8: Women’s Influence
SEASON 1: EPISODE 8
In 2005, Elisa Camahort Page recognized two things: 1) blogging was becoming more influential on mainstream media platforms 2) most of the authors and thought-leaders gaining attention were white males.
On this episode of the T+P Podcast, Amber sits down with Elisa Camahort Page, co-founder and former COO of BlogHer, a national women’s media brand, for a conversation about women consumers: our values, power and influence.
Missing voices: In 2005, just as mainstream, traditional media was catching on to the phenom of blogging, Elisa and the future founders of BlogHer noticed that media outlets chose to highlight thought-leaders who were predominantly white men. The lack of female representation led them to seek a new space in blogging: a platform to showcase the expertise of women.
A media company made up of women, for women. For most media companies, politics is the loss leader. Lifestyle is usually the money maker. However, in 2005, no one was focusing on these topics from women’s perspectives. And that’s how BlogHer found their differentiator. Creating a media company for women, by women, that spoke to women was the mission. Today, it’s a market.
Women were talking about everything from parenting to politics. Women are typically painted as a homogeneous group only interested in parenting and anything pink, but the reality is women’s interests span a variety of areas. Elisa and her partners, Lisa Stone and Jory des Jardins understood the diversity and complexity of women’s voices and set out to create a space where ALL women would have an opportunity to share their views. The three believed women’s voices and perspectives were going to change the course of history.
Women’s influence: BlogHer set itself apart by making women the focal point and in doing so, they created a network of thought-leaders with tremendous influence. Women control well over 80% of the household income across industries — holding immense purchasing power and identifying themselves beyond traditional gender roles (for example: women make up over 50% of NFL fans). Women consumers are different than men. Their diversity and influence should be represented accordingly.
Diverse views and authentic perspectives: One of the most significant areas that drove BlogHer’s success was their focus on diversity and inclusion. The three founders are from the Bay Area, a region hailed for its progressive practices. They prioritized diversity & inclusion as a main focus of the brand: team members, conference speakers and bloggers on their network span all different cultures, backgrounds and perspectives.
Understanding the value of diversity and inclusion. Elisa suggests companies that do not make diversity and inclusion a priority may not understand the value. Acknowledging your limitations and making changes is key to filling the gaps in knowledge. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Segmentation is a must. If your marketing strategy is designed to “speak to everyone” then you’re missing an opportunity. Segmentation is key to creating authentic connections with your customers. Every customer is different and they need to be spoken to differently. Creating segments and adjusting your messaging to meet the needs of those segments is important. And this applies to your marketing channels as well. You want to join conversations, not interrupt them.
Diversity goes beyond color: Age, race, culture, sexual orientation etc. are all aspects of a person’s journey. Being mindful of your customer and making sure that you’re creating a culture that embraces (and matches) your audience is key. To do so, review your processes and systems to ensure that the culture you create is designed to get your business closer to your target market. It’s important to do the research so that you reflect your target market accurately, not just project your viewpoint of a particular group. For example: LGBTQ users are incredibly brand loyal, women control the purse strings, African Americans are early adopters. Creating a culture that is designed around your target audience helps ensure that you’re connecting with them meaningfully.
Top tips for brands looking to connect with women
Listen and find the place where you can listen. One of the hardest things to do on social media is to decide when you’re not going to chime in. Instead, just listen, learn and adapt.
Let people speak for themselves. Highlight and feature what they have to say. Don’t make it about you.
If you want to work with influencers in any demographic space, pay them. If you really want to achieve marketing goals, then make sure influencers (micro-influencers especially) are brought on as collaborative partners.
Elisa Camahort Page
Known as the co-founder and COO of women’s media company BlogHer, Inc., Elisa is now focused on speaking, writing, and consulting with entrepreneurs, thought leaders, and organizations who are looking to do better, be better, communicate better, and collaborate better.
Her debut book, Road Map for Revolutionaries: Resistance, Activism, and Advocacy for All was published by Ten Speed Press on September 18 and was an Amazon #1 New Release. A hands-on resource guide to activating around the causes you care most about, #RoadMap4Revs features contributions and/or endorsements from such diverse activists and advocates as Gloria Steinem, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Patrisse Cullors, Soledad O'Brien, Ricki Lake, Guy Kawasaki, Bobby Jones, and Carla Hall.
Elisa's guiding principle is that Innovation + Empathy > Innovation + Efficiency.
Find her at: elisacp.com and follow her on Twitter at @ElisaC.
Greenfield Online for Arnold’s Women’s Insight Team
Page, Elisa Camahort (2018). Ten Speed Press. Road Map for Revolutionaries: Resistance, Activism and Advocacy for All
Silva, Clarissa (2019). Thrive Global. Make The Changes You Want To See In The World. With Elisa Camahort Page.
The Yankelovich Monitor
Produced by: Kai-Saun Anderson
Music by: Podington Bear