, the evening meetings, all of them are about -- business. The business of life. Because life is our business, at home and at work. The veil of secrecy is actually as transparent as a summer afternoon. All of those rendevous are places we gather to fix something; usually something in our lives. Our jobs, our weight, our kids, our husbands or significant others, the dog, the cat, the gerbil, something relevant to #1.

We like to keep these secret gatherings simple, think: female-friendly: in order to lay all of our cards on the table, if we care to. Here's where it affects you: How many women's groups are in your hometown? Do you have their logos on your website? Do you know their colors? Can you support them by devoting one page of your site to their community efforts? What about the historical society in your area? We bet there are LOTS of women involved in it.

Here in Rochester, our morning paper had an article on Monday about the Public Market. Videographer Nancy Rosin just published a book titled, The Hands That Feed Us: 100 Years at the Rochester Public Market. That's the kind of thing all local sites should be supporting, and helping to market. We bet you could find something similar in your hometown -- or start something similar, yourself! Wow! There's a female-friendly thought, to be sure!

5. As to our ulterior motives -- yes, you know what those are: to buy more shoes. Shoes, shoes, shoes. A woman can never have enough shoes. Open-toed (despite business pundits saying we should not wear them to the office; we refer you to a marvelous post from last year, over at Funny Business), high heels (despite the pain they cause, both in our back and, well...elsewhere), sandals for the beach, sandals for dancing, sneakers for long walks in the park, hiking books boots (!) for the mountains, and more. Mountains2

Yes, deep in every woman's heart lurks the Shoe Monster. He (it must be a he -- no respectable woman would whine so!) attacks at the most inopportune times, like when we're shopping for our son's birthday -- or for a family anniversary -- or a bridal shower -- or any number of other occasions. No matter what it is we're clicking about the net for -- the Shoe Monster is watching and waiting, and will jump out to insist we click into the shoe department, regardless of where we are. Even if we're at Circuit City, which --to our knowledge-- has no shoe department.

Honestly, it's not our fault. Women just like shoes. The Imelda Marco gene is alive and well in us all. There, you heard it here, openly and honestly. Any woman who denies it is...well, in denial.

Therefore, we suggest you add a shoe department to your product list or servies services offerings. You will make all of us so happy! And, isn't that what it's all about...Tracy Byrd has it right: If Mama ain't Happy, ain't Nobody Happy.

Shoes = happy.

What's not to like about that?


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steven streight aka vaspers the grate

A delightful post, your sense of humor is kind and remarkable.

This cheered me up. I wish I could do that for people like you do.

Women gather to discussing fixing things? I heard these female genderers often see a boyfriend or husband as a "project", due to overvaluation of business think.

Business bloggers must be the sentinels of value and values.


laurence haughton

Great post... great design change... but I especially love the time spent on "shoes."

As you know I wrote a section on "Purpose" in my book on follow through. When my agent read it he said, "Okay purpose works in the firehouse and the hospital but not everywhere. What "purpose" is there in selling shoes? You do it simply to make money."

I said "You obviously have never sold shoes... especially women's shoes."

I learned from a very successful shoe company that all the hard work in shoe retailing was worth it just because of how his products made his customers so very, very happy.

Every business person should read your post. It's a lesson in seeing one's business through the customers eyes and understanding why they buy.

elana centor

Love the new look -- I think I have blog envy. Or let's say your new look is inspiring me that perhaps I need a new look. Or as the woman in the diner said in When Harry Met Sally, " I'll have what she's having,"

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