ADVERTISERS TARGET WOMEN, BUT MARKET REMAINS ELUSIVE
Authors: Cuneo, Alice Z.
Source: Advertising Age; 11/10/97, Vol. 68 Issue 45, p1-24, 2p, 4 Color Photographs
Document Type: Article
Database: Business Source Premier
Taking A New Look: Categories Outside Traditionally Feminine Products Seek Gender's
Ever since the serpent made its pitch to Eve, women have been a target market.
But until recently, marketers have largely aimed messages at women only in product categories
deemed feminine, such as fashion, feminine hygiene and frozen foods. Now, however, advertisers in
traditionally male categories, from automobiles to technology to home repair are taking a new look at
women-and with good reason.
A flurry of data indicates women have a stronger grip than ever before on the nation's pocketbooks,
controlling some 60% of all U.S. wealth and influencing more than 80% of all purchases.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that a full 25% of women are bringing home a bigger paycheck
than their husbands, up from 17% a decade ago.
``Women are opportunity No. 1,'' business guru Tom Peters writes in his upcoming book, ``The Circle
In the new-media world, where the Internet has long been considered a male mecca, a number of
online sites aimed at women have undergone overhauls, in part due to the increase in the percentage
of women online.
Consultancy Jupiter Communications, New York, has projected that females will account for almost
50% of Internet users within two years.
`SEGREGATION ERA HAS PASSED'
``The era of segregating women for marketing purposes has probably passed,'' said Steve Goldstein,
VP-marketing and research, Levi's brand USA. ``My sense is young women today don't need to be
Another way marketers have become comfortable in
reaching women is connecting with women's
causes. Breast cancer, in particular, has drawn the most interest, ranging from department stores
such as Nordstrom to carmakers including GM.
Charity and cause marketing aside, winning a share of the money in a woman's purse in the future
will require more than changes in product color, taglines and the other well-worn traditional marketing
Marketing to women may require a new paradigm, one that could involve costly changes in business
practices-such as improved customer service-but should pay off in the long run.
Consumers spend $3 trillion annually, and women control or influence. . .
80% of all purchase decisions
82% of supermarket purchases
Women handle 75% of family finances
The majority of single adults are women
Home ownership by women has increased 25% in the past 15 years, while declining for
43% of persons with assets over $500,000 are women.
Less than 25% of new mothers quit working.