Mediacom Digest 2 June 2005 - Focus on Females

Published: Fri 3 Jun 2005 03:50 PM
Mediacom Digest 2 June 2005 - Focus on Females
What Women Want
A.G. Lafley, chief executive of Procter & Gamble Co., was in Venezuela recently and shared some advice with a group of laundry executives: "The simple principle in life is to find out what she wants and give it to her. It's worked in my marriage for 35 years and it works in laundry."
He wasn't joking. Following this deceptively straightforward principle has helped the 57-year-old P veteran revive the fortunes of the world's largest consumer-products company, whose target markets are predominantly female.
If your target, like P's, is largely female, allow us to bring to your attention the following insights, drawn from a major new study, Focusing On Women 2005, released by Statistics New Zealand yesterday. This new report uses information from the 2001 Census of Population and Dwellings as its baseline, and draws widely from sources such as the Ministries of Health, Education and Justice, New Zealand Police and the Department of Corrections.
* Majority Rule: In 2001 females made up more than half of the New Zealand population and two-thirds of the population aged 80 years and over.
* More Ethnicly Diverse: Numbers of Asian and Pacific peoples are growing the most rapidly. Mäori and Pacific peoples have a younger age structure than the general population.
* Women Of A Certain Age: the median age for females is projected to rise from 36.1 years at 30 June 2004 to 47.1 years at 30 June 2051.
* Parallel Imports: Twenty-three percent of New Zealand females were born overseas, mostly in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Asia and the Pacific Islands.
* Readin' Ritin' Rithmetic: At the time of the 2001 Census of Population and Dwellings, young women were more likely to leave school with a qualification (86 percent) than their male counterparts (81 percent).
* Sorority Rules: Women are now more highly represented in tertiary education than ever before. In 2001 women made up more than half (53 percent) of all tertiary enrolments, compared with 1971 when women made up just under a third (30 percent) of all tertiary enrolments.
* Care Bearers: There are still distinct differences between male and female fields of study choices. In 2001 the most common post-school qualification for women aged 15 years and over was in the field of health (22 percent), while for men it was in engineering and related technologies (33 percent).
* Nuclear-Free Families: Over the 30 years from 1971 to 2001, changes in marriage and childbearing patterns have resulted in an increased proportion of women living in a growing diversity of household types. Women are now considerably more likely to have children outside marriage. In 2001, 43 percent of births were to women who were not legally married, compared with 14 percent in 1971. The growth in ex-nuptial births can be attributed in part to increased numbers of women in de facto relationships.
* Going Solo: Women are more likely than men to be living alone (13 and 10 percent respectively). This is a likely consequence of women's longer life expectancy.
* Race Relations: The ethnicity of women greatly influences their likelihood of living in an extended family. Pacific women were more likely to live in this type of family than women identifying with the other main ethnic groups, followed by Asian and then Mäori women.
* The Parent Trap: Family formation has a major effect on women's labour force participation, with rates dipping during the years when they are most likely to be raising children. Just 39 percent of mothers with children under a year old were in the labour force in 2001. Women's labour force participation rate increased from 39 percent to 60 percent between 1971 and 2001, but it is still considerably lower than that of men (74 percent in 2001).
* Women's Work: Employment growth in recent years has been much faster among women than among men, with almost 200,000 more women in jobs in 2001 than in 1991. Part-time job growth exceeded fulltime job growth in the early 1990s, but since then the majority of growth has been in full-time work.
* Good In Parts: Women are three times as likely as men to work part-time - 36 percent compared with 12 percent. Women are most likely to work part-time as young adults, around retirement age and at ages when they are likely to be raising children.
* Community Servitude: Women have higher rates of participation than men in all categories of unpaid work, both within and outside the household.
* Old Money: Women's income from all employment types can be seen to have a strong relationship to age, reflecting the stages of childbearing and childrearing. Women's earning life-cycle reaches two peaks, the first at 25 to 29 years ($20,900), and the second at 45 to 49 years when incomes are at their highest ($22,000).
* Professional Discourtesy: Differences in men's and women's median incomes were greater for those who had attained a higher degree than for those with lower-level qualifications. This is because the skilled workforce has more opportunity for career progression and advancement. The greater likelihood of women taking time out (eg for care giving) impacts on their income potential in comparison to men.
* Family Support: Women were more likely than men to be in receipt of some form of income support (27 and 19 percent, respectively). Women receive proportionately different forms of income support to men.
* Superwoman: Incomes of women aged 65 years and over are greatly dependent on the provision of New Zealand Superannuation. Withdrawal from the labour force into retirement around this age means there is little variance in the income received by people in this age group regardless of their age and ethnicity.
* Innosense: Females made up just over half of the population in 2001, yet they made up only 20 percent of all recorded apprehensions, 17 percent of convictions and 4 percent of those sentenced to a custodial sentence.
