Saturday, February 18, 2012

It’s a woman’s world.

Ayesha Mathews-Wadhwa looks at digital design trends through the consumer behavior lens and writes that It’s a fact that women represent the majority of the online market. Within this demographic are key groups poised for great brand opportunities in 2012. These include affluent women and mom consumers. Since women outnumber men in social media, it follows that marketers should give the female psyche serious consideration when making digital design decisions for their brands. 

It isn’t enough to make assumptions about what women want and how they want to be approached; marketers must appreciate the diversity of their experiences and meet women at different life stages to deliver effectively.

Have plenty boomers
According to Marketing to the Ultimate Power Consumer—The Baby-Boomer Woman (Mary Brown and Carol Orsborn, Ph.D), these women “are more financially empowered than any previous generation of women.” Of women with household incomes of $75,000 or more, 94.3 percent regularly access the internet (Kim Gordon, Ten Marketing Trends to Watch, Entrepreneur.com). These are all compelling statistics as to why brands seeking to market products at higher price points would do well to tap into this group’s specific needs and desires when considering digital technology in 2012.
 
Momsumers
51 percent of online women are moms. They use social networks more frequently, and longer, and readily share information about their kids and education online.  Keeping momsumers high up on the target radar is a smart move for brands looking to stay relevant in 2012.
 
Digital BFFs
Women highly influence the viewpoints of their online friends. Because they spend more time on social media, it follows that brands should look for innovative ways to influence women’s digital BFF networks. Consider the evidence on women’s online habits:
• 22 percent shop online at least once a day
• 92 percent pass along information about deals or finds to others
• 171: average number of contacts in their e-mail or mobile lists
• 76 percent want to be part of a special or select panel.
 
The three-screen woman
With television’s importance on the decline among women (58 percent would toss TV if they had to get rid of one digital device, but only 11 percent would ditch their laptops), brands focused on traditional modes of advertising now have a business case for taking their marketing strategies online. Today’s women split their attention among three digital screens: smartphone, laptop/desktop, and tablet.
 
The mobile trinity: social-local-info
With smartphone and tablet purchases now expected to outnumber computer purchases, brands simply cannot afford to leave mobile technology out of their marketing strategies. Moving forward, consumers will cease to point, click, and scroll. They will touch, drag, pinch, zoom, and even switch from landscape and portrait layouts on brand websites. Crafting designs with these behavior cues in mind will help accommodate the three-screen woman’s need to get information quickly (now) without disappointing her with display interruptions.

The line between online and offline shopping is blurring. Researchers are finding that even consumers who don’t buy online are using mobile technology to locate items locally. Geo-targeted and GPS-enabled platforms like Foursquare, and those using QR Codes, are going to become increasingly integral to retail commerce for their roles in comparison shopping and personalization.

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