Women – The Digital Norm…

hollerlab —  March 27, 2012 — Leave a comment

Girl-with-pink-phone-can

We are always trying to stay on the ball here at Holler. Especially in regards to digital adoption and how we can better adapt communications to suit consumer behaviour. 

An reoccurring theme throughout global and local research we are seeing is the disparity between women’s digital prowess and the way that brands connect and communicate with them.

Poetically summarised by HP’s global creative director, Greg Johnson recently at SXSWi “digital isn’t a medium, it’s the age we’re in” and Kimberley Clark’s new CMO, Clive Sirkin ‘We don’t believe in digital marketing… [but] marketing in a digital age’. If Digital is the age we’re in than the dominant players are women.

With women accounting for the majority of retail spending in Australia. It goes without saying that this is a sought after segment. But many of the recent reports suggest that we are grossly underestimating women’s adoption of devices as well as their overall use of online environments.

Over the last 4 years reports suggest that women have taken over men in their adoption of technologies in every key consumer electronics segment other than Flat Screen TV’s. The other 3 categories being tablets, smartphones and laptops/PC’s. A study conducted by Parks Associates also found women purchased an average 4.7 consumer electronics per year compared with 4.2 for men. 

Mom-smart-phone

Another interesting development is the documentation around the sheer amount of time that women are spending online and across a variety of devices. Further studies are even demonstrating that women are becoming reliant on these new devices and digital platforms. Sometimes even displaying emotional attachments to their digital lifestyles. They are using devices and networks to stay connected, streamline their lives and help them make informed decisions when it comes to products and services. This is supported by another study commissioned by from Intel and penned by anthropologist Genevieve Bell. In which she found that women are spending drastically more time online than men. Stating that somewhere between 50 and 77% of time online is spent by women. 

Women-in-technology

This leads us to think this is a relatively uncluttered area of the communications landscape we can specifically leverage to connect and engage with women. We should be using multiscreen and digital platforms more effectively to connect women and brands. How we achieve this is through technology, value and utility to create noninvasive and meaningful brand relationships. 

David Ogilvy said it best, “the consumer isn’t an idiot – she is your wife”. Now the consumer is not only a women, she is a hyper-connected women. Adopting technology and using a diverse range of devices and platforms to manage her busy life. Juggling home, family, work and social lives through these technological masterpieces of freedom and facilitators of multi-tasking. 

Some of the more interesting statistics to come out of our latest research include: 

  • By the end of 2012, 65% of women in Australia will own a smartphone
  • 27% of women already state that their smartphone is the only thing they can’t live without
  • Women use technology often in the purchase cycle to influence their decision making including locating products, research on new products, where she chooses to shop and comparing prices. 
  • There is a demonstrative link between connecting with women digitally and their propensity to share positive experiences. 

The fact is digital has the potential to be an incredibly effective engagement and brand tool for connecting with women. Women talk and interact more. They are more willing to share and recommend in both their physical and digital lives. A perfect target for useful and entertaining engagement platforms that they can interact with and share amongst friends. 

The most promising of these adoption trends is smartphones and tablets. There are a number of ways we can truly integrate messaging into consumers lives in unique ways. 

We focused in our last lab on connecting experiences across screens. This is a key factor that has to be taken into consideration. We have also identified a few more key considerations when communicating to women digitally and more specifically via mobile devices (tablets and smartphones)

Mobile (Tablet and Smartphone):

LoSoPhMo is a term that describes how as a brand we can approach communications via mobile devices. Helping us analyse the purpose of these devices in consumers lives, how they bring value and how we can integrate brand experiences across them. It means: 

Location: Tablets and phones are always on and go anywhere devices. Many people use them to link where they are now and products and services they want. How can we create utility to consumers that are using these functions on their mobile devices? 

Social: Women are using their mobile devices to stay connected with friends and to access social media on a regular basis. They are prolific sharers. How do we create mobile and digital executions that are shareable and enhance social experiences? 

Photo: After basic calling and text, taking pictures is the other main function that women are using their mobile devices for. With 90% of smartphone women owners using it as their primary camera device.

Mobile: It is always on and always with them. Utility is a big part of creating brand experiences in this space. What does your consumer value and how do you deliver that as utility that enhances her experience of your brand and further streamlines her hectic schedule. 

Don’t create tech for tech’s sake. Women look for utility and things that simplify or streamline their existing behaviours. Leverage women’s social nature. Give them things they feel reward them for engaging or interactions that give them social equity for sharing. 

As with multiscreen, consider your the digital landscape as linear. Assess the merits of each idea and its potential contribution to each device and platform. Adapting to suit if necessary. 

Ask why? What is the value you are bringing to the consumers life in return for their time, money and advocacy?

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