Marketers largely shun single women without children, study finds
- Nearly half (48%) of surveyed women said that single women without children are "non-existent" in advertising, according to findings by Hill Holliday's Origin and Match Media Group made available in a news release. Fifty-six percent of single women age 30-45 said they were misrepresented in TV and movies.
Single women in the U.S. have an estimated collective purchasing power ranging from $5 trillion to $15 trillion, and women control more than 60% of personal wealth, according to data included in the findings. Women also purchase more than half of products traditionally considered "male," including autos, home improvement products and consumer electronics. When it comes to their approach to purchases, just 35% of women said they felt comfortable buying a car on their own, however, and only 26% felt comfortable traveling alone.
The number of single, never-married people continues to grow, according to Pew Research data cited by Origin and Match Media Group, showing how brands need to reevaluate their strategies. Women also position themselves differently across different platforms, the study found. Twenty-four percent wouldn't share their relationship status on a professional application, and 44% wouldn't share their salary goals of making $75,000 or more on a dating site.
Many marketers have made concentrated efforts to break with stale gender stereotypes in recent years, but the latest batch of research shows that there are still glaring blind spots when it comes to representation, especially marketing to women who are not necessarily tethered to traditional ideas of family and might be more goals- or career-oriented. Marketers that acknowledge the independence and ambition of single women and portray these qualities in an accurate way have the best shot at reaching this high-spending segment, Origin and Match Media Group found. This might be critical for businesses hoping to engage younger women who tend to shun traditional gender portrayals and emphasize "success" as an essential quality.
Several brands typically considered male-centric have seen results by marketing more to women. Home Depot, for example, discovered how frequently women influenced purchases when the company began looking at both consumer behaviors and payment data, according to a report in Quartz. The retailer also launched home improvement workshops for women called "Do-It-Herself," which have been a win for the brand. In 2017, Home Depot announced its highest quarterly sales and net earnings in its history.
Alcohol brands are another category shining a brighter spotlight on women as the group purchases more wine, spirits and beer. Most have traditionally ignored women, but several booze makers, including Diageo and AB InBev, are stepping up their efforts to be more gender inclusive. The former, whose portfolio includes Guinness, Tanqueray and Bailey's, launched a Free the Bid initiative in Februrary that calls on all agencies and content producers vying for its business to include at least one female director as part of their bidding process.
- Business Wire The "Shunned" Single Woman
- Quartz How Home Depot realized it should market to women
- Marketing Dive Study: Brands play a role in breaking gender stereotypes