Marketers to Target Affluent Women Without Children

Conventional wisdom has long held that marketers should aim their promotional messages to women between the ages of 25 and 54 with children living in the home. This pool of women, especially those who live in households that enjoy average incomes of at least $100,000, make for a target rich environment when it comes to selling products. But, a forthcoming report by Ipsos OTX, highlighted in a recent Center for Media Research post, casts some doubt on these beliefs.

Ipsos Mendelsohn data indicates that women between the ages of 18 and 54 who do not have children expect to spend money on the following activities within the next year:

  • Redecorate/​remodel/​renovate the home 41%
  • Travel in general 37%
  • Take a cruise 15%
  • Take a trip outside the U.S. 30%
  • Invest in stocks/​mutual funds 26%

In every category, women without children signaled spending intentions at rates of between 4% to 10% higher than their counterparts who do have children.  And a look at spending patterns over the past year also shows significant differences between the 2 groups. Women without children indicated they spent money on or owned the following. [The spending rates for women with children appear in parentheses] 

  • Two or more residences 28% (22%)
  • Luxury cars 20% (15%)
  • Airline trips 72% (64%)
  • Foreign trips 34% (26%)
  • Day spas/​massage therapists 47% (42%)

Not surprisingly, researchers uncovered differences in how these two groups of women spend their leisure time. Women with children tended to have a higher visit rate at theme parks, museums, movie theaters and sports events.  Art galleries, opera performances, classical music concerts and fashion shows fill the time of women without children.

When making TV media purchases, marketers might not find it quite as easy to segment the female audience.  Women in both groups are equally likely to watch The Learning Channel or entertainment news and gossip shows. And there’s little difference in behavior when it comes to skipping through commercials – a little over 1/​3 of women do so. Both groups of women are equally like to read fashion and beauty publications but moms are more likely to visit entertainment/​celebrity websites.  When determining which audiences to target and where to place advertising, marketers will likely be thinking about which products and services appeal to all women and which ones appeal to women without children.

[Source: Sabino, Donna. Affluent Mothers of Young Children. Ipsos OTX. Loechner, Jack. Research Brief. 1 Sept. 2010. Web. 13 Sept. 2010] 
Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.