A+E Networks Targets Marketers Targeting Women with SheReports

By WomenAdvancing Archives
Cover image for  article: A+E Networks Targets Marketers Targeting Women with SheReports

Topics about women's lives are all over the news these days.  But do brands and agencies focusing on female consumers understand what drives them and the best ways to reach them?  A+E Networks -- home to Lifetime, the media brand that pioneered television for women -- has launched SheReports, a free subscription-based newsletter providing insight and analysis into what women want.  I recently spoke with Amy Baker (pictured at top), Executive Vice President of the new Client Insights and Strategy team at A+E Networks, to find out more about the monthly release which, she said, "will be infused with interesting research studies and analytics from third-party studies we've done."

Ingrid Laub:  How and why did SheReports come about?

Amy Baker:  Lifetime has been in the women's business for over 30 years.  A couple of years ago we saw that there was space out there to be a thought leader and provide marketers with a deeper look at what's going on with women today.  We experimented with the idea over time and launched it in December 2017, in partnership with #SeeHer -- the Association of National Advertisers' campaign to fight bias against women.  We embrace their mission to increase the percentage of accurate portrayals of women and girls in advertising and media by 2020, which is also the 100th anniversary of women winning the right to vote.  We are stronger together due to the synergy between us.  We provide a #SeeHer Spotlight in every one of our SheReports that aims to provide insights from a prominent CMO who is a part of the initiative.

Laub:  You're providing information and a real resource for marketers who are interested in reaching and knowing about women, not promoting Lifetime per se.

Baker:  Right.  We have the permission to do it because of our audience and how long we've been in the women's space.  At the end of the day our goal is exploring and curating cultural content relevant to women's lives and providing insights on women as consumers, which reinforces Lifetime as a thought leader.

Laub:  How is SheReports distinct from other newsletters in the marketplace?

Baker:  Every month a different marketer is going to speak to a theme that's relevant for that season.  This newsletter is helping us drill down into how and why marketing to women is changing, directly from the people who are working on it every day.  We are creating a forum for marketers, big and small, to share and learn from each other.  For December, we focused on the holidays.  We worked very hard at curating interesting articles around shopping and holiday traditions.  Tony Rogers, the CMO of Walmart, provided interesting nuggets that we hope will help the entire retail category, and also agencies around the country.

Laub:  January's theme was health and wellness.  Was that a New Year, New You type focus?

Baker:  Not necessarily, because that tone would be a little bit filled with expectations.  Instead, we focused on the authenticity of marketing within the health and wellness space.  We were able to talk with Andrea Mallard (pictured below), the CMO of Athleta, for our #SeeHer Spotlight.  Athleta is aspirational but within reach; Andrea does a fantastic job in the article, talking about their authenticity and how they empower every woman to participate in fitness.  They celebrate all women and girls, which is a very similar type of attitude and mission statement as Lifetime.  We believe every girl and woman has a right to be who she wants to be.

Laub:  What other themes do you have planned?

Baker:  For February, what better time to focus on relationships?  The CMO we're highlighting is Alexander Ho of American Greetings. March is about travel and we're in talks to secure a CMO within the auto category.  April is finance to tie into tax season and we have Andrea Riley, the CMO of ALLY Financial in the #SeeHer Spotlight.  There's also a nice tie-in for our Women and Money Study, so that issue will be supported by a lot of research.  May will be about body image.  Through #SeeHer we've been able to connect with Norman de Greve, the CMO of CVS.  They've been in the news a lot lately about not doing any airbrushing.  Body image is so prevalent in the cultural conversation today, I think it's going to be a very powerful issue.

Laub:  Beyond the interviews with CMOs, what other types of content will be included?

Baker:  There'll be a second interview with an entrepreneur or someone just getting started.  We're going to curate two to four articles relevant for the topic.  Also, each newsletter will feature the Instagram hashtag #SheDidThat to celebrate a woman who did something incredible related to that month's theme.  It will run the gamut from women in our business, to women in Hollywood, to women in engineering, etc.

Laub:  Maybe there's a version of SheReports for men at some point in the future?

Baker:  Absolutely.  We have the History channel and it's predominately male, the flip side of Lifetime.

Laub:  What's the goal in terms of distribution?  Are you hoping that people forward the newsletter and you get additional subscribers beyond your initial list?

Baker:  Definitely.  Our subscriber list is growing every day.  Our Client Strategy and Insights group is charged with speaking directly to brand folks and we have an amazing sales team who talks to the buyers.  Together, we 're finding more and more subscribers.  SheReports is an easy newsletter to navigate; we want it to be a resource for influencers and decision makers in every marketing discipline.

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