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What? All Women Aren't The Same?
By: Dwayne W. Waite Jr.
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Yes, the question of demographics in advertising rises above the fold once more. AdLand enjoys creating different markets and segments, and then proceeds to exclaim which group it is trying to capture. In most cases, the markets and segments are over-generalized; simplified to a point where the campaign could be seen as a poorly mass-marketed attempt.

New research done by Time Warner Cable's ad sales division and marketing research firm Ipsos MediaCT shed some light on a particular market.

Women.

The purchasing power of women has never gone unnoticed. We all know well the terms "soccer moms," "blogging moms," and the single woman. But how accurate are those depictions? Better yet, how targeted is the messaging towards them, and is the messaging effective? The research done suggests that AdLand is missing the mark.

The study separated women into two profiles:

The Chief Family Officer (CFO): Median age 38. About half are married, have children, and work.

Girlfriends on the Go (GoG): Median age 34. City-living primarily, upper middle class, with less than half with children.

The reasoning behind creating these two segments is that in 2011, these groups accounted for $200 billion in consumer spending. The researchers believe that the majority of advertising still does not relate to women in general, and these two segments in particular.

Do you think they have a case?

We believe that brands and advertisers still aren't dedicating the resources needed to define their target audiences. They are still casting wide nets instead of spending time looking for the best spots. Don't get us wrong; some brands have their audience down. But the brands that are struggling are the ones that put out the advertising that is confusing and doesn't make sense, and then make the headlines.

While it remains to be seen if AdLand will take to heart the ways to target women and take their purchasing power seriously, it will be interesting to see how audience targeting continues to change while Big Data and tracking continue to pervade the industry.


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About the Author
Dwayne W. Waite Jr. is partner and principal at JDW: The Charlotte Agency, a marketing and advertising shop in Charlotte, NC. He enjoys consumer behavior, economics, and football.
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