Tuesday, October 16, 2007

What Women Want

From Alex Halavais-

An article over on AdAge reported yesterday the results of Anderson Analytics' annual survey of college students' brand affinities and media use. Among the clear winners: Apple, Target, and Facebook. Kind of makes me wonder why I don't see more iTunes on Facebook (though I have seen a lot of Target ads).

They suggest that online social networking is by-and-large a women's thing--that they are the "├╝ber networkers" among the college-aged crowd--an observation that jibs with what I've seen in my classes. It makes you wonder whether markets that are more male dominated are more easily reached by traditional broadcast means. Or, to turn that around, whether traditionally male-dominated areas (many of my students work for ESPN, which has, I assume, a heavily male and possibly younger), are missing a market because they haven't managed to engage social networks.

Also interesting was that Digg ranked as a favorite among male college students. It's not a surprise, exactly, but I still think of Digg as a relatively niche site, even though the traffic is huge. I wonder what portion of that traffic is 18-22 years old males. There is a self-perception among "Digggers" that it is also a heavily male crowd.

The article reminds us that this crowd tends to shape the consumption of others--older and younger--and so tends to be of special importance. Traditionally, it has been the males in this group who have been seen as prime targets, but if the women are more networky, making them into brand evangelists could have a much more substantial effect...