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Women share, men create online, says Fairfax research


Women share, men create online, says Fairfax research


Women are a highly profitable market segment – this is no ground breaking news and marketingmag.com.au has published several (here, herehere and here) news articles about how to best communicate with this group of high-spenders.

We know that women, especially mothers, tend to trust blogs, social media and traditional word-of-mouth over advertising, and that digital platforms such as group-buying sites, forums and brand websites are now on the list of favourite destinations for women to obtain quick information.

But how exactly do brands and marketers reach this consumer that is constantly on her feet, fleeting from home, to work, to playground, or to exotic countries for holidays.

According to Jane Huxley, Fairfax Metro Media digital publisher, women, regardless of whether they’re 21 or 59, feel like they are often the ones left to make decisions, and appreciate information and support from their peers, whether online or off.

“Research from Roy Morgan shows us that for the first time, year-on-year growth from women heading online for their first time is higher than men’s. Women are now the digital mainstream,” said Huxley.

According to Huxley, the leading reason why women are adopting a strong digital habit is due to the ability for them to be social. “Women are great conversationalists and joiners  – they love to interact and that is why social networking is so appealing for them.

“According to a study by Forrester on social technographics (or what women and men are doing online through social media and forums), they found that women indexed high on personal and group conversations and loved sharing photos. On the flip side, men are creators, and they make up of 75% of people who contribute to Wikipedia.”

Huxley reported that in another study by comScore on Twitter habits, while men mainly post tweets and use the platform to consume news, women engage in conversations, and follow brands for bargains and deals.

However, Huxley warns that although there are many opportunities for brands to speak to women online, it must be done with tact and consideration.

“Its important not to just push your message to them on social media. Its akin to walking up to two women in a coffee shop and shouting ‘Look! I’ve got this new face cream’. You are interrupting an environment they created. Its important to understand how to speak to them, and its about engagement, understanding their passions, and knowing their lifestyles.”

Melina Cruickshank, general manager of Fairfax Women’s Network, a new portfolio by Fairfax announced last Wednesday says: “For marketers, this signals the need to adjust communication strategies. Instead of telling women what they need to purchase or think about next, marketers should listen to women, understand their concerns, and then offer solutions.”

The Fairfax Women’s Network, which is a collection of nine brands (The Vine, Life & Style, Stayz, Sunday Life, RSVP, Cuisine, Essential Baby, Essential Kids and Find a Babysitter) claims to reach a monthly audience of more than 2.75 million women visitors.

Dr Rebecca Huntley, director of The Ipsos Mackay Report, an Australian social trends study, who has done many focus groups and research sessions with groups of women, say that while they are all connected, what they deem important differs vastly based on their life stages.

Women in their 20s feel that they are time-poor and desire to do everything before the ‘baby years’. They seek travel experiences and trust expert opinions and peer reviews.

In their 30s, women are who now new mothers juggle life both at work and at home and are a strong supporter of the iPad. Seen as a device that both entertains the kids and allows the opportunitiy for a quick escape during quiet time, the portable device also allows women in their 30s to access information on parenting, recipes and travel ideas quickly.

Women in their 40s often feel that they are neglected by marketers. While no longer young, these women do not feel old either and believe that the current market fails to speak to them. These women seek new value in their lives and will respond well to brands that address their unique life stage.

Belle Kwan

Assistant editor, Marketing magazine & marketingmag.com.au A marketer's dream who believes everything she sees on TV. Advertising is not evil, it is an artform and a science.

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