Education Is A Key Indicator of Women's Attitudes and Behavior

Marketing to Women: Addressing Women and Women's Sensibilities, October 2001 | Go to article overview
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Education Is A Key Indicator of Women's Attitudes and Behavior


Women's education level is often a key indicator for behaviors such as shopping habits and media use, as well as attitudes and beliefs, according to Simmons Market Research Bureau. Simmons identifies four segments of the women's market according to education level: Non-participators, who have less than a high school diploma and make up 35% of the female population age 18 and older; Ruralites, who have a high school education and make up 22%; Involved Grads, who have some college education or a college degree and make up 27%; and Western Educated, who have more than a college education and make up 16%.

While the segments are identified by education level, there are also geographic factors: for example, non-participators are most likely to live in the South (41% do so), while Western Educated women, as their name implies, tend to live in the Western states (30% do so). Key characteristics and behavior of the segments are identified below.

Non-participators

Index above-average in the following areas:

* Not having a driver's license

* Single, never-married

* Not belonging to organizations

* Not playing sports in past year

* Living in households containing 3-4 adults

* Household income of $10,000-$20,000

PURCHASING BEHAVIOR OF NON-PARTICIPATORS
(Index against total women)
Category                        Index
Frozen breakfast entrees         126
Instant coffee                   122
In-tank toilet cleaner           121
Microwave dinners (non-frozen)   119
Baby oil/lotion                  118
Packaged muffins                 117
Frequent visits to fast-food
 restaurants (6+ times/month)    112
Source: Simmons

Women in this group are minimal media consumers, using only cable television at a higher-than-average rate. They are more likely than average to say they go out of their way to find new stores, are usually among the first to try a new drugbrand, will spend what they have to look younger, and believe that money is the best measure of success.

Ruralites.

Index above-average in the following areas:

* Taking camping trips

* Live in most rural areas

* Have three or more children

* Household income of $10,000-$30,000

* Retired

PURCHASING BEHAVIOR OF RURALITES
(Index against total women)
Category                            Index
TV In the $200-$299 price range      122
Prescription product (used in past
 year)                               119
Sloppy Joe mixes                     119
Laxatives                            117
Indigestion/stomach remedies         116
Snack cakes                          113
Sporting goods (bought in past
 year)                               112
Prescription eyeglasses/contacts     112
Source: Simmons

Ruralites are heavy users of television, especially during "fringe" times (late afternoon to 7:30pm). They can also be targeted via radio in the car from 9am-4pm and at home; 25% of this group are home between 8am and 8pm. These women are more likely than average to say it is important to them that their family thinks they are doing well, that children are exposed to too much materialism, and that they look for the lowest price when shopping.

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