* Live Long And Prosper: In 2000-2002, female life expectancy at birth was 81.1 years, nearly five years more than for males (76.3 years). Females had a lower rate of death than males in all age groups, especially in the 15 to 24 years age group, where the male rate of death was nearly three times the female rate.
* Accident Prone: Males are over-represented in injury statistics such as traffic accidents, but more females than males are hospitalised for falls and for suicide and self-inflicted injury.
* On the Wagon: In 2002/03, females were less likely than males to have had an alcoholic drink in the past year, and female drinkers were less likely to have potentially hazardous drinking patterns.
* Diet Conscience: In 2001, the rate of females who were overweight (excluding obesity) was lower than that for males, but both sexes had similar rates of obesity.
You can download this 148-page report from the Statistics New Zealand website, or just drop us an email to and we'll send you an electronic copy.
PS One additional female insight, courtesy new research from Human Synergistics: women are much happier in their jobs generally and are much more satisfied with their employment than their male counterparts.
Generally for males, job satisfaction comes from such factors as receiving respect, involvement, fairness of appraisals and heavy goal emphasis. For females, satisfaction comes from more relationship-oriented factors such as consideration, receiving respect and having respect for their manager.
Heralding A New Rate Structure Landing on our desks this morning: a note from the New Zealand Herald announcing a change in advertising rates. We don't normally destroy rainforests to report on such ephemera, but this latest ratecard marks a seachange (we hesitate to occupationally overuse the "paradigm" word) in NZ newspaper advertising. The new ratecard "better reflects demand for certain days/sections", for example reducing rates for guaranteed Sport section on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays & Fridays and increasing Section A loadings by varying percentages throughout the week (from +4% on Thursdays & Fridays to +10% on Saturdays).
While a more purist approach would see Sport placement reduced by half (to reflect that section's readership relative to Section A), we accept that commercial realities (and the current market) dictate otherwise. So we'll restrict our comment to applause for the NZ Herald for taking the first steps towards a demand-driven ratecard which reflects readership realities. Granny Herald, you've come a long way baby.
Britspeak & Te Reo We note that Sky Television will offer viewers a number of different audio options for the upcoming Lions vs NZ Maori game on Saturday week, June 11.
On Sky Sport 1, Grant Nisbett, Murray Mexted and Ian Smith demonstrate the breadth of their knowledge and vocabularies as usual; or you can opt for Hemana Waka calling the game in Maori with the assistance of two Maori language Professors, Wharehuia Milroy and Pou Temara.
Meanwhile on the Rugby Channel, subscribers can select the traditional commentary, the inevitably colourised commentary intended for UK viewers of BSkyB (courtesy Miles Harrison and Stuart Barnes) or even tune in to the referee to hear if he can make sense of what's going on. These options can be accessed via the Sky remote, by using the '+' button.
Sadly, no amount of fiddling with the Sky remote will affect the scoreboard.
MTV in Flux MTV is launching a new brand - FLUX - in Japan at the end of the month. FLUX will be a new subscription-based service delivering entertainment and music via mobile and online networks. Subscribers will be able to access short videos and music through their mobiles or computers, make recommendations to others and provide feedback, integrating community and content for the first time.
Targeting 13-34 year-olds, the FLUX content offer will include original video and animation productions from Japan's leading creators, as well as programming from the global MTV & Nickelodeon libraries, including Dirty Sanchez, Gutterpups and SpongeBob SquarePants.
In addition, FLUX has secured an exclusive partnership with Utada, Japan's biggest female artist, to produce the world's first mobile music video series, music set to specially commissioned animated short films.
FLUX will also feature a line-up of licensed content including:
* Polygon Family, a computer graphic fantasy animation based on a video game; * Perestroika, a dark comedy blending traditional Japanese comic monologues with a mixture of puppets and animation; * and Sguy and the Family Stone, a slapstick flash animation series.
Clips will be available on mobile in 1-3 minute episodes, with lengthier content available through the Web site.
What's particularly interesting about this new endeavour is the fact that it represents the first significant move by a major television player into the mobile space. The fact that they've chosen to create a new brand to play in this arena is probably a mistake - it's the core brand that gives MTV street cred with the intended audience.
MTV is a natural fit with the mobile medium, given their synergy with both the primary user and the short-form messages best suited to the medium. But watch this space - others will join the mobile goldrush any time now.
Player One, We're Watching You The new Xbox 360 console game system has been specifically designed to accommodate and advance advergaming concepts as never before and its global audience of gamers will be sold aggressively to marketers when the product hits the stores later this year, according to Microsoft.
"Picture a videogame racing season on Xbox Live sponsored by one of the world's leading auto manufacturers," said Peter Moore, Xbox's corporate VP, worldwide marketing and publishing. "At the start of the season, 250,000 people pay $10 each to sign up for a head-to-head 30-race competition. The stakes? How about a million bucks to the overall champion?
In the final race, 16 finalists go head-to-head for the million-dollar prize. And with spectator mode, 250,000 fans will log on to watch the competition. If you are the sponsor, you've captured the attention of hundreds of thousands of people who've spent the last six months living and breathing your tournament and your brand."
