Time Warner Cable Media announced the results of its “Understanding Women Today” study conducted in partnership with Ipsos Media CT. The study surveyed more than 3,800 women to explore the changing attitudes, consumer confidence, and media consumption of two key female demographics: Chief Family Officers (CFOs) and Girlfriends on the Go (GOGs). These two segments represented over $200 billion in spending in 2011, giving marketers an unprecedented opportunity to connect with these audiences in 2013.
The study found that CFOs and GOGs share positive outlooks for 2013, compared with 2010, in spite of concerns about the job market and healthcare. They also are clamoring for more “me” time. For marketers to reach them with the right message at the right time in the right way, they will need to take the findings, including the differences based on attitude, behavior, and geography that have emerged, into account for their campaigns.
“These two audience segments represented over $200 billion in spending last year as key decision makers. We are looking to provide our marketing partners with the subtle differences between the two in order to help them connect with these audiences more effectively,” said Joan Hogan Gillman, Executive Vice President of Time Warner Cable and President of Time Warner Cable Media. “By incorporating these learnings, our clients have more facts to inform their creative direction and media placement to engage each of these segments.”
CFOs and GOGs, the focal points of the study, are two distinct audiences. Having a median age of 38, about 50% of CFOs are married, half have children, and more than half work. In addition to balancing work, family, activities, health, and education, they are the primary decision makers for smaller, day-to-day purchases. For big purchases like cars and electronics, they share the decision making with a spouse or significant other. They are technology savvy, but they may not own the latest gadget. Overall, CFOs think through purchases in terms of cost, product value, and brand name. While GOGs share similar attributes when it comes to purchase decision making, name brands play a far more important role when making a purchasing decision. GOGs also see technology almost the same way they see fashion. They want the newest and trendiest gadgets.
In spite of their differences, certain similar trends have emerged with CFOs and GOGs since 2010. Among both groups, more feel that they are doing an excellent job in managing their responsibilities than they were two years ago, that their lives are more balanced between work, family, and personal needs, and they are happier. In addition, they are almost equally concerned about four key areas in 2013: job market, fuel costs, healthcare, and education. Happiness aside, CFOs and GOGs continue to look for more time for themselves, relying on analog methods to manage their schedules.
Geography also plays a significant role in these differences. For example, CFOs in Los Angeles are more likely to personally drive the purchase of a new car than their counterparts in Ohio and Texas, who share in the decision making. GOGs play a bigger personal role in car buying in New York, but more GOGs in the Midwest and in the West/Southwest share in the decision making. In addition, CFOs play a more significant role in determining which fast-food or sit-down restaurant they will visit for a meal when they live in New York or Los Angeles; GOGs hold more sway over that decision in Texas.
When it comes to building brand trust, which is required before CFOs and GOGs make a purchase, a combination of television and online marketing is required to establish credibility depending on the audience. For example, an Internet-only brand strategy may not effectively reach CFOs. They rely on TV to validate a brand and are wary of information received from the online channel alone.
— Attitude: CFOs and GOG have a positive economic outlook for 2013 and are satisfied with their financial situations
— CFOs and GOGs prefer different media channels for receiving information about brands
— CFOs are more accepting of product information found on TV and online; GOGs accept product information across platforms including online, social, and mobile
— Geography Matters: CFOs in Los Angeles, for example, are more likely to drive the purchase of a new car compared to their counterparts in Ohio and Texas, who share in the decision making, while GOGs drive car purchasing decision making in New York but share the decision in the West/Southwest
— Purchases: CFOs and GOGs are the primary decision makers for several categories including clothing, groceries, cleaning products, and holiday shopping
— Media Consumption: Cable is the number one source for broadcast entertainment. Categories like comedy, drama, cooking and reality continue to rise to the top of the list of preferred genres for CFOs and GOGs
— Happiness: CFOs’ and GOGs’ happiness is mostly derived from the people they love—not products, events or places
— Achievement: CFOs gravitate to education and personal growth; GOG to a richer social life and to be better, healthier mothers
— Technology: CFOs research online but purchase at retail; GOG use devices mainly to connect with people. Both groups use their devices to better organize their lives
CFOs and GOG Differences:
— Age: CFOs have a median age of 38; GOGs are about 34 years old.
— Work/Lifestyle: More than half of CFOs work, balancing activities, health, education, and family (about 50% are married with children); About 60% of GOG work and are typically urban and upscale women (less than half of GOGs are married with children).
— Purchasing Decisions: CFOs are typically not the primary decision makers for big purchases; GOGs are the primary decision makers
— Tech Savvy: CFOs are not as up-to-date on the latest consumer tech; GOGs want to be “in” on the latest music, fashion, and technology
— Spending: CFOs think through purchases in terms of cost, product value, and brand name; GOGs spend freely
— Media Preferences: CFOs notice information and deals primarily on TV and also online; GOGs notice this information on TV and on their computers, tablets and smartphones