Aliza Freud is the Founder of SheSpeaks, a marketing platform that inspires women to discover, influence and share products. Prior to founding SheSpeaks, Aliza was an executive at the American Express Company’s Global Advertising and Brand Management group and led global brand enhancement initiatives. The Makegood recently spoke with Aliza about the nature of SheSpeaks.
The Makegood: What was your reason for founding SheSpeaks? How have brands changed their strategies after connecting on SheSpeaks?
Before founding SheSpeaks, I was a brand marketer at American Express spending over 10 years working across a variety of marketing and advertising functions. Working on such an iconic brand and watching the power of recommendations from Cardmembers, I saw an opportunity to cultivate and harness the power of consumer advocates in the new digital and social world — specifically for women — whom I saw were still a largely undervalued segment for some brands.
Since we started in 2007, our goal has been to create a stage for influencers to provide feedback, insights and content that will help brands enhance their products and services. Brands are taking feedback and content seriously. Over the years, the SheSpeaks community, consisting of a quarter of a million influencers who give our brands access to a network of 30 million women — has helped marketers imagine new products and enhance existing products. Additionally, we continue to generate scalable awareness and advocacy for our client’s products, campaigns and services.
The Makegood: How has your knowledge in word of mouth marketing and social media marketing tactics driven social media campaigns for brands? Could you elaborate on the success of L’Oreal’s “Women of Worth Campaign”?
We work very collaboratively with our clients. Because we have built a platform that can quickly target and engage influencers and then motivate influencers to create amazing content that gets amplified millions of times over, our clients tend to bring us concepts that we then work through together to refine and execute.
With L’Oreal’s Women of Worth campaign, the team already had a fantastic campaign that they had been running for 9 years. The goal this year however, was a bit different. Not only did L’Oreal want to get people talking about Women of Worth but, they wanted to create the single largest conversation about Women and Worth, anywhere. So, we set out to create a day dedicated to this conversation online. Given the target audience, Twitter was a great social platform fit.
Within 15 minutes of launching the L’Oreal Women of Worth Twitter Forum, we were trending across the US on Twitter, and we engaged thousands of women in an important conversation that struck a chord with them. Through these conversations and with engaging content, we reached millions of women and generated over a half a billion impressions in just one day.
The Makegood: What does this online marketing platform do for women? In other words, how is SheSpeaks an innovative tool for women to get excited about? What can women get out of the platform that they can’t get elsewhere?
We have a very clear promise to our SheSpeaks community members. Our promise is to help make their opinions and content matter. When we ask our members to take a survey, create a review or post content such as a video, we are committed to ensuring that they are being seen and heard by a larger audience. SheSpeaks is a stage for women to be heard and our job is to ensure that people, whether that be brands, other online consumers or the media are listening to them. Our members tell us that they feel empowered because of their participation with SheSpeaks, and that is the best compliment we can get.
The Makegood: Have you noticed any trends in the world of women? What kind of woman typically uses SheSpeaks?
A major trend is the shift in the “path to purchase” for women given the social web. While the old path started with awareness, then moved to consideration, intent and finally, to purchase; consumers can now become aware of a product along with a recommendation from a trusted source and even a promotion — all in one interaction online. So we’re seeing that the path to purchase has compressed. This is creating an enormous opportunity for brands who understand how to motivate all of these elements with the right influencers.
In terms of the typical SheSpeaks members, there really is no “typical”. With over 225,000 influencers in the SheSpeaks community, our members run across ethnicities and age groups. However, our members tend to share psychographic trait of wanting to be heard. Our members have opinions that they want to share with others. It’s the reason that we have so many bloggers and other socially savvy women who are actively participating.
The Makegood: What do you see for the future of this platform? Do you see many similar platforms being developed in the future?
Our platform will continue to evolve and enhance based our member and client needs. This includes new campaign tools and new API integration with social network platforms as they evolve and new ones develop. In particular, we are focused on creating new content development and amplification tools for our members so that they can more easily create content and share it across the social web.
There are other resources that are currently in the marketplace, but what I would say is that what makes SheSpeaks unique is that we are not only trusted experts on influencer marketing, but we understand women better than anyone else. We know what it takes to connect with female influencers, and what kinds of messages will get them buzzing. Brands partner with us because they want that kind of insight and access to this network, and women are on board and willing to amplify a message because we them a platform to share their voice. It’s the best of both worlds.
The Makegood: Thank you, Aliza.