But Xbox 360's Big Brother-like ability to collect information on gamers -- from hardcore to casual players -- is exactly what will make the system appeal to advertisers looking for news ways to connect with a lucrative demo. Microsoft is hoping to broaden the console's appeal beyond the core 13-34-year-old gamer and target women and other casual gamers who tend to gravitate to online play. That opens up the possibilities for more ad categories. According to a report from the Yankee Group in-game ad dollars are projected to exceed $870 million by 2009, which makes it a market worth pursuing, even by global adspend standards.
Through Xbox Live, users will register in order to play games online, meaning Microsoft will have a reservoir of data on its consumers. Gaming is still an untapped medium for advertisers, given its size. There are about 112 million people age 13 or older in the United States participating in some form of electronic gaming, according to the Yankee Group. By the end of 2008, the number will grow to 148 million. Gaming, as defined by Yankee, takes place on four platforms: consoles (like Xbox and PlayStation 2), PCs, handhelds (like Nintendo's Gameboy) and mobile devices (like cell phones).
Several factors have come together to ratchet up advertiser interest in gaming. A major one is the core gamer demo: men 18-34. Older adults and women are also playing videogames, but advertisers are most attracted to videogames because of their appeal to young men, a demographic difficult to reach anywhere else.
But the primary development that has generated most excitement this year is the concept of dynamic in-game ads, delivered to gamers who are playing while connected to the Internet. Unlike ads that have been permanently integrated into games, dynamic ads can be changed frequently and easily, allowing for short lead times and campaign flighting - not mention targeted localised advertising by small advertisers.
Dynamic in-game ads also make it a lot easier for brands to execute short-term tests before making large spending commitments and will also provide the industry with much-needed standards-creating the equivalent of a 30-second spot or a four-color ad page. Up until now, most in-game ad buys have been one-off, unique executions, and thus difficult to compare to other buys. Dynamic networks promise to offer buyers more-familiar, impression-based sales models.
Clearly, in-game advertising is still in its infancy, with interest perhaps outweighing the actual amount of activity. The amount of inventory that has opened up is still really limited. Yet many advertisers enter the medium with high expectations, hoping to produce a campaign that puts their product front and centre in a huge hit title. It's a seductive notion for marketers, but one that sounds a lot like Spam The Video Game.
I shot an arrow into the air ... The classic quote attributed to (amongst others) department store tycoon John Wanamaker - "I know that half my advertising works, I just don't know which half" - generally overstates the performance of advertising in the 21st Century. Fortunately the underlying question "what actually works?" can be more effectively answered these days, thanks to an ever-widening body of research on the topic.
The latest addition to that canon: the DMA 2004 Response Rate Report, published by the US Direct Marketing Association. Here's some topline results:
Telemarketing held the top spot for direct marketers across all industries, generating a response rate of 5.78 percent overall among "direct order" campaigns, meaning those intended to drive an immediate result, such as a purchase or registration. In second place was the 2.3 percent reported for dimensional mail, which includes three-dimensional mailings, videotapes, audiotapes, diskettes and promotional items. A close third was catalogue mailings, at 2.18 percent. Direct mail averaged 1.88 percent, coming in fourth across all industries.
While telephone, dimensional mail, catalogue and direct mail are the leaders in response rates across all industries, the worst performing media for direct order campaigns (in the US anyway) are direct-response television, newspaper advertising and radio, with response rates at .1 percent or less.
In terms of revenue per contact telephone led the list, delivering $45.37. Next most productive was dimensional mail, at $14.16 and direct mail at $11.36.
Average response rates by medium for all industries (direct order) 1. Telephone 5.78% 2. Dimensional mail 2.30% 3. Catalogue 2.18% 4. Direct mail 1.88% 5. Coupons 1.65% 6. E-mail 1.12% 7. Inserts 0.45%
Recognizing that offers have a major impact on campaign success, the DMA Response Rate Report also queried contributors about the relative lift provided by various types of offers. The figures below represent the education sector (for which we happen to have these details) but are indicative of general response rates across all categories.
Offers and Impact
Offer type
% Using Offer
% Lift in Response
Free info/sample
Free gifts
Financial terms
Free/reduced shipping
Suggest contribution
No special offer
Finally, the DMA asked participants to name the communication channels used by customers and prospects for their replies. Across the entire study, the most popular campaign response channel is telephone, reporting usage in 28.7 percent of the cases. Second is mail, with 21.8 percent, and third is a Web site, with 20.8 percent of the activity. The popularity of the Web as a response vehicle has increased dramatically from 2003, when it represented only 15.8 percent.
How customers respond (also for the education sector) 1. Telephone 27.0% 2. Mail 22.1% 3. Web site 22.1% 4. E-mail 13.9% 5. Fax 9.8% 6. Retail traffic 1.6% 7. Other 3.3%
These are, of course, US results, representing a broad range of categories - handle with care when adapting to your own product, category or market.

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