WOMEN RULE THE INTERNET. As A Male Marketer, Do You View This As Competition or Opportunity?

I recently read Why Women Rule The Internet on TechCrunch, by Aileen Lee, Partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

This is a GREAT article and chock full of statistics supporting the headline, some of which I have highlighted below. Aileen also made suggestions and asked some very poignant questions.

  • More female users will likely help your company grow faster.
  • Take a look at your product, your marketing, your customer base.  Maybe you would benefit from having a larger base of female customers.
  • If so, what would you change to make your product/service more attractive to female customers?
  • Do you do enough product and user interface testing with female users?
  • Have you figured out how to truly unleash the shopping and social power of women?
  • Take a look at your team.  Do you have women in key positions?
  • If you’re planning on targeting female customers, I can’t imagine why you wouldn’t want to have great women on your team.

The data is fresh and new yet continues to affirm there are beneficial rewards for companies that appeal to and connect with women effectively online. And Aileen’s thoughts are spot on.

So, why did this article strike such a competitive nerve with several men? (comments)

Did they miss the point? I think so. The findings overwhelmingly remind us that women are spending more and more time online. And those who develop products as well as advertise to meet her needs are going to swiftly move ahead.

As a male marketer or male business owner who needs to reach the female audience, it would be wise to view findings that reveal the power of the female consumer as opportunity, not offensive.

Does this mean you are going to benefit from listening to the female audience through the ears of  experienced female marketer? More than likely, yes. Because even if you don’t, someone else will.

A few of the findings:

  • Comscore, Nielsen, MediaMetrix and Quantcast studies all show women are the driving force of the most important net trend of the decade, the social web.
  • Comscore says women are the majority of users of social networking sites and spend 30% more time on these sites than men;
  • According to Nielsen. mobile social network usage is 55% female
  • Brian Solis’s analysis shows females are the majority of visitors on the following sites:
    1. Twitter
    2. Facebook
    3. Deli.ci.ous
    4. Docstoc
    5. Flickr
    6. Myspace
    7. Ning
    8. Upcoming.org
    9. uStream
    10. Classmates.com
    11. Bebo
    12. Yelp
    13. The one site Brian notes where males are greater than females is Digg. (Didn’t I just read where founder, Kevin Rose resigned as CEO and that Digg is not doing well?)
  • More women use Twitter according to bloggers Dan Zarella and Darmesh Shaw’s analyses.
  • In e-commerce, female purchasing power is also pretty clear. Sites like those listed below are all driven by a majority of female customers.
  • Zappos (>$1 billion in revenue last year)
    Groupon ($760m last year)
    Gilt Groupe ($500m projected revenue this year)
    Etsy (over $300m in GMV last year)
    Diapers ($300m estimated revenue last year)
  • Further, according to Gilt Groupe, women are 70% of the customer base and they drive 74% of revenue.
  • And 77% of Groupon’s customers are female according to their site.
  • There is an exciting new crop of e-commerce companies building real revenue and real community, really fast, by purposefully harnessing the power of female consumers.  One Kings Lane, Plum District, Stella & Dot, Rent the Runway, Modcloth, BirchBox, Shoedazzle, Zazzle, Callaway Digital Arts, and Shopkick are just a few examples of companies leveraging “girl power.”  The majority of these companies were also founded by women.
  • Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook said:
    1. Women are not only the majority of its users, but drive 62% of activity in terms of messages, updates and comments, and 71% of the daily fan activity.
    2. Women have 8% more Facebook friends on average than men, and spend more time on the site.
    3. Women played a key role in the early days by adopting three core activities—posting to walls, adding photos and joining groups—at a much higher rate than males.

For more insight and findings, view the article in it’s entirety here.


Stephanie Holland is President and Executive Creative Director for Holland + Holland Advertising, Birmingham, Alabama. Working in an industry that is dominated by men, she is one of only 3% of the female creative directors in the country. Stephanie works mostly with male advertisers, helping them successfully market to women. Subscribe to She-conomy by Email

4 Responses to “WOMEN RULE THE INTERNET. As A Male Marketer, Do You View This As Competition or Opportunity?”

  1. I read the article and just posted about it to my blog at http://bit.ly/hNvfZw I’ve written a couple of different articles for my website about women as consumers.

    Wow, a lot of bashing from some of the men in the comments on Aileen Lee’s article. Some of them seem more hung up on a male vs. female perspective.

    To me, it’s about marketing to the decision makers. That’s where you want to put your efforts.

    What some people seem to forget is that even when they don’t write the check, women are influencing the check writer, so you’re still reaching the male audience. It’s like getting a 2-for-1.

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