#RedLetterDay 2018 Highlights | Nashville Brands are Marketing to Women

August 2018, Nashville, Tenn.#RedLetterDay, the premier Nashville-based "Marketing to Women" half-day mini conference and brainchild of Brand Wise's Jamin Dunnam, just wrapped a successful third year. The event and speakers were captivating, thoughtful, emotional,  and most of all impactful! We heard from superstar marketers working on top brands- PEDIGREE, NISSAN, Goo Goo Clusters, State of TN Tourism, Asurion, and many more! I am honored to have had the opportunity to volunteer and also share what I learned with you. 

Red Letter Day focuses on reaching the "Lipstick Economy" (Buzzword Alert!) - AKA the 100 million women who control 85% of all consumer purchases. Yeah, that's a LOT of ladies that marketers are trying to get the attention of. 

This year's Red Letter Day theme was “Stories Matter,” giving an insider's perspective of how Nashville's top brands are incorporating women into their marketing strategies, both internally and externally. We dug into deep topics: diversity and inclusion, cause marketing, influencer marketing, marketing trends, and research on women and why they feel misunderstood by marketers.

Following are #RedLetterDay Highlights, Featuring My FAV Brand Stories from the event!

ASURION's Yanika Smith Bartley on Tackling Unconscious Bias in Recruiting

Yanika Smith-Bartley, Vice President & Special Council, Diversity & Inclusion @asurion shared her journey from taking on a diversity initiative that wasn't even part of her job to now leading an entire department and team that is dedicated to ensuring diversity and inclusion are engrained into Asurion's corporate culture. Here's how she did it:

  • Look at diversity and inclusion in your recruiting strategy. What new employees are you bringing into the company? How are you addressing them throughout the recruitment process?

  • Research. Poll current employees. Add diversity-related questions to application process.

  • Educate company leaders on biases in the interview process. (There 150 types, y'all! And sometimes biased people don't know their being biased!)

  • Mitigate biases. Testing and using technology can help. There is software available to help you audit your recruiting language and messaging.

  • Embed diversity and inclusion principles into your company's principles and mission statement.

  • Start a grassroots launch. Employee resource groups (ERGs) create a sense of belonging. ERGs are advocates for particular demographics of people within a company. For example, an ERG could be a group of employees who are Latino or LGBT or Millennials- all coming together within a company to ensure their voices are recognized.

  • FUN FACT: Asurion has 10 different ERG groups now!

TWICE DAILY's Dawn Boulanger on how Women are the New "Bubba"

Dawn Boulanger, VP Marketing, TriStar Energy & @TwiceDaily, Nashville's line of 9+ locally owned and operated retail convenience stores, talked about the C-Store (convenience store) Industry & Shifting Target Audiences. Dawn shared how research revealed their target audience was not the stereo-typical "Bubba" that the industry was used to. Twice Daily did research that defined their 4 audience groups and revealed insights that they took into their media strategy, creative campaigns, product offerings, brand messaging, and even giving the company a coffee-focused makeover! Stay Tuned for a blog post coming soon that goes into detail of how Bubba was pushed out of the driver's seat as Twice Daily's target market.

Money, Power Respect. When it comes to purchasing power, the ladies have it in the bag. Marketers are paying attention, and the smart brands are leading by example. Follow Brand Wise's blog, The Lipstick Economy for the latest news, marketing statistics, and insights into marketing to women in today's economy.