Women & Shopping: Maybe it’s Stereotypes, Maybe it’s Marketing

Women ring in 85 percent of all consumer purchases in the health, technology and food industries.

That means women spend more on the $1.6 trillion healthcare industry, the $8-trillion dollar food industry and the $400-billion dollar technology industry, than any other audience.

So just how are women helping the consumer spending engine not only function, but thrive?

Maybe it’s stereotypes; maybe it’s marketing.

Networked Insights discovered that brands who wanted to pull in a female audience found success by targeting well-defined groups of women and using overarching themes like inspiration and community in their branded content.

This methodology is being adopted by high-profile brands like Campbell’s and Under Armour and they’re  finding that developing an interest-based connected is not only turning into significant consumer spend, but it’s fostering trust and brand advocacy, which leads to continued consumer loyalty.

Determining the Themes

Networked Insights measured billions of consumer posts across some of the most successful high-profile branded content campaigns to determine which themes and practices are most successful. Inspiration and community stood out as most desired.


Women often curate content that inspires them and relates to their interests and passions, whether that be finding healthy and easy recipes for the family, looking for motivation for their fitness habits, or seeking inspiration for their next travel destination.

For example, while working with sports apparel giant, Under Armour, for their I Will What I Want campaign, Networked Insights analyzed two target female audiences: 

1. high school or college aged female athletes who participate in organized sports
2. everyday, post-college-aged women who like to work out.

Despite many behavioral and lifestyle differences in the audiences, both audiences were highly engaged with inspirational, short proverbs, particularly on Instagram, that grounded the campaign.

Additionally, about a quarter of the fitness content each audience shared was motivational, visual content related to topics such as working out and new workout apparel.

In terms of community, women tend to seek out others with whom they relate on social for the purposes of advice or education, feeling understood and feeling less alone in their endeavors.


Women demonstrate on social platforms that they need to feel connected to a community. From Facebook groups and hashtags for everything from Crossfitters to “Moms of Twins,” a purpose beyond their own drives their interests.

There is a particular need for social communities among stay-at-home moms, as the data shows it can be their connection to the “outside world” and their source of advice from other moms they relate to and trust.

This presents an interesting targeting opportunity for brands.

Consider Campbell’s, for example. The historic brand is entrenched in the consumer psyche – they’re the company you go to when you’re sick, when you need a hearty meal, when you need to feel warm. But that doesn’t stop them from continuing to improve their targeting.

Wanting to build a campaign for a new product, they reached out to Networked Insights who helped them develop the right audience, dubbed, “Survival Mode Mom.”

Composed of predominantly stay-at-home moms with young children and a low to middle household income, Networked Insights further defined the audience as “survival mode” because of the physical, mental and financial demands she endures as a parent with young children.

Additional traits NI discovered that could be used when building branded content campaigns:

* Survival Mode Mom uses social and news sites to stay connected with other adults and the outside world, offering a mental break from childcare
* She shares her special moments with her children across her community
* She turns to relatable mommy blogs for financial advice and household management tips.

To learn more about how to better develop content to target women based upon specific interests and affinities, download our e-book here: