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Women drivers: a missed opportunity for motors brands

Women drivers: a missed opportunity for motors brands

In Brief

Insight from Hearst shows that motor brands may be missing a trick with a female audience by focusing advertising on predominantly male magazine titles.

Key Insights

  • More women are driving than ever before, up from 28 per cent in 1975, to 67 per cent in 2016 according the Department for Transport, presenting a great opportunity for motors manufacturers.

  • Women are also increasingly playing a significant role in car buying decision making, with 40 per cent being the sole decision maker and 45 per cent having a joint share in the process with a partner. Crucially 93 per cent agree that they have the power of veto on the final decision.

  • Despite this opportunity 67 per cent of women said they couldn’t recall any car adverts from the last few months. 

  • Female car customers can be a hard to reach audience; significantly 50 per cent agree that car companies don’t communicate effectively with them, and that car advertising is not aimed at them. It’s both a challenge and an opportunity that half the female car audience doesn’t relate to current car advertising.

  • 94 per cent of women say they enjoy the car buying process which is on a par with men. This suggests there is an opportunity to more directly engage with the female audience and some motoring brands are already using female lifestyle titles to target this audience. However, the opportunity is heavily under exploited.

  • Women represent a high value opportunity for motoring brands, on average spending in excess of £15k.

Implications for Advertisers

Car advertisers should consider targeting women more directly in an environment perfectly placed to speak to them free from stereotypes. Magazines understand how to connect to female drivers in a meaningful way in the context of their broader lifestyle needs aspirations.

“The car market and car buying process is complex and confusing with ever changing products and technologies. It’s important to influence and engage with the consumer at key moments on this journey. It’s also important to acknowledge the significance of female decision making within this process and ultimate purchase of cars.”

Jim Chaudry, director of automotive, Hearst