marketing | July 03, 2013

Not Marketing To Single Women? You Should Be: Kate Bolick, Eric Klinenberg

"Women who are single have driven the growth in urban economies in ways we have failed to appreciate," Eric Klinenberg, author of Going Solo, says in a recent documentary from NBCUniversal’s Integrated Media group. "They're out in the world spending money and they have a different set of tastes, different needs, different interests in products [than their married counterparts]." There are 31 million of these single women living in America today. They spend $22 billion a year on entertainment, buy one-fifth of all houses, and shell out $20 billion on cars. A study based on the 2011 U.S. census reported that "singles spend significantly more per capita than married couples do on food, housing, apparel, and education." The single shopper is a huge slice of the economic pie. Marketers: Are you paying attention? 

Kate Bolick, author of the blockbuster Atlantic cover story "All The Single Ladies," was also featured in the documentary. She says the rise of single women is one of the biggest stories today—and it's not being reported on. That, and too few companies are specifically appealing to this growing demographic. "I think there's a lot of space that can be filled focusing on making life easier for single women," Bolick argues in an interview about marketing to singles. Appealing to these women isn't just about painting a product pink and calling it a day, either. The single woman is busy, but her schedule is flexible. She has a fluid connection to the world and wants products that enhance her ability to live that way, Bolick says. That, and they're tired. These women do everything themselves—and pay for it all themselves, too. Designing products to help ease some of that burden can be extremely lucrative.

Single women are also the largest consumers of social media and are constantly working with multiple screens. That means an easy-to-navigate interface is a key component for digitally marketing to these plugged-in women, Bolick adds. The implosion of the nuclear family has paved the way for an increase in single households, and  Klinenberg and Bolick are leading voices on the unique needs of this group of people. As the two speakers call attention to in their talks: This trend is not going away any time soon. Society is changing, and consumer spending habits are changing right along with it. If you want to know how to adapt to these changes, Bolick and Klinenberg have the answer. 

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digital and social media | July 02, 2013