Breakfast waffle… Brands must focus on women

breafastwaffle2 Breakfast waffle... Brands must focus on womenAre brands paying enough recognition to how the different genders use digital channels? Ben Hatton takes a closer look in his latest column.

“Do brands and retailers pay sufficient attention to the differing ways that men and women use digital channels?

Broadly, women use social media more than men. More women are on Facebook and Twitter – about 57% of Facebook and 59% of Twitter users are women.

Pinterest has the heaviest gender imbalance — 82% of users are women, who pin crafts, gift ideas, hobbies, interior design and fashion. On the other hand, Google+ is dominated by men (71%), while LinkedIn has an even ratio of men and women.

Most people use social media to stay in touch with friends and family, and more are doing so via mobile. About 200m Facebook users check their timelines from their mobile devices every day.

So in a world where brands’ reputations are increasingly formed on social media it is becoming more important to earn the approval of women users.

A study by marketing agency Haygarth shows three categories have high numbers of recommendations from women: food, alcohol and beauty.

The research also shows that when it comes to communicating brand and retail information, most women prefer websites, email and social media in that order.

Most tellingly, the research also shows that women prefer to decide on their own terms whether to chat to friends about brands. So the most effective course of action is to ensure that a product’s best features are those most valued by women – and to make sure these key features are strongly foregrounded in marketing.

Women have embraced the digital lifestyle – but some brands and retailers have yet to acknowledge that. The answer? Aretha Franklin spelled it out for them: RESPECT.”

Ben’s column appears in the Liverpool Daily Post every Thursday.

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