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Women buyers 'must be recognised'

News, 07 April 2015

NEW YORK: Women in the US wield significant spending power and one interpretation of a recent study is that marketers seeking to reach them ought to consider a strategy that involves Facebook and humour.

Meredith, the marketing and media business, surveyed more than 2,500 women aged 18-67 to find out about their preferred channels, digital preferences and the sort of content they share.

This research found that the laptop and smartphone are the devices of choice for US women to access the internet. The former was used by almost three quarters (74%) of those polled, the latter by two thirds (67%).

Desktops were still used by 57%, ahead of tablets (46%) and e-readers (14%).

Facebook was by far the preferred social media network, being used at least once a week by 83% of respondents. That was twice the proportion that were using Pinterest, a site often regarded as appealing more to women than men.

More than half (58%) used YouTube, while Twitter and Instagram were level on 34% and 33% respectively.

Two areas registered significantly with regards to sharing on social media. Personal photos and videos were mentioned by 55%, but brands pondering their marketing strategies will take note of the fact that most shared were "funny things", cited by 57%. Around one quarter (24%) also shared product and service recommendations.

The survey also sought to establish why women use various media. Convenience and research were major factors in their use of the internet. Fully 80% of women said the main reason for using it was to look at things on their own timeframe.

And a similar proportion (81%) thought it a good source for learning, while 69% said it gave them ideas for new brands and products to try.

Television, in contrast, was primarily a medium for relaxation, with 62% describing it as "a good escape" and 55% valuing the "me time" it provided.

Print magazines still have a role to play but the proportion of women valuing them was rather lower. Some 38% liked the detailed information they provided and 36% enjoyed giving them their full attention.

Data sourced from Advertising Week, Meredith; additional content by Warc staff