Who knew women were online in such big numbers? Who knew women shop differently than men? Who knew women exhibit distinct and separate personality traits but that at their core, they are very much alike?
I knew. And hundreds of other women knew. Now, you know, if you've had a chance to read Thomas Mucha's article in this month's Business 2.0. The article discusses research done by Yahoo and Chicago-based Starcom MediaVest, which would lose points on the Dick-e-meter because it has a Macromedia flash opening! That is a big, big no-no with women.
But, wait a minute. You'd have known all of that great stuff already if you'd bought and read my book, Dickless Marketing: Smart Marketing to Women Online. Mucha's article covers much of the same ground I covered. To his credit, I did learn something from his article, which proves that this market is growing and changing with every sunrise and sunset. In fact, it's growing and changing with every new baby being born--tomorrow's women will not interact with the Internet the way we do, today. In order to stay on top of it, you need --ME! I will keep you informed.
With that thought in mind, let's look at Mucha's Key Findings, and see what they mean. Where you see asteriks, I have written my comments.
1. "The web is the leading media choice for women." * This is not news. If it is news, you are woefully behind, and Mucha's writing and my book can help bring you up to date, but you will need to scramble to catch up. Women like using the Internet for daily updates on their interests, for researching information (health and financial are top topics), and for connecting. Mucha didn't say all that. I did. He quoted Kate Sirkin, the global director of media intelligence at Starcom. I'm here to tell you that her words are valuable... but the words of the woman next door, or the woman who does your hair, or the woman who cleans your office, are more important. Ask them what they do online and you will find out what women want.
The article gets into multi-tasking, and making sure your message is "direct, compelling, benefit-driven, and respectful of the user's time and attention." That's called Lip-sticking, by the way.
2. "Most women online are 'surchers' who do what the study defines as a 'hybrid of surfing and searching within a number ot heir favorite sites.' " * Mucha gets into 8 personality traits which I will let you read about in his article, but if you buy my book you will get Sarah, who represents Baby Boomers and Seniors, and you will get Ellen, who represents Gen X women and Gen Y women. I can see where the study Mucha is writing about came up with the cutesy titles for their 8 personality types, but if you want an easier version of how women think when they go online, read Chapter 5 of my book, "S-E-X: Sarah-Ellen Xceptions." You'll learn about the different personality types there, and you will be better able to apply the study's thinking to how you approach women online.
3. "The daytime audience of women is back." * Again, old news. The fact that women go online at work in big numbers was reported months ago, and I'm confident that those numbers have only grown over the months. Why? Why are women going online at work so much, and why do I think they are doing so in ever increasing numbers? Two reasons: first of all, being online--researching or shopping--is based in the convenience factor. We [women] do it because it saves us time, and often saves us money. We put in long hours at work, just like the men in our lives. We want to go home and spend time with the kids, or just put our feet up and relax. Shopping at work saves us a lot of aggravation--no driving to the supermarket, or convenience store (unless it's for milk, bread or other perishables), no more waiting in line, no more stress on our already tired feet. There are dozens of other reasons we shop online---again, I cover all of them in my book, and I go into detail on how this new method of shopping is impacting not only family life, but the social construct of the U.S.
Beyond all of this, are the home-based business owners. Frank Feather, in his book "Futureconsumer.com" predicts that there will be 100 million home-based businesses by 2010. Since women are already jumping on that bandwagon, how many of those 100 million home-based businesses do you suppose will be owned by women? I'm going out on a limb and say MOST of them. I'm working from home, right now. I know more than two dozen other local professional women who work from home. And, another dozen who are considering it as we speak. This millennium is going to see the home-based business industry swell like a tidal wave. And women are at the forefront of it. So, you can bet they will be going online during the day, while they're 'at work.' Mousing it instead of malling it is just faster, easier, and even more fun. Trust me, have I ever lied to you, before?
Mucha's article ends with advice on how to reach "this powerful and complex consumer segment." It says to be more sensitive to women's attitudes and values. Kind of like learning how to develop a "real-ationship" with them. Gee, I wonder where you heard that last? (It was in an earlier post on this blog, and it comes from my book, of course.)
According to Kate Sirkin, "Get this right [marketing to women] and your online ads will be successful for a long time. There is now a huge opportunity to do this well." My bolding.
I have shamelessly promoted my book here, but I felt I had to. This article is very valuable, it has some insight that even I didn't uncover, but it cannot cover the details you need to know about the women's market in only 1000 words, or so. I wrote my book to help small businesses take advantage of the growing women's market online, and I thank Thomas Mucha for supporting my findings, and adding some updated ones. But, in order to Lip-stick my message, I had to show you where the answers to many of your questions are---in Dickless Marketing. It's there to help you be more successful this year.
So, what's not to like about that?