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BizReport : Social Marketing : September 02, 2009

Brand marketing on socnets not influencing women

It's well known that women are highly engaged with social media. They blog, they review, they socialize on networks such as Facebook. But what's not so well-known is that they aren't particularly influenced by brands present in those spaces.

by Helen Leggatt

According to a recent study, "Women & Brands Online: 'The Digital Disconnect' Emerges", from ad:tech Chicago and Q Interactive's "Women Channel", 83% of women feel "neutral" or "negative" when they see a brand on a social networking site. Three-quarters of the 1,000 surveyed said that social networking sites "not really" or "not at all" influence purchase decisions.

It seems women are so focused on their social networking tasks that brand messages either aren't noticed or are seen as an intrusion or out of place.

However, there is a glimmer of hope for brand marketers. Just over half (52%) of women surveyed had "become a fan" or a "friend" of at least one brand.

"This tells us there is a willingness among women to partner with brands in social media - but the current dialogue is not where it needs to be," said Drew Ianni, chairman of programming for ad:tech Expositions. "The challenge becomes finding a meaningful, appreciated and successful presence and partnership."

Of course, another reason for those women to have connected with a brand is that they actively sought out existing favorites on their social network, and didn't arrive at their pages through brand marketing efforts.

Only small number (10%) of the women surveyed for the study used social networks more so to seek out coupons and deals, or write product reviews, than keeping in touch with friends and sharing images and video.

It would be interesting to see whether this is a gender issue, or whether the social networking environment itself is simply not conducive to the broadcast of brand marketing messages, at least in their current formats.

The full findings are being presented at ad:tech Chicago this week.

Tags: blogs, brand marketers, brand marketing, gender, social media, social networking, women

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