Net Cannibalizes TV Time For Women With Kids

Forty four percent of women with children report that their usage of the Internet decreases the time they spend watching television, according to figures released by Jupiter Media Metrix yesterday.

“Because women with children often have time constraints, and therefore a limited time budget for media consumption, increased use of the Internet is more likely to cannibalize time that was once spent watching television,” said Jon Gibs, Jupiter research analyst, in a statement. “Advertisers and programmers interested in reaching mothers should therefore consider increasing their online marketing efforts relative to TV advertising.”

The statement comes at a time when analysts are predicting growth for online advertising, and companies across the spectrum with a vested interest in the medium are working to convince marketers to shift more of their tight budgets online.

The Internet Advertising Bureau, the Advertising Research Federation, MSN, Dynamic Logic and Unilever, for example, released a much-touted study recently that suggests online advertising boosts brand awareness and purchase intent.

The study, comparing offline and online advertising for Unilever's Dove Nutrium Bar, found that if Dove increased online advertising and spending, the brand would see a boost in unaided brand awareness (up 3 points), brand image (13 points) and purchase intent (3 points).

Also, New York online marketing research aggregator eMarketer predicts U.S. online advertising will grow 11 percent in 2002 — a bounce-back from an 11 percent decline in U.S. online ad spending in 2001, putting the market about where it was in 2000.

However, online ad spending still only accounts for 3 percent to 5 percent of overall ad spending.

Meanwhile, in other findings, Jupiter reported that women with children enjoy using the Internet to play games online (29 percent), download music (29 percent) and conduct research for school and homework-related projects (40 percent).

In contrast, according to Jupiter, women without children are more inclined to turn to the Internet for utility-related activities, such as making travel arrangements (54 percent), doing research for work (41 percent), checking stock quotes (20 percent) and reading the news online (47 percent).

Forty one percent of women with kids say they buy sale items online that they wouldn't have bought otherwise, Jupiter said. This subset of women also tend to use coupons obtained online for local services (23 percent) and grocery products, such as food (50 percent) and household products (43 percent), far more often than women without kids, according to Jupiter.

Women without kids reportedly tend to have higher brand affinity. Twenty percent of them said the brands they use reflect their personality versus 14 percent of women with kids, according to Jupiter.

“Women with kids look for online bargains, while those without children tend to be more brand loyal. Therefore, companies looking to reach women online with kids should focus on price promotions and marketing programs such as online coupons,” Gibs said.

Women without children reportedly spend more money online than women with children. Sixty three percent of women without children said they spent over $100 online over the past three months, while only 52 percent of women with children said the same thing.

Forty seven percent of women with children spent $100 or less online in the previous three months, while this was true for only 35 percent of women without children, Jupiter said.

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