Net emerges as media of choice for American women: Study

MUMBAI: This is news that should make marketers sit up and take notice. A survey has indicated that the web is the leading media choice among American women. However it has in no way diminshed the role of traditional media like the magazine especially in a relaxed environment.

More impressive about the internet is the fact that it is only behind work, sleep and spending time with family across overall activities.

The research was commissioned in the US by portal Yahoo and the Starcom MediaVest Group. The study Real Women. Digital World revealed the re-emergence of the women's daytime audience. It then mapped their behavior online.

The 38 Hour Day: The research revealed that the landscape of the women's daytime audience has changed dramatically over the last 30 years. This is because more women have entered the workforce.

Women rely on the Internet to manage all facets of their work, family and social lives. Women surveyed also indicated that their total time spent on individual activities in one day added up to 38 hours of activity inside a 24-hour day. The Internet has enabled women to multi-task while facing this 38-hour day and has become a central fixture within their lives.

Traditional channels still play a key role : The net however has not completely supplanted the older media. The survey noted that women also use magazines, product packaging and television to learn about internet sites. 65 per cent of women who read magazines prefer to read the hard copy.

Traditional media is still very important particularly in the form of relaxing entertainment. However women visit sites providing instant and interactive information that is not typically available through other media.

The online destinations that women visit include shopping, home/family and health/beauty, news, financial services games. Making things interesting is the fact that more women visit sports sites than astrology sites.

The efficiency and empowerment that the internet provides gives women the opportunity to spend more time with their family compared with a year ago. Going online has replaced the coffee or water-cooler break at work. The qualitative and quantitative study was conducted by Just Ask a Woman and TNS Media Research respectively.

Yahoo chief sales officer Wenda Harris added, "Marketers and media companies who hope to truly connect with women consumers now and in the coming decades cannot ignore the growing importance and impact of the Internet, digital media and communication devices on women's lives."

The results of the study were announced at a Yahoo! conference for marketers held recently. The aim was to further explore and understand the media consumption patterns of women and how the American marketing community can best communicate with this group.

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