New study finds that content-rich sites, not social networks, are the hot ticket for brands marketing to women
Connectonomics, a newly-released research study from Yahoo! and the brand development and marketing insight consultancy, Added Value, details women’s needs and how they relate to the online channels they use on a daily basis.
Qualitative and online quantitative interviews were conducted with more than 3000 women across the country to understand their most prevalent core needs and which online channels, from social media to blogs to special interest sites, best fulfill those needs.
Yahoo! presented key insights from the study to a select audience of marketing executives on July 28th in Chicago. The live event included a panel of content and marketing experts including Erik Logan, president of Harpo Studios; Phillippe Schaillee, CMO of Sara Lee; Kim Moldofsky, a blogger and founder of MomImpact; and Danielle Wiley, senior VP of consumer brands at Edelman Digital Chicago.
The study is specifically useful to advertisers who are looking for the most effective means to maximize their engagement with women online. Marketers can now use these insights to optimize their approach to media mix planning.
Need States – the common ground: Despite demographic differences, women share the same core needs which revolve around personal growth and a shared interdependence on others. Companies may be better served by understanding women’s core “needs” or what drives and motivates them rather than subscribing to existing stereotypes about Xers vs. Millenials, moms vs. non moms, stay-at-home moms vs. working moms etc. Understanding women’s need states allows marketers to have more relevant conversations with them.
Different strokes for different channels, not just different folks: Various online channels cater to different need states. Women receive, share and are receptive to information in varying degrees on each of these channels. Understanding this is key to media and marketing effectiveness.
Power of Anonymity: The study found that the anonymity that content channels offer can lead to deeper emotional connections for women. Women said these sites offer users access to like-minded women and solutions to problems without the risk of being judged by people they know in real life.
Social media is not a silver bullet: Also surprising is the insight that social media is less relevant in the context of shopping, brands and purchase decisions. Content channels such as lifestyle and special interest sites offer 3x the impact on purchase decisions compared to other online channels, creating much better opportunities for advertisers to build relationships. Marketing messages resonate more with women when presented in the context of content channels as opposed to social media sites.
“Women aren’t as complex as they are misunderstood. Since they hold tremendous clout in terms of consumer spend and decision-making, it’s critical to understand the best ways to connect with them,” explains Nima Srinivasan, Vice President, Added Value. “Connectonomics weaves learning from various disciplines like sociology, psychology, consumer behavior & social media usage to arrive at more accurate insights. Rather than subscribe to widely held stereotypes about gender or media use, this study tries to answer very basic, critical questions like “What do women really want in 2010?” and “Where should marketers be to connect with them?””
“Connectonomics builds on our goal to help marketers and brands better speak with women,” says Radha Subramanyam, Yahoo! VP and Head of Corporate and Media Research. “Understanding the basic needs of why women leverage online communication channels leads to more powerful and nuanced connections. The end game is about portfolio management, knowing what women are using each channel for, and how to activate each through integrated marketing.”