April 2008 - Editor’s Perspective

A Salute to the Digital Diva

Who says that women aren’t tech savvy? If you’re among those who believe that to be true, a new study conducted by the Solutions Research Group (SRG), titled “Women and Digital Lifestyles,” begs to differ. The data reveals that American women have surpassed men in digital activities, which range from video streaming on network TV websites to social media.

Here are some key findings from the study:

  • More women (15 percent) streamed television shows from network TV sites in the last month than men (11 percent);

  • Women, on average, use their DVRs 9.3 times per week, compared to an average 8.3 times per week by men;

  • Forty-two percent of women, compared to 41 percent of men, have visited a social media site within the past month;

  • Among “empty nesters,” which are women over 40, 64 percent made a purchase online, compared to 55 percent of women aged 25-39 and 58 percent of men; and

  • Although men were more likely to transfer songs from their PC to a portable unit, women were more likely to transfer images from their digital cameras to their PCs, emphasizing that women place more importance on the lifesharing aspect of social media.

Another interesting finding is that moms with children under the age of six (19 percent) as well as English-speaking Hispanic females (21 percent) were among the most active women’s segment.

What were considered the top digital lifestyle products for women? According to the SRG study, nearly a quarter of those surveyed chose digital cameras, followed by wireless/cell phones and game consoles/handheld at 23 percent and 19 percent, respectively.

A few months ago, I came across an article in Entrepreneur magazine in which a contributing writer (a female, of course) dared to go without the Internet for seven days. During that time, she didn’t access e-mail or log into LinkedIn, Facebook or even AIM. It was during her self-imposed digital rehab that the writer realized just how much she relied on the web and its high-tech gadgets to get through the work week, or to simply make her daily life easier. They don’t call it CrackBerry for nothing!

The real lesson to be learned from SRG’s study and from the Entrepreneur article is that marketers should not underestimate the value of reaching women via multiple channels-whether it be through online marketing, social media or mobile. A good marketing campaign speaks directly to its target customers and appeals to their wants and needs. There’s a difference between simplifying your message to appeal to a wider audience and “dumbing it down,” thereby alienating an entire demographic. You could almost liken it to the condescending car salesman who thinks all female customers want to buy an SUV based on color and the number of cupholders. Word to the wise: leave that archaic thinking back in the ’50s where it belongs.

However, while I’m no technogeek, I do use my DVR religiously and frequently make purchases using my handy wireless mouse. And yes, I’ve even had my eye on the MacBook Air. Yet truth be told, I’m more attracted to its lightweight design than the actual bells and whistles. I mean, could you imagine how much easier it would be lugging that laptop on trips? You’ve got to hand it to Steve Jobs, he can turn anyone into a digital diva.

Vitisia Paynich


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