Internet Advertisers Target Women

Advertisers are beginning to notice that the Internet, long regarded as a hangout for men, is becoming is becoming a place where they can reach women as well.

According to Web measurement firm Media Metrix, women represent 48 percent of all Internet users, but studies by Jupiter Communications, NFO Interactive, and NetSmart America all predict the number of women will surpass the number of men online, if it hasn’t already.

The November statistics from Media Metrix found the types of Web sites with the highest composition of women included toy retailers, women’s portals (iVillage, Women.com, etc.), greeting card sites, retail savings sites, and health sites. Sites with a lower concentration of women tend to fall into the following categories: technical content, financial information, sports, news, and streaming media sites.

According to Charles Buchwalter, VP of Media Research for AdRelevance, the ad data reflect the extent to which the online world is beginning to mirror its brick-and-mortar counterpart in appealing to consumers who have both the greatest spending power and the most enthusiasm for the shopping experience.

“The fun and convenience of going online is becoming increasingly important to a wide range of American women, from stay-at-home moms and career women to teens and students,” he said. “When you consider how important these demographics are to advertisers, the Internet may not turn out to be ‘the great equalizer’ after all. On the contrary, women seem well on their way to outnumbering men in a medium that until recently was almost exclusively their own.”


Sites With High and Low Concentrations of Women*
Sites With Higher Concentration of Women Sites With Lower Concentration of Women
Site Unique Users
(000)
Percent
Women
Site Unique Users
(000)
Percent
Women
ToysRUs.com 2,901 65 cnet.com 2,794 35
eToys.com 2,887 62 zdnet.com 2,423 33
ivillage.com 2,440 69 espn.com 1,323 27
women.com sites 2,089 69 windowsmedia.com 1,308 36
coolsavings.com 2,026 65 broadcast.com 1,266 36
kbkids.com 1,912 73 sportsline usa 1,063 32
egreetings.com 1,848 64 money central 960 34
onhealth.com 1,812 63 hp.com 891 33
freeshop.com 1,787 66 usatoday.com 887 35
valupage.com 1,723 65 nfl.com 723 26
* women 18 and over
Source: Media Metrix

Promotion through Internet advertising is one way sites geared toward women build an audience. A look at the campaign schedules of the ten most popular women’s sites by AdRelevance reveals a trend toward cyclical advertising, with bursts of impressions delivered in short three- or four-week intervals. At the high points of their cycles, these sites are ranked among the top 20 percent of online advertisers. In fact, onhealth.com and iVillage both ranked in the top 1 percent of all online advertisers at the peak of their most recent schedules.

By combining data from Media Metrix and AdRelevance, it shows that women’s sites are advertising mainly on sites with a high concentration of female visitors.

Demographic of Media Buys
Advertiser Impressions Percent
Women
Index
women.com sites 7,100,000 66 159
ivillage sites 41,000,000 49 118
valupage.com 19,000,000 48 116
Kbkids.com 3,100,000 48 116
etoys.com 8,300,000 47 113
toysrus.com 3,500,000 47 113
egreetings.com 1,900,000 46 111
onhealth.com 69,000,000 45 108
freeshop.com 4,100,000 44 106
coolsavings.com 8,300,000 34 82
Source: AdRelevance

Why is the female audience so desirable? According to a survey conducted by Women.com, Harris Interactive, and Proctor & Gamble, women control 80 percent of all purchasing decisions, and 73 percent of women regularly access product and service information online. Nearly 90 percent of the women surveyed said they were the primary healthcare decision-makers.

The top advertising-supported women’s sites attract a distinct set of advertisers. Women’s sites deliver a much higher portion of impressions for pet supply vendors, personal care product manufacturers, home and garden manufacturers, and kids and family Web sites.

Shares of Ad Impressions
Industry Segment Women’s
Sites
All
Sites
Difference
Pet Supply Vendors 14.6% 0.4% 14.2%
Personal Care Products 7.4% 0.4% 7.0%
Department Stores 7.3% 9.0% -1.7%
Home & Garden 7.0% 0.5% 6.5%
Kids & Family Sites 5.7% 0.2% 5.5%
Full Service
Telecommunications
5.1% 2.4% 2.7%
Software Manufacturers 4.0% 1.9% 2.1%
Drug & Toiletry Vendors 3.7% 2.2% 1.5%
Health & Fitness Web Sites 3.4% 1.9% 1.5%
Book, Movie & Music Vendors 3.1% 1.5% 1.5%
Source: AdRelevance

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