Digital Divas studies US women’s online behaviour

MUMBAI: For the first time since women surpassed men as the majority population on the Internet (emarketer), a new study reveals just how women live and breathe in the digital world.

The study from Microsoft Advertising, Ogilvy Chicago and Mindshare surveys more than 800 women on their digital domains

— revealing insight on topics from everyday technology gadgets to overarching online philosophies and how and when they shop and ‘unplug‘.


Microsoft’s Advertiser and Publisher Solutions global research director Beth Uyenco says, “We sought to answer the burning questions keeping brand managers and advertisers up at night: How are women in the digital age different from women of past generations? How can brands leverage digital media to deepen relationships with them? Are we moving fast enough?. What we uncovered was unexpected and unconventional insight: Even the most low-interest categories such as toilet paper can apply their digital advertising agenda to reach and impact women.”

Women across various ages and life stages were engaged, including gen Yers, gen Xers, early boomers and moms (stay-at-home and working out-of-home) in 2008. The study examined quantitative data and established proprietary data from “Media Diaries,” Insight Group Discussions, In-Home Ethnographies and “Idea Stations” (online bulletin boards).

Digital Divas Emerge : Coined Digital Divas, 16 per cent of the women surveyed were found to have a higher propensity to shop, communicate and employ digital devices.

“While Digital Divas are the trendsetters for marketers to understand now, the reality is the mainstream is soon to follow the patterns and paths they are forging now,” said Graceann Bennett, managing partner, director of Strategic Planning of Ogilvy & Mather Chicago. “This group was probably the most compelling of our study as the implications for how they behave are so important for brands.”

The study revealed the following about the “Digital Diva” group:
• 22 per cent shop once per day.
• The majority views devices such as cell phones and computers as extensions of themselves.
• 86 per cent pass along interesting “finds” to others.
• On average, they have 171 contacts in e-mail, social networking and cell phone address books.


“What we found is that men and women fundamentally embrace technology differently; women think less about the technology itself and more about how it fits within their life — seeing their computers and cell phones as extensions of their personalities. It is imperative for brands to adjust the way they deliver their messages in a way that works to meet a woman’s needs” adds Uyenco.

As a whole, the study revealed:
• More than half “never” unplug from their digital devices, even when sleeping.
• They view tools such as rewards, loyalty cards, cell phones, coupons via the computer, TIVO and DVR, video on demand, opt-in daily e-mails, and handheld wireless devices to be “blessings” in their lives.
• Technology “curses” were few and centered on activities and types of communication that were “out of their control.”
• If forced to, they would “throw out” their television or cell phone first; only 11 percent would throw out their personal laptop.
• E-mail is overwhelmingly, 85 percent, the most important tool.
• On average, they have 5.8 “screens” and 12 digital devices.

Moms Enjoy Creating Content : For moms, the Internet serves as a link to the ‘outside world’ — especially moms with a new baby.

And moms are really the future of content creation notes the study. They have an insatiable appetite to create and share content — posting more than twice the average US adult, whether publishing, maintaining or updating a blog or Web page.”

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