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23 Facts About Women and Advertising

April 15, 2015

Marketers spend most of their time trying to appeal to their target demographics, but when it comes to women, many of them are missing the mark. Given that women make up half the population and have a disproportionate amount of purchasing power, isn’t it in your best interest to try to understand them?  Here are 23 surprising facts you probably didn’t know about women and advertising.

Facepalm - because actions speak louder than words.

  1. Women account for 85% of consumer purchases (She-conomy)
  2. Despite this, 91% of women say advertisers don’t understand them (Ibid.)
  3. Women control 73% of U.S. household spending (Boston Consulting Group, 2009)
  4. Women account for 58% of U.S. ecommerce spend (Women’s Buying Behavior Index 2013)
  5. 22% of women shop online at least once per day (Ogilvy & Mather)
  6. Women account for 80% of all car purchases by influence (Bloomberg BusinessWeek, 2004)
  7. 33% of women research products online before purchasing them offline (Harris Interactive)
  8. More than half of mothers active on social media platforms (55%) said they made a purchase based on the recommendation of a friend (Keller Fay Group)
  9. The average woman sees 400 to 600 advertisements per day (“Body Image and Advertising,” Mediascope Press, 2000)
  10. By the time a girl reaches her 17th birthday, she will have seen more than 250,000 ads (“Media Influence on Teens,” Allison LaVoie, 2003)
  11. As a demographic, mothers represent a $2.4 trillion market (“Power Moms: The New Rules for Engaging Mom Influencers Who Drive Brand Choice,” Maria Bailey)
  12. Mothers mention brands approximately 73 times per week on average, compared to just 57 times among men (Keller Fay Group)
  13. 92% of women pass along deals or finds to others (Ogilvy Mather)
  14. Exposure to so-called “ideal” body images in advertising has been found to lower women’s satisfaction with their own attractiveness (“About-Face facts on the MEDIA,” L. Dittrich, Ph. D)
  15. The average American woman is 5’4” tall and weighs 140 pounds, whereas the average American model is 5’11” tall and weighs 117 pounds (“The Developmental Psychopathology of Eating Disorders,” Linda Smolak et al, 1996)
  16. 56% of television ads aimed at women used beauty as their primary product appeal (“Body Image and Gender Identity,” National Institute on Media and the Family)
  17. 59% of women feel misunderstood by food marketers (Forbes, 2010)
  18. 66% of women feel misunderstood by health care marketers (Ibid.)
  19. 74% of women feel misunderstood by investment marketers (Ibid.)
  20. There is a 21% gender worth gap among men and women in the search marketing industry (WordStream)
  21. There is a 19.7% gender pay gap between men and women in the search marketing industry (Moz)
  22. There is a 12% gender pay gap among male and female staff at the White House (American Enterprise Institute)
  23. Half of all products marketed to men are actually purchased by women (Nuance Digital Marketing)

Related: Want more interesting facts? Check out this list of 26 crazy facts about Google you probably didn't know.

Dan Shewan

Originally from the U.K., Dan Shewan is a journalist and web content specialist who now lives and writes in New England. Dan’s work has appeared in a wide range of publications in print and online, including The Guardian, The Daily Beast, Pacific Standard magazine, The Independent, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, and many other outlets.