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Time Warner Study: One Size Doesn't Fit All in Reaching Women

  |  November 15, 2012   |  Comments

Marketers who want to reach out to women need to pay closer attention to specific segments of that audience as well as regional differences, says a new study from Time Warner Cable Media.

Marketers who want to reach out to women need to pay closer attention to specific segments of that audience as well as regional differences, says a new study from Time Warner Cable Media.

The advertising sales division of Time Warner Cable recently conducted a study of 3,800 women nationwide - a follow-up of a 2010 study - in conjunction with market researchers Ipsos MediaCT, designed to assess women's attitudes, behavior, and media consumption. The report focused on two categories of women particularly attractive to advertisers: Chief Family Officers (CFOs) - median age 38, about half of whom are married, half of whom have children, and more than half of whom work; and Girlfriends on the Go (GOG) - median age 34, urban, upscale, with less than half having children.

These two audience segments represented over $200 billion in spending in 2011, according to Joan Hogan Gillman, Time Warner Cable executive vice president and president of Time Warner Cable Media. She said a majority of clients still create television and online advertisements that are not targeted specifically to women, which is an opportunity lost. "Our research suggests that if marketers decide on a national ad campaign without taking these differences into account, they may be putting out the wrong message," she said in an interview with ClickZ.

CFOs were found less likely to be the sole decision-makers for large purchases than their GOG counterparts; they were also less up to date on consumer technology than GOGs, who are focused on having the trendiest new gadget. Regional differences also altered the picture. For example, women in both categories who lived in New York or Los Angeles were found to be more likely to make a purchase on their own, compared to those who lived in Texas or Ohio.

CFOs get their sense of a company's brand and image from television advertising, but tend to research price points and product value online, the study also concluded; whereas GOGs are more influenced by brand names and are more focused on tablets and smartphones. Credibility as a brand for both of these groups came from a combination of television and online marketing. "Marketers considering an internet-only brand strategy may not effectively reach this target audience," the study said.

The researchers also noted greater optimism about the future among both groups than when it studied the same topic in 2010. A follow-up study is also planned for 2014.

Women Sizes image on home page via Shutterstock.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mary Lisbeth  D'Amico

Mary Lisbeth D'Amico is a freelance writer based in Jersey City who frequently covers digital marketing, social media, tech startups, and venture capital. She has contributed to a wide range of publications including The Wall Street Journal, Business Week, Red Herring, and Real Deals. Find her on Twitter at @mldamico.

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