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Heart of Britain

Heart of Britain

In Brief

Future’s flagship research into an important audience group. ‘Heart of Britain’ provides a refreshing take on on ‘mass-market women’

In terms of audience size, this market dwarfs the two most talked-about advertising targets, Millennials and ABs, and yet they have increasingly been neglected and misunderstood. They also collectively earn and spend more than any one demographic group, and are far more valuable than advertisers think.

The study, based on a 3,000 nat rep panel revealed a number of key findings and highlighted four broad pillars which underpin these women’s lives: their Strength in the Community; Economic Power; Savviness; and being the ‘Original Influencer’ in the home and beyond, holding the purse strings for decisions surrounding cosmetics, clothes, household, tech, holidays/travel and cars.

The study, in partnership with Differentology, included a stakeholder workshop, filmed ethnography, peer-to-peer semi-structured research groups and a 20-minute online survey to 3,000 respondents.

Key Findings

  • In terms of audience size, ‘Heart of Britain’ dwarf the two most talked-about advertising targets, millennials (16,397,000) and ABs (14,266,000), at 26,259,00, with women making up 14m of this figure.
  • Collectively, this audience also earn more than any one demographic group with £350bn total income versus £324bn for ABs and £191bn for millennials. They are also more likely to be the sole decision maker compared to AB women
  • Heart of Britain audiences spend more across a range of categories including groceries, holidays and cars
  • This is a quietly powerful group who feel undervalued by society,  in responsible jobs like the NHS, schools and customer services, significantly a lot of what they do is unpaid work. It’s estimated that the value of their uncompensated care alone amounts to £680 billion (source Canada Statistic agency)
  • 45% say Instagram “is of no importance to me”, they are happy and confident with Whatsapp, and they prefer to be more of an observer on Facebook.
  • 38% are influenced by clothes/shoes/accessories adverts, compared to 32% of (ABs). Food and drink adverts sway 38% of the Heart of britain audience, compared to 29% of AB’s, and 36% of them are influenced by cosmetics and personal care adverts, as opposed to 32% of AB’s.
  • 67% use magazines to keep up-to-date on gossip, compared to 56% using television and 65% using social media. Hot topics include women’s health at 66% (compared to television at 49%), and fashion and beauty at 71% (compared to 57% via social media).
  • 20% purchase a magazine at least once a week, with 34% purchasing between one and three times a month.

 Implications for Advertisers

Mass market women are the linchpin of the family unit making the majority of retail decisions. They are one of the most important demographics in Britain, advertisers should consider them more widely as a target for briefs.

“Traditionally known as mass-market women or simply ‘housewives’, we wanted to recognise what this often-misunderstood audience looks like in Britain in 2019 and found a confident, resilient, capable and downright heroic group who feel increasingly marginalised,” says Sam Finlay, chief revenue officer at Future. “The insight gained from this research will not only help advertisers better understand this audience, but it will also help guide our editorial forward.”

Jon Restall, Head of Agency Partnerships, Future 

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