It’s 2012 – why are tech advertisers excluding women?
Are technology companies missing a trick by not making enough effort to advertise to their female customers? Recent research suggests women have the biggest input when buying a new telly.
A recent study by Lady Geek and YouGov concluded that tech manufacturers could be missing out on an estimated £588m in the UK by failing to cater to women.
Lady Geek bills itself as a campaigning agency looking to change the way tech companies speak to women, and to end the simplified ‘pink it and shrink it’ approach to creating products for women.
Personally, I would hope (and I believe) that we’re way past this stage. But is that really the case? We’ve previously taken a look at gender stereotyping adverts on Which? Conversation, but we didn’t talk about tech brands.
Off the top of my head I can’t think of any tech ads that negatively stereotype women, but they might be more subtle. For example, are gadgets presented as ‘boy’s toys’? Do men appear in tech ads more often? And are tech products and services advertised more commonly in publications aimed at men?
Purchasing power = girl power
There do appear to be differences in the way men and women consume technology. When it comes to TVs, the research suggests that women rate picture and sound quality more highly than men, whereas men are more likely to prioritise technical specifications. Women are also cited as being more likely to use on-demand TV and film services.
More significantly, Lady Geek’s survey found that 79% of women now have the biggest input when buying a new TV for their household. This is apparently due to men tending to choose technology for their own use, whereas women have a greater tendency to take responsibility for what’s available to the entire family.
All interesting stuff for tech companies to consider, but I don’t think the answer is to create adverts aimed specifically at female customers.
The idea of a female-orientated ad makes me feel immediately uncomfortable. Is it even possible to do this without making patronising assumptions? Surely there doesn’t need to be any gender bias; after all, we’re all technology consumers.
In the end, we don’t need technology to be tailored to us, but there’s no reason why shouldn’t hear about it just as much as men do.
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