Internet marketing for women in XXI century


Women ARE the digital mainstream. While this may seem like a foregone conclusion, given that women

have had online parity (at least in the U.S.) for the past ten years, many advertisers still believe that
women’s magazines, celebrity gossip and baby sites are the best places to reach women online. While
these sites are effective in reaching women, they are by no means the only game in town. Women are
actually more engaged than men on the Internet, and they chart their own course. You just have to know
where to look.

Social networking is central to women’s Internet experience. Regardless of how much you believe that

women are primarily communicators, networkers and facilitators, it’s clear they are embracing social
networking in a way that men are not. Furthermore, the rise of social networking has prompted women of
all ages to engage in a host of associated online activities, such as photo-sharing, gaming, video viewing
and instant messaging. All of these activities have benefited from their linkage with Social Networking sites
in terms of their ability to attract new female users. Social retail, especially since it combines two activities
that are already firmly in the mainstream of women’s Web activity, may be the next frontier in this evolution.
Social networking is also emerging as a key driver for women in the mobile sphere.

Divas drive the dollars. In the U.S., currently the largest e-commerce market in the world, women are the

key drivers of online buying. More women than men transact on the Internet and, collectively, they spend
more. While e-commerce buying is not as developed in regions like Asia and Latin America, women across
the world spend quite a lot of time on retail sites, indicating that as the e-commerce infrastructure and
perhaps cultural norms evolve, this trend will continue in other markets.

Boys will be boys, but on the Web just like in the offline world, gender stereotypes only go so far.

Sports, Automotive, and Online Trading sites remain male strongholds online, but beware of extending
other assumptions about online behavior. Women are just as likely to manage their money online, and
moms and grandmothers have emerged as online gamers along with high school- and college-aged boys.
And, engaging in online vices is no longer the exclusive territory of men.

Women Tweet like Venus, Men like Mars. Even when their online behavior is similar, motivations can
differ widely between the two genders. The adoption of Twitter is a great example – both genders adopted
this technology at similar rates, but for different purposes.
The global is regional, the regional is local and culture prevails. Perhaps because we are accustomed to thinking of the Internet as a global entity, we are often surprised by the degree to which regional differences emerge in Internet behavior. Beyond the quantifiable influences of Internet and broadband penetration in emerging markets, cultural differences will always inform differences in online behavior by

gender. This will be important to remember when tracking the evolution of the large and rapidly growing
markets in Asia, Latin America and elsewhere in the world.

Category Highlights
The Gender Divide

As a percentage of global Internet users, women are still slightly in the minority but are catching up quickly.
Differences are most stark in developing countries where Internet penetration is still low; in many
developed countries, the split is about equal. However, once online, women are more connected than men.

Women and the Social Web
The Communication and Social Networking categories are key drivers of Web usage for both genders, but
they occupy a larger proportion of time for women, and this is increasing over time.
A growing proportion of older women are engaging in social activities on the Web. It seems that once they
discover it, they embrace it quickly and their usage rivals that of younger women.
Photo-sharing sites are most popular among younger women, but women of all ages have embraced it as
a key component of the social networking experience.
Women and Retail
Women tend to shop more online – not a surprise. However, how and where they shop, as well as what
they shop for, is notably different than men.
Women drive a disproportionate amount of online spending. In the U.S. market, women make up just under
half of the Internet population but generate 58 percent of e-commerce dollars.
Retail usage is category-specific and extends from site visitation to shopping to buying online.
Savvy retailers are translating the social aspect of shopping to the online world to capitalize on two key
aspects of women’s Internet usage.
Content for Women?

Community and Lifestyle sites, traditionally aimed at women, continue to attract this audience, especially
with parenting, food and home-related content. Health sites continue the trend of attracting primarily female
audiences.

Topic areas that are male mainstays in the offline world – automotive, sports and some aspects of finance
– are also male-heavy online. There are, however, some areas of finance where women outpace men.
And, women are actively engaged in areas that are typically associated with males, such as adult content
and gambling.

Search Activity
Women have different preferences when it comes to online search. In particular, they exhibit a preference
for Bing in a way that men don’t.
Entertaining Women
The rise of online solitaire, card and board games has generated a new audience of avid gamers: women.
Women tend to consume less video overall than men but show more of a propensity for YouTube.
Mobile Women

Women generate a smaller share of online activity in the mobile space, but this is because they are less
likely to own a Smartphone or have an unlimited data plan, both key drivers of mobile Internet usage.
Unsurprisingly, social networking is a key element of women’s use of the mobile Internet.

THE GENDER DIVIDE IN THE GLOBAL ONLINE POPULATION
ONCE CONNECTED, WOMEN EMBRACE THE DIGITAL EXPERIENCE
Globally, women are still slightly in the minority, with nearly 46 percent of the global Web population being
female.
Global Internet Population, 18+
Worldwide Audience (18+ accessing from Work or Home), April 2010
Source: Media Metrix Worldwide
In North America, the Web population is evenly split. However, in Asia Pacific, Europe and Latin America,
women are still underrepresented.
% Women 18+ in Regional Internet Populations
Regional Audiences (18+ accessing from Work or Home), April 2010
Source: Media Metrix Worldwide

Singapore, the U.S., New Zealand, Russia and Canada have the highest proportion of adult female Webusers – all with 50 percent or more. Countries with the lowest proportion of female Web users include twocountries where Internet penetration is still extremely low – India and Indonesia, with 28 and 35 percent,respectively.

Males
18+
54.3%
Females
18+
45.7%
Asia

42.4%
Pacific

47.0%
Europe
50.4%
North
48.1%
America
Latin
America

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