Many 2011 Predictions Focus on Female Perspective and Influence

As you might imagine, I spend a great deal of time reading and keeping up with both franchising and social media. Over the past week I’ve seen many predictions for 2011. Some are surprising. Many were anticipated. However, the predictions I’ve seen time after time, across various channels and platforms, both in social media AND franchising, cearly include women in the equation. If the comments haven’t been directly about women, they’ve been about things women heavily influence such as being consumers and bloggers, and of course, developing relationships via social media. Here’s two of the predictions that have been typical in much of what I’ve recently read:

Women Power

The recent report put out by Intuit shows that over the next decade, women around the world will enter the workforce at an unprecedented rate. Close to 1 billion women, who had not previously participated in the mainstream global economy will do so by 2020.

The fastest growing demographic of Facebook user is currently 55 year old plus women. We are creating a She-conomy. Plus women are naturally more social so it makes sense that we are adapting well to the social media sites.

Prediction: Women will overcome the legal or traditional barriers that prevented them from participating in some regions by using virtual, mobile and Internet technologies to run businesses without having to be physically present. Businesses will recognize this and start creating customized products and services online to cater to them.

Consumers Shape the Online Marketplace

Thanks to the number of amazing tools and services we have out our disposal these days it’s starting to transform the communities we build and the relationships we make online and offline.

Recent results have shown that nontraditional influencers, such as bloggers and social network contacts are the key people we turn to before making a purchasing decision. It makes sense really, you generally buy on recommendations from friends. Now you have these social networks where you’re exposed to your friend’s friends’ too and their influence will continue to expand.

Prediction: Businesses are going to be forced to step up and take on multiple, inter-connected approaches to reach new customers, most of whom are hanging out on the web. We will see more companies using their customers as the face of their business – either by sponsoring bloggers or highlighting top customers in their online campaigns.

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