This is an overview of how female consumerism and online representation took SPICE4LIFE.co.za (online magazine for women) from a passionate endeavour to a powerful marketing platform.
Michelle Korevaar, CEO and founder of Spice4life.co.za describes how this online media entity has evolved into an online medium with a loyal and dynamic audience, high traffic and an impressive Alexa Ranking, (online global ranking authority).
What is Spice4life.co.za?
To sum it up, Spice4Life.co.za is all about self-worth, passion, inspiration, commitment and edutainment 4 life. Their mantra revolves around the vision to inspire women to connect with their authentic selves, other women, their families and loved ones, their talents in the business world and opportunities to thrive and connect with their immediate communities where they can spread their light.
Marketing in the true sense of the word means to fulfil a need.“The needs of women are first and foremost on our list of priorities”, says Michelle. Spice4life.co.za provides a resource of information with a common bonding pit to network, a platform to communicate and a central support hub that inspires and provides the tools for women to thrive. Ten years in the making, a home-grown dynamic network and resource for women evolved from weekly workshops into an online magazine that serves to amalgamate the wide resource of information, expert advice and inspiring stories.
“I started my business for two reasons”, says Michelle. The first is a lack of access to information necessary for women to make educated choices on many different spheres of their and their family’s lives. Secondly, the huge gap to address this audience as a valuable consumer.As women, we are the decision makers who purchase quality products related to fashion, beauty, healthcare and fitness. Women influence the decisions that their partners make regarding the purchase of houses, vehicles and annual holiday destinations. Womencare and nurture for their partner’s, children’s and extended family’s needs. They educate their children and strive to equip them with the best resources in order for them to thrive.They run households and fill the cupboards. Women want to live a life of balance with a passion for life and what it has to offer including the pleasures of recreational activities and outings, exploring of new places, entertainment, food and refreshments. This is what the female consumer is all about.
A traditional marketer at heart and a firm follower of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, Michelle realised that as much as an individual wants to embrace the journey of self actualisation in all spheres of their life, the fast pace of life in the 21st century called for a medium that would save time and allow easy access. Michelle went online with her magazine for the first time in 2005. Making valuable resource of information freely available 24hrs a day, 365 days a year was the right way to go. This online magazine offers a central platform of communication that is live and updated on a weekly basis while at the same time creating a library of content to refer to.
Spice4Life.co.za consults on marketing a company, their product or service to any target market. With its incredible platform, this medium has delved into exploring the dynamics of female consumerism. When building a plane, you need to understand aeronautics - the same goes for addressing any target audience. Women specifically want to be spoken to and serviced in a specific way. Michelle refers to it as a balance of IQ and EQ. Advertising can't just talk the talk, it must walk the walk.Its credible message has to be targeted at the educated consumer who wants to listen to it and in turn add value and differentiation. It also bares relevance that women are more likely to pay more attention to the messages projected in the market place and for that are often described as true gatherers of information.
The reality is that social and economic shifts of the past half century have shifted the balance of power to women as consumers. This has significantly transformed the way companies think about women as consumers. It has less to do with male vs female and far more to do with an evolution in purchasing power.
It’s very exciting to say that instead of thinking of women as a separate group narrowly defined by their gender, companies have put women at the centre of their overall business strategies – not only to create better products and services for women, but as a way to do a better job for all consumers. After all, we service our families and communities and have an inherent knack of spreading the word.
This shift – from minority to majority – cannot be overstated.The trends that have driven women into the forefront of the global consumer economy aren’t about to stop and reverse. If you don’t think women are having or will have any effect on your industry, the comprehensive studies and statistics will prove otherwise.
Women move between their roles of CEO, mother, home-maker and nurturer as men now move more freely between the boardroom, the kitchen and the playgrounds with their children.
For both genders all those roles are important in their lives, defining who they choose to be rather than what social conditioning dictates them to be.But unlike in the past – and this is particularly true for women –no one role strictly defines them.No one role is more important than another.
Anyone can have a website but will it become an integral part of a wining communication and marketing strategy? The truth of the business is that online marketing has to be part of any winning marketing mix. The new world called the world wide web needs to be taken seriously. TV commercials and print ads are expensive and not the only presence that bears relevance nowadays. The PVR is squeezing out viewer time and print competition is high making an online resource in the form of a magazine a dime in a dozen. According to Michelle, the core concept of creating access to valuable information defines future successand is the drive to do a better, more holistic and realistic long term job of reaching and responding to the needs and wants of the educated consumers of today, irrespective of what gender they represent.
So how does a business delve into this entity and learn this new language?
1. Take a Stand: The Internet is the next big thing in marketing. Many may still argue this, but there is only one choice, you’re either in or you’re out.
2. Develop Your Authentic "Voice":Have a presence that creates a user experience.Some have a hard-hitting, no-nonsense tone to their copy and verbal delivery, while others are more professorial or outrageous. Whatever your style is, make a conscious decision to use and develop that voice.
3. RSS feeds/ Blog /Social and Business Networks: Communicate with your audience on an ongoing basis. When done correctly, there's no better way to communicate your authenticity and latest news.
4. Be willing to learn: Web metrics, analytics and online statistics are part of the new language that needs to be learnt.
5. Learn from the best:There are many people out there that claim to know a lot about online presence and SEO, and often they haven’t got a clue. We have been very lucky to have had our fair share of mentors and my conclusion is that there are two ways to compete online. Firstly, with your pocket and/or with skill. Secondly, by consulting with a company that is willing to put a personalized strategy together and empower you with information that will develop your SEO skills and create a valuable presence online through collaborations.
7. Get Published:There is a distinct halo effect when you can add the word "author" to your expertise. Offer your expertise through submission of articles and strengthen your voice.
9. Get a Greek Chorus: Do not surround yourself with a bunch who salute everything you say. Really trustworthy colleagues and business associates will and should feel comfortable challenging you.
10. Create a network of mentors: True industry leaders, gurus, wizards and fabulous people in general are more than happy to share their seasoned wisdom.
11. Show your face: Making time and availability of self is obviously not always a luxury that can easily be taken in the mad pace of business life. But in this age of increased computer-mediated marketing, there's a lot to be said for a physical presence.
12. Practice Out-of-the-Box PR: Offer clear and obvious value in any article you write and release and with any marketplace activity.
13. Be Focused, but Don't Develop Tunnel Vision: Be open to opportunity
BLOCK INTRO: Spice4life have the pleasure of being mentored by Frank Manson. An acclaimed internet marketer who is highly motivated, dynamic and versatile. Frank’s impressive IT credentials with sound experience in global search engine marketing makes him a formidable asset. With 6 years in the higher rankings of SEO specialization and incredible respect from his clients and peers, he is an accomplished marketer who offers specialized analysis in web presence, traffic strategies and tactics for online businesses.
His experience in the corporate environment has helped him understand the needs of executives living in the corporate digital divide.
Having his own network of successful internet sites and constantly on the cutting edge of Google’s new developments and changes, has allowed him to offer actionable strategies to exclusive corporate clients who are willing to take their internet business to the next level.
Due to high demand, Frank Manson is introducing a set of exclusive educational modules to take into in-house training environments. For more information please email: email@example.com