Study Unearths Super-Connected ‘Digital Divas’

November 7, 2008

This article is included in these additional categories:

Analytics, Automated & MarTech | Email | Social Media | Technology | Women

A segment comprising 16% of the female online population identified as “Digital Divas” shops more, communicates more and is less likely than other women to ever “unplug” from their digital gadgets, according to a survey from Microsoft Advertising, Ogilvy Chicago, and Mindshare.

Among the “Digital Diva” group:

  • 22% shop once per day.
  • The majority view devices such as cell phones and computers as “extensions of themselves.”
  • 86% pass along interesting “finds” with others.
  • On average, they have 171 contacts in e-mail, social networking and cell phone address books.

But while these trend-setting Digital Divas make up a small percentage of women now,? they are important to watch, the study says, because findings suggest that mainstream women will soon follow in their footsteps.

The survey – which studied more than 800 women and their digital domains and uncovered insights on topics from everyday technology gadgets to overarching online philosophies in an attempt to learn how brands can leverage digital media to reach them – found women overall to be an increasingly connected group online with interests across a wide range of topics that are relevant to their everyday lives.

“Even the most low-interest categories such as toilet paper can apply their digital advetising agenda to reach and impact women,” said Beth Uyenco, global research director of Microsoft’s Advertiser and Publisher Solutions.

Findings among women overall:

  • More than half never unplug from their digital devices, even when sleeping.
  • They say that tools such as rewards, loyalty cards, cell phones, coupons via the computer, TiVO and DVR, video on demand, opt-in daily emails, and handheld wireless devices to be blessings in their lives.
  • Technology curses were few and centered on activities and types of communication that were out of their control.
  • If forced, they would throw away their television or cell phone first; only 11% would throw out their personal laptop.
  • An overwhelming majority (85%) say email is their most important tool.On average, they have 5.8 “screens” and 12 digital devices.

“What we found is that men and women fundamentally embrace technology differently; women think less about the technology itself and more about how it fits within their life – seeing their computers and cell phones as extensions of their personalities,” said Uyenco. “It is imperative for brands to adjust the way they deliver their messages in a way that works to meet a woman’s needs.”

The study also found that mothers – especially those with new babies – view the internet as their link to the outside world.

These moms “have? an insatiable appetite to create and share content posting more than twice the average US adult, whether publishing, maintaining or updating a blog or Web page,” said Debbie Solomon, managing director, business planning forMindshare, who also said moms are the future of content creation.

About the study: More than 800 women across various ages and life stages were engaged for the study, including GenY-ers, Gen X-ers, Early Boomers, and Moms (stay-at-mome 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).

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