Microsoft, Mindshare and Ogilvy Uncover Digital Behaviour of Women

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.”

“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?” said Beth Uyenco, Global Research Director of Microsoft’s Advertiser and Publisher Solutions. “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 Y-ers, Gen X-ers, Early Boomers and Moms (Stay-at-Home and Working Out-of-Home) in the spring, summer and fall of 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).

Coined “Digital Divas,” 16 percent of the women surveyed were found to have a higher propensity to shop, communicate and employ digital devices.

“While Digital Divas are the trend-setters 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.”

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