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Brand Strategy Key Findings September 2013

Posted in Brand Strategy, Key Findings

Women Know What They Want…Keep Asking

what_women_want1Most marketers targeting “women” know how challenging it can be. Let’s face it, when you are marketing to a group who’s prerogative is to change their minds, you’ve got your work cut out for you. And if you think you have it figured out, prepare to be schooled.

Former University of Pennsylvania frat boy, Ryan Harwood, thought he knew women. He had grown up with a sister and his mother’s best friend had four daughters. He knew they generally controlled much of the household budget and were primarily “chief purchasing officers” for their families. He also  did his research into existing studies and focus group data.

Harwood eventually convinced a company targeting women to hire him to manage its email newsletter, an offshoot of its website. He continued his research and hosted more focus groups of women of various ages. He asked them what they liked to read online, what they didn’t like–and says he got some intuition-defying answers.

1. Women of all ages are sick of parenting advice. Focus groups told me mommy-blog space is oversaturated, Harwood says. Even parents were sick of being pigeonholed as being only interested in reading about parenting.

2. Women don’t necessarily read what’s targeted at them. About 25% of the women at the focus groups said they were reading magazines and websites for much younger women. Women well into their 20s, for example, were picking up Seventeen. Why? Because nothing served them better. Younger publications are very fashion-forward.

3. Women don’t define themselves by their narrow interests. Women in Harwood’s focus groups told him it’s fine for publications to write specifically for women, but they didn’t like being categorized any further. Harwood says: “The message was, don’t silo me. Don’t say I’m a divorcée, a mom, an office worker. We are women at the core, and identify with that, regardless of stage of life.”

Another lesson Harwood learned was to expect the unexpected, and not to bank 100% on focus group data. While women said they wanted to read about wine, turned out they didn’t really. Yet, surprisingly to him, technology articles on his company’s website are often the most extensively shared. Neither of which he saw coming.

Three takeaways from Harwood’s lessons…don’t believe you have women figured out, keep asking, be willing to modify assumptions as needed, and admit it when you are wrong.

http://www.inc.com/christine-lagorio/purewow-founder-on-understanding-women.html

Bullets

  • 75% of engagement on a Facebook post occurs within the first five hours. It only takes 2 hours, 30 minutes for a post to get 75% of the total impressions it will get. In regard to reach, 75% of your post’s audience sees your post in less than 2 hours. Furthermore, it takes just 30 minutes for a post to get 50% of its global reach. (Wisemetrics.com)
  • ANA’s newest Trends in Agency Compensation survey reports fee-based compensation is on the rise, representing 81% of comp agreements in 2013. The use of risk-reward structures, where agencies risk a downside if they underperform, has risen sharply over the past three years. Tellingly, there’s been a huge jump in the involvement of procurement teams in agency compensation reviews, to 82% from 56% over the past three years. (adweek.com)
  • Nearly all Americans (97%) watch TV, according to Viamedia. More than seven in 10 (72%) watch cable TV, and 33% watch on devices other than TV sets (smartphones, tablets, or computers). (Consumer Trend Research)
  • E-commerce accounted for 5.4% of total retail sales in the U.S. in Q4 2012, up from 3.6% in Q1 2008, according to Nielsen, and is expected to grow 8.5% annually through 2016, nearly double the rate of any other single retail channel. (State of the Shopping Center)
  • One in seven opt-in commercial emails (14%) sent to U.S. consumers in the first six months of 2013 never made it to the intended recipients. (Return Path 212-905-5500)

Marketing Research Firm | Houston