And the Favorite Noodle Is?

Since it’s almost the end of the term, it’s time to vote on which noodle stuck with you the most:

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Misc. Post: If the shoe fits… A new interactive solution revolutionalizes the perfect fit!

  *image on behalf of coloribus.com

Marketing is only half of the challenge for apparel brands. If they are able to successfully attract consumers to their product, then the next critical step is to make sure their product fits. However, we all know the size on the tag has little to do with how an item will fit.

Recently, I read in an AdAge.com  article how an exciting new device from BodyMetrics could help consumers find products that fit them best. It could also help companies better design clothes that they know will fit their target market. Check out a video.

It seems like this new technology could close the current gap with online shopping; someone’s going to be more likely to buy online if they know the item will work with their body type, without having to try it on. I also see many possibilities with how this new technology could be used more in interactive marketing; a “virtual dressing room” or “see it in the mirror”.

~Did this noodle stick?

Misc. Post: A noodle that really stuck… ~Suggested Reading

In a previous post, I referred the website She-conomy. Since then there have been several fascinating blog posts and articles published on this site. It’s really a must read!

In particular, one of their recent posts offered interesting insights on how to effectively market to women via social. Take a look!

12 Hurdles Male Marketers Must Clear To Successfully Market To Women With Social Media

The article highlights “12 Mistakes Male Marketers Continue to Make When Marketing to Women With Social Media”. What, men making mistakes? I joke, of course.

In addition to the intriguing posts, the website also offers a wealth of information about women as consumers and what this means for marketing strategies.

~Let me know if this noodle sticks!

 *image courtesy of realbollywood.com

Post #8: Social? Maybe OK, maybe not.

According to Bing, the basic definition of social really means just that, being social; relating and interacting with one another, and building relationships. I’m not convinced that the media type that has taken on this very term, serves the same definition, in all cases. Do interactions facilitated via the digital bi-ways actually contribute to creating and building effective relationships? My answer… it depends. For me it really depends on the type of relationship involved.

For relationships with family, I have seen first hand how Facebook and other social media has actually gotten in the way of how family members communicate and interact with each other. My point of view is that Facebook should not be considered a mass communication vehicle, because what happened in Vegas, should probably stay in Vegas and not on your Aunt or Grandmother’s wall. In my experience family members also seem to believe that a tweet is a replacement for calling family members on their birthday or paying them a visit in person. Sometimes old school is just better!

However, there is an exception to my opinion here. It relates to something that may be a bit of reach to call social, but I think it does fit within the context of social media. It is a website called Caring Bridge. This is essentially a social media site for people with serious illnesses. It allows them to provide updates and stay in touch with friends and loved ones. It allows people to provide support, when the circumstances may not have otherwise allowed it. When my father was faced with a terminal illness, I saw the brilliant application of this social media at work. It allowed my Dad to stay connected and to share the deep insights about his journey. Even though I spoke to him or saw him everyday, this social medium allowed him to share things about his experience, that he may not have been willing to share with me directly. For me, this is social at it’s best.

I also think that social media is effective for less initimate relationships, such as professional relationships or other relationships that might benefit from the connection with a stranger. …Someone you may have not connected with, if it wasn’t for social media. I think a great example is being able to connect with fellow consumers to discuss experiences with products or brands. I also think it’s effective for facilitating community connections or forums, based on a common interest or cause.  

Overall, I think social should considered a mechanism to supplement our other interactions, but should not replace face to face interactions with the people in our lives that mean the most to us. Those require real face time!

*Image courtesy of calibergroup.wordpress.com

Post #7: Interactive Not Interruptive Media; that’s the kind I like

These days, interactive media takes many different forms. It covers the broad spectrum from the color a button changes to when you hover over it, to more sophisticated types that include video or animation. In one brief journey on the internet you can quickly be exposed to all the different types. The question is what works, and what doesn’t?

For me, interactive media is at its best when it helps the user navigate, complete a task or helps inform. I’m personally a fan of different layered types of interactive experiences that reduce the number of clicks a user needs to take or that prevents the user from having to go back and forth on certain web pages. I also like interactive media, such as images, that help illustrate a point or helps tell a story. Sometimes it’s hard to read large sections of text online, so it’s helpful to have images or other interactive features that break up text. This is especially useful when reading blog sites.

Interactive media is at its worst when it gets in our way; when it interrupts what we are trying to do, such as the ads that spring up on certain websites. News websites seem to be the worst.

However, it seems like the line between these two is getting more and more blurred. For example, there may be a video you want to watch to see an important news story, but first you must watch the ad that is presented at the beginning, that has little to do with the information you’re interested in. Like TV programming, websites also depend on advertising to pay for them. As a result, interactive media will likely continue to be used to be both helpful and interruptive to users.

Post #6: I’m still a magazine reader; the paper kind.

I’m the mother of a seven and four year old. With this territory comes the rare few moments of solace. I have to admit those few treasured moments are usually found in the privacy of my bathroom. I also need to come clean that many of those occasions arise, not due to the call of nature, but due to my desperate pursuit to recapture my sanity or to re-find myself. As part of these brief diversions, I have found some small luxury in magazines; the paper kind. There’s no digital side to these small 10 minute vacations I take. It’s purely old school for me! With the 10 minutes of bliss, I find myself reading the magazine ads just as much as the articles. I wonder if this is unique to my own life or is this a common experience for mothers everywhere.

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Accordingly to the website she*conomy, 85% of the all consumer purchases are made by women. I think it’s fair to assume that a large portion of that 85%, are made by mothers. If that is the case, than magazines are likely still a valid marketing vehicle. Especially given the captive setting I often find myself reading them in.

When I‘m looking at ads, there are certain types that appeal to me, more than others. The beauty ads that attempt to make me feel unworthy, without the right pimple cream or age defying formulas, are quick page turners. Why would I work so hard to escape reality, only to read an ad that reminds me of some remote reality? The ads that tell me a sweet story, make me laugh or inspire me, are the ones that I actually decide to read and note the brands they’re advertising for.

For example, there was a recent Liquid Plumbr ad I found, on one of my recent excursions. The tag line read “embrace your inner plumber” and featured a woman wearing a pink shirt and a tool belt.  The copy of the ad was calling to the feminist in all of us and our need to take charge of our own situations. The ad promoted the Liquid Plumr facebook page that offers D.I.Y. solutions; “No boyfriends, husbands or plumbers required”. It also highlights that their facebook page features Home Improvement star, Norma Vally, who presents the Liquid Plumr “Tool School”.

Another ad that caught my attention was a World Wild Life ad, that read “Be the voice for those that have no voice” and featured a picture with a mother and baby elephant. I will admit that this ad drove me to leave my “time out” and to return to my brood.

The marketing messages that seem to capture my interest are not the shallow attempts to make me feel inferior, but the ads that have some substance. They’re the ads that don’t undermine my intelligence, but instead respect it. Afterall, if me, and many other women like me, are the driving consumer force in America, then clearly we deserve to be respected in the very ads that we’re being targeted by.