For women-owned companies, technology is power

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In 1922, master retailer and pioneering advertiser John Wanamaker rattled off an observation that dominated marketing for much of the 20th century. “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted,” he said. “The trouble is I don’t know which half.”

If he were still around, Wanamaker would be astounded with the marketing insights made possible by technology. Modern data analytics lets business owners test the effectiveness of virtually every dollar they invest. They can tweak, redirect and refine marketing campaigns in real time. And social media grants instant, direct access to entire audiences.

This series focuses on the power of technology for woman-owned businesses. We’ll talk about choosing tech based on your goals and how to harness all the advantages, starting with your website.

In the flood of business tech, websites might seem somewhat old-school and routine—you have one because you’re supposed to. Yet, websites are still powerful resources for sales, networking and reinforcing your personality with audiences. They are foundational for your marketing success.

We’ll talk about must-do lists for your site including programmatic media buying that drives targeted traffic to your site in ways unimaginable even a few years ago.

We’ll walk through choosing the best social media channels based on your company and goals. We’ll review R&A—research and analytics tools—that track social media engagement to reveal deeper insights about your audience. You’ll take a deep dive into inbound marketing and how this approach connects you to your audience in the most meaningful ways . You’ll also see how social media influencers are disrupting the marketing game, and how they can benefit you.

To begin, start considering your customer demographics. Business owners are often told to cast their net as wide as possible—build a demo that includes anyone from 8 to 80. The truth is, those days are over. The more you understand the characteristics and nuances of your customer, the better you will use technology to drive sales. Knowing your audience in terms of age, interest, gender, ethnicity and geography turns digital media into a powerful game changer.

Here’s a quick insight. Years ago, I worked on marketing for a major soft drink account that targeted the 18-34 age group. My ad budget wasn’t nearly enough to reach such a broad audience. So, I took a closer look and saw that kids in the 12-17 range represented nearly 80% of soft-drink consumption. I immediately narrowed the target audience and made my ad presence larger within that group, hence growing sales with a core group of consumers.

With the right technology, it’s all within your grasp.

Ann Edelman is Vice President of Public Relations and Media for Zehnder Communications, a fully integrated advertising and marketing agency. Reach her at aedelman@z-comm.com.

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