Study Reveals Women are More Receptive to Advertising, But Expect More from Content

Inplace #2

According to Kantar Consulting’s 2017 U.S. MONITOR study, American women are better TV and advertising audiences than men. Fewer women would consider canceling TV than men (24% vs. 32%), less likely to pay to avoid ads (36% vs. 47%), and less likely to use ad blocking software (41% vs. 52%). However, advertisers need to be more intentional with their content to reach them: messages should avoid inappropriate and offensive tones and eliminate the “helpless woman” attitude. This is especially important to consider as women are increasingly the target of new content. Women are more likely to think companies should take a stand on important issues (75% vs. 71%) and more likely to support companies that work toward diversity and inclusion (83% vs. 77%)

Beth Ann Kaminkow, CEO, Brand & Marketing Americas, Kantar Consulting shares her thoughts on this study. 
Q: What do the survey conclusions say about women?

“Women are a better audience for marketers. They are a more reachable, reliable audience—both in terms of programming and advertising. Among cable and satellite subscribers, fewer females (ages 12 and up) tell us they’d consider canceling their current TV service within the next year. In addition, fewer say they use ad-blocking software and fewer express willingness to pay an additional fee or a premium for ad-free TV. Make no mistake: The media landscape continues to shift under the industry’s feet. But networks and advertisers can find, in the female audience, a bridge between a familiar business model and a still-emerging one.”

“The female audience places a higher value on word of mouth from within their circle of trust. More females than males say they’re very likely to take an in-person vouch from friends or family about new movies, shows, music, videos, games or other types of media from their friends and family. More women and girls also say they’re very or somewhat likely to take entertainment cues from what’s trending on their social media. Because strong social ties play an important role with female audiences, content creators should consider programming that fosters and strengthens relationships. Don’t just try to build relationships with female viewers; enable relationships among them, as well.”

“Women are a more critical audience as well. Fewer women and girls are willing to put up with messaging they find offensive, alienating, or inauthentic. Compared with males, fewer females find much entertainment value in marketing or advertising that could be interpreted as inappropriate. This tells us women today are empowered consumers. Women are not going to put up with advertisers that misrepresent them or bring them down in any way. They pay attention to the message and how that message is communicated.”

“Women express less interest in compartmentalizing their online lives than men. In other words, fewer say they use social media to express themselves in ways they couldn’t otherwise, and fewer say they express different parts of themselves on different social media networks. In an online world that often seems overrun by catfishing, bots, and anonymous trolls, more women maintain that their best self is their real self. This is telling about women today: women are bringing their full self to the marketplace, the workplace, their community, and society in general. As evidence, see the increase in political participation. There’s a level of female authenticity and power that will continue to unravel.”

“Women want brands to enable consumers to be their best selves, as well. Large majorities of women and men agree that more companies should take a stand on important social issues and that it’s important to support companies or organizations that work toward diversity and inclusion. But more women and girls agree on both points.”

Q: Were you surprised about these findings?

“These findings reinforce what we’ve known for some time about the nature of women as an audience —all things being equal, they prefer honest connection rather than hype and commotion. Women are a vital and important media consumer: They’re pointing marketers and content creators toward a future where brands use purpose to empower consumers.”


About Beth Ann Kaminkow

Beth Ann Kaminkow leads the brand and marketing practice for Kantar Consulting, Americas. She believes that the role of modern marketing today is elevated to a business imperative that encompasses brand, consumer-centricity, sales, and digital all underpinned by data and technology. During her two decades in the industry, Beth Ann has touched every aspect of marketing communications across consumer-packaged goods, retail, finance, restaurant and technology companies and brings both client and agency side perspectives to her work. She is a strong advocate of insights-inspired marketing programs and was a pioneer in strategic-planning research methodologies. Beth Ann has been part of a successful startup purchased by Omnicom, led global agency TracyLocke as the first female CEO in its one-hundred-year history, as well as served as a Global Chief Marketing Officer of Westfield Corp.