Posts Tagged ‘marketing’

    Weighty obsession

    Saturday, December 13th, 2008

    Google Analytics is quite the marketing tool. From the time it was set up for this Web site, I’ve been able to track the number of daily visitors, where my visitors reside and which posts/pages were most popular — among other data.

    But one insight I’ve gained is too disturbing.

    It comes by way of the keyword section of Google Analytics, which tells me why some people visited my blog.

    To say that we are a country obsessed with a woman’s weight is the biggest understatement of all time. Keyword searches such as “measurements average woman,” “size 2 women’s measurements” and “36 24 36” have brought at least one visitor to my site every day since I wrote this blog.

    Is it a wonder why young American women, including myself for the past many months, consistently grapple with their weight? We’re so busy seeking the answer for the perfect body that we’ve yet to realize the heaviness of our self-inflicted misery.

    Watching me

    Monday, May 5th, 2008

    Like so many other people, I am a slave to the social networking craze. You can find me on Friendster, MySpace, LinkedIn, Plaxo and Facebook — not to mention this very neat blog. And despite my path toward ubiquitousness I was thinking not too long ago of expanding my roster.

    But I’m now reconsidering my presence on our mighty World Wide Web. I’ve been fighting the urges to cancel many of the aforementioned accounts because, well, people are starting to spook me.

    Newly engaged as I am, I decided a few weeks back to tweak my Facebook profile. So, I changed my “Relationship Status” to engaged, proudly declaring to every Tom, Dick and Hank that I am such a catch that one of their own wants to marry me, and to “Take that!”

    It was soon after the change that I noticed ads appearing on my Facebook profile. Ads for wedding photographers and wedding magazine subscriptions and wedding rings and wedding planners and on and on. It took me a day or two to figure out that the advertisements appearing on my page were not a coincidence.

    Oh, my god, I’m being stalked,” I thought. “I’m a mere data figure for marketers, a target for advertisers, who will relentlessly chase me and my money and find a way to weave themselves in to my ambitions and dreams.”

    My pride over the status change has turned into paranoia. I feel violated due to my own actions. And Jill Scott‘s song “Watching Me” has been on repeat in my head.

    I’m under some kind of microscope.
    Satellites over my head,
    transmitters in my dollars.
    Hawking, watching, scoping, jocking,
    scrutinizing me.
    Checking to see what I’m doing,
    where I be,
    who I see,
    how and where and with whom I make my money.
    What is this?”

    Green machine

    Saturday, April 19th, 2008

    I’m going to be the world’s biggest jerk for saying this, but here it is:

    Enough with the “Go Green” movement.

    There, now I’ve become a target. You can go egg my car — just be sure to use only organic, cage-free eggs.

    Seriously though, taking care of Mother Earth is a notion that is now en vogue, a notion that Corporate America is now glorifying — much like it has done with hip-hop — and stripping it of truth.

    Take last night, for example: While watching television I saw three consecutive commercials for “green” products and/or retailers. These ads were featured during intervals of my favorite show, “What Not To Wear,” which aptly aired an episode dedicated to sustainable, earth-friendly styles.

    While such efforts are noble, my skepticism is emerging like a wart. Are we seeing an authentic concern for our environment or the newest marketing trend? Is it all for a green planet or greenbacks?

    Before dedicating resources to coin the term “Budget-friendly prices, earth-friendly products,” perhaps Wal-Mart should allocate those resources to improve its appalling record on labor standards. Except that doing so wouldn’t reap any profits the way a catchy “green” product label would.

    And maybe before hosting an episode on sustainable fashion, Clinton and Stacy of “What Not To Wear” should work to appear less snarky and more sincere when talking about recycled clothes.

    Shame, shame, shame.

    I read a story at work by Eric Adler of the Kansas City Star that expanded on this “Green Fatigue” I’m feeling. Apparently, I’m not the only one.

    Colleen Ryan found that sixty percent of people said they agreed with the statement, “I often wonder if a product is really ‘green’ or if the company is just saying that it is.” Ryan is a research analyst and consulting ecologist for Mintel, a firm that follows consumer trends. She wrote a report in February titled “Green Living” based on an Internet survey of 3,000 people.

    And most poignant of Adler’s story was this:

    Sometimes, when she’s standing in the market deciding whether to buy locally grown vegetables sprayed with pesticides or organic lettuce packed in a plastic tub and shipped 1,500 miles, (Lori Felder) wonders which decision is really better for the environment.

    The story made me ask: Is organic always cleaner?

    Such confusion is bound to arise when every company jumps on the bandwagon to “Go Green.” Separating the true from the less-than-true isn’t easy when we see all parties hugging a tree. Unless we are the tree, we can’t accurately judge the authenticity in the embrace.

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