Approximately half of the U.S. workforce is comprised of women, and 70 percent of them are moms with children under the age of 18. Another interesting tidbit is that women drive an estimated 70 - 80 percent of consumer spending with their purchasing power and influence. Yet surprisingly, nearly 50 percent of women say that marketers don't understand them, according to a recent survey by the Marketing to Moms Coalition.
As marketers, we continually look at demographics and psychographics. We study consumer values and beliefs and the ways in which they consume information. It's in our DNA to build advertising, marketing communications and public relations programs that are grounded in research in order to create the best strategies to drive results. But in our quest for discovering eye-opening, thought-provoking data, it's important not to overlook the obvious.
#1 70 percent of women with children 18 years of age and younger are employed full-time in the U.S. labor force (Bureau of Labor Statistics).
What this means to marketers: Working moms are looking for products and services that make their lives easier and make them feel good about themselves. Because she is earning a higher income, her spending patterns have changed. She spends more on sophisticated clothing, she drives a more upscale car, and spends more on items that were once considered luxuries, but are now viewed as necessities. In fact, 80 percent of all travel decisions are made by women regardless of who they travel with or where they go.
#2 Women make 80 percent of the healthcare decisions for their household.
What this means to marketers: Women are now the key decision maker in the household for the selection of daycare, healthcare, care giving services for the elders in the family, and even even nutrition. Furthermore, nearly 70 percent of women use social media where they influence the health care decision of women in their online communities and their families. According to Pew Internet Projects (PIP), nearly half of consumers said social media-derived information would affect their healthcare decisions.
#3 Earnings of full-time female workers have increased by 31 percent since 1979, compared to a two percent increase for males (U.S. Department of Commerce). Women earn 57 percent of bachelor's degrees, the majority of master's and doctoral degrees, and many work for several years before considering marriage (U.S. Census data).
What this means to marketers: These single, young, driven women often make purchases that were once considered primarily for married couples. According to the National Association of Realtors 2014 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, single women are buying homes at nearly twice the frequency as single men. The report says that single women comprise nearly 40 percent of first-time and repeat home buyers. This addresses the need for marketers to showcase a diverse representation of women in marketing campaigns beyond the married with children life stage.
Census data, labor statistics and demographic changes bring new opportunities to marketers, new ways of communicating and new media to reach them. It is 2016 planning season - is your brand looking for new opportunities? Better yet, is your agency bringing you new ways to explore new target markets?
At The Point Group, we understand the nuances of marketing to women and how to build marketing communications programs relevant to all stages of their lives.