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The Rise of Womenomics


Nikki Feld, Senior Consultant from TNS, explores the value of gender specific advertising and why marketing to women pays off.  Nikki presented on this topic at the 2016 AMSRS Conference.  

With women making 9 out of 10 household purchase decisions1, they represent a significant proportion of the world bank’s predicted $35 trillion economy2.

Yet with all this purchasing power, few brands market with women in mind.

In fact, 9 out of 10 women feel misunderstood by marketers and advertisers3.

Now we have even more compelling evidence to demonstrate the need to close this gap.

Deeper analysis into TNS communication research across a range of measures shows that women respond differently to advertising than men. Although this is intuitive, the opportunities this presents have largely been ignored.

Our neuroscience analysis demonstrates that women’s brains are generally more aroused or engaged with advertising than men. More importantly, different elements trigger engagement for women compared to men.

For example, women pay more attention to scenes with people and relationship and men tune in more to contextual, spatial scenes. Interestingly, advertisements that are more engaging for women are able to also engage men.

These findings represent an opportunity for clients to create advertising that aims to appeal to women by building rich, emotional stories around people.

Of course these campaigns can be created concurrently with advertising designed for men, but our research supports the idea that gender targeting toward women will also appeal to men.

These findings also highlight the importance of being aware of cues that can trigger engagement with each gender. Colour, music, talent, product images – all of these elements have gender implications and subsequently implications on engagement with an advertisement.

All of this raises further questions:  Have we been providing our clients with a true understanding of the impact of their campaigns?  Can researchers provide the clarity and objectivity needed in what is often quite an emotional discussion?

The market research industry has an important role to play in guiding clients to better communicate with the ultimate decision makers, women.

We have the tools and the objectivity to pull apart gender differences to help optimise our clients marketing activity. As we do, we will have a richer understanding of why it is critical to market to women, and how we can better shape our strategies to address this big opportunity.

Nikki Feld, Senior Consultant, TNS

1Harvard Business Review 2009
2Boston Consulting Group. Women Want More, 2009
3Greenfield Online for Arnold’s Women’s Insight Team.
About AMSRS 430 Articles
The Australian Market & Social Research Society Limited (AMSRS) is a not-for-profit professional membership body of over 2,000 market and social research professionals who are dedicated to increasing the standard and understanding of market and social research in Australia. The Society assists members to develop their careers by heightening professional standards and ethics in the fields of market and social research.

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