Content-Rich Sites, Not Social Networks, Are The Hot Ticket For Brands Marketing To Women

03 Aug 2010|Added Value

Connectonomics, a newly-released research study from Yahoo! and the brand development and marketing insight consultancy, Added Value, details women’s needs and how they relate to the online channels they use on a daily basis.


Qualitative and online quantitative interviews were conducted with more than 3000 women across the country to understand their most prevalent core needs and which online channels, from social media to blogs to special interest sites, best fulfill those needs.

Yahoo! presented key insights from the study to a select audience of marketing executives on July 28th in Chicago. The live event included a panel of content and marketing experts including Erik Logan, president of Harpo Studios; Phillippe Schaillee, CMO of Sara Lee; Kim Moldofsky, a blogger and founder of MomImpact; and Danielle Wiley, senior VP of consumer brands at Edelman Digital Chicago. Visit the Yahoo! blog for more about the event.

The study is specifically useful to advertisers who are looking for the most effective means to maximize their engagement with women online.  Marketers can now use these insights to optimize their approach to media mix planning.

Key insights

  • Need States – the common ground: Despite demographic differences, women share the same core needs which revolve around personal growth and a shared interdependence on others.  Companies may be better served by understanding women’s core “needs” or what drives and motivates them rather than subscribing to existing stereotypes about Xers vs. Millenials, moms vs. non moms, stay-at-home moms vs. working moms etc.  Understanding women’s need states allows marketers to have more relevant conversations with them.
  • Different strokes for different channels, not just different folks: Various online channels cater to different need states.  Women receive, share and are receptive to information in varying degrees on each of these channels.  Understanding this is key to media and marketing effectiveness.
  • Power of Anonymity: The study found that the anonymity that content channels offer can lead to deeper emotional connections for women.  Women said these sites offer users access to like-minded women and solutions to problems without the risk of being judged by people they know in real life.
  • Social media is not a silver bullet: Also surprising is the insight that social media is less relevant in the context of shopping, brands and purchase decisions.  Content channels such as lifestyle and special interest sites offer 3x the impact on purchase decisions compared to other online channels, creating much better opportunities for advertisers to build relationships.  Marketing messages resonate more with women when presented in the context of content channels as opposed to social media sites.

“Women aren’t as complex as they are misunderstood.  Since they hold tremendous clout in terms of consumer spend and decision-making, it’s critical to understand the best ways to connect with them,”  explains Nima Srinivasan, Vice President, Added Value.  “Connectonomics weaves learning from various disciplines like sociology, psychology, consumer behavior & social media usage to arrive at more accurate insights.  Rather than subscribe to widely held stereotypes about gender or media use, this study tries to answer very basic, critical questions like “What do women really want in 2010?” and “Where should marketers be to connect with them?””

“Connectonomics builds on our goal to help marketers and brands better speak with women,” says Radha Subramanyam, Yahoo! VP and Head of Corporate and Media Research. “Understanding the basic needs of why women leverage online communication channels leads to more powerful and nuanced connections.  The end game is about portfolio management, knowing what women are using each channel for, and how to activate each through integrated marketing.”

Take a look at the presentation below to learn all about Connectonomics.

Connectonomics from The Added Value Group

Additional information about the study is also available from Yahoo! on their Advertising Blog. And for more information, contact Nima Srinivasan at Added Value, 323-436-6619 or

About Added Value
Added Value,, provides consultancy on brand development and marketing insight for iconic brands, both big and small, around the world. They help solve clients’ central marketing questions about market, equity, positioning, innovation and communications.

Many clients are Fortune 500 companies, such as AT&T, Microsoft, Ford, HSBC, Allianz, and P&G, but they work with start-ups and challenger brands too. The company has 22 offices in 14 countries, yet their experience spreads across 150 markets worldwide and across all industry sectors.

Added Value operates under the business names Added Value, Icon Added Value, Oracle Added Value, Cheskin Added Value, AV-Stratosfera and Added Value Saffron Hill.

Added Value is now one of the largest operations within WPP’s Kantar division, a wholly-owned subsidiary of WPP plc. WPP is the world leader in marketing communications services, employing 135,000 people (including associates) in 2,400 offices in 107 countries. For more information, visit

About Yahoo!
Yahoo! attracts hundreds of millions of users every month through its innovative technology and engaging content and services, making it one of the most visited Internet destinations and a world-class online media company. Yahoo!’s vision is to be the center of people’s online lives by delivering personally relevant, meaningful Internet experiences. Yahoo! is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California. For more information, visit or the company’s blog, Yodel Anecdotal (

Yahoo! is the trademark and/or registered trademark of Yahoo! Inc.

Added Value has used all the material included herein with the best intention and permission of the authors. However, if anyone would like us to remove anything, we’ll gladly do so.

Note: The introductory statistics at the beginning of the video at the top of this page are from a variety of current secondary sources that we’d be happy to share. They lead us to ask “why” and set the stage for understanding women’s online connections.

Hero image credit: Emerging Ideas In Neural Science

prev next