It's All about the Women: Tulsa Entrepreneurs Marketing Exclusively to Women on the Web

Article excerpt

Local entrepreneurs are finding success by marketing to just one group.

Web sites for women are the rage among Tulsa startups, as owners capitalize on a sense of exclusivity and, of course, sisterhood.

John Calkins started She Said Pics, a company dedicated to women- targeted marketing.

"Everything I want to do with it is geared toward women," he said. "Basically I want it to be a women's business."

Calkins got the idea while working on a Web site for a local car dealership.

Upon doing marketing research, he kept coming across statistics that stated women make 80 percent of discretionary purchases. He said he also found studies that said women tell at least 12 other women about a good or bad shopping experience. To Calkins, marketing solely to women made business sense.

"Why wouldn't you market to women?" he said.

Calkins said his company will market to women in multiple ways, starting with an interactive Web site that lets women window-shop locally owned businesses.

"This is not an e-commerce site," he said. "But they will be able to find products and see prices and the site will help draw them to the store."

The more advanced 918moms.com is an online community where local moms swap stories and share advice. The site has about 56,000 users.

Deedra Determan, co-founder of 918moms.com, said the site has provided results for advertisers.

"Advertisers want to reach women because they are the ones making the purchasing decisions," she said. "Users are what draw advertisers to the site, and I think 918moms is a great place to reach the women audience."

Determan said the company doesn't just provide a banner ad, but integrates social media marketing.

918moms.com has been so successful the company is expanding into Oklahoma City, where 405moms.com will launch in the fall.

"Moms' lives are so busy compared to even 10 years ago," she said. "I think the Internet is an outlet. Instead of lunch with a friend, or coffee with a neighbor, they get online to seek that level of comfort and friendship